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Christopher Hourigan, DM, DPhil, FRCP

Christopher Hourigan, DM, DPhil, FRCP

Director, Cancer Research Center -- D.C.

Christopher S. Hourigan DM DPhil FRCP

“Our ability to improve outcomes for those suffering from cancer is limited by the quality of information available to make clinical decisions. Improved diagnostic technology could help personalize the plan for each individual by selection of the right treatment, at the right time."


Precision Medicine to Select Therapy and to Reduce Deaths from Cancer

Can we predict, and prevent, cancer recurrence?

Over two million new cases of cancer are diagnosed annually in the United States. While treatment is effective in many, for too many patients apparently successful initial treatment will be followed by clinical recurrence of the cancer, also known as relapse. Christopher Hourigan DM, DPhil, FRCP, is an oncologist and physician-scientist who focuses on research in translational medicine and precision oncology to reduce relapse and improve the survival of patients with a rare, high-risk, blood cancer called Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

The primary research goal of the Hourigan laboratory is to improve the ability to predict which patients with AML are at risk of relapse and who may benefit from additional therapy. This “measurable residual disease” (MRD) concept is the foundation for a personalized medicine approach to AML and is now being tested in a clinical protocol throughout the U.S.

  • Director, Center for Cancer Research (DC)
  • Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
  • Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

National Institutes of Health

  • Tenured Senior Investigator, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
  • Co-director, Trans-NIH Myeloid Malignancies Program
  • Chief, Laboratory of Myeloid Malignancies

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

  • Part-time Associate Professor of Oncology
  • Member, Acute Leukemia Service


  • Medical Oncology (Clinical), Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Cancer Immunology (Research) Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Hematology (Clinical), National Institutes of Health


  • Johns Hopkins/Bayview Medical Center
  • Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospital

Doctor of Medicine, University of Oxford

DPhil, Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford

  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). “The highest honor bestowed by the United States Government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology” (July 2019)
  • The American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) Young Physician-Scientist Award (2020).
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Orloff Award. “For work demonstrating that intervention for Acute Myeloid Leukemia patients in remission but with genomic evidence of residual disease can improve survival” (Jan 2020)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, Johns Hopkins Medical School Chapter.
  • Fellowship, Royal College of Physicians (London). Elected to honorary fellowship May 2018
  • National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research Group Special Act Award (2022)
  • National Institute of Health Director’s Challenge Innovation Award (2020) 

Dillon LW, Gui G, Page KM, Ravindra N, Wong ZC, Andrew G, Mukherjee D, Zeger SL, El Chaer F, Spellman S, Howard A, Chen K, Auletta J, Devine SM, Jimenez Jimenez AM, De Lima MJG, Litzow MR, Kebriaei P, Saber W, Weisdorf DJ, Hourigan CS. DNA Sequencing to Detect Residual Disease in Adults With Acute Myeloid Leukemia Prior to Hematopoietic Cell Transplant. JAMA. 2023 Mar 7;329(9):745-755. doi: 10.1001/jama.2023.1363. PMID: 36881031; PMCID: PMC9993183.

Goswami M, Gui G, Dillon LW, Lindblad KE, Thompson J, Valdez J, Kim DY, Ghannam JY, Oetjen KA, Destefano CB, Smith DM, Tekleab H, Li Y, Dagur P, Hughes T, Marté JL, Del Rivero J, Klubo-Gwiezdzinksa J, Gulley JL, Calvo KR, Lai C, Hourigan CS. Pembrolizumab and decitabine for refractory or relapsed acute myeloid leukemia. J Immunother Cancer. 2022 Jan;10(1):e003392. doi: 10.1136/jitc-2021-003392. PMID: 35017151; PMCID: PMC8753450.

Hourigan CS, Dillon LW, Gui G, Logan BR, Fei M, Ghannam J, Li Y, Licon A, Alyea EP, Bashey A, Deeg HJ, Devine SM, Fernandez HF, Giralt S, Hamadani M, Howard A, Maziarz RT, Porter DL, Scott BL, Warlick ED, Pasquini MC, Horwitz ME. Impact of Conditioning Intensity of Allogeneic Transplantation for Acute Myeloid Leukemia With Genomic Evidence of Residual Disease. J Clin Oncol. 2020 Apr 20;38(12):1273-1283. doi: 10.1200/JCO.19.03011. Epub 2019 Dec 20. PMID: 31860405; PMCID: PMC7164487.