Raghu Kalluri, MD, PhD

  • Recruited to: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Recruited from: Harvard Medical School
  • Award: Established Investigator

Raghu Kalluri is chairman and professor of the Department of Cancer Biology and the director of the Metastasis Research Center at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he also holds the Rebecca and Joseph Brown Endowed Chair. CPRIT funding helped bring Dr. Kalluri to Texas from Harvard Medical School in 2012.

In 2015, Kalluri’s lab at MD Anderson received widespread attention for a discovery that could lead to a blood test that detects pancreatic cancer at an early stage, before it spreads to other organs and becomes too difficult to treat. The study, which was published in the science journal Nature, shows that a protein present on cancer exosomes was found in the blood of pancreatic cancer patients, but not in the blood of those who don’t have the disease or who have chronic pancreatitis.

Kalluri received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Kansas Medical Center and his M.D. degree from Brown University Medical School. He was a postdoctoral fellow and a research associate at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and performed research in areas of immunology and organ fibrosis. In 1997, he moved to Harvard Medical School as an assistant professor of medicine and as a faculty based in the Department of Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Subsequently, Kalluri was appointed the chief of the Division of Matrix Biology and promoted to professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He held appointments in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at HMS, Harvard MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard Stem Cell Institute and was a research fellow of the HMS Peabody Society.

Kalluri was honored in 2015 with the prestigious Jacob-Henle Medal for his discoveries related to autoimmune and genetic kidney diseases, organ fibrosis and cancer biology. His research has led to new methods of diagnosis for kidney diseases, and identified diagnostic methods and therapy targets for fibrosis and cancer. Kalluri has trained more than 70 postdoctoral fellows and 20 graduate students in his career. He is the fellow of American Society of Clinical Investigation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition, Kalluri serves on science and health advisory panels in the U.S. and European Union and on the editorial boards of several academic journals representing biology and medicine.