George Demetri, MD

George Demetri, MD, is a leader in translational research aimed at understanding and treating precisely-defined subsets of cancers. He was a pioneer in the development of the imatinib (Gleevec) as one of the first examples of targeted cancer therapies focused on gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) as a molecularly-defined subset of sarcoma. Subsequently, his work has led to the FDA and worldwide regulatory approval of several other “smart drugs” for cancer, including sunitinib (Sutent) and regorafenib (Stivarga) for GIST, as well as pazopanib (Votrient) and trabectedin (Yondelis) for other sarcomas. In a related contribution, Dr. Demetri served on the Scientific Advisory Board for Plexxikon and was a critical member of the team which developed the first mutant BRAF inhibitor, vemurafenib (Zelboraf), as a mutation-targeted therapy for a subset of melanomas. He received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Harvard College, then was a research fellow at the Universite of Besancon, France before receiving his medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine.  Subsequently, he completed residency and Chief Residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Washington Hospitals in Seattle before training as a fellow in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, where he has served as an Attending Physician since 1989.

Dr. Demetri is now a Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School (HMS), where he is co-Director of the Ludwig Center at Harvard and a co-director of the HMS Global Education post-graduate course entitled High Impact Cancer Research. In addition, he serves as an Associate Director for Clinical Sciences at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, the NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center consortium of Harvard University. At the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, he directs the Sarcoma Center and serves on the Institute’s Executive Leadership Team as the Senior Vice President for Experimental Therapeutics.

A former member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Dr. Demetri chairs the AACR Science Policy and Government Affairs Committee.  He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Blueprint Medicines and Translate Bio.