Stephen L. Lessnick, MD, PhD
Professor, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics
Adjunct Professor, Department of Oncological Sciences
Adjunct Professor, Department of Bioengineering
Director, Center for Children's Cancer Research
Jon and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professor in Cancer Research
Stephen Lessnick, MD, PhD, is a Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) investigator. He is a Professor in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine, as well as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences, and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Bioengineering. He is the Director of the Center for Children's Cancer Research. He holds a Jon and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professorship in Cancer Research.
The Lessnick Lab studies Ewing's sarcoma as a model for pediatric tumor development. Ewing's sarcoma is a prototypical tumor that has a peak incidence in the teenage years. A chromosomal translocation (an abnormality that occurs when chromosomes break and the fragments rejoin to other chromosomes) characterizes Ewing's sarcoma. Learning details of how the cancer-causing protein created by this translocation functions could help resolve questions about the differences between pediatric and adult tumors, and between sarcomas and other forms of cancer. Additionally, the Lessnick Lab is interested in developing new therapeutic interventions for children with cancer.
Lessnick earned his bachelor's degree from Brandeis University followed by MD and PhD degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). He conducted his internship and residency at Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, followed by a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children's Hospital. His fellowship/postdoctoral research was performed in the Pediatric Oncology Department at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.