Licensing & Ventures Group

John S. Lazo

Associate Director for Basic Science, University of Virginia Cancer Center

John S. Lazo graduated from the Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry and from the University of Michigan with a PhD in Pharmacology under the mentorship of Ray Ruddon. Lazo received postdoctoral training at Yale University with Alan Sartorelli and then joined the faculty in the Department of Pharmacology at Yale.

He moved to the University of Pittsburgh in 1987 where he served as the Allegheny Foundation Professor and Chair of Pharmacology until 2004. 

From 2004 until 2010, Lazo was the founding Director of the University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute. Currently he is the Associate Dean for Basic Research and the Harrison Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He is also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Chemistry. Lazo is the current President of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET). His primary research interests are in molecular pharmacology and drug discovery with a special interest in drugs for cancer.

Lazo was a Corporate Associate of Johnson & Johnson between 2002-2005.  He has authored 11 books, published more than 300 scientific articles and reviews, invented eight U.S. issued patents, and has been the principal investigator on numerous research grants. Lazo co-founded three biopharmaceutical companies. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research, a member of the Board of Publication Trustees for the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and a member and chairman of the Council for Extramural Grants of the American Cancer Society. He is currently a member of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History Board and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Cure Alzheimer’s Foundation and Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


  • Ph.D. (Pharmacology), University of Michigan
  • A.B. (Chemistry), Johns Hopkins University