Freddy E. Escorcia, MD, PhD

Physician-Scientist Early Investigator Molecular Imaging Program NIH Distinguished Scholar Head, Laboratory of Molecular Radiotherapy

Dr. Escorcia’s thirst for learning began in a small coastal town on the Atlantic side of Nicaragua, continued through to Toronto, Ontario, then to central Illinois. He earned his undergraduate degrees in bioengineering and chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, igniting his interest in science and medicine, and prompting enrollment in the Tri-Institutional MD/PhD Program of Weill Cornell Medical College, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and Rockefeller University in New York, NY. Dr. Escorcia’s thesis work involved engineering tumor-targeted antibodies and polymers to deliver cytotoxic alpha-particle radionuclide payloads. This experience with harnessing radiation for cancer therapy led to Dr. Escorcia’s pursuit of a radiation oncology residency at MSKCC and continues to drive his research and clinical interests as an Assistant Clinical Investigator within the Molecular Imaging Program and the Radiation Oncology Branch at NCI’s Center for Cancer Research. In 2019, Dr. Escorcia received the Distinguished Mentor Award.

Dr. Escorcia’s research:
Advances in engineering of tumor-specific molecules to guide cytotoxic treatments, such as chemotherapy or radionuclides, have resulted in new classes of cancer drugs which have the potential to kill tumors while mitigating toxicities to normal tissues, moving us closer to truly tumor-targeted, personalized cancer treatment for our patients. Targeted radionuclide therapy provides an orthogonal mode of cell killing that is distinct from, yet complementary to, existing small molecule and chemotherapy treatments. By harnessing systemic, targeted radionuclides, our group aims to develop new agents to help us better treat and monitor cancer patients.
NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics, Chemical Biology, Clinical Research, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Molecular Pharmacology