Jerome Ritz, M.D.
Dr. Jerome Ritz, an expert in bone marrow transplantation and cancer immunology, is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Executive Director of the Connell O’Reilly Cell Manipulation and Gene Transfer Laboratory at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). The Cell Manipulation Laboratory supports the adult and pediatric stem cell transplant programs at DFCI, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. The laboratory is a GMP processing facility that provides manufactured cellular products of various types for patients enrolled on clinical trials evaluating novel cellular therapies for cancer and other diseases. These include cancer vaccines, immune cells for adoptive cell therapy and genetically modified T cells and stem cells.
Dr. Ritz is a member of the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He currently serves on the Executive Committees of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and is a Co-Director of the Center for Human Cell Therapy and the Cancer Vaccine Center. He was a Scholar of the Leukemia Society of America and a recipient of its Stohlman Scholar Award.
Dr. Ritz has been a successful laboratory and translational scientist for over 35 years. His major interests have been in cancer immunology and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Recent studies in his laboratory have focused on immune reconstitution in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In this setting, donor immune cells play a critical role in the recognition and elimination of residual leukemia cells (graft versus leukemia – GVL) but immunologic targeting of normal recipient cells also leads to graft versus host disease (GVHD) and damage to normal tissues. Studies of immune reconstitution have demonstrated that donor B cells and regulatory T cells play important roles in the development of GVL and GVHD and the establishment of immune tolerance after stem cell transplantation. These observations have led to the development of new strategies to selectively modulate immune reconstitution to improve patient outcomes after transplant.
A graduate of Northwestern University, Dr. Ritz received his M.D. from Chicago Medical School in 1972, followed by a residency in internal medicine at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison. He completed a clinical fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at Beth Israel Hospital and a research fellowship in Tumor Immunology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he joined the staff in 1980.