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Dr. Albelda is one of the world’s most respected experts in the field of thoracic oncology. He is the William Maul Measey Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine and Associate Director of the Pulmonary Division, Director of the Thoracic Oncology Research Laboratory, and co-Director of the Translational Center of Excellence for Lung Cancer at Penn. His research focuses on developing novel approaches to the treatment of mesothelioma, lung cancers, and other thoracic malignancies.
Education and Career
Dr. Albelda’s education began at Williams College. After graduating with a degree in Chemistry, he went on to earn his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, then pursued clinical post-graduate training at Penn. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, and Critical Care Medicine, and pursued post-doctoral laboratory training at the Wistar Institute, in the laboratory of Dr. Clayton Buck.
After extensive study of endothelial cell biology and adhesion receptors, Dr. Albelda began combining his bedside care of mesothelioma and lung cancer patients with his research. He founded a noted multidisciplinary group called the Thoracic Oncology Research Laboratory (TORL), which was the first practice to test and use immunogene therapy in mesothelioma and other cancers. In 2010, Dr. Albelda received the Wagner Award, the highest honor awarded by the International Mesothelioma Interest Group, in recognition of his “innumerable and substantial contributions to the field of mesothelioma.”
Today, in addition to his continuing co-direction of TORL, he teaches medical students at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine as the William Maul Measey Professor of Medicine. Clinically, he is a member of the Penn Abramson Cancer Center, He is also the Director of Penn Medicine’s Lung Research, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Divisions; a founding member of the Center for Cancer Pharmacology, and co-Director of the Translational Center of Excellence for Lung Cancer at Penn, a multidisciplinary collaboration of experts from Penn and around the country and the world, with a mission of finding better treatment options for mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other thoracic malignancies.
Dr. Albelda’s research expertise and interests lie in the field of immuno-gene therapy for thoracic malignancies. Through his work at the Thoracic Oncology Research Laboratory, he has concentrated on designing new treatment strategies for lung cancer and mesothelioma based on a growing understanding of molecular biology, immunotherapy, and gene therapy.
Working with laboratory animals, human tumor samples, and through clinical trials, much of his work has been funded by a Program Project grant from the National Cancer Institute, which was recently renewed. He is actively engaged in studying the tumor microenvironment with a focus on the immunosuppressive activities of white blood cells and fibroblasts.
Dr. Albelda’s research has led to him having received many awards, including the Physician-Scientist Award from the Lung Division of the National Institutes of Health. His research has been published in approximately 140 peer-reviewed journals and papers, and he has contributed to many research journals and book chapters.
Through his pioneering work at Penn in the study of mesothelioma and other cancers, Dr. Albelda has made continuous contributions to our understanding of this rare and deadly cancer.Get Your FREE Mesothelioma Packet
Written by Terri Oppenheimer
Terri Oppenheimer has been writing about mesothelioma and asbestos topics for over ten years. She has a degree in English from the College of William and Mary. Terri’s experience as the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog gives her a wealth of knowledge which she brings to all Mesothelioma.net articles she authors.
Page Edited by Patient Advocate Dave Foster
Dave has been a mesothelioma Patient Advocate for over 10 years. He consistently attends all major national and international mesothelioma meetings. In doing so, he is able to stay on top of the latest treatments, clinical trials, and research results. He also personally meets with mesothelioma patients and their families and connects them with the best medical specialists and legal representatives available.