Raphael A. Clynes, M.D., Ph.D.

Administrative Office Tel - 212 305-5289
Fax - 212 305-1392

Physician Summary

Raphael A. Clynes received his M.D./Ph.D. from State University of New York at Stony Brook. He did his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO, and then went on to do a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology and postdoctoral training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University. He is currently Assistant Professor and Attending Physician at Columbia University in the Department of Medicine and Microbiology. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology, and Hematology. Additionally, he is the recipient of the Lupus Clinical Scholar/Arthritis Investigator Award, the Cancer Research Institute Investigator Award, and the Kimmel Scholar Cancer Award.

The Clynes lab is focused on the immunobiological role of antibodies in health and disease.

Therapeutic antibodies in cancer: Monoclonal antibody therapy in cancer has changed the treatment and outlook for cancer patients, in particular for those with breast cancer and/or lymphoma. Understanding how these antibodies are helping our patients would guide the further clinical development of this new class of cancer drugs. Over the last decade of work using animal models Dr. Clynes and others have established that antitumor antibodies prevent tumor growth by inducing anti-tumor immune responses. Dr. Clynes has shown that immune responses are triggered in cancer patients treated with the anti-tumor antibody Trastuzumab. The induction of tumor immunity occurs more commonly in patients who are responding to therapy, suggesting that the immune response may be contributing to tumor shrinkages. Thus anti-tumor antibody treatment has the capacity to induce a vaccine-like effect, boosting cancer immunity in patients. The Clynes lab is developing immune-based strategies to augment the vaccinal effect of anti-tumor antibodies to widen the circle of patients benefiting from this growing class of anti-cancer drugs.

Autoantibodies and inflammation: The development of self-reactive antibodies commonly occurs in patients with autoimmune conditions, yet the pathogenic importance of these autoantibodies has been discounted since by themselves these autoantibodies do not cause disease. However Dr. Clynes laboratory has determined that autoantibodies play an important indirect role in pathogenesis by enhancing the uptake of self-antigen by antigen presenting cells and promoting the development of self-reactive T cells which ultimately trigger tissue injury in common autoimmune states like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and type I diabetes. Dr. Clynes lab is studying novel therapeutic approaches to block this pathway pre-clinically in autoimmunity.

Clinical Expertise

  • Research Faculty

Board Certifications

  • Internal Medicine
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine & Microbiology, Columbia University Medical Center

Education

  • B.S., 1983, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  •  M.D. & Ph.D., 1990, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Internship and Residency

  • Internal Medicine, 1992, Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, MO

Fellowship

  • Hematology/Oncology, 1998, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY