Steven J. O'Day, MD, Named Executive Director

Steven O’Day, MD, has been selected as the new Executive Director of the John Wayne Cancer Institute and Cancer Clinic, and Director of Providence Los Angeles Regional Research.  Dr. O’Day is world-renowned in the field of medical oncology and his leadership capabilities make him the ideal person to lead the cancer and research efforts on our campus and in our region.

Dr. O’Day is currently Professor of Medical Oncology and the Director of Clinical Research and Immuno-Oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. He is co-Director of the Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Research Center.  His Providence system-wide responsibilities have included co-chairing the Providence Research Leadership Committee and serving as a member of the Providence Scientific Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Providence Southern California Oncology Service Advisory Council (OSAC).

Dr. O’Day shared his thoughts on his new leadership position, saying, “I am honored and privileged to assume these new leadership roles. Providence Saint John’s and I share a bold vision for the future, as we create a state of the art Cancer Center combining interdisciplinary clinical excellence around diseases, clinical and translational research around immunotherapy and genomics, and continue to advance the Institute’s long-standing program of excellence in Fellowship Training and Education.  We are poised to lead in this revolutionary period of cancer clinical care and research. Already, our cancer treatment programs and protocols are having a tremendous positive impact on the length and quality of individual patient lives. We are excited to excel in this new frontier of cancer care and have embarked on a significant investment in that future.”

Dr. O’Day graduated from Williams College (1983) with a BA in Chemistry. He was a visiting scholar at Oxford University (1984) studying medical ethics. He graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (1988) in Baltimore and completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Johns Hopkins (1991) followed by a Medical Oncology Fellowship at Harvard’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston (1994).  He was recruited to the John Wayne Cancer Institute in 1994 by Dr. Donald Morton to join the world-class melanoma clinical and research team.  He was the first medical oncologist to join the group.

Dr. O’Day is one of the preeminent melanoma specialists in the world, and combines expert clinical care with teaching and leading clinical research. He is a recognized leader in the expanding field of lmmuno-Oncology across tumor types.  He lectures extensively, both nationally and internationally. He has been at the forefront of new drug development in melanoma over the last two decades.  Dr. O’Day played a leadership role in the development of the first immune checkpoint inhibitor, ipilimumab, and presented the breakthrough ipilimumab clinical trial results at the ASCO plenary session in 2010.  He has also played a leadership role in the development of the anti-PD1 antibodies pembrolizamab and nivolumab as well as the development of the MAPK inhibitors vemurafinib, dabrafinib and trametinib.

Dr. O’Day has been a principal investigator on over 150 clinical trials including leadership roles in International Phase III trials. He has published more than 200 manuscripts, abstracts and reviews in prestigious journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), Blood, Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), Cancer, Lancet Oncology and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. O’Day has served on several important committees of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, including the Education and the Communication committees.