Raymond Bergan, MD

Raymond C. Bergan, M.D.

  • Deputy Director, Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
  • Professor, Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer
  • Professor, Division of Oncology/Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine

Phone: 402-559-4238 (Office)
E-mail: Raymond Bergan

Raymond Bergan


M.D. – SUNY Syracuse, 1983
Resident (Internal Medicine) - SUNY Upstate Medical Center          
Fellowship (Medical Oncology) - National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, 1993         
Fellowship (Drug Discovery) - National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, 1998         


     Raymond Bergan, M.D., is a physician/scientist and an internationally regarded cancer researcher known for leading breakthrough studies on how cancer cells spread and developing preventive treatments for high-risk patients.

     After completing his fellowships at the NCI, Dr. Bergan joined Northwestern University as Director of Experimental Therapeutics and Leader of the Prevention Program for the Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.  He founded and directed one of only five NCI-funded Early Phase Cancer Chemoprevention consortium programs, expanding it to nineteen institutions.  Under his leadership, this program made significant breakthroughs, including demonstrating that localized delivery of drugs allows for organ-specific targeting, maintenance of efficacy, and negation of systemic toxicity.  These breakthroughs also include proving that the impact of preventive treatment can be measured in intact epithelium, in at-risk organs, using light-based technology.  This work, in turn, showed the technology’s potential to measure the effectiveness of prevention therapy in real-time at the individual patient level.

     At Oregon Health & Science University, Dr. Bergan served as Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Co-Leader of the Translational Oncology Program, and Associate Director of the Knight Cancer Institute.  He expanded the division by over 50% to 103 faculty, increased therapeutic trials accrual by 50%, helped design two new buildings, one basic and one clinical-focused, substantially contributing to attaining NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center status for the first time.  Dr. Bergan designed and implemented the SMMART trials program, which is designed to change how we treat cancer.  The SMMART trials program was launched with a $15M donation and uses multi-omic characterization of tumors to deliver combinations of targeted therapy tailored to the biology of each patient.

Research Interests

     Understanding the molecular mechanisms driving human cancer cell motility and metastasis, and how that process can be therapeutically targeted.

Summary of Research:

     Our lab seeks to understand the mechanisms by which cancer cells transform to a high motility metastatic phenotype and how that process can be therapeutically modulated through a precision therapy approach.  We have elucidated several interacting signaling pathways that regulate this process, inclusive of our current focus on selective activation of Raf1.  Raf1 is a gatekeeper of cell fate, and we have shown that through its selective modulation, we can selectively modulate and therapeutically inhibit motility and resultant metastasis.  We undertake basic research with the goal of translating findings into humans.  As such, we probe signaling pathways, integrate chemical biology to use as probes and potential therapeutics, and evaluate biology and its therapeutic perturbation in pre-clinical murine-based models of human cancer motility and metastasis.  We work closely with chemists, bioengineers, experts in structural biology and are openly collaborative; with our minds and bodies in the lab, we do so with our minds in the clinic, and collaborate on moving our ideas into the clinic, as well as working with others to advance cutting edge therapy.

 Selected Publications

      Li Xu, Many et al., Raymond Bergan.  Precision Therapeutic Targeting of Human Cancer Cell Motility.  Nature Communications, 9(1):2454, 2018.  PMID: 29934502; PMCID: PMC6014988

       Zahi I Mitri, Many et al., Raymond C Bergan.  Implementing a Comprehensive Translational Oncology Platform: From Molecular Testing to Actionability.  Journal of Translational Medicine, 16(1):358-68, 2018; PMID: 30551737

      Limin Zhang, Abhinandan Pattanayak, Wenqi Li, Hyun-Kyung Ko, Graham Fowler, Ryan Gordon, and Raymond C Bergan.  A Multifunctional Therapy Approach for Cancer: Targeting Raf1- Mediated Inhibition of Cell Motility, Growth, and Interaction with the Microenvironment, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 19(1):39-51, 2020; PMID: 31582531

       Li Xu, Many et al., Raymond Bergan* and Kaichun Wu.  A Phase I Trial of Berberine in Chinese with Ulcerative Colitis, (*PI of NCI funding) Cancer Prevention Research, 13(1):117-126, 2020

       Dane Dickson, Jennifer Johnson, Raymond Bergan, Rebecca Owens, Vivek Subbiah, and Razelle Kurzrock.  The Master Observational Trial: A New Class of Master Protocol to Advance Precision Medicine.  Cell 2020, 180: 9-14; PMID: 31951522; Leading Edge Commentary (Editor Selected)

       Dane Dickson, Jennifer Johnson, Raymond Bergan, Rebecca Owens, Vivek Subbiah, and Razelle Kurzrock.  Trial Types in Precision Medicine.  Cell 2020, 181: 208; doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.02.032; PMID: 32243791

       Zhenzhen Zhang, Jeffrey Bien, Motomi Mori, Sonali Jindal, and Raymond C. Bergan.  A Way Forward for Cancer Prevention Therapy: Personalized Risk Assessment, Oncotarget, 2019; 10:6898-6912.  PMID: 31839883

       Allen Li and Raymond Bergan.  Clinical Trial Design in the Era of Big Data and Precision Medicine: Past, Present, and Future.  Invited Review, Cancer, 126(22): 4838-4846, 2020; PMID: 32931022

 Additional Publications at PubMed.Gov: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed.