Keith Knutson, Ph.D., and Joseph Loftus, Ph.D., named Investigator of the Year at Mayo Clinic in Florida and Arizona

investigator of yearKeith Knutson, Ph.D. (IMM ’05), and Joseph Loftus, Ph.D. (BIOC ’96), were recognized as Investigator of the Year at Mayo Clinic in Florida and Arizona, respectively. The award honors researchers who have made significant advances that have strongly influenced their fields of research.

Dr. Knutson is a consultant in the Department of Immunology and director of the Discovery and Translation Lab’s Cancer Research program at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus. He is a professor of immunology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

His research focuses on immunology and immunotherapy of breast and ovarian cancers, including clinical trials. Dr. Knutson’s contributions to science include clinical development and testing of self tumor antigen-specific vaccines in patients with breast and ovarian cancers. He has three FDA-approved vaccine trials underway and is principal investigator of a Department of Defense grant to test a vaccine aimed at preventing recurrence of triple negative breast cancer, for which there are no targeted therapies.

investigator of yearDr. Loftus is a consultant in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and in the Basic Sciences Research Laboratories at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. He is co-leader of the Neuro-Oncology Program at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, and a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Dr. Loftus studies the role of integrin-mediated adhesion and signaling in the regulation of cell migration and cell growth. The long-term goal is to develop effective therapies for the treatment of glioblastoma, the most common form of primary brain tumor, while providing insights into improved clinical management across a broad range of invasive cancers. His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute and Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Loftus has mentored 33 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and residents. He served as assistant dean of Education, served on the Mayo Graduate School Education Committee and has been a member of Mayo’s M.D.-Ph.D. program committee.

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