Raphael Bueno, MD, Earns NCI and DoD Grants for Mesothelioma Research 

Raphael Bueno, MD, was recently awarded a five-year, $1.5M renewal RO1 grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for his project entitled “Prospective Validation of Prognostic and Predictive Molecular tests in Mesothelioma” and a three-year, $779,000 Translational Team Science Award from the Department of Defense (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs to study “Military Exposure-Related Pleural Mesothelioma: An Innovative Translational Approach to Inform Novel Molecular-Targeted Treatment Development.

The lack of a reliable clinical staging scheme that can determine the likelihood of a favorable response to a given therapy has been a key barrier facing malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) patients. In his NCI study, Bueno and his research team will prospectively validate and refine a model they previously developed that integrates clinical tests, molecular signatures and innovative methods they have discovered for predicting outcome after therapy. They hope the model will be adopted by providers worldwide, with the goals of improved clinical practice and MPM patient care and outcomes.

In his DoD-funded project, Bueno and his team will expand on their work published last year in Nature Genetics and use the new gene-expression based classification scheme they proposed to compare MPM tumors from patients with military versus non-military backgrounds, with the ultimate goal of developing customized novel therapies based on specific genetic aberrations.


Raphael Bueno MD Headshot
Raphael Bueno, MD

Raphael Bueno, MD
Fredric G. Levin Distinguished Chair in Thoracic Surgery and Lung Cancer Research, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Chief of Thoracic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Co-Director, Lung Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Raphael Bueno, MD, is chief of thoracic surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Harvard College and medical training at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He subsequently trained in general surgery at BWH and thoracic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, and joined the BWH thoracic faculty in 1996. Over the past 21 years, Bueno has developed robust clinical and research portfolios at BWH.

His clinical focus is management of thoracic malignancies, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and esophageal cancer. His main research interests center on the molecular events that lead to malignancy in mesothelioma and lung cancer. Specifically, Bueno focuses on developing biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, and predicting therapy in malignant pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer. His research also includes tumor sequencing and identification of targetable pathways. He runs a molecular biology lab at the George W. Thorn Medical Research Building and has been funded for almost two decades by the National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, foundations and industry grants. He also invented, patented, and licensed several algorithms and medical devices for patient care. Bueno has also invented and continues to develop several novel surgical procedures.

Bueno is a member of numerous prestigious national and international professional societies. He has been an invited lecturer at teaching hospitals and universities around the country and internationally. At BWH, he has built the largest division of thoracic surgery in the US, with 21 faculty members and five affiliated network sites in New England, and co-founded the BWH Lung Center. Bueno continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in patient care.