Brian J. Druker, M.D.

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503 494-5058


Dr. Druker's research focuses on activated tyrosine kinases with an emphasis on signal transduction and cellular transformation and the application of this knowledge to cancer therapies. The BCR-ABL oncogene is his lab's primary model system because of its central role in the pathogenesis of a human disease, chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Numerous tyrosine phosphorylated proteins have been identified in BCR-ABL transformed cells and projects are ongoing to define their necessity for BCR-ABL function. These studies include mutational, biochemical and genetic approaches. Imatinib (Gleevec), a specific inhibitor of the ABL protein tyrosine kinase, has been proven to be an effective therapeutic agent in CML. However, it is not capable of eliminating all leukemic cells. In laboratory correlate studies done alongside imatinib clinical trials, Dr. Druker's lab learned that ABL kinase domain mutations are the most common mechanism of resistance to imatinib. Using this information, his team has evaluated several novel ABL inhibitors that are now available to treat patients with Gleevec resistance. Lastly, Dr. Druker's lab is performing screens for other tyrosine kinases that may be pathogenic in other leukemias and has developed functional assays that allow rapid target identification.

Summary of Current Research

Special Interests

Chronic myeloid leukemia

Selected Publications

"Significant clinical response to JAK1/2 inhibition in a patient with CSF3R-T618I-positive atypical chronic myeloid leukemia," Leukemia Research Reports (Vol: 3, Issue: 2, Page 67-69) - 2015

"A potential therapeutic strategy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia by combining idelalisib and GS-9973, a novel spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) inhibitor," Oncotarget (Vol: 5, Issue: 4, Page 908-915) - 2014

"A therapeutically targetable mechanism of BCR-ABL - Independent imatinib resistance in chronic myeloid leukemia," Science Translational Medicine (Vol: 6, Issue: 252, ) - 2014

"Antagonism of SET using OP449 enhances the efficacy of tyrosine kinase inhibitors and overcomes drug resistance in myeloid leukemia," Clinical Cancer Research (Vol: 20, Issue: 8, Page 2092-2103) - 2014

"BCR-ABL1 Compound Mutations Combining Key Kinase Domain Positions Confer Clinical Resistance to Ponatinib in Ph Chromosome-Positive Leukemia," Cancer Cell - 2014


OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

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Memberships & Associations

Institute of Medicine: National Academy of Sciences American Association of Physicians, National Academy of Sciences American Society for Clinical Investigation American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology American Association for Cancer Research American Association for the Advancement of Science American Society for Microbiology Children’s Oncology Group The American Society for Cell Biology