Owen Witte received his undergraduate degree from Cornell and his MD from Stanford University. He completed postdoctoral research at MIT then joined the faculty at UCLA where he presently is a University Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics and holds the President’s Chair in Developmental Immunology. He is the Director Emeritus of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA.
Dr. Witte has made significant contributions to the understanding of human leukemias, immune disorders, and epithelial cancer stem cells. His work includes the discovery of tyrosine kinase activity for the ABL gene and the demonstration of the BCR-ABL oncoproteins in human leukemias. This has had practical impact in leading to the development of kinase targeted therapy as an effective treatment for these leukemias and other cancers. His work also led to the co-discovery of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) which is required for normal B-lymphocyte development, and when mutated leads to X-linked agammaglobulinemia, a form of immune deficiency. New inhibitors for BTK are entering clinical practice for the treatment of certain lymphomas and leukemias. Recent work has concentrated on defining the stem cells for epithelial cancers of the prostate and other organ sites to help define new types of therapy for these diseases.
Dr. Witte has extensive experience consulting in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. He is currently on the Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board at Allogene Therapeutics, and a Founder and Scientific Advisory Board Chair at Kronos Bio.
He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine. He has received many awards for his research including most recently the Association of American Medical College’s Award for Distinguished Research in Biomedical Sciences and the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Arthur Kornberg and Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Sciences.
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