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Roswell Park Scientist Tapped to Lead Basic Science Research

Erik Knudsen, PhD, brings history of science leadership to broader oversight role

  • Veteran scientist to oversee new opportunities for scientific discovery
  • Made noteworthy discoveries in tumor suppression, precision theraputics
  • Will also continue as Chair of Molecular and Cellular Biology

BUFFALO, N.Y. — An accomplished research leader with a record of important discoveries in cancer biology and precision therapeutics, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Erik Knudsen, PhD, has been promoted to Associate Director of Basic Science Research.  

A faculty leader at Roswell Park since 2018, Dr. Knudsen has more than two decades of experience, and continuous funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). A recognized leader in cancer research, he has spoken around the world about his work — highlighting noteworthy discoveries in the areas of tumor suppression, aberrant tumorigenic proliferation and precision means to treat cancer. He will remain Chair of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Basic science sets the stage for following advancements in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer. In the lab, researchers investigate the mechanisms behind cancer at a molecular and cellular level. In his new role, Dr. Knudsen will identify and accelerate opportunities across multiple Roswell Park departments and programs to combine research findings with translational and clinical projects.

“So many discoveries lie ahead for our basic research team with Dr. Knudsen at the helm,” says Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD, Deputy Director and The Katherine Anne Gioia Endowed Chair in Cancer Medicine at Roswell Park. “We will work side by side to develop comprehensive approaches for supporting the Roswell Park teams who are generating new scientific opportunities, and for maximizing the effectiveness of the life-saving research these innovators are advancing at Roswell Park.”

Dr. Knudsen earned his doctorate and completed two postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California, San Diego.


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Learn more at, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or

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