Robert Peter Gale

Robert Peter Gale MD, PhD, DSc (hon), FACP


Robert Peter Gale was born in New York in 1945. Leukemia and other bone marrow disorders (such as aplastic anemia) are the central theme of Dr. Gale’s basic scientific and clinical research for over 35 years.


Dr. Gale received his A.B. degree with high honors in biology and chemistry from Hobart College in 1966 and his M.D. degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1970 (with Evan Caukins, Robin Bannerman and John Edwards). His postgraduate medical training (internal medicine, hematology and oncology) was at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) from 1970-1973 (with William Valentine and David Solomon). In 1976 he received a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) following doctoral work focusing on cancer immunology (with John Fahey). His postdoctoral studies at UCLA were funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Leukemia Society of America, where he was the Bogart Fellow and Scholar.


From 1973-1993, Dr. Gale was on the faculty of the UCLA School of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology & Oncology where he focused on the molecular biology, immunology and treatment of leukemia (with Martin Cline and David Golde). He also developed the bone marrow transplant program supported by the NIH. At UCLA, he was active in the Department of Psychology (with John Liebeskind), where he and his colleagues studied interactions between stress, immunity and cancer.
From 1980-1997, Dr. Gale was Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), an organization of more than 400 transplant centers in over 60 countries working together to analyze and advance knowledge about blood cell and bone marrow transplants (with Mortimer Bortin and Mary Horowitz). Since 1989, Dr. Gale is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Autologous Blood and Marrow Transplant Registry (ABMTR). In 1989-2003 Dr. Gale chaired the Scientific Advisory Board of the Center for Advanced Studies in Leukemia, a charity funding innovation leukemia research.
From 1986-1993, Dr. Gale was President of the Armand Hammer Center for Advanced Studies in Nuclear Energy and Health, a foundation supporting research on medical aspects of nuclear issues.
From 1993-1999, Dr. Gale was Senior Physician and Corporate Director of Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation at Salick Health Care (SHC), Inc. in Los Angeles (now Aptium Oncology), a subsidiary of Astra Zeneca. Dr. Gale was also responsible for developing cancer treatment guidelines (in collaboration with colleagues at RAND and Value Health Sciences) and for studying medical aspects of managed cancer care.
From 2000-2004 he was Senior Vice-President for Medical Affairs at Antigenics Inc., in New York where he was responsible for design, implementation and analysis of clinical trials of cancer vaccines. He was also a Senior Medical Consultant to Oxford Health Plans in areas of advanced medical technologies. From 2004 to 2007, Dr. Gale was Senior Vice-President of Research for ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. in Charlestown, MA and New York, NY which he co-founded with Jonathan Lewis. His focus was on developing and testing new cancer therapies. In 2007 Dr. Gale joined Celgene (Summit, NJ) where he is Executive Director of Clinical Research, Hematology and Oncology. His activities include development and execution of clinical trials in blood and bone marrow cancers, transplantation and immune disorders.

Bone Marrow Transplantation

Dr. Gale has contributed greatly to basic science and clinical research in bone marrow transplantation where he made central contributions to understanding the immune-mediated anti-leukemia effects of transplants (graft-versus-leukemia [GvL]; with Mortimer Bortin and Mary Horowitz). He has also advanced understanding other complex immune effects of transplants in humans, like graft-versus-host disease and posttransplant immune deficiency. He has worked extensively on alternate sources of hematopoietic stem cells including fetal liver transplants (with Richard Champlin).


Dr. Gale has published over 800 scientific articles and more than 20 books, mostly on leukemia (biology and treatment), transplantation (biology, immunology and treatment), cancer immunology and radiation (biological effects and accident response). He has written on medical topics, nuclear energy and weapons and politics of US-Soviet relations in articles for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, USA Today and Wall Street Journal. In addition to his academic publications, Dr Gale has written popular books on Chernobyl and US nuclear energy policy. He has written parts of screenplays for and/or appeared in several movies including Final Warning (with Jon Voight), Fat Man and Little Boy (with Paul Newman) and City of Joy (with Patrick Swazye).


Awards for his scientific achievements include the Presidential Award, New York Academy of Sciences, Scientist of Distinction Award, Weizmann Institute of Science, Distinguished Alumni Award from Hobart College and Intra-Science Research Foundation Award. He holds honorary degrees including D.Sc. from Albany Medical College, L.H.D. from Hobart College and D.P.S from MacMurray College. He received an Emmy award for his work on a 60 Minutes special report about Chernobyl.

Humanitarian Activities

In 1986, he was asked by the government Soviet Union to coordinate medical relief efforts for victims of the Chernobyl disaster. In 1987, he was asked by the government of Brazil to coordinate medical relief efforts for the Goiania accident. In 1988, he was part of the U.S. medical emergency team sent in the aftermath of the earthquake in Armenia. In 1999 he was asked by the government of Japan to help treat victims of the Tokaimura nuclear accident. He has also been a neutral war observer for the governments of Croatia and Armenia and a medical consultant to the government of Tartarstan. Dr. Gale has received several awards for his humanitarian activities including the Olender Peace Prize, City of Los Angeles Humanitarian Award and Myasthenia Gravis Foundation Humanitarian Award.

Personal life

Dr. Gale lives in Los Angeles, New York and Big Sky, MT with his wife Laura. They have 6 children between them in diverse sites and professions. Dr. Gale is active in marathon running, hiking, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking and rock-climbing.
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