Following an extensive national search, Michael Teitell, MD, PhD was appointed as the director of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center on August 8, 2017. Teitell holds the Latta Endowed Chair in Pathology and is a full professor in the Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, with joint appointments in the Departments of Pediatrics and Bioengineering. He serves as Physician and Chief of the Division of Pediatric and Neonatal Pathology and he has been a member of the cancer center since 1999. Teitell is also a member of the Molecular Biology Institute, the Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, AIDS Research Institute, and the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA.
Teitell received concurrent BS and MS degrees from the UCLA College Honors Program as a Departmental Scholar in Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1985. He earned combined MD and PhD degrees in the UCLA Medical Scientist Training Program in 1993 under the mentorship of Dr. Mitchell Kronenberg, current President and Chief Scientific Officer of the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. Teitell was a resident and clinical instructor in anatomic pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (1993–1995), and during this time he was also a research associate with Dr. Richard Blumberg. He was a resident in clinical pathology at UCSF and a post-doctoral researcher with Dr. Joe Gray (1995–1997). Teitell held a joint appointment at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles as a pediatric pathology fellow and at UCLA as a clinical instructor in pathology (1997–1999).
Board certified in anatomic, clinical and pediatric pathology, Teitell joined the UCLA faculty as an assistant professor in 1999, and rose to the rank of full professor by 2008. He is director of the David Geffen School of Medicine Cancer Research Theme, co-director of the UCLA Tumor Immunology Training Program, co-director of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center Bioengineering Core, and an associate director of the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program (MD, PhD). For UCLA, he serves as the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative for Intercollegiate Athletics and holds posts on the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (Chair, 2014–), Pac-12 Conference Diversity Leadership Committee (Chair, 2016–), and Pac-12 Conference Woman of the Year Nominating Committee (Chair, 2016–). Teitell is also President of the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, which in the past five years has raised over $77 million.
Teitell’s previous professional and administrative experience includes appointments to the California Cancer Research Coordinating Committee (Chair, 2008), the UCLA Academic Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (Chair, 2008–2014, ex officio 2014–), the NIH Cancer Center Site Visit Team and NIH Cancer Genetics Study Section (2004–2010) and the NIH Provocative Questions Review Panel (Chair, 2015). Teitell has also organized national and international meetings, including the 2007 CNSI/CNBI Joint Meeting on NanoBiology, the 2007 ISCBM Conference on Development and Stem Cells, and the 2014 Cell Press Symposium on Stem Cell Energy Metabolism. He is a member of the American Association of Immunologists, the American Association for Cancer Research, the Biophysical Society, and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
A renowned molecular immunologist and biochemist, Teitell’s research on the fundamental mechanisms of cancer formation and progression, particularly for B lymphocyte malignancies, has attained international acclaim. This led to projects in stem and cancer cell metabolism and the collaborative development of new approaches in cell engineering and response detection. Teitell is the recipient of the Stohlman Memorial Scholar Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America, the Margaret E. Early Medical Research Trust Award, the FOCIS/Millenium Pharmaceuticals Award for Genomics Research, and he was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigators (ASCI) in 2004 and to the Association of American Physicians (AAP) in 2017.