Robert Peter Gale
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Gale received his A.B. degree with honors in biology and chemistry from Hobart College in 1966 and his M.D. degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1970 (with Evan Caukins, Robin Bannerman and John Edwards). His postgraduate medical training (internal medicine, hematology and oncology) was at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) from 1970–1973. In 1976 he received a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) following doctoral work focusing on cancer immunology (with John Fahey). His postdoctoral studies at UCLA were funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Leukemia Society of America, where he was the Bogart Fellow and Scholar.
From 1973–1993, Gale was on the faculty of the UCLA School of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology & Oncology where he focused on the molecular biology, immunology and treatment of leukemia. He also developed the bone marrow transplant program supported by the NIH. At UCLA, he was active in the Department of Psychology, where he and his colleagues studied interactions between stress, immunity and cancer.
From 1980–1997, Gale was Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), an organization of more than 400 transplant centers in over 60 countries worldwide working together to analyze and advance knowledge about blood cell and bone marrow transplants. In 1989–2003 Gale chaired the Scientific Advisory Board of the Center for Advanced Studies in Leukemia, a charity funding innovation leukemia research.
From 1986–1993, Gale was President of the Armand Hammer Center for Advanced Studies in Nuclear Energy and Health, a foundation supporting research on medical aspects of nuclear issues. From 1985–1990 Gale was the Wald Scholar in Biomedical Communications at UCLA.
From 1993–1999, Gale was Senior Physician and Corporate Director of Bone Marrow and Blood Cell Transplantation at Salick Health Care (SHC), Inc. in Los Angeles (now Aptium Oncology), a subsidiary of AstraZeneca. Gale was also responsible for developing cancer treatment guidelines (in collaboration with colleagues at RAND and Value Health Sciences) and for studying medical aspects of managed cancer care.
From 2000–2004 he was Senior Vice-President for Medical Affairs at Antigenics Inc., in New York where he was responsible for design, implementation and analysis of clinical trials of cancer vaccines. He was also Senior Medical Consultant to Oxford Health Plans in areas of advanced medical technologies. From 2004 to 2007, Gale was Senior Vice-President of Research for ZIOPHARM Oncology in Boston, MA and New York, NY which he helped co-found. His focus was on developing and testing new cancer therapies. In 2007 Gale joined Celgene Corporation (Summit, NJ) where he is Executive Director of Clinical Research, Hematology and Oncology. His activities include development and execution of clinical trials in blood and bone marrow cancers, transplantation and immune disorders. Since 2005 Gale has been a Visiting Professor of Haematoloy in the Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine, Section of Haematology, Imperial College, London assigned to Hammersmith Hospital. He is an editor, co-editor and/or reviewer of many scientific journals in hematology, oncology, immunology, transplantation and internal medicine. Prof. Gale is regarded as a world expert on the medical response to nuclear and radiation accidents and has participated in rescue efforts at Chenobyl, Goiania, Tokaimura, Fukushima and others. In 2012, after extensive analysis of the Japanese data, he said that "the increased risk of cancer incidence [from the Fukushima incident] would be only 0.002 percent for a member of the Japanese public".
Bone marrow transplantation
Gale has contributed to basic science and clinical research in bone marrow transplantation where he made contributions to understanding the immune-mediated anti-leukemia effects of transplants (graft-versus-leukemia [GvL]. He has also advanced understanding other complex immune effects of transplants in humans, like graft-versus-host disease and post-transplant immune deficiency. He has worked on alternate sources of hematopoietic stem cells including fetal liver transplants.
Gale has published over 800 scientific articles and more than 20 books, mostly on leukemia (biology and treatment), transplantation (biology, immunology and treatment), cancer immunology and radiation (biological effects and accident response). He has written on medical topics, nuclear energy and weapons and politics of US-Soviet relations in articles for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, USA Today and Wall Street Journal. In addition to his academic publications, Gale has written popular books on Chernobyl and US nuclear energy policy. He has written parts of screenplays for and/or appeared in several movies including Chernobyl: The Final Warning (with Jon Voight), Fat Man and Little Boy (with Paul Newman) and City of Joy (with Patrick Swazye). His latest book Radiation: What it is, What you need to know with Eric Lax, was published in February, 2013.
Awards for his scientific achievements include the Presidential Award, New York Academy of Sciences, Scientist of Distinction Award, Weizmann Institute of Science, Distinguished Alumni Award from Hobart College and Intra-Science Research Foundation Award. He holds honorary degrees including D.Sc. from Albany Medical College, L.H.D. from Hobart College and D.P.S from MacMurray College. He received an Emmy award for his work on a 60 Minutes special report about Chernobyl.
In 1986, he was asked by the government of the Soviet Union to coordinate medical relief efforts for victims of the Chernobyl disaster. In 1987, he was asked by the government of Brazil to coordinate medical relief efforts for the Goiania accident. In 1988, he was part of the U.S. medical emergency team sent in the aftermath of the earthquake in Armenia. In 1999 he was asked by the government of Japan to help treat victims of the Tokaimura nuclear accident. In 2011 Gale was called to Japan to deal with medical consequences of the Fukushima nuclear power station accident. He met with members of the Prime Ministers office on several occasions and has addressed the Diet on 3 occasions. Gale has also been a neutral war observer for the governments of Croatia and Armenia and a medical consultant to the government of Tartarstan. Gale has received several awards for his humanitarian activities including the Olender Peace Prize, City of Los Angeles Humanitarian Award and Myasthenia Gravis Foundation Humanitarian Award.
- Today in Science History
- O'Connor, John J. (23 April 1991). "Review/Television; 2 Docudramas Deal With Big Issues". The New York Times. p. 16. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
- Gale, Robert Peter; Lax, Eric (2013). Radiation: What It Is, What You Need to Know. Random House. ISBN 978-0-307-95020-8. Retrieved April 2014.