Charles G. Drake, MD, PhD
Charles G. Drake, MD, PhD, has joined NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center as Director of Genitourinary Oncology and Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Drake will also serve as Co-Director of Columbia’s Cancer Immunotherapy Program and on the faculty of Columbia University Medical Center.
“Charles is one of the top minds in immunotherapy and in prostate cancer research and therapies,” said Gary Schwartz, MD, Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center; Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Clyde ’56 and Helen Wu Professor of Oncology (in Medicine).
Dr. Drake is a physician-scientist with a PhD in immunology, whose work focuses on understanding and fighting advanced-stage cancers with the immune system. He is known for rapidly incorporating discoveries made in the research lab into innovative clinical trials, including antitumor vaccines. His most recent work has focused on the body’s immunologic response to radiation therapy and how immunotherapy and radiation therapy can be used in concert to treat cancer.
“Immunotherapy represents a new frontier in prostate cancer. We’re also looking at how it can be used synergistically with traditional therapies, both in prostate cancer as well as in other tumor types,” said Dr. Drake.
Prior to joining NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, Dr. Drake served as the Co-Director of the Cancer Immunology Program at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. He was also Professor of Oncology, Urology, and Immunology. Clinically, he served as Co-Director of the Prostate Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic and in the laboratory, he developed a novel transgenic model of prostate cancer, in which a unique antigen is expressed exclusively in the prostate gland and in prostate tumors. Dr. Drake was active in teaching, leading a small group in the medical school immunology course for many years.
Dr. Drake completed a PhD program at the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and later earned his MD from the University of Colorado. He did his internship and residency in internal medicine on the Osler Medical Service of Johns Hopkins Hospital and did his medical oncology fellowship training in the Johns Hopkins Department of Oncology. ■