Emil Lou named Masonic Cancer Center CTO Medical Director

August 19, 2019

Emil Lou, MD, PhD, FACP, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation (HOT), has been appointed Medical Director of the Masonic Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office (CTO). This new role will begin on September 1, 2019.

“Dr. Lou is a highly accomplished researcher and skilled clinician, with the right skills and passion to lead the CTO and mentor the next generation of clinician researchers,” said Charles Ryan, MD, Co-Associate Director of Clinical Research at the Masonic Cancer Center, and Division Director of HOT. “Dr. Lou has led several successful translational clinical trials here at the University of Minnesota, including driving our success as one of the leading accruing sites for the National Cancer Institute’s MATCH trial, which matched patients to targeted therapies based on the genomic profiling of their tumors. He has helped initiate and co-leads our Center’s Molecular Tumor Board, which has galvanized our efforts to be at the leading edge of practice of Precision Medicine in oncology. 

Dr. Lou is board certified in Medical Oncology, Internal Medicine, and Neuro-Oncology. Dr. Lou’s clinical practice and areas of expertise include pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, primary brain tumors, and solid tumor metastasis to the brain. He is a recognized expert in the diagnosis and management of rare cancers and complications of cancer, including neuroendocrine tumors, appendix cancers, paraneoplastic syndromes, and leptomeningeal disease. 

He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and is an active member of several professional clinical oncology and research societies, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS). He was a member of the ASCO Scientific Committee for Gastrointestinal Cancers (Non-colorectal track) 2012-2015, and has organized and served as an invited speaker at numerous symposia and meetings in his areas of clinical and research expertise. In addition, he is the Co-chair of the ASCO Social Media Working Group (2019-2020), and a leader in the medical social media realm, as found on Twitter under the handle @cancerassassin1.

Dr. Lou is the Principal Investigator of the Lou Lab at the University of Minnesota, which focuses on tumor heterogeneity and intercellular communication in invasive and aggressive solid tumor malignancies. His research efforts have gained international recognition for discoveries in understanding the molecular causes of response or lack of response of tumors to targeted and other drug therapies, and also for mechanisms of cancer cell communication as they relate to invasion, progression, tumor recurrence, and chemotherapy resistance. His research in molecular and cellular oncology has produced 70 peer-reviewed research studies, review articles, and book chapters. 

“It is a privilege to lead the Clinical Trials Office and work with the dedicated and skilled research nurses, study coordinators, regulatory staff, and program managers, to initiate and execute the clinical trials from our expert oncologists, and additional investigators at the University of Minnesota,” Dr. Lou said. “Being at an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we are uniquely positioned to foster innovative clinical trial design with the goal of improving the lives of patients suffering from cancer. As part of a land-grant university, we are here to serve the people of Minnesota. Our team is poised to advocate strongly for all patients seeking clinical trials, to work closely with and support all current investigators, and to develop new collaborations, to help achieve this goal.”

After completing undergraduate studies in biochemistry at SUNY College at Geneseo, Dr. Lou received his MD and PhD degrees (Microbiology and Immunology) from SUNY Upstate Medical University in 2004. He completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at Duke University Medical Center and then subsequently completed his Medical Oncology and Hematology fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 2010. He completed an additional fellowship in Neuro-Oncology at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke.

About the Masonic Cancer Center

The Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, is the Twin Cities’ only Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated ‘Outstanding’ by the National Cancer Institute. As Minnesota’s Cancer Center, we have served the entire state for more than 25 years. Our researchers, educators, and care providers have worked to discover the causes, prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer and cancer-related diseases. Learn more at cancer.umn.edu.