Dennis A. Carson

University of California, San Diego

Primary Section: 41, Medical Genetics, Hematology, and Oncology
Secondary Section: 43, Immunology and Inflammation
Membership Type:
Member (elected 2003)


Carson co-developed the lymphocyte-targeted immunosuppressive agent cladribine, that is approved for the treatment of some leukemias and autoimmune diseases.  He also co-discovered and developed the CpG adjuvant that is used for hepatitis vaccination, and that is in clinical trials in some vaccines for Covid-19.  His laboratory revealed the common deletion of a purine metabolism enzyme and the p16 tumor suppressor gene in multiple cancers, and developed a "synthetic lethal" treatment for the malignant cells.  From 2003-2011,  Carson directed the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California San Diego.

Research Interests

My laboratory continues to discover and develop therapeutics for cancer and immunologic diseases.  These therapeutics include synthetic agents that activate innate immune responses, and a monoclonal antibody that is specific for cancer stem cells.

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