Thomas J. Kipps

M.D, Ph.D.

Research in finding more effective treatments and cures for blood cancers is proceeding at an extraordinary and positive pace.

In my laboratory at UCSD Center for Novel Therapeutics — which leads the nation in blood cancer research — we are pursuing many innovative approaches. We now better understand the effects of genetics, immunity and diet on the course of cancer.

We have demonstrated the effects of specific genes on cancer, and have developed new genetic therapies that may reverse the lethal nature of this dreaded disease.

Research Area

My laboratory research is focused on the immunobiology and genetics of human B-cell malignancies, with emphasis on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).


To continue our pace of research, we constantly recruiting the most talented scientists in the world to join our team at the Center for Novel Therapeutics.

The key to our success lies in exploring every potential avenue to a cure.

The more scientists we can train, attract and support to help us, the sooner we will find the treatments that will control cancer.


My laboratory has a national and international reputation in cancer research, immunology, and gene therapy. Our discoveries have been a leader in the field for many years and have helped to develop standardized treatment protocols.

First ROR1 Antibody

First laboratory to develop ROR1 antibody now used in CLL clinical trial at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center

Discovery of ZAP-70

A protein which is used to determine the aggressiveness of CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia) and course of the disease

Nurse-Like Cells Identification

The first laboratory to understand the micro-environment of leukemic cells and the “nurse-like” cells that support them

National Leader

Leadership of the CLL Research Consortium which includes 9 prestigious universities studying the cause and treatment of CLL

First Gene Therapy

Conducted the first human therapy correcting genetic defects involved in CLL at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center

Genetic Research

Key member of the research team that identified familial genetic links to CLL, showing the higher risk of developing the disease within families