Ravi Kumar AmaravadiMD
Dr. Amaravadi is a physician scientist with expertise in autophagy, conducting early phase clinical trials, and clinically treating patients with advanced melanoma. He was one of the first to demonstrate that autophagy is a targetable mechanism of resistance in cancer therapy using animal models. He has translated this finding into 9 phase I/II clinical trials testing hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a possible anticancer agent in multiple cancers. The first 6 clinical trials were published and represent the first deliberate attempt to modulate autophagy therapeutically in any disease.
His laboratory published the first evidence that autophagy is elevated in melanoma patient tumors and predicts poor survival. His work on the role of autophagy in melanoma has identified ER stress associated autophagy as a resistance mechanism to BRAF inhibitors. Working with collaborators in Chemistry, his lab has designed, synthesized and characterized a novel autophagy inhibitor Lys05, which is more potent than HCQ in animal models. Dr. Amaravadi is also a recognized melanoma medical oncologist and phase I trialist who has served as the site PI or co-investigator on melanoma clinical trials involving BRAF inhibitors, and first in human phase I clinical trials of novel cancer agents. In 2013 he was appointed co- Leader of the Cancer Therapeutics Program of the Abramson Cancer Center. In 2015 he was inducted into the American Society of Clinical Investigation.