Jonathan Lewis (oncologist)

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Jonathan J. Lewis, M.D., Ph.D.
Occupation Surgeon, biomedical researcher, entrepreneur, CEO, cancer drug developer

Jonathan J. Lewis, M.D., Ph.D., is a surgeon, biomedical researcher and entrepreneur. He was trained in surgery in South Africa, Britain, and the United States, and is a fellow of both the Royal College of Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.[1] Dr. Lewis was awarded an MB.B.Ch. from University of the Witwatersrand School of Medicine, and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Witwatersrand and Yale School of Medicine. He completed his Surgical Residency at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and at Yale-New Haven Hospital.[2] Lewis was a Professor of Surgery and Medicine Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center,[3] before working in the biotechnology industry, first as chief medical officer of Antigenics, then as chairman and chief executive officer of ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. He is currently chairman of the Molecular Ninja Group and chief executive officer of Samus Therapeutics.[4]


Lewis received his MB. B.Ch. from University of the Witwatersrand in 1982 and his Ph.D. degree in the Molecular and Cell Biology of Growth Factor Signal Transduction from the University of Witwatersrand and Yale School of Medicine in 1990. During this time he became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Glasgow in 1987.[1] At Yale he trained under Elton Cahow and William Collins, and at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center he trained under Sir Murray Brennan. At Sloan-Kettering, he completed postdoctoral research in the labs of David Golde and Alan Houghton.[5][6]

Research and scientific contribution[edit]

Lewis’ research has contributed to the development of innovative cancer treatments and treatment approaches.[7][8] Lewis' work focused on better understanding the biology and treatment of difficult-to-treat cancers. This includes the early use of peptides and DNA vaccines with active immunotherapy using T cells,[9][10] a better understanding of the biology and role of surgery in retroperitoneal sarcoma,[11] the liberal and correct use of re-resection in extremity sarcoma,[12] and the potential use of vaccines in pancreatic cancer.[13] Lewis has authored over 200 scientific publications, which include work in the biology and treatment of sarcoma, the biology and treatment of pancreatic cancer, molecular cancer vaccines, gene therapy and the translation of laboratory findings to the clinic, in addition to writing chapters or sections in 15 textbooks.[14]

During his career as a physician, Lewis treated Kitch Christie, the head coach of the South Africa national rugby union team[15] and Kate McGarrigle.[16]


  1. ^ a b Kendra Wingate (2014-10-01). "Hope Triumphs". Fairfield Livingmag. 
  2. ^ "ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc". Bloomberg. 2015-07-21. 
  3. ^ "The Sarcoma Foundation Of America Honors Jonathan Lewis With 2009 Vision Of Hope Award". Medical News Today. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  4. ^ "Board of Trustees | The Hope Funds for Cancer Research". Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  5. ^ Hawkins WG, Gold JS, Dyall R, Wolchok J, Hoos A, Bowne WB, Srinivasan R, Houghton AN, Lewis JJ (August 2000). "Immunization with DNA coding for gp100 results in CD4 T-cell independent antitumor immunity". Surgery. 128 (2): 273–80. doi:10.1067/msy.2000.107421. PMID 10923004. 
  6. ^ Bowne WB, Antonescu CR, Leung DH, et al. (June 2000). "Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans: A clinicopathologic analysis of patients treated and followed at a single institution". Cancer. 88 (12): 2711–20. doi:10.1002/1097-0142(20000615)88:12<2711::aid-cncr9>;2-m. PMID 10870053. INIST:1476351. [not in citation given]
  7. ^ Mary Anne Chute Lynch. "A New Generation of Cancer Vaccines - New York Times". Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  8. ^ Lewis JJ (October 2004). "Therapeutic cancer vaccines: using unique antigens". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 101 Suppl 2: 14653–6. Bibcode:2004PNAS..10114653L. doi:10.1073/pnas.0404839101. JSTOR 3373502. PMC 521987Freely accessible. PMID 15297620. 
  9. ^ Restifo, NP; Lewis, JJ; et al. (August 2000). "Evaluation of CD8(+) T-cell frequencies by the Elispot assay in healthy individuals and in patients with metastatic melanoma immunized with tyrosinase peptide". International Journal of Cancer. 87 (3): 391–8. doi:10.1002/1097-0215(20000801)87:3<391::AID-IJC13>3.0.CO;2-K. PMID 10897045. 
  10. ^ DeVita, VT; Rosenberg, SA; Hellman, S (December 2014). Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. Lippincott, Baltimore. pp. 45–47. ISBN 9781451192940. 
  11. ^ Heslin MJ, Lewis JJ, Nadler E, et al. (August 1997). "Prognostic factors associated with long-term survival for retroperitoneal sarcoma: implications for management". Journal of Clinical Oncology. 15 (8): 2832–9. PMID 9256126. 
  12. ^ Lewis JJ, Leung D, Espat J, Woodruff JM, Brennan MF (May 2000). "Effect of resection in extremity soft tissue sarcoma". Annals of Surgery. 231 (5): 655–63. doi:10.1097/00000658-200005000-00005. PMC 1421052Freely accessible. PMID 10767786. 
  13. ^ Maki RG, Livingston PO, Lewis JJ, et al. (August 2007). "A phase I pilot study of autologous heat shock protein vaccine HSPPC-96 in patients with resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma". Digestive Diseases and Sciences. 52 (8): 1964–72. doi:10.1007/s10620-006-9205-2. PMID 17420942. 
  14. ^ Search Results for author Lewis JJ on PubMed.
  15. ^ Griffiths, Edward (1997). Kitch: Triumph of a Decent Man. CAB. ISBN 0620217715. 
  16. ^ Robert Everett-Green. "Goodbye sweet harmony". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2014-03-01.