Paul M. Sondel M.D., Ph.D. is the Reed and Carolee Walker Professor in Pediatric Oncology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He completed undergraduate and graduate education at UW-Madison leading to a PhD in Genetics, with guidance from Bone Marrow Transplant pioneer, Fritz Bach, M.D. He received his MD magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School, while beginning his research in tumor immunology. Following pediatric residency training at the Universities of Minnesota and Wisconsin, he joined the faculty of UW-Madison in the Departments of Pediatrics, Human Oncology and Genetics in 1980. He was Head of the Division of Pediatric Hematology- Oncology-BMT from 1990-2016, when he became Research Director of that Division. Since 1990 he has been leader or co-leader of the UW Carbone Cancer Center's Program in Immunology and Immunotherapy in 1990.
His laboratory has pursued preclinical and clinical analyses of graft-versus-leukemia reactions, anti-tumor immune destruction with Interleukin-2 and tumor reactive monoclonal antibodies to facilitate tumor killing by leukocytes, and preclinical combination immunotherapy strategies. These studies have all moved into clinical testing, with some demonstrating clear clinical benefit, including the use of anti-GD2 antibody as treatment for high-risk neuroblastoma. He has published more than 400 scientific articles and chapters, and has trained more than 70 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in his lab.
Dr. Sondel has been a leader in scientific policy through multiple national committee roles, including The National Institutes of Health, The American Cancer Society, The Children's Oncology Group (COG), The National Cancer Institute, where he was a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors, and St. Jude's Children’s Research Hospital, where he was the Chair of their Scientific Advisory Committee and chair of their cancer center's external advisory board. Clinically, he has worked with COG in contributing to the progress of the past 35 years in the development of curative treatments for childhood cancers. His research has been supported by the National Cancer Institute since 1982. He received a 7-year Outstanding Investigator Grant from the National Cancer Institute in 2015, the Smalley award from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer in 2017 and the Edward H. Ahrens Jr. Distinguished Investigator award from the Association for Clinical and Translational Research in 2021.