Dean's Bio

Stanton L. Gerson, MD

Dean, School of Medicine and Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs, Case Western Reserve University

Dean Gerson standing along a railing

A renowned physician and cancer researcher, Stanton Gerson, MD, is dean for Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine and senior vice president for medical affairs. In addition to the School of Medicine faculty and staff, he has oversight of all appointed faculty who are located at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth System and Veterans Affairs Northeast Ohio Healthcare System.

Along with his role as dean, he serves as the Director of the National Center for Regenerative Medicine. He is the Asa and Patricia Shiverick—Jane Shiverick (Tripp) Professor of Hematological Oncology and Case Western Reserve University Distinguished University Professor (Class of 2013.) In 2012, he was the recipient of the Case Western Reserve Medal for Excellence in Health Science Innovation, the highest honor bestowed by the School of Medicine to those advancing research, education and healthcare. 

Dean Gerson’s research is focused on DNA repair mechanisms and as targets for anti-cancer therapy, stem cell biology and use of stem cells in multiple therapies, and development of early phase clinical trials for cancer. He also developed the no-blood-no-drug policy (requiring a weekly blood count) that resulted in Sandoz Pharmaceuticals receipt of FDA approval for Clozapine, an effective anti-psychosis drug that caused life-threatening agranulocytosis as a side effect. 

He became a member of the new NCI designated cancer center at CWRU in 1987. Dean Gerson served chief of the division of Hematology-Oncology at University Hospitals and Associate Director for Clinical Research of the Case CCC in 1996. In 2003, he successfully competed for Ohio Third Frontier funding to establish the National Center for Regenerative Medicine, that brought together all stem cell investigators in Cleveland and resulted in a number of stem cell clinical trials, as well as encouraged research across many diseases with support from federal sources. Dean Gerson’s discoveries have been licensed to Lentigen, Tracon, Novartis, Osiris, and Rodeo. Recently, he spearheaded the establishment of our Master’s Program in Regenerative Medicine and Entrepreneurship (REGM).

In 2004, he became director of the Case CCC, and successfully re-competed for the center’s NCI designation in 2004, 2007, 2012, and 2017. He served as director of Seidman Cancer Center at UH from 2004 to 2017. He has served as advisor for many of the top NCI-designated cancer centers in the country and in addition to President of the Association of American Cancer Institutes from 2017 to 2019.  He was active in the Cancer Moonshot initiative and the Biden Cancer Initiative, and co-authored a white paper from that group: Future Cancer Research Priorities (Lancet, 2017). 

Dean Gerson has been a member of the American Association of Physicians since 1997, and has served on and chaired numerous NIH study sections and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Advisors. He has earned multiple National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants and published more than 260 journal articles, 270 abstracts, 37 book chapters and 19 patents. Three of his inventions are in phase 2 clinical trials. He is the co-editor of the internationally recognized textbook, Gene Therapy of Cancer Translational Approaches from Preclinical Studies to Clinical Implementation 3rd ed. (Elsevier Limited, Oxford, United Kingdom) and the textbook Clinical Hematology. 

Dean Gerson graduated (magna cum laude) from Harvard College, and conducted his thesis research with Boris Magasnick, PhD, chair of Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He received his MD degree (cum laude) from Harvard Medical School, where he met his wife, Deborah Levitan-Gerson, MD. There, he conducted his thesis research with Stephen Robinson, MD, chief of Hematology at Beth Israel Hospital. His residency and fellowship in hematology-oncology was completed at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.