The innovators behind the science
Our specialists have been at the forefront of oncology, immunology, and genetics throughout their careers, leading a biomedical revolution to reimagine patient care.
Meet our Board of Directors
Renowned for their dedication to research, the ImmunoGenetics Board of Directors is committed to delivering proactive and precise patient-centered care.
R.Michael Williams MD PhD
FOUNDER & CEO
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CANCER CENTER
Dr. Robert Michael Williams began his career in academic immunology and medicine, going on to found numerous organizations that have transformed how we approach cancer care in the United States and abroad.
With over 45 years of experience as a medical oncologist, Dr. Williams’ commitment to his patients is unwavering.
“My approach to all immunogenetic diseases, including cancer, is to evaluate and modulate the regulation of the immune response.”
Dr. Williams received his undergraduate degree in Culture & Behavior from Yale College in 1969, and his Masters in Molecular Biology and Biophysics in 1970 from Yale Graduate School. In 1974, he graduated from Harvard Medical School and concurrently received his PhD in Immunology from Harvard Graduate School. There he studied genetic control of thymus-derived cell function, as well as specific and nonspecific antitumor immunity under Nobel laureate Dr. Baruj Benacerraf. Dr. Williams has published over 100 scientific articles to date.
In 1989, Dr. Williams co-founded Cancer Treatment Centers of America and served as the group’s Senior Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer until 2000. After spending eight years as the Stanislaus County Oncologist, caring for all comers, most with no insurance or Medicaid, he founded the Northern California Cancer Center and Northern California Cancer Research Foundation in 2011, where he currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
James E.K. Hildreth Sr. PhD MD
PRESIDENT & CEO
MEHARRY MEDICAL COLLEGE
MEMBER, BIDEN-HARRIS COVID-19 HEALTH EQUITY TASK FORCE
Dr. James E.K. Hildreth is a notable immunologist credited with groundbreaking research on HIV and AIDS since its eruption in the early 1980’s.
In 1979, Dr. Hildreth graduated from Harvard University as the first African American Rhodes scholar from Arkansas. He attended Oxford University, earning his PhD in Immunology in 1982 for studying cytotoxic T cells, monoclonal antibody technology, and cell adhesion molecules. Dr. Hildreth then returned to the USA, graduating from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1987.
He began researching the role of host proteins and lipids in HIV, as well as the importance of cholesterol and specialized membrane regions containing cholesterol in HIV in the 1980’s. Dr. Hildreth’s work is currently focused on the development of a vaginal cream to block HIV transmission in women. He has published more than 100 research articles and holds 11 patents based on his research.
Dr. Hildreth’s career in academia has spanned nearly 25 years, including posts as the Associate Dean at John Hopkins School of Medicine; Director of the Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research at Meharry Medical College; Dean of the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences; and since 2015, President and CEO of Meharry Medical College.
He currently serves on the advisory council for the NIH director; the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee; and the Biden-Harris administration’s Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force.
Edmond J. Yunis MD, 1930-2023
With heavy hearts, we announce the recent passing of our esteemed colleague and friend, Dr. Edmond J. Yunis. Keenly interested in human immunogenetics and the molecular basis of disease for the majority of his prestigious academic career, Dr. Yunis was a valuable member of our Board of Directors who will be sorely missed.
Born and raised in Colombia, Dr. Yunis immigrated to the United States in 1954 to complete his residency in Anatomical Pathology at Kansas University. There, he worked under the auspices of Dr. Robert F. Stowell before completing residencies in Clinical Pathology, and Immunohaematology and Blood Transfusion.
Dr. Yunis went on to study histocompatibility and immunogenetics at Duke University, under the well-known Dr. D.B. Amos. Their pioneering work resulted in the genetic mapping of the HLA loci, a portion of the genetic code that plays an important role in the regulation of the immune system.
From 1976 until recently, Dr. Yunis had been a faculty member at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. During his tenure in Boston, he served as Professor of Pathology, Chief of the Division of Immunogenetics, and Director of the HLA Laboratory. Dr. Yunis also earned his Masters degree at Harvard in 1989. His laboratory at Dana-Farber was involved in groundbreaking work on human genetic polymorphisms, the genetics of life span, the genetics of drug-induced hematopoetic complications, and the genetics of the progression of clinical tuberculosis.
Dr. Yunis was the author or co-author of over 400 scientific papers and a contributing author to eight books on topics as diverse as tissue typing and organ transplantation to a manual on clinical immunology.
He leaves behind a rich legacy of scientific contributions that will not be forgotten.
Decades of Innovation
ImmunoGenetics physicians have devoted their lives to research, continually moving the fields of immunology, genomics, and oncology forward.
Explore over 50 years of groundbreaking research.
The goal of our doctors is to prolong with lives of cancer patients everywhere. They inspire confidence through decades of clinical and research experience, a passion for medicine, and the resolve to never lose hope.
When it comes to cancer, survival time is dependent on the genetics of the tumor, the genetics of the individual, and the genetics of the immune response. This is the Immunogenetic Hypothesis for Cancer Survival (IHCS).
Survival with cancer results from the prolongation of the war between the immune system and the cancer. There exists a certain immune profile in individuals that are long-term survivors of cancer; one that is related to having normal CD4+ cell counts, normal CD4/CD8 ratios, normal IgG levels, and normal NK cell numbers.
Natural killer cells participate in the elimination of tumors and virus infections. Data presented here include their role in virus infection (HIV), metastatic breast cancer, and aging.
We have analyzed two gene segments (MHC HLA class I ligands and NK receptors), each with single amino acid differences, that together can identify long-term survivors.