Katherine Van Loon

Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Director of Global Cancer Program
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

Dr. Van Loon is a gastrointestinal oncologist and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at UCSF. As Director of the Global Cancer Program at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, she oversees UCSF’s portfolio of research and capacity-building projects in low and middle-income countries as well as educational programs for training in global oncology. Her own research portfolio focuses on the epidemiology of gastrointestinal cancers both in the United States and globally, with the aim to improve clinical outcomes and reduce disparities. In collaboration with Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences and Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Tanzania, she is the Principal Investigator of studies to evaluate the etiology of the disproportionately high burden of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in East Africa. She is also the Principal Investigator of a D43 award that is building the first-ever cancer research training program in Tanzania. She is also actively engaged in research on the increasing burden of early-onset colorectal cancer in the United States and the disproportionate impact of this disease on black and Latinx communities. She has partnered with the Instituto Nacional de Cancerología (National Cancer Institute) and Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (National Institute of Public Health) in Mexico to develop a collaborative research program to evaluate the changing epidemiology of colorectal cancer in Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.   She has been the recipient of numerous mentoring awards for her efforts to develop resources for research training and mentorship for early career investigators with interests in global cancer control.