You are using an unsupported browser. Please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge.
The one hundred honoree: Catherine J. Wu, MD

Innovation Story

The one hundred honoree: Catherine J. Wu, MD

Mass General Giving

Catherine Wu, MD, is an internationally recognized expert in the biology and treatment of lymphoid malignancies, with a primary focus on chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Dr. Wu’s seminal work on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has been organized around two major themes. The first is understanding the genomic landscape of the disease at initial presentation and its evolution over time and in response to selective pressure imposed by therapy. This avenue of research has been marked by landmark papers in the New England Journal of Medicine, Cell, Cancer Cell and Nature. The other research theme relates to the interaction between CLL cells and the immune system. This interest has led her team to develop strategies to predict from the genetic profiles of CLL cells which antigens are most likely to generate an immune response against the leukemia.

This work has culminated in ongoing clinical trials where genomic information is being used to design a personalized vaccine to test the impact on generation of an immune response and anti-tumor activity.

Dr. Wu is a recipient of the Claudia Adams Barr Award in Cancer Research, a Damon-Runyon Clinical Investigator Award, a Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award, a Howard Hughes Early Career Physician-Scientist Award, and was elected to membership of the American Society of Clinical Investigation. She received research funding from the NIH, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Her friend and colleague, Timothy Graubert, MD, program director for Hematologic Malignancies at the Mass General Cancer Center, lauds Wu for “her collegial and collaborative spirit, attention to training and mentoring the next generation of physician-scientists, and dedication to patient care.”