Arun Paul Wiita, MD, PhD
Photo: Arun Paul Wiita



Elected 2024

Dr. Arun Wiita is a physician-scientist and Associate Professor in the Dept. of Laboratory Medicine and Dept. of Bioengineering & Therapeutic Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Wiita’s research laboratory focuses on mass spectrometry-based proteomics, target discovery, protein engineering, and cellular engineering toward the development of novel immunotherapies for hematologic malignancies, while his clinical duties center on molecular genomic pathology.

The goal of Dr. Wiita’s group is to develop an academic pipeline moving from target discovery to therapeutic development to clinical trials benefitting cancer patients. His most advanced project involves the discovery of CD72 as a novel immunotherapy target for patients with the poorest-prognosis subtype of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. His group subsequently used innovative, fully in vitro nanobody engineering strategies to develop CAR-Ts against this target. His group has now obtained substantial grant funding to bring this cellular therapy to an IND submission and subsequent Phase I clinical trial at UCSF, planned to begin in 2024. His group is pursuing similar goals for several other targets discovered in his lab, across multiple blood cancers.

Dr. Wiita also directs the UCSF Stephen and Nancy Grand Multiple Myeloma Translational Initiative (MMTI) Laboratory. In this capacity, 5 projects that Dr. Wiita has participated in have moved into clinical trials at UCSF. Dr. Wiita is a prior recipient of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, a Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator Award, among others. He completed his residency in Clinical Pathology at UCSF, his MD and PhD at Columbia, with graduate training in single molecule biophysics, and undergraduate studies in Chemistry at Princeton.