Leadership Team

David Fajgenbaum

MD, MBA, MSc, FCPP

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 Orphan Disease Center, and Assistant Professor of Medicine in Translational Medicine & Human Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania, and national bestselling author of Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope Into Action. Dr. Fajgenbaum is also 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 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 9 other treatment approaches for iMCD and cancer.

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 individuals ever appointed to the faculty at Penn Medicine and the top 1 percent youngest awardees of a leading NIH grant, 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 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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