Meet Giulio Draetta, M.D., Ph.D.

Giulio Draetta, M.D., Ph.D., is a true global citizen whose passion for discovery put his career on a winding path with universities and pharmaceutical companies in several countries. He moved to Houston to join MD Anderson in 2011 and is helping to drive cancer innovation as co-leader of MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program, an ambitious effort focused on quickly and effectively turning scientific discoveries into advances in cancer care. We recently interviewed him to learn more about his work here and what drives him to end cancer. Where did you grow up? I grew up and completed my education in Naples, Italy. I’m the only one in my family who left Naples. What was your first job? I worked at a milk production plant doing quality control when I was 19. Do you still conduct research? Yes. My lab attempts to identify brain cancer and pancreatic cancer vulnerabilities that might lend themselves to treatment. I became interested in biology and chemistry during school. I loved my medical training in emergency medicine but ultimately decided to focus on laboratory research and the discovery of new cancer drugs. What made you decide to join MD Anderson? I was drawn immediately to the people. Everyone is passionate about the mission. MD Anderson also has a unique culture of collaboration that was very appealing. For scientists, there’s such an amazing opportunity here to work closely with clinical experts to bring new therapeutic opportunities to patients. What three words describe you best? Happy. Caring. Passionate. What do you want people to know about our Moon Shots Program™? The program is unique. It’s achieving what...