Owen N. Witte

Owen N Witte

Professor, MIMG, University of California Los Angeles

Professor, Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, University of California Los Angeles

(310) 206-0386

Laboratory Address:
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Office Address:
5-720 MRL
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Work Address:
5-720 MRL
CAMPUS - 729022
CA 90095


Director, Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Research
Member, JCCC Genitourinary Oncology Program Area

Research Interests

Our research interests center on understanding cancer pathogenesis and the immune response as a way to define new targets for therapy. Past work has defined the family of tyrosine kinase enzymes including Bcr-Abl and its role in human Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia and Bruton’s tyrosine kinase as regulator of lymphocyte growth control. This has helped enable the development of drugs like Imatinib and Ibrutinib now used in the treatment of multiple leukemias, lymphomas, and other cancers. More recent research has centered on epithelial cancers including prostate cancer. We have defined surface antigens like PSCA and others as targets for monoclonal antibody or chimeric antigen receptor T cell mediated therapy. A fundamental understanding of normal prostate development and stem cells is used as a comparison to the process of prostate cancer development, metastasis, and conversion to its aggressive castration resistant form. We have defined specific kinases and their pathways that point towards new targets for therapy, as well as a developmental change of tumors in response to therapy that drives the evolution of a very aggressive small cell histology with neuroendocrine features. In many of our studies we employ advanced imaging technologies including Positron Emission Tomography to monitor specific cell populations and aspects of tumor and immune response metabolism.


Owen Witte received his undergraduate degree from Cornell and his MD from Stanford University. He completed postdoctoral research at MIT then joined the faculty at UCLA where he presently is a University Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics and holds the President’s Chair in Developmental Immunology. He is the Director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA. Dr. Witte is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine. He has received recognition for his research including the Milken Foundation Award in Basic Cancer Research, the Rosenthal Award of the American Association for Cancer Research, the Dameshek Prize of the American Society of Hematology, the Alpert Foundation Prize, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s de Villiers International Achievement Award, the UCLA Faculty Research Lecture, the Nakahara Memorial Lecture Prize, the AACR G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award, the AAMC Award for Distinguished Research in Biomedical Sciences and the Stanford Medical School Kornberg-Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biosciences. He currently serves on several editorial and advisory boards. Dr. Witte previously served on the Board of Directors for the American Association for Cancer Research. He was also re-appointed for his 2nd term by President Obama to the President’s Cancer Panel.