Christopher Benz, M.D.

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For more than 30 years, the Benz lab translational research efforts in oncology have focused on identifying molecular strategies to improve breast cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. Chris holds faculty appointments at both the Buck Institute and University of California, San Francisco, and has published over 250 peer-reviewed studies. He continues to serve on multiple national and international review and oversight committees, including the National Cancer Institute’s DTP/DCTD Biological Resources Branch Oversight Committee, the American Association of Cancer Research’s Task Force on Cancer and Aging, and the national Steering Committees for the NCI/NHGRI-funded The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Genome Data Analysis Network (GDAN) programs. Chris provides weekly care for breast cancer patients at the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center, where he also remains active in the I-SPY2 clinical trial network as well as in the statewide UC Athena program.

Chris has successfully invented and brought into the clinic and a worldwide phase 2 study (Hermione) a new cancer therapeutic (chemotherapy-containing HER2-targeted immunoliposome. The drug was licensed as MM-302 to Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, where he also serves on their SAB. For more than eight years he has co-led (with Profs. David Haussler and Josh Stuart at UCSC) the Buck Institute-UC Santa Cruz Genome Data Analysis Center (GDAC) for both the national TCGA and GDAN networks. In this capacity and as a senior author on the high impact pan-cancer study (Cell 158: 929-944, 2014), he received one of the top 10 clinical research achievement awards for 2015 by the Clinical Research Forum (