David J. Kwiatkowski, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Senior Physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Leader, Cancer Genetics Program, Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center
Associate Member, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
Dr. Kwiatkowski is best known for his groundbreaking identification of the TSC1 gene, and a long series of genetic analyses in TSC that have elucidated the genetics of TSC and the mechanisms of tumor development in TSC. In addition, his laboratory has generated numerous mouse models of TSC, in which preclinical studies have shown major benefit to treatment with rapalog drugs (rapamycin and everolimus), enabling translation of these drugs to patient care, and eventual demonstration of their benefit in treatment of several kinds of TSC tumors.
Dr. Kwiatkowski can perhaps best be described as a mathematician-geneticist-oncologist. He received his BSc and PhD in Mathematics from Caltech and MIT, respectively, and then changed to Medicine as a career focus. He attended Columbia P & S medical school, where he received the Janeway Prize (valedictorian) at graduation. After post-graduate training in Internal Medicine and Hematology-Oncology at Mass General Hospital, he stayed at MGH for 12 years establishing his own genetics laboratory, and then moved to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Currently he is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, an Associate Member of The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and a Senior Physician and practicing thoracic oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/BWH. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, and Program Leader, Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center Cancer Genetics Program. He is an author of over 350 original research publications; has served on grant review panels for over 35 different organizations, including several branches of the NIH, and 8 originating in Europe; is a member of several external or scientific advisory boards for research programs; and is Senior Editor for Cancer Genetics for PLOS Genetics. In the past he had made significant contributions to the NCI TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) project, participating in numerous analysis working groups (AWGs), and co-leading the bladder cancer and PI3kinase-mTOR AWGs. His current cancer genetics interests include elucidating the germ line and somatic basis of several thoracic and genito-urinary cancer types.
He has taught and mentored over 80 students and post-doctoral fellows, of which arguably his two most notable trainees are Drs. Elizabeth Henske (Professor of Medicine at Harvard as well) and Walter Witke (Director of the Institute for Genetics at the University of Bonn).
He is an outdoors and exercise enthusiast, engaging in biking, cross country skiing, and hiking/mountain-climbing. He is a past Scoutmaster of his son’s boy scout troop, and has summited all 115 New England and New York peaks over 4,000’ with his daughter. He enjoys hiking in all seasons, including winter.