Photo of Gordon Mills, M.D.,Ph.D.

Gordon Mills M.D.,Ph.D.

    • Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology School of Medicine
    • Director of Precision Oncology, Knight Cancer Institute, OHSU
    • Director of SMMART Trials
    • Wayne and Julie Drinkward Endowed Chair in Precision Oncology

Dr. Gordon B. Mills earned his M.D. and Ph.D. in biochemistry and completed his training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Alberta. Prior to moving the Knight Cancer Institute, Dr. Mills was at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the number one ranked Cancer Center in the United States. He fulfilled multiple roles including founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology, co-Director of the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy co-Director of the Kleberg Center for Molecular Markers and holds the Olga Keith Wiess Distinguished University Chair for Cancer Research at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. At the Knight Cancer Institute at the Oregon Health Sciences University, Dr. Mills is Director of Precision Oncology and SMMART trials. He is responsible for the implementation of an integrated program of tumor analysis, decision-making and implementation of novel precision oncology trials. The key goal will be to use serial tumor and liquid biopsies to evaluate and target adaptive responses in real time to interdict cancer evolution. Dr. Mills research ranges across: 1) translating the cancer genome through mechanistic studies determining the role of genomic and other aberrations present in patient tumors, 2) identification and validation of therapeutic targets emphasizing mechanisms of resistance and rational combination therapy to overcome emerging resistance in evolving cancers, 4) developing, validating, and implementing molecular markers; and 5) integrating data through a cancer systems biology approach into robust predictive mathematical models. The overarching goal is to perform deep molecular analysis of each patient “to let the patient teach us what is important”. This process is facilitated by the implementation and integration of a comprehensive suite of high-throughput technologies including assessment of genomic aberrations, transcriptional profiles, functional proteomics and metabolomics, and drug screening using conventional and high content imaging systems. Dr. Mills has also implemented a comprehensive functional genomics program designed to distinguish drivers from passengers and identify their therapeutic liabilities. Dr. Mills is recognized as one of the most highly quoted scientists in the world with over 1000 publications. He also holds more than 20 patents. His work has been continuously He is funded by multiple grants for over 30 years.  Dr. Mills efforts have been recognized in the Komen Foundation’s Brinker Award for Scientific Excellence and the Finneran Family Prize for Translational Research. He has been very successful in supporting training, mentoring, and career development for young scientists including graduate students, fellows, and junior faculty. The majority of his trainees have developed successful research careers rising through the ranks to full professor, department chairs, and institute directors. Based on this role, Dr. Mills has been nominated for and awarded multiple mentoring awards, including the Stand Up 2 Cancer Laura Ziskin Prize for Mentoring.


  • M.D., University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB Canada 1977
  • Ph.D., University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB Canada 1984


  • "Assessing the clinical utility of cancer genomic and proteomic data across tumor types" Biotechnology  2014
  • "In vivo and in vitro ovarian carcinoma growth inhibition by a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor (LY294002)" Clinical Cancer Research March 2000
  • "Characterization of a naturally occurring breast cancer subset enriched in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and stem cell characteristics" Journal of Cancer Research May 15 2009
  • "Ovarian cancer"   2008
  • "Copy Number Gain of hsa-miR-569 at 3q26.2 Leads to Loss of TP53INP1 and Aggressiveness of Epithelial Cancers" Cancer Cell December 8 2014
  • "Linking Molecular Diagnostics to Molecular Therapeutics" Seminars in Oncology October 2003
  • "The role of genetic abnormalities of PTEN and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway in breast and ovarian tumorigenesis, prognosis, and therapy" Seminars in Oncology  2001
  • "An integrative genomic and proteomic analysis of PIK3CA, PTEN, and AKT mutations in breast cancer" Journal of Cancer Research August 1 2008
  • "The cancer genome atlas pan-cancer analysis project" Nature Genetics October 2013
  • "Atypical PKCι contributes to poor prognosis through loss of apical-basal polarity and Cyclin E overexpression in ovarian cancer" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America August 30 2005
  • "BRIT1 regulates early DNA damage response, chromosomal integrity, and cancer" Cancer Cell August 2006
  • "Emerging role of RAB GTPases in cancer and human disease" Journal of Cancer Research April 1 2005
  • "Rab25 increases cellular ATP and glycogen stores protecting cancer cells from bioenergetic stress" EMBO Molecular Medicine February 2012
  • "Modeling precision treatment of breast cancer." Genome Biology  2013
  • "Comprehensive molecular characterization of urothelial bladder carcinoma" Nature  2014
  • "Overcoming endocrine resistance due to reduced PTEN levels in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer by co-targeting mammalian target of rapamycin, protein kinase B, or mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase" Breast Cancer Research September 11 2014
  • "High quality copy number and genotype data from FFPE samples using Molecular Inversion Probe (MIP) microarrays" BMC Medical Genomics  2009
  • "A technical assessment of the utility of reverse phase protein arrays for the study of the functional proteome in non-microdissected human breast cancers" Clinical Proteomics December 2010
  • "Bayesian Inference of Signaling Network Topology in a Cancer Cell Line" Bioinformatics November 2012
  • "PlK3CA is implicated as an oncogene in ovarian cancer" Nature Genetics January 1999
  • "The somatic genomic landscape of glioblastoma" Cell October 10 2013
  • "Subtype and pathway specific responses to anticancer compounds in breast cancer" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America February 21 2012
  • "A sequence-based survey of the complex structural organization of tumor genomes" Genome Biology March 25 2008
  • "NOEY2 (ARHI), an imprinted putative tumor suppressor gene in ovarian and breast carcinomas" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America January 5 1999
  • "Basal subtype and MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK)-phosphoinositide 3-kinase feedback signaling determine susceptibility of breast cancer cells to MEK inhibition" Journal of Cancer Research January 15 2009
  • "Overexpression of SnoN/SkiL, amplified at the 3q26.2 locus, in ovarian cancers" Molecular Oncology August 2008
  • "Integrated genomic analyses of ovarian carcinoma" Nature June 30 2011
  • "An approach to analysis of large-scale correlations between genome changes and clinical endpoints in ovarian cancer" Journal of Cancer Research October 1 2000
  • "Specific keynote" Gynecologic Oncology January 2003
  • "Amplification of PVT1 contributes to the pathophysiology of ovarian and breast cancer" Clinical Cancer Research October 1 2007

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