Raymond DuBois, MD, PhD, is the executive director of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. Biodesign is a research institute engaged in addressing critical global challenges in health care, sustainability and security by developing solutions inspired from natural systems that are then translated into commercially viable products and practices. In addition to his role at Biodesign, DuBois has joint ASU appointments as the Dalton Chair, School of Health Solutions; and Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
DuBois began his Biodesign Institute leadership role in December 2012. In addition to his ASU responsibilities, his appointment includes co-leadership of the Cancer Prevention Program at the Mayo Clinic, which has a hospital and clinic, and is developing a medical school campus in the Phoenix area. DuBois plays a key role in realizing the potential of accelerating an active partnership between ASU and the Mayo Clinic.
An internationally renowned expert in the molecular and genetic basis for colorectal cancer, DuBois maintains his own laboratory at Biodesign to examine the molecular mechanisms by which inflammatory mediators affect epithelial biology, the tumor microenvironment, carcinogenesis and development.
Prior to coming to ASU, DuBois was provost and executive vice president and professor of cancer medicine and cancer biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. At MD Anderson, he was responsible for developing and overseeing research strategy, faculty, the School of Health Professions, graduate education programs and initiatives, and Global Academic Programs.
From 1998 to 2004, DuBois directed Vanderbilt’s Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. During his tenure, he earned a reputation for outstanding leadership, marked by substantial growth in faculty, and the division’s research funding and clinical revenues more than doubled. He was also awarded such major grants as a National Cancer Institute Program Project grant for the discovery of novel cancer prevention targets and a National Institutes of Health Digestive Disease Research Center grant, one of only 16 in the country. He currently is the principal investigator on the only prevention program project grant awarded by the NCI in 2012.
In the 1990s, DuBois and colleagues reported that colorectal tumors contained high levels of the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2). This enzyme is a key step in the production of pro-inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandin E2. The DuBois team was the first to show that colorectal cancers over-expressed COX-2 and their research defined a series of critical molecular pathways involved in COX-2 expression – namely, that blocking or inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme would cause colorectal tumors to shrink. This work led to clinical trials and the treatment of precancerous polyps with Celebrex, an arthritis drug that selectively inhibits COX-2.
During his career as a physician-scientist, DuBois has published 137 peer-reviewed journal articles, 62 article reviews, 25 book chapters, and three books, the latest of which is entitled “Progress in Experimental Tumor Research.” He has mentored 29 budding doctors and scientists and is currently working with seven postdoctoral researchers. DuBois is a co-inventor of a method to identify and prevent cellular genes necessary for viral growth and cellular genes that function as tumor suppressors in mammals.
Among DuBois’ many awards and honors are: the Ellen F. Knisely Distinguished Chair in Colon Cancer Research; Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars; Anthony Dipple Carcinogenesis Award from Oxford University Press; Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Gastroenterological Association; Dorothy P. Landon Cancer Research Prize; Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Cancer Research Award; E.V. Newman Research Prize from the Vanderbilt University Department of Medicine; Outstanding Investigator Award from the American Federation for Medical Research; and Catedra Gonzalo Rio Arronte Award from Mexico City; and the Shanghai Cancer Forum Award from the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology.
DuBois is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is past president of the American Association for Cancer Research, and serves on the executive committee of the Aspen Cancer Conference. In addition, he is a founding scientific advisor for both the National Colon Cancer Research Alliance and Stand Up to Cancer.
DuBois’ first two degrees were in biochemistry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a doctoral degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. DuBois obtained a medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, followed by an Osler Medicine internship and residency, and a gastroenterology fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
Lee Cheatham, PhD, is the deputy director of the Biodesign Institute. In addition he serves as the general manager of the Biodesign Commercial Translation, a initiative focused on dramatically streamlining and improving the commercial translation of scientific innovations and discoveries generated by the institute.
In his role as deputy director, Cheatham oversees all day-to-day aspects of the Institute's strategy, business growth and administrative functions. In his role as general manager of Biodesign Commercial Translation, he will be responsible for program development and oversight of all operations.
His professional career spans more than three decades. From 1998-2009, Cheatham served as executive director of the highly successful Washington Technology Center (WTC). WTC is a leading technology-based economic development organization. It supports and performs research that leads to commercialized innovation. Under Cheatham's leadership, WTC expanded access to capital for Washington's small growing companies through the creation of the WTC Angel Network and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) assistance program. WTC focused on connecting companies to industry resources with initiatives such as the annual "Washington's Innovation Summit" and WTC's federally funded nanotechnology research program.
Prior to his position at WTC, Cheatham served in diverse roles that include: founding a startup company providing software, technology, training and consulting to the real estate sector; serving as vice president of product engineering for the largest library technology company; leading a large public/private consortium to renew the US textile industry; and, working in a variety of research, engineering and management roles at one of Department of Energy's multiprogram national laboratories. Cheatham has been a frequent speaker on technology, policy and economic development issues. He received his PhD in electrical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1984.
Research Center Directors
Michael BirtDirectorSustainable Health
Roy CurtissDirectorInfectious Diseases and Vaccinology
Rolf HaldenDirectorEnvironmental Security
Virginia G. Piper Chair in Personalized MedicineChief ScientistSustainable Health
Stephen JohnstonCo-DirectorInnovations in Medicine
Sudhir KumarDirectorEvolutionary Medicine and Informatics
Virginia G. Piper Chair in Personalized MedicineDirectorPersonalized Diagnostics
Edward and Nadine Carson Presidential Chair in PhysicsDirectorSingle Molecule Biophysics
Deirdre MeldrumDirectorBiosignatures Discovery Automation
Bruce RittmannDirectorSwette Center for Environmental Biotechnology
Nongjian TaoDirectorBioelectronics and Biosensors
Neal WoodburyCo-DirectorInnovations in Medicine