Owen Witte, MD, received his undergraduate degree from Cornell and his MD from Stanford University. He completed postdoctoral research at MIT then joined the faculty at UCLA. His research laid the groundwork for development of the targeted leukemia therapy Gleevec and the lymphoma therapy Ibrutinib. Current research focuses on prostate and other epithelial cancers. Dr. Witte is the founding director emeritus of the Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Research at UCLA. He holds the President?s Chair in Developmental Immunology. In 2016, he was appointed as University Professor by the University of California Board of Regents, an honor reserved for scholars of the highest international distinction. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine. He has received many awards for his research including most recently the Association of American Medical College?s Award for Distinguished Research in Biomedical Sciences and the Stanford University School of Medicine?s Arthur Kornberg and Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Sciences.

Research Interests

My laboratory is concerned with the interrelated problems of cell growth regulation and differentiation and understanding the function of oncogenes found in human leukemias and epithelial cancers. This includes the Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase important in human chronic myelogenous leukemia. We are also interested in understanding the regulation of lymphocyte growth in disease states and during immune responses. We discovered that the gene defect in the primary immunodeficiency X-linked agammaglobulinemia is a single gene called Bruton's tyrosine kinase and are now studying its mode of action. Recently, we identified a G protein-coupled receptor family which regulates inflammatory responses and autoimmunity and are studying its mechanisms of action. We are using PET and other imaging modalities to study lymphocyte movement during the immune response as regulated by these receptors. Prostate cancer is unique in its highly regularized pattern of metastasis to the bone marrow. One possible therapeutic target is PSCA (prostate homolog of hematopoietic stem cell antigen) expressed on a subset of prostate cells during active growth. We are using surface markers to fractionate normal murine prostate cell populations in an attempt to define an active stem cell population. We have used a recently developed dissociated cell reconstitution system, in which prostate epithelial stem and progenitor cells can be induced to form glandular tissue structures by embryonic urogenital sinus mesenchyme tissue when implanted under the kidney capsule, to study such stem cells.

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Primary Section

Section 41: Medical Genetics, Hematology, and Oncology

Secondary Section

Section 43: Immunology and Inflammation