Bert Howard O'Neil


Titled Professor (2013)
Joseph W. and Jackie J. Cusick Professor of Oncology
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
School of Medicine
Department of Medicine


Bert Howard O'Neil, M.D., is the inaugural Joseph W. and Jackie J. Cusick Professor of Oncology and a professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He is also the Phase I director and director of the gastrointestinal cancer research program at the IU Simon Cancer Center, and he will represent the cancer center on the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium steering committee.

As the Phase I director, Dr. O'Neil will oversee clinical trials that are the necessary first step in testing a new cancer treatment in patients. Phase I studies test the best way to give a new treatment and the best dose.

Although Dr. O'Neil will oversee the program for all areas of cancer treatment, his area of expertise is in gastrointestinal cancers, with a particular concentration on pancreas, colorectal and hepatocellular carcinomas, a type of liver tumor. He has considerable expertise in targeting new drugs to specific molecular targets on tumors. This therapeutic individualization, in which treatments are tailored to individual patients and their cancer's unique "fingerprint," is one of the most promising areas of cancer research.

Dr. O'Neil was most recently an associate professor of medicine and director of the gastrointestinal malignancies research program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also was the medical director of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center's clinical protocol office where he designed and conducted clinical and translational studies.

He is a member of the American Association of Cancer Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

He is a section reviewer for the journal Gastrointestinal Malignancies and an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer, Oncology, Lancet Oncology, Gastroenterology, American Journal of Oncology and the Annals of Oncology, among others. He presents regularly at national scientific meetings.

Dr. O'Neil earned his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and he completed his internal medicine residency and fellowship in hematology/oncology at the University of California, San Francisco.