David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc, FCPP, is an assistant professor of medicine in translational medicine & human genetics at the University of Pennsylvania, founding director of the Center for Cytokine Storm Treatment & Laboratory (CSTL), associate director of Patient Impact at the Penn Orphan Disease Center, and President and co-founder of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN). He is also the national bestselling author of Chasing My Cure: A Doctor's Race to Turn Hope Into Action and he is a patient battling idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD). He is in his longest remission ever thanks to a precision treatment that he identified, which had never been used before for iMCD.
An authority on cytokine storms and their treatment, Fajgenbaum launched the CORONA project in March 2020 to identify and track treatments for COVID-19. Today, CORONA is the world’s largest database of COVID-19 treatments, including 400+ medications that have been administered to 280,000+ patients, and a go-to resource for FDA, Google Health, and others.
One of the youngest individuals ever appointed to the faculty at Penn Medicine and in the top 1 percent youngest awardees of an NIH R01 grant, Dr. Fajgenbaum leads over 20 translational research studies, including the CORONA project and a clinical trial of the drug that is saving his life. He has published scientific papers in high-impact journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Blood, and Journal of Clinical Investigation, including one paper selected by STAT News in 2020 as one of the best innovations in science and medicine.
Dr. Fajgenbaum co-founded the CDCN in 2012 to accelerate research and treatments for Castleman disease through a 'Collaborative Network Approach,' a business-inspired approach to biomedical research, which has become a blueprint for advancing rare disease research. He is also dedicated to advancing drug repurposing as co-director of the advisory committee for a FDA/NIH/C-Path public-private partnership called the CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory, and as lead investigator for a collaboration with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to advance rare disease drug repurposing. Dr. Fajgenbaum has been profiled in a cover story by the New York Times as well as by Good Morning America, CNN, Science, Reader's Digest, Forbes 30 Under 30, and on Today.
Dr. Fajgenbaum received a BS in human sciences with distinction from Georgetown University, where he was USA Today's Academic All-USA First Team and a quarterback on the Division I football team. He studied for an MSc in public health from the University of Oxford as the 2007 Joseph L. Allbritton Scholar. Dr. Fajgenbaum earned his MD from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a 21st Century Gamble Scholar. He received his MBA from The Wharton School, where he was awarded the Joseph Wharton Award, Core Value Leadership Award, Kissick Scholarship, Wharton Business Plan Competition Social Impact Prize, Eilers Health Care Management Award, Mandel Fellowship, and Commencement Speaker.