Dr. Roy S. Herbst, recently designated as the Ensign Professor of Medical Oncology, is nationally recognized for his leadership and expertise in lung cancer treatment and research. His primary mission is the enhanced integration of clinical, laboratory, and research programs to bring new treatments to cancer patients.
Herbst is best known for his work in developmental therapeutics and the personalized therapy of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), in particular the process of linking genetic abnormalities of cancer cells to novel therapies. Herbst’s laboratory work is focused on angiogenesis and dual EGFR/VEGFR inhibition in NSCLC and targeting KRAS-activated pathways. This work has been translated from the preclinical to clinical setting in multiple phase II and III studies which he has led. He has also led the phase I development of several of the new generation of targeted agents for NSCLC, including gefitinib, erlotinib, and bevacizumab. He co-led the BATTLE-1 effort at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and now leads the BATTLE-2 clinical program at Yale. He serves as a co-program leader of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at Yale Cancer Center (YCC).
He is a professor of medicine (medical oncology) and of pharmacology; chief of medical oncology at YCC and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven; and associate director for translational research at YCC. Prior to his appointment at Yale, Herbst was a professor of medicine, chief of the Section of Thoracic Medical Oncology, and the Barnhart Family Distinguished Professor in Targeted Therapies at MD Anderson Cancer.
After earning a B.S. and M.S. from Yale University summa cum laude, he received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College and earned a Ph.D. in molecular cell biology from the Rockefeller University. Herbst completed his medical oncology fellowship at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and a medical hematology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he additionally received a master’s degree from Harvard University in their clinical investigator training program.
Herbst is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, where he chairs the Tobacco Task Force, as well as the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Institute of Medicine’s National Cancer Policy Forum. A fellow of the American College of Physicians, Herbst is also a vice chair of the Southwest Oncology Group’s lung committee, a member of the medical advisory committee for the Lung Cancer Research Foundation, and chair of the communications committee for the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
The Yale researcher has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and has received grant funding for his work from numerous sources including the National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, ASCO, and multiple charitable foundations.