John C Byrd, MD

John Byrd


College of Medicine


Internal Medicine

Academic Title


Research Program

Leukemia Research

Leadership Title

D. Warren Brown Chair of Leukemia Research
Distinguished University Professor of Medicine Medicinal Chemistry, and Veterinary Biosciences
Senior Advisor for Cancer Experimental Therapeutics

Research Interest

Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell ● Cancer ● Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute ● Leukemia ● Lymphoma, Mantle-Cell ● Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin ● Lymphoma ● Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma ● Lymphoma, Follicular ● Tumor Lysis Syndrome

John C. Byrd, MD, is a Distinguished University Professor at The Ohio State University. In addition, he is a professor of Internal Medicine, Medicinal Chemistry and Veterinary Biosciences, as well as co-leader of the Leukemia Research Program and senior advisor of Experimental Therapeutics at the OSUCCC – James. He holds the D. Warren Brown Designated Chair in Leukemia Research and is the chief medical officer for Beat AML, a division of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Dr. Byrd has won multiple national and international awards and is currently an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and American Association of Physicians. He is also an associate editor for Blood and a counselor for the American Society of Hematology.

Dr. Byrd is an internationally known clinical and laboratory specialist in hematologic malignancies. His research accomplishments stem from studies conducted between the laboratory and clinic, and involve several therapeutic agents that are active in treating patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). His laboratory focuses on translational immune and molecular pharmacology with extensive use of primary spontaneous leukemia models either re-purposed from other collaborators as drug development tools or created in his own laboratory. His laboratory also relies on primary leukemia cells from patients. Everything that passes through Dr. Byrd’s laboratory is focused on something that is intended to translate to patient benefit.

Dr. Byrd and his colleagues have shown that therapeutic agents such as rituximab, idelalisib, ibrutinib and acalabrutinib are effective against CLL, and they have led efforts to understand how resistance develops to these agents. His work with ibrutinib was transformative in eliminating the use of chemotherapy in most patients with CLL and changing the natural history of this disease.  His work with ibrutinib extended beyond CLL to other diseases such as chronic graft versus host disease, where it is currently approved for use. His laboratory continues to study novel immune based therapies for CLL, but in 2016, he transitioned much of his experimental therapeutics effort toward acute myeloid leukemia (AML), where he is attempting to identify genomic-specific targeted therapies both in his laboratory and also to translate these and others to clinical trials.

Working with others via the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, he initiated an umbrella study focused on precision medicine (versus chemotherapy treatment) in previously untreated acute myeloid leukemia. Dr. Byrd is a principal of this study and also serves as the chief medical officer. Ohio State is one of the founding sites for this trial, which has enrolled more than 700 patients since 2016. Based upon the success of enrollment and impactful outcome of targeted therapy in AML, this same group is now developing a second precision medicine-based trial in myelodysplastic syndrome that will open in early 2020.

Dr. Byrd has published his research in numerous scientific journals, with over 550 publications and an h-index of 108. His papers have appeared in such publications as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Oncology, Blood, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Nature, Cell, Cancer Cell and Cancer Discovery.


  • MD, University of Arkansas

    Little Rock, AK (USA)

  • Fellowship, Walter Reed Army Medical Center

    Washington, DC (USA)


  • Internal Medicine

    Walter Reed Army Medical Center

    Washington, DC (USA)


  • Hematology and Oncology

    Walter Reed Army Medical Center

    Washington, DC (USA)

Office Location

455B Wiseman Hall

400 W 12th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210




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