Holland is currently the Emily Tow Jackson Chair in Oncology and the founding director of the Brain Tumor Center at Sloan-Kettering, where he has built one of the nation's most successful brain cancer research and clinical programs. He specializes in the research and treatment of glioma – the most common brain cancer in adults – and metastatic brain tumors.
Throughout his career Holland has worked at the intersection of multiple disciplines to address the molecular basis of brain tumors and develop new approaches to their treatment. His research focuses on developing mouse models of brain cancer that mimic the behavior of the disease in patients. His work with mouse models has led to clinical trials in glioma patients. He also has developed imaging strategies to follow mouse brain tumors as they develop – a powerful system that is used to test promising new drugs with potential benefit for patients.
Among Holland's discoveries:
- He was the first to use a system of postnatal gene transfer to study brain cancer formation in mice, providing a model for the development of gliomas and medulloblastomas.
- His laboratory was the first to demonstrate that stem cells are more sensitive to changes that can lead to cancer, providing clues to cancer development and its ability to evade treatment.
- He was the first to demonstrate that the activity of a protein called Akt is elevated in human glioblastomas – a finding that provided major insights into the development of this cancer.
Holland received his medical degree from Stanford University and his doctorate in molecular biology from the University of Chicago. His postdoctoral training included work with two Nobel laureates: Paul Berg, Ph.D., a pioneer of recombinant DNA technology at Stanford University; and Harold Varmus, M.D., director of the National Cancer Institute and former director of the National Institutes of Health. Prior to Holland's arrival at Sloan-Kettering in 2001 he conducted brain surgery and basic research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences' prestigious Institute of Medicine.About Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterAt Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch's pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer with minimal side effects. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation's first and largest cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women's Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. Private contributions are essential for enabling Fred Hutch scientists to explore novel research opportunities that lead to important medical breakthroughs. For more information visit www.fredhutch.org or follow Fred Hutch on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.