John Katzenellenbogen

Professor, Chemistry

Research Program: Cancer Measurement Technology and Data Science
Strategic Theme: Imaging

John Katzenellenbogen directs a research program that intersects chemistry, biology, and medical applications with a particular focus on the action of estrogens in breast cancer and androgens in prostate cancer. He explores critical problems in hormone-regulated breast and prostate cancer using basic science approaches, developing novel in vivo functional imaging methods, and developing novel cancer therapeutics. He is recognized internationally as a pioneer in the development of diagnostic and therapeutic agents for the management of hormone-regulated cancers, including the PET imaging agents FES for estrogen receptors in breast cancers and FDHT for the androgen receptor in prostate cancers used in the clinical development of novel anti-hormones. He has also assisted in developing a PET-based hormone challenge test that images hormone-induced changes in tumor metabolism and other molecular targets, proving highly predictive of response to endocrine therapies in breast cancer. 

Katzenellenbogen received his Ph.D. from Harvard University before joining the faculty at Illinois. Through his extensive work elucidating the molecular details of estrogen action in various target tissues, he has designed novel estrogens to clarify estrogen actions by numerous global collaborators. He has been honored as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received multiple awards.