Michael A. Teitell

Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles (CA) - Dr. Michael A. Teitell has been appointed as the Director of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and President of the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, effective August 8th, 2017. The official statement from UCLA Health and the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine is reproduced below:

Dear Colleagues:

We are writing to announce the appointment of Michael A. Teitell, M.D., Ph.D. as Director of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and President of the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, effective August 8, 2017. 

Dr. Teitell is a molecular immunologist and biochemist who joined the faculty at UCLA as an assistant professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric and Neonatal Pathology in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in 1999.  He was jointly appointed in the UCLA Department of Pediatrics in 2001 and the Department of Bioengineering in 2009, and was promoted to professor in 2008.  In addition, he is the Latta Endowed Professor of Pathology, co-director of the UCLA Tumor Immunology Training Program, co-director of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center Bioengineering Core, an associate director of the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program, and the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative for Intercollegiate Athletics at UCLA.

Dr. Teitell received concurrent B.S. and M.S. degrees from the UCLA College Honors Program as a Departmental Scholar in Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1985.  He earned combined M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in the UCLA Medical Scientist Training Program in 1993 under the mentorship of Dr. Mitchell Kronenberg.  Dr. Teitell served as a resident and clinical instructor in anatomic pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and as a research associate with Dr. Richard Blumberg from 1993 to 1995.  From 1995 to 1997, Dr. Teitell was a resident in clinical pathology at UCSF and a post-doctoral researcher with Dr. Joe Gray.  From 1997 to 1999, he held a joint appointment at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles as a pediatric pathology fellow and at UCLA as a clinical instructor in pathology.

Research in the Teitell lab began with studies of fundamental mechanisms of cancer formation and progression, particularly for B lymphocyte malignancies.  This led to projects in stem and cancer cell metabolism and the collaborative development of new approaches in cell engineering and response detection.  Active project areas include: 1) mechanisms that control B cell differentiation into antibody-secreting plasma cells versus transformation into aggressive B cell leukemias and lymphomas in the germinal center;  2) studies of a pathway for importing small non-coding RNAs into mitochondria to regulate cell respiration and energy production; 3) metabolism and mitochondrial function in human pluripotent stem cells, with parallels to metabolism in cancer cells; and 4) applications of a co-invented “photothermal nanoblade” for gently delivering large cargo, such as mitochondria or intracellular pathogens, into mammalian cells and a Live Cell Interferometer for real-time single cell response profiling to environmental perturbations.

Dr. Teitell serves currently as chief of the Division of Pediatric and Neonatal Pathology, with board certification in anatomic, clinical and pediatric pathology.  He is a Scholar and Stohlman Scholar of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigators in 2004 and to the Association of American Physicians in 2017.

UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) has more than 450 researchers and clinicians engaged in cancer research, prevention, detection, control, treatment and education. As part of one of the nation's largest comprehensive cancer centers, JCCC physicians handle more than 20,000 patient visits per year and conduct hundreds of clinical trials, providing the latest in experimental cancer treatments.  The cancer center works closely with both the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and basic science faculty to ensure that promising young investigators are identified early in their career, and has established an international reputation for providing the best in experimental and traditional cancer treatments and expertly guiding the next generation of medical researchers.   The Jonsson Cancer Center is also a widely recognized leader in developing cancer survivorship programs that seek to address the emotional and spiritual needs of these patients that are often neglected in modern cancer treatment, and has a long tradition of outreach to its Los Angeles community and is a proven leader in health disparities research.

Under Dr. Teitell’s leadership, the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center will build on its current strengths to integrate basic, translational and clinical research with clinical care in order to provide the finest patient-centric care for cancer patients.  This integration is aligned with ongoing Strategic Planning efforts at UCLA, which are aimed at providing outstanding patient care by leveraging the synergy of our clinical care, community engagement, education and research missions. 

In announcing this appointment, we wish to thank Dr. Kenneth Dorshkind, who has served as Interim Director and provided outstanding leadership since October 1, 2015.  And we thank the members of the Search Committee, whose names are listed below.  Their dedication and commitment to the process were essential for the result that has been achieved, and our entire School owes them a debt of gratitude for their hard work.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Teitell on his new role.  We ask that you give him your support as Director of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and President of the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation.



John Mazziotta

Vice Chancellor & CEO, UCLA Health


Kelsey C. Martin

Dean, David Geffen School of Medicine


Johnese Spisso

President, UCLA Health & CEO, UCLA Hospitals & Clinics


JCCC Director Search Committee

Jonathan Braun, Chair

Denise Aberle

Fritz Eilber

Noah Federman

Leon Fine

Patricia Ganz

Isla Garroway

Michael Irwin

Jerzy Kupiec-Weglinski

Linda Liau

Dennis Slamon

Michael Steinberg

Maie St. John

Neil Wenger

Owen Witte

Anna Wu