• Professor, Medicine, CWRU School of Medicine


  • Gender: Male


Sanford Markowitz, MD, Ph.D. holds the Markowitz-Ingalls Professorship of Cancer Genetics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, with appointments in the Department of Medicine and in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and co-appointments in the Departments of Genetics and Genome Sciences and in Molecular Biology and Microbiology. He is internationally recognized for his work identifying key genetic causes of colon cancer and developing molecular tests for early detection. In clinical practice he is an attending physician at the UH Seidman Cancer Center.

Dr. Markowitz’s laboratory studies molecular abnormalities in colon cancer, including research into colon cancer suppressor genes and oncogenes, functions of positive and negative regulatory growth factors, and the role of genomic instability in inherited and sporadic colon cancers.

Dr. Markowitz has over 150 publications, including papers published in leading journals such as Science, Science Translational Medicine, the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Nature Biotechnology, and Nature Genetics. He holds over 20 awarded patents.

Dr. Markowitz has been elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He serves on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute and has served as a member of the scientific advisory boards of the National Colon Cancer Research Alliance (founded by Ms. Katie Couric), the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, the Abramson Family Cancer Research Center of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Markowitz serves as head of the Cancer Genetics Program at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and as Principal Investigator of the CASE GI Cancers SPORE, a National Cancer Institute-designated program of research excellence in gastrointestinal cancers.

Dr. Markowitz earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, and his MD and PhD from Yale University, New Haven, CT. He served a fellowship in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD.

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Board Certifications

American Board of Internal Medicine - Internal Medicine
American Board of Internal Medicine - Medical Oncology

Education & Training


1974, Harvard University

Medical / Professional School(s)

1980, Yale University School of Medicine


1982, Internal Medicine - University of Chicago Medical Center


1984, Internal Medicine - University of Chicago Medical Center


1987, Medical Oncology - National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Professional Education

1981, Yale University


Colon and Rectal Cancer, Familial Cancer, Oncology

Awards & Recognition

  • Alumnus Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Elected to American Society Clinical Investigation
  • Elected to the Association of American Physicians
  • Visiting Professorships at: Dana Farber Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School; Cornell-Weill Medical College
  • Recipient, Sadie Gerson Distinguished Scholar Award for Contributions to Colon Cancer (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Recipient Ohio State University Cancer Genetics Program Commemorative Medal
  • Harrington Discovery Institute Scholar Innovator Award
  • Case Western Reserve University Distinguished Research Award
  • Case Western Reserve University Distinguished University Professor

Office Locations

UH Cleveland Medical Center
Department of Medicine-Hematology and Oncology
11100 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44106
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Research Interests

Molecular Genetics of Colon Cancer, Molecular Differences in Colon Cancers in Different Ethnic Populations, Molecular Biology of Cancer Metastases, Molecular Tests for Early Detection of Cancers and Pre-Cancers in the Colon and the Esophagus, Genetic Tests for Determining Cancer Risks, Personalized Genetic Tests for Cancer Prevention, Oncogenes and Suppressor Genes in Human Cancer, Developing Drugs for Cancer Prevention, Developing Drugs for Tissue Regeneration and Repair after Bone Marrow Transplantation, Cancer Surgery, or Injury from Colitis

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Industry Relationships

University Hospitals is committed to transparency in our interactions with industry partners, such as pharmaceutical, biotech, or medical device companies. At UH, we disclose practitioner and their family members’ ownership and intellectual property rights that are or in the process of being commercialized. In addition, we disclose payments to employed practitioners of $5,000 or more from companies with which the practitioners interact as part of their professional activities. These practitioner-industry relationships assist in developing new drugs, devices and therapies and in providing medical education aimed at improving quality of care and enhancing clinical outcomes. At the same time, UH understands that these relationships may create a conflict of interest. In providing this information, UH desires to assist patients in talking with their practitioners about industry relationships and how those relationships may impact their medical care.

UH practitioners seek advance approval for certain new industry relationships. In addition, practitioners report their industry relationships and activities, as well as those of their immediate family members, to the UH Office of Outside Interests annually. We review these reports and implement management plans, as appropriate, to address conflicts of interest that may arise in connection with medical research, clinical care and purchasing decisions.

View UH’s policy (PDF) on practitioner-industry relationships.

As of December 31, 2016, Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD disclosed the following Outside Relationships with Industry:

Jansen Pharmaceuticals - Consulting payments

Exact Sciences - Intellectual Property

Exact Sciences - Other

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