27th Annual Conference

27th Annual Conference

Inspiring Innovation ...

March 2024


Dr Joseph Califano

Physician in Chief, Moores Cancer Center

TOPIC : Does early detection of reoccurrence change outcomes, the San Diego experience

Dr. Califano emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach and coordinating different areas of medical expertise to optimize the care for complex patients. As the physician in chief for Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, Dr. Califano oversees clinical operations and all related inpatient and outpatient oncology services at UC San Diego Health, as well as operations with affiliates and outreach clinics. He participates in Board of Visitors and philanthropy meetings, and is appointed to the Cancer Center Executive Committee, where he works in partnership with the chief administration officer on operational and strategic opportunities that further the mission and vision of the cancer center.

Dr. Califano is the Iris and Matthew Strauss Chancellor’s Endowed Chair in Head and Neck Surgery and Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine. As a world-class physician-scientist, he has translated multiple discoveries from laboratory to clinic, including the application of sequencing technologies to create an early detection method for HPV-related and other head and neck cancers. He actively participates in several areas of investigation including integrative network based molecular analysis of head and neck tumors; detection of recurrent and occult cancer within blood and saliva using molecular biologic techniques; and defining the underlying biology of head and neck cancers.

Dr. Califano also currently serves as the lead investigator for clinical trials that explore early detection of head and neck cancers and well as molecular detection of recurrence. Dr. Califano also currently directs an NIH funded laboratory investigating the molecular biologic basis of head and neck cancer, and leads clinical trials for novel therapeutics for head and neck cancer treatment. He has published over 300 articles related to both the clinical and basic scientific aspects of cancer, and currently serves as a the Co-chair of the NIH Head and Neck PULA Task Force and Council Member of the American Head and Neck Society, NCCN Board of Directors, as well as other professional organizations and editorial boards.

Prior to joining UC San Diego Health in 2015, Dr. Califano was a professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. Dr. Califano completed a fellowship in head and neck surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a residency in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

He earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and is board certified in otolaryngology.