Mark Pegram, MD – Stanford Women’s Cancer Center
Mark D. Pegram, MD, is the first director of the Breast Cancer Oncology Program at Stanford Women’s Cancer Center. He is also the co-director of Stanford’s Molecular Therapeutics Program. He is a renowned clinician and scholar in breast cancer research and a leader in translational medicine. Dr. Pegram played a major role in developing the drug Herceptin as a treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer, which constitutes about 20 percent of all cases. His laboratory experiments demonstrated that combining Herceptin with chemotherapy effectively killed cancer cells that overproduced the growth factor HER2.
Dr. Pegram and others then conducted clinical trials showing that Herceptin improved survival rates and even cured some breast cancer patients. This remains one of the premier examples of bench-to-bedside translational research. Dr. Pegram’s current research efforts include a continued focus on the cancer-associated gene that encodes HER2 and developing new ways to target cancer cells expressing this protein. He is also pursuing strategies to target estrogen receptors, implicated in some 70 percent of all breast cancer cases.
Dr. Pegram earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina before joining the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles. He spent five years at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where he was a Sylvester Chair professor of medicine in the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute and associate director for clinical research in the University’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. He joined the Stanford faculty in 2012.