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F. Stephen Hodi, MD

Director of the Melanoma Center and the Center for Immuno-Oncology


Stephen Hodi, MD, is a medical oncologist and principal investigator at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is director of the Melanoma Center and the Center for Immuno-Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center.

Hodi earned his medical degree at Cornell University Medical College, did his postdoctoral training in internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and completed a medical oncology fellow at Dana-Farber, joining the faculty in 1998.

An internationally recognized leader in developing immune therapy and melanoma therapeutics, Hodi is particularly known for the clinical development of checkpoint inhibitors. He led the first human trial of ipilimumab, which blocks the CTLA-4 checkpoint, and later led the phase III registration trial, which was the first study to show a survival advantage for a melanoma drug, and which led to FDA approval of ipilimumab. The dramatic and long-lasting responses seen with this agent provided proof that reactivating the suppressed immune system of cancer patients could be enormously beneficial.

Subsequently, Hodi has continued as a key investigator in the clinical development of the second family of checkpoint inhibitors, which block PD-1 and PD-L1. This work has not only changed the paradigm for treating melanoma but has also been applied to improve outcomes in many other malignancies, such as lung and kidney cancer. He has also led pioneering, investigator-initiated trials combining immune checkpoint blockade with cytokines and the first combination of immune checkpoint blockade with anti-angiogenesis agents. Hodi is also known for his work in treating KIT-mutated melanoma.

Education & Training

  • Weill Medical College of Cornell University, MD
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Residency, Internal Medicine
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Fellowship, Medical Oncology
  • Board Certifications, Internal Medicine, 1995, and Medical Oncology, 1997

Awards & Honors

  • Mentoring Clinical Scientist Development Award, 1998