Leisha A Emens, M.D., Ph.D.


Leisha A Emens, M.D., Ph.D. is a Professor of Medicine at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. She received her MD/PhD in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Baylor College of Medicine, and completed postgraduate training at the National Cancer Institute, the University of Texas at Southwestern, and Johns Hopkins University. She joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University in 2001, where she rose to the rank of Associate Professor of Oncology before joining the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. She is a medical oncologist focused on breast cancer and is internationally recognised for her work in breast cancer immunotherapy. She developed and tested a vaccine for breast cancer patients, and more recently has played a key role in the development of the anti-PD-L1 agent atezolizumab for triple negative breast cancer and HER2+ breast cancer. Dr. Emens was a member of the FDA Advisory Committee on Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies (CTGTC) from 2012 to 2016. She is an active member of ASCO, AACR, and SITC, and is a member of the Cancer Immunology (CIMM) Steering Committee of the AACR. Dr. Emens serves as Vice President of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) and will ascend to the role of SITC President in 2023. She also serves as section editor for Journal for the Immunotherapy of Cancer (JITC).

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