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Gordon Mills, M.D.,Ph.D.

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  • Wayne and Julie Drinkward Endowed Chair in Precision Oncology
  • Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine

About me

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 to OHSU, 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 OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, 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.

Education and training

  • Degrees

    • M.D., 1977, University of Alberta
    • Ph.D., 1984, University of Alberta
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