Faculty

Kathy Robson, MD

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John C. Byrd, MD, is a nationally known researcher and clinical specialist in leukemia and other hematologic malignancies at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center; James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James), where he also is associate director for translational research, head of the Hematologic Malignancies Program and interim co-director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology. He is a professor of medicine and medicinal chemistry and holds the D. Warren Brown Professorship in Leukemia Research. In addition, he is co-leader of the Innate Immunity research program and a member of the Experimental Therapeutics research program at the OSUCCC-James. Dr Byrd's research accomplishments relate best to work done between the laboratory and clinic (translational studies) with several therapeutic agents that are active against chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and related leukemias and lymphomas. As a consequence of his detailed laboratory and clinical work, therapeutic agents such as rituximab, alemtuzumab and recently flavopiridol have been identified as effective agents against CLL. Dr Byrd strives to develop therapeutic antibodies and other targeted agents against hematologic malignancies because of his desire to offer patients nontoxic therapies with fewer side effects. His laboratory receives funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Dr Byrd attended Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, where he received a bachelor's degree with distinction in chemistry. He went on to receive his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. After medical school, he completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. While there, he was mentored by Dr Raymond Weiss in clinical research and assessment/reporting of toxicity observed with novel therapeutic agents. Dr Byrd subsequently did a postdoctoral translational laboratory fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, under the direction of Michael Grever, MD, who now is a professor and chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at Ohio State. After completing his fellowship in 1997, Dr Byrd stayed on as a laboratory faculty member at Johns Hopkins while continuing his clinical work at Walter Reed. In 2001, he left the military service and moved to Columbus to join the faculty in Ohio State's College of Medicine and the OSUCCC-James. At Ohio State, Dr Byrd has provided career support and mentorship to several junior faculty members with interest in clinical and laboratory research related to leukemia and lymphoma. He currently mentors nine junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students. In addition, he has been active in the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) as a member of the Scientific Program Committee and the Grant Selection Committee. He also participated in a special ASCO meeting focused on enhancing hematologic oncology research participation. He is active in cooperative group research as a member of the CLL Research Consortium, as vice chair of the Leukemia Correlative Science Committee, and as a cadre member of the leukemia and lymphoma committees within the Cancer and Leukemia Group B, a national clinical trials research group sponsored by the NCI. Dr Byrd is on the board of the Central Ohio Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and a member of this organization's Translational Grant Review Committee. He has been a faculty member of the Clinical Research Training Institute of the American Society of Hematology, and he is a founding member of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Data Safety and Monitoring Committee. Recently he was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in acknowledgment of his research accomplishments. Ohio State selected him as a University Distinguished Scholar in 2008.Dr Byrd is on the editorial board of several leading medical journals, including "Blood" and the "Journal of Clinical Oncology". He also has authored or co-authored more than 170 peer-reviewed, cancer-related articles in prestigious medical journals.