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FN 04: Joseph Schlessinger

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2015 - Spring


Joseph Schlessinger, Ph.D., chair and the William H. Prusoff Professor of Pharmacology, as well as founding director of Yale’s Cancer Biology Institute and co-founder of Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, has been named one of the top 100 most influential people in drug development and manufacture by the publication The Medicine Maker.

During his 40-year scientific career, Schlessinger’s research has been focused primarily on elucidating the mechanism of action and cellular signaling pathways that are regulated by receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) normally and in different diseases. The realization that activated RTKs can drive various forms of cancer led to the development of numerous drug therapies to combat them. Schlessinger has been a founding scientist for three biotechnology companies—SUGEN, Plexxikon, and Kolltan—which have pioneered innovation leading to robust R&D pipelines and several drugs currently marketed globally by large pharmaceutical companies.