Leadership Team

David Fajgenbaum


Dr. David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc, FCPP, is the co-founder and President of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN), Founding Director of the Center for Cytokine Storm Treatment & Laboratory (CSTL), Associate Director of Patient Impact for the Penn Orphan Disease Center, and Associate Professor of Medicine in Translational Medicine & Human Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Fajgenbaum is also the national bestselling author of Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope Into Action and a patient battling idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD). He became ill during his third year of medical school in 2010, had his last rites read, and had four deadly iMCD relapses. In 2012, Dr. Fajgenbaum co-founded the CDCN, through which he has spearheaded the “Collaborative Network Approach.” He currently leads over 20 translational research studies, including the first-ever NIH R01 grant studying iMCD and a clinical trial of sirolimus in iMCD.

Fajgenbaum is in his longest remission ever thanks to a treatment that he identified, which had never been used for iMCD. He described his journey in Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope Into Action, which has been translated into over five languages, named one of the “Best Non-Fiction Books of 2019,” and profiled by Good Morning America, CNN, and BBC News, among others.

He has also identified and/or advanced 16 other treatment approaches for iMCD, COVID-19, and cancer. Inspired by his progress unlocking new uses for existing drugs for multiple diseases, Fajgenbaum co-founded Every Cure in 2022 to unlock the full potential of every drug to treat every disease possible. Check out Dr. Fajgenbaum’s 5 minute talk about the CDCN and Every Cure during the Opening Session of the Clinton Global Initiative with President Clinton’s remarks at the end.

Check out the below video for a TED-style talk by Dr. Fajgenbaum about his battle, the CDCN’s innovative approach to research, and lessons about living from nearly dying during 2019 Exponential Medicine.

One of the youngest professors to receive tenure in the history of Penn Medicine and one of the youngest awardees of multiple leading NIH and FDA grants, Dr. Fajgenbaum has published scientific papers in high-impact journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, and Lancet, been recognized with awards such as the 2016 Atlas Award along with then Vice President Joe Biden and the 2021 NDRI Service to Science Award along with Nobel Laureates Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman, and profiled in a cover story by The New York Times as well as by Good Morning America, CNN, Science, Forbes 30 Under 30, and the Today Show, among others. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA, co-Chair of the Advisory Board for the CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory, and co-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for the CDCN.

Before co-founding the CDCN, Dr. Fajgenbaum co-founded and led the Actively Moving Forward Support Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting grieving college students. Dr. Fajgenbaum earned a BS from Georgetown University magna cum laude with honors and distinction, MSc from the University of Oxford as the 2007 Allbritton Scholar, MD from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School as a 21st Century Gamble Scholar, and MBA from The Wharton School, where he was awarded the Mandel Fellowship, Kissick Scholarship, Joseph Wharton Award, Eilers Health Care Management Award, and Commencement Speaker.

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