Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D.
Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
President, Professor and Pauline & Stanley Foster Presidential Chair
An executive officer from a California Research Institute
Appointed by Lieutenant Governor

Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D., is President of the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), Pauline & Stanley Foster Presidential Chair, and Professor at the Institute’s National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Center.

As President of SBP, Dr. Vuori is responsible for the Institute’s academic and scientific activities.  SBP is one of the fastest-growing research institutes in the country, with 1,200 employees and operations in San Diego, California and Orlando, Florida.  The Institute has major research programs in cancer, neurodegeneration, diabetes, and infectious, inflammatory, and childhood diseases, and is especially known for its world-class capabilities in stem cell research and drug discovery technologies. The Institute also takes great pride in educating and training the next-generation of outstanding biomedical scientists, and the SBP faculty have prepared thousands of trainees, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows for successful careers during the last 40 years. SBP ranks among the top independent research institutions nationally for National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant funding and among the top organizations worldwide for its research impact, as measured by citations per publications. 

Throughout her career, Dr. Vuori has received numerous research grants and awards from NIH, NCI, Department of Defense (DoD), Stand Up To Cancer Dream Team, and the California Cancer Research Programs.  Dr. Vuori was selected as a PEW Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences in 1997 (dubbed as “20 most promising scientists in America”).  She was elected to the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) in 2014.  Additionally, Dr. Vuori has served in a wide variety of advisory capacities to NCI and other cancer organizations, including advisory roles for the NCI's Developmental Therapeutics Program, Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives, and the National Cancer Advisory Board.  She has served on several NIH and DoD study sections, and is the past chair of the DoD Breast Cancer Research Program’s prestigious “Innovator Award” panel.  Dr. Vuori has served or currently serves on Board of Directors for American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP), Florida Inventors Hall of Fame and WebMD.  She also serves on numerous editorial boards for scientific journals, institutional scientific advisory boards, and as consultant for pharmaceutical companies.  Additionally, she is co-founder of three biotechnology companies.  Orally bioavailable drugs to combat chemotherapy-induced anemia that have been developed based on Dr. Vuori’s discoveries are currently undergoing phase II clinical testing.

Dr. Vuori earned her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at University of Oulu, Finland.  After completion of internship and residency, she received postdoctoral training at SBP in 1992-1995 with then-President & CEO Dr. Erkki Ruoslahti.  Dr. Vuori was appointed to faculty in 1996.  She was appointed Deputy Director of the Institute's NCI-designated Cancer Center in 2003, and served as Director of the Cancer Center in 2005-2013.  She served as Executive Vice President for Scientific Affairs in 2008-2010, and she has been President of the Institute since 2010.  Additionally, she served as an interim CEO from 2013 to 2014.

Alternate Member

Carl Ware, Ph.D.
Director, Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, Professor & Director Infectious and Inflammatory Disease Center
Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

Dr. Carl F. Ware received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of California, Irvine in 1979.  Professor Ware is a leading expert in cytokines and their biology and clinical utiltiy, having discovered several cytokines.  From 1979-81, while supported by a prestigious National Research Service Award from the NIH, Dr. Ware conducted research at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio in membrane biochemistry and the complement system with Dr. W. Kolb. In 1981, Dr. Ware joined the research groups of Dr. Jack Strominger and Dr. Tim Springer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, where he developed monoclonal antibodies to discover several membrane proteins (now known as integrins) associated with T cell function.  Dr. Ware established his research laboratory in 1982, in the Biomedical Sciences Program at the University of California, Riverside, before joining the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology in 1996 as Head of the Division of Molecular Immunology.  Dr. Ware also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Biology at the University of California, San Diego. In 2010, Dr. Ware was recruited to Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute as Director of the Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases Center, where he continues his research in molecular immunology and virology, and translating his discoveries into new therapies for cancer, infectious and autoimmune diseases.  Two of Dr. Ware’s discoveries in the TNF superfamily, LTβ and LIGHT, are now in clinical development. He is recipient of a National Merit Award from the National Institutes of Health and serves on the scientific advisory boards for the Arthritis National Research Foundation and the American Asthma Foundation, and is past President of the International Cytokine Society and advisor for the TNF SuperFamily conferences.