Owen Witte, PhD
Founding Director of the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center; University Professor of the University of California; Presidential Chair in Developmental Immunology, and Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, Dr. Witte has made significant scientific contributions to the understanding of human leukemias, immune disorders and epithelial cancers.
After graduating from Cornell University and earning his medical degree at Stanford, Dr. Witte did his postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Nobel Laureate, David Baltimore.
Dr. Witte’s early discovery of the tyrosine kinase activity
in the ABL protein and the demonstration of the BCR-ABL oncoproteins
in leukemias was one of the preclinical discoveries that led to the development of Gleevec, the first targeted therapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Dr. Witte also co-discovered the gene for Bruton's tyrosine kinase
, a protein essential for normal B-lymphocyte development that, when mutated, causes the onset of X-linked agammaglobulinemia
. This finding influenced the development of targeted drugs like Ibrutinib to treat leukemia and lymphoma.
Dr. Witte is now pursuing prostate cancer research, taking several independent approaches to pinpoint specific biologic functions of Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer with the intent to improve survival and reduce side effects for men with this aggressive and deadly disease. More >