Dr. Platanias leads the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University in Chicago, a founding member of National Comprehensive Cancer Centers Network (NCCN). He is the Jesse, Sara, Andrew, Abigail, Benjamin and Elizabeth Lurie Professor of Oncology and Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. Since Dr. Platanias became director in 2014, the Lurie Cancer Center (LCC) has experienced dramatic growth, with doubling of its NCI funding and the recruitment of over 160 new faculty members. Under his leadership, LCC received the highest rating in its history, an overall exceptional and a near- perfect score on the last CCSG renewal and is ranked number 6 in the USA in the last US News World Report rankings.
Dr. Platanias was born and raised in Athens, Greece. He earned his medical degree and doctorate from the University of Patras Medical School, in Patras, Greece. He subsequently moved to the US and began his research career at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, as a Fogarty research fellow studying the immune mechanisms of bone marrow failure syndromes. He subsequently moved to New York City where he completed his residency in Internal Medicine and eventually to Chicago where he completed his fellowship in Hematology-Oncology at the University of Chicago. He joined Northwestern in 2002, initially as Deputy Director and eventually as Director of the Lurie Cancer Center in 2014. Prior to joining Northwestern, he was Professor and Chief of the Division of Hematology Oncology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Dr. Platanias is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology, with clinical expertise in leukemia. Dr. Platanias’ research work focuses on cytokine signaling pathways in malignant cells, with translational applications in leukemia and brain tumors. He has published more than 350 papers and his research has been continuously funded by the NCI for nearly 30 years. In addition to being the principal investigator of the largest institutional grant for cancer (CCSG) at Northwestern, he is currently the principal investigator of 4 NIH R01 grants and an I01 Merit Review. He has made significant contributions in the interferon and cytokine signaling field for 3 decades. His early work on interferon signaling, along with the work of others, led to discoveries that helped define the modern cancer immunotherapy field and resulted in clinical applications for the treatment of malignancies. He has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Seymour and Vivian Milstein Award for outstanding contributions in cytokine research and the UHVA Award for the Most Distinguished Greek American in the Field of Medicine. Dr. Platanias previously served as President of the International Cytokine and Interferon Society. He serves as Editor for several oncology and immunology journals and has been a chair or member of several study sections and site visit teams for the NIH, including more recently the NCI Subcommittee A for Cancer Centers. He has also served as chair or member of several grant panels for the US Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Join us in recognizing Dr. Platanias during the 72nd Annual Scholarship Ball on Saturday, October 29, 2022 at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel.