John M. Kirkwood, M.D.
Dr. John M. Kirkwood completed his MD at Yale University (1973) and postgraduate work at Yale-New Haven Hospital and Harvard University/Dana-Farber Cancer Center (1978). He directed the Yale Melanoma Unit (1978-1985) and was the founding Associate Director for Medical Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), where he was Chief of Medical Oncology (1986-1996) and Vice Chairman for Clinical Research in the Department of Medicine (1996-2006). Dr. Kirkwood has directed the Melanoma Center of the UPCI (1986-present), and is the PI of the University of Pittsburgh SPORE in Melanoma and Skin Cancer (2008-2018). He holds a T32 Training Grant for Melanoma and Skin Cancer (2014-2019), and is Senior Investigator of the University of Pittsburgh in the ECOG-ACRIN National Cooperative Group. He has chaired the Melanoma Committee of the ECOG-ACRIN since 1989, and the International Melanoma Working Group since 2004. He holds the Sandra and Thomas Usher endowed chair in melanoma research at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, where he is Professor of Medicine, Dermatology, and Translational Science. Dr. Kirkwood’s research focuses upon melanoma immunobiology, therapy and prevention. He developed the first FDA-approved immunotherapy of melanoma (1996) and has led immunotherapy development in cancer for the past 45 years, beginning decades before immunotherapy had reached the limelight it has achieved in melanoma and other solid tumors over the past 5 years. He has advanced the multimodal therapy of melanoma with surgery, stereotactic radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and molecular antitumor agents, and is now pioneering new combinations of the 10 recently-approved new immunotherapies and molecular therapies that are anticipated to be the focus of the next decade of clinical translational research.