Michael Teitell M.D., Ph.D.

Michael Teitell, M.D., Ph.D. 

Professor and Latta Endowed Chair in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Director, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center


Michael Teitell, M.D., Ph.D., studies the mechanisms of cancer formation and progression. His work combines basic biology, genetics, and engineering to discover new methodologies to understand and treat leukemia and lymphoma that arise during normal B cell development.

Dr. Teitell’s current projects include studying mechanisms that control immune cell development versus cancerous degeneration into aggressive B cell leukemias and lymphomas; examining a newly discovered mechanism that controls RNA import into mitochondria to regulate how cells produce energy; development of a novel, laser-based method for delivering large items, such as whole chromosomes, into cells to model disease or generate new cell therapies; and studying metabolism and the function of mitochondria in human pluripotent stem cells to learn what is similar and what is different between stem cell metabolism and the metabolic patterns observed in most human cancers.

Observations that suggest stem cell metabolism is very similar to cancer cell metabolism led Dr. Teitell to focus on stem cell research. His lab is interested in determining whether the two are mechanistically similar, or whether cancer cell metabolism is an altered form of stem cell metabolism. The implications for either result may have impact on designing therapies to target cancer cell metabolism.

In addition to being a Broad Stem Cell Research Center scientist, Dr. Teitell is a member of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the California Nanosystems Institute and the Molecular Biology Institute. He also is affiliated with the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Immunologists, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the American Association for Cancer Research and the Epigenetics Society.

A professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and chief of the Division of Pediatric and Neonatal Pathology, Dr. Teitell joined the UCLA faculty in 1999. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UCLA and his doctorate and medical degrees through the UCLA Medical Scientist Training Program. Dr. Teitell was also a resident in anatomic pathology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, a resident in clinical pathology at the University of California, San Francisco and a fellow in pediatric pathology at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Dr. Teitell’s work is funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center Innovation Award, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the University of California Industry-University Cooperative Research Program and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.