Russel E. Kaufman

Current Institution
The Wistar Institute
President emeritus

Scholar: 1982

Awarded Institution
Duke University


Research Interests

Dr. Kaufman, M.D. has been an academic leader in biomedicine for 35 years, serving as Chief of Hematology/ Oncology, Vice Dean, and Associate Vice Chancellor at Duke University, where he is an emeritus professor of Medicine and Biochemistry. 


After leaving Duke in 2002, he became President and CEO of The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, from which he retired in March 2015 and is president emeritus. He now is Executive-in Residence for Pappas-Capital in North Carolina and founder of Kaufman LifeSciences.


Dr. Kaufman maintained an active research program investigating the genetics of blood diseases and cancer over his academic career. He has published over 100 scientific reports. While a full time faculty member at Duke, he had a medical practice in internal medicine and hematology/oncology.


With long-standing interests in both basic and applied cancer research, Dr. Kaufman has held leadership positions in national academic organizations in internal medicine and on committees within the National Institutes of Health, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Association of Medical Colleges. A fellow of the American College of Physicians, he has received honors and awards for his work from the March of Dimes, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America, the Arthritis Foundation, and others. The American Cancer Society awarded Dr. Kaufman with the 2008 Southeast Region Cancer Control Award, in recognition of his exemplary individual achievements in the field of cancer control. Dr. Kaufman was also named one of the first Searle Scholars, a prestigious program that supports top-flight academic research in biomedicine and chemistry.


Dr. Kaufman has been very active in the growing life sciences industry in the greater Philadelphia region, having served on the board of directors for the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce; Select Greater Philadelphia’s CEO Council for Growth; the Greater Philadelphia Life Sciences Congress; the University City Science Center; BioAdvance – Biotechnology Greenhouse Corporation of Southeastern Pennsylvania; The University of the Sciences; and Osage Ventures II before joining Pappas-Capital.


He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology and Biochemistry from the Ohio State University, and earned his medical degree from the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He received the Alumnae Achievement Award in 1993 from The Ohio State University School of Medicine and the Professional Achievement Award in 2009 from The Ohio State University Alumni Association. In 2002 he was designated a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and is a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.