Frank McCormick, Ph.D.

Frank McCormick, Ph.D., is professor of the University of California, San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Prior to joining the UCSF faculty, Dr. McCormick pursued cancer-related work with several San Francisco Bay Area biotechnology firms and held leadership positions with Cetus Corp. and Chiron Corp. In 1992 he founded Onyx Pharmaceuticals, a company dedicated to developing new cancer therapies, and served as its chief scientific officer until 1996. At Onyx, he initiated and led drug discovery efforts that led to the approval of Sorafenib in 2005 for treatment of renal cell cancer, and for liver cancer in 2007, and the approval of ONYX-015 in 2006 in China for treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer. His group’s work also led to the identification of a CDK4 kinase inhibitor. Dr. McCormick’s current research interests center on the fundamental differences between normal cells and cancer cells, seeking discoveries that can lead to novel therapeutic strategies. Dr. McCormick is the author of over 285 scientific publications and holds 20 issued patents. He also served as president (2012-2013) for the American Association for Cancer Research. More recently, he has taken a leadership role at the Frederick National Lab for Cancer Research, overseeing an NCI-supported national effort to develop therapies against Ras-driven cancers. These cancers include most pancreatic cancers, and many colorectal and lung cancers, and are amongst the most difficult cancers to treat.