Get to Know Our Senior Investigator Grantees

TCRF Senior Investigator Grantee Dr. Richard j. Pietras

Dr. Pietras is a professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and Director of the Stiles Program in Integrative Oncology in the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC). He has significant clinical-translational experience in the preclinical and clinical trial development of Herceptin and other biologic and endocrine targeted agents for breast, ovarian and non-small cell lung cancer. His pioneering work is frequently cited in the scientific literature and recent reviews as critical for new advances in oncology, endocrinology and cardiovascular medicine.

Beyond the research lab, Dr. Pietras has experience in the care of patients with breast cancer, which provides him with a significant perspective on this disease process and on patient concerns.

This diversified background in translational research as a physician-scientist prepares him to undertake the current Tower-supported Jessica M. Berman Memorial Fund project to develop potent antitumor selective estrogen receptor downregulators for potential management of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. The impact of this project promises to move beyond an incremental advance and may help patients avoid more expensive and aggressive cytotoxic treatments often recommended for individuals with advanced, endocrine-resistant breast cancer.

Dr. Pietras has been married for 37 years to Dr. Rebecca Rausch who is an Emeritus Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at UCLA. Their son, Dr. Christopher Pietras, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCLA and Assistant Director of the Palliative Care Service at the UCLA-Santa Monica Hospital. Dr. Pietras enjoys hiking, especially in the Sierras and other natural environments, whenever time permits. “Walking among the giant Sequoias that have existed for over 2,500 years is a humbling experience that lifts my spirits and helps to reduce stress.”

TCRF Senior Investigator Grantee Dr. Phillip Koeffler

Dr. Pietras is a professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and Director of the Stiles Program in Integrative Oncology in the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC). He has significant clinical-translational experience in the preclinical and clinical trial development of Herceptin and other biologic and endocrine targeted agents for breast, ovarian and non-small cell lung cancer. His pioneering work is frequently cited in the scientific literature and recent reviews as critical for new advances in oncology, endocrinology and cardiovascular medicine.

Beyond the research lab, Dr. Pietras has experience in the care of patients with breast cancer, which provides him with a significant perspective on this disease process and on patient concerns.

This diversified background in translational research as a physician-scientist prepares him to undertake the current Tower-supported Jessica M. Berman Memorial Fund project to develop potent antitumor selective estrogen receptor downregulators for potential management of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. The impact of this project promises to move beyond an incremental advance and may help patients avoid more expensive and aggressive cytotoxic treatments often recommended for individuals with advanced, endocrine-resistant breast cancer.

Dr. Pietras has been married for 37 years to Dr. Rebecca Rausch who is an Emeritus Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at UCLA. Their son, Dr. Christopher Pietras, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCLA and Assistant Director of the Palliative Care Service at the UCLA-Santa Monica Hospital. Dr. Pietras enjoys hiking, especially in the Sierras and other natural environments, whenever time permits. “Walking among the giant Sequoias that have existed for over 2,500 years is a humbling experience that lifts my spirits and helps to reduce stress.”

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