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Nathan Pennell, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Pennell
Cleveland, OH

Dr. Nathan Pennell

Director, Lung Cancer Medical Oncology Program

The Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute

Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
(216) 444-6833

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - 1993

University of Florida College of Medicine - 2002

Brigham & Women’s Hospital - 2005

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Harvard Medical School - 2007

Educational Background

A specialist in treating thoracic malignancies certified in internal medicine and medical oncology, Dr. Pennell earned his bachelor’s degree in biology at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1993. He subsequently pursued a Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of Florida College of Medicine, where he also earned his M.D. His internship and residency both took place at Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital, home of the International Mesothelioma Program (IMP), one of the world’s leading mesothelioma treatment programs. In addition to its dedication to treating mesothelioma patients, the IMP is at the forefront of mesothelioma research.

At the conclusion of his residency, Dr. Pennell moved next door to Harvard Medical School’s renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he served his medical oncology fellowship. During his time in Boston he honed his expertise in mesothelioma, lung cancer, and thyroid cancer, and also attended the Harvard School of Public Health’s Program in Clinical Effectiveness.

Professional Highlights & Clinical Research

In 2008, Dr. Pennell joined the Taussig Cancer Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, rated one of the top hospitals in the country by US News and World Report, and the number one hospital in Ohio, according to an industry survey. Dr. Pennell took over as director of TCI’s lung cancer medical oncology program in 2010, the position he holds today.

Dr. Pennell is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. He is a consultant for Genentech, a global biotech company that has funded mesothelioma research.

Clinical Research

A specialist in treating thoracic malignancies, Dr. Pennell is especially interested in lung cancer, mesothelioma, thyroid cancer and symptoms related to chemotherapy. He is active in clinical trials aimed at testing innovative therapies and bringing them to the public more quickly.

Of multimodal treatment, Dr. Pennell writes: “It would appear that it is possible for some patients, specifically those with no mediastinal nodal involvement, to be cured of malignant mesothelioma with aggressive trimodality therapy…. I do think there is a role for surgery in mesothelioma and any advancement that leads to cures in this terrible disease is fantastic, but until this can be applied to a larger percentage of the patients I think it will remain out of reach for most patients.”


His numerous publications focus on multimodal approaches to untreatable lung cancers, and on the use of genetic markers. His work frequently appears in The Journal of Thoracic Oncology. He is a faculty member of GRACE, the Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education, a nonprofit dedicated to providing information about cutting-edge cancer research directly to patients. For GRACE, he has written about trimodality therapy for mesothelioma, as well as the role of molecular markers in lung cancer.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari

Reviewer: Annette Charlevois

Patient Support Coordinator

Annette Charlevois


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