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Robert Abraham, PhD

Senior Vice President and Group Head
  • Group: Oncology Research & Development
  • Location: La Jolla, CA

I received my PhD in pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh, and my BS in Biology from Bucknell University. I am the author of more than 200 scientific publications, and have served on and chaired grant review panels at the National Institutes of Health. I am also a reviewer for leading scientific journals, including Nature, Science, and Cell.

I have forged a distinguished career as director, professor, and consultant at the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation; as Duke University's Glaxo-Wellcome Professor of Molecular Cancer Biology; and as professor and director of The Burnham Institute's Cancer Center in La Jolla, California—where I successfully guided the center to a renewal of its designation as one of nine National Cancer Institute-sponsored basic science centers in the United States.

Before joining Pfizer, I was Vice President of Oncology Research at Wyeth and Co-Chair of the Wyeth Oncology Therapeutic Area Strategic Committee. While at Wyeth, I also served as a member of the Discovery Review Board and the Discovery Executive Committee, and was the Director of the Wyeth Discovery Postdoctoral Training Program.


I am Senior Vice President and Group Head of Pfizer’s Oncology Research & Development Group. This group is at the forefront of breaking new ground to develop impactful, life-saving cancer therapies and spearheading the company’s Precision Medicine approach to Research and Development. I also serve as the Director of the Pfizer Postdoctoral program, helping develop talented early career scientists into outstanding industry and academic researchers.


  1. Sabers CJ, Wiederrecht G, Williams JM, Martin MM, Dumont FJ and Abraham RT: Isolation of a protein target of the FKBP12-rapamycin complex in mammalian cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry 270:815-822, 1995.
  2. Brunn GJ, Hudson CC, Sekulic A, Williams JM, Hosoi H, Houghton PJ, Lawrence Jr JC and Abraham RT: Phosphorylation of the eukaryotic initiation factor-4E binding protein, PHAS-I, by the mammalian target of rapamycin. Science 277:99-101, 1997.
  3. Tibbetts RS, Cortez D, Brumbaugh KM, Scully R, Livingston DM, Elledge SJ and Abraham RT: Functional interactions between BRCA1 and the checkpoint kinase ATR during genotoxic stress. Genes & Development 14:2989-3002, 2000.
  4. Abraham RT: Cell cycle checkpoint signaling through the ATM and ATR kinases (Review). Genes & Development 15:2177-2196, 2001.
  5. Chandiramani N, Ragunathan S, Shan Q, Wang F, Myers J, Simons B, Abraham RT (co-senior author), and Unsal-Kacmaz K: Purine nucleotides regulate mTORC1 activity through Rheb. Cell Reports 19: 2665-2680, 2017.


Bucknell University, Biology/Chemistry, B.S., 1974
University of Pittsburgh, Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Ph.D., 1981


Legacy Laureate Award, as an outstanding alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh
First recipient of the Glaxo-Wellcome Chair of Molecular Cancer Biology at Duke University
University Scholar and Robert Lincoln McNeil Memorial Fellow, University of Pittsburgh

Our mission in Oncology R&D is to advance the frontiers of cancer biology, and to translate cutting edge research into medicines that transform the lives of cancer patients.