Richard E. Phillips, a Presidential Assistant Professor of Neurology and member of the Penn Epigenetics Institute, is fairly new to the Penn Medicine family and the city of Philadelphia. Originally from England, Phillips made his way to the United States after graduating from medical school at King’s College London. He completed his internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, a residency in Neurology at Harvard/MGH Brigham in Boston, and a fellowship in Neuro-Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where he stayed on as faculty. But in November 2020, he made the move to Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine.
Phillips says he was drawn to Penn for a variety of reasons—but particularly for its efforts in the brain tumor field. “Not only does Penn have a fantastic clinical brain tumor operation for patients, it has the research and infrastructure for top-level science—in addition to infrastructure to translate science into therapies,” Phillips says.
“I went into neurology because I find the brain fascinating. It can affect any aspect of your being when your brain isn’t working — your thoughts, vision, strength. Every aspect of one’s humanity is controlled by the brain,” says Phillips.
“There are a lot of different types of brain tumors, but my focus is in gliomas—these are the most common and most aggressive primary brain tumor (meaning they arise in the brain).
“Although outcomes vary depending on the type of glioma a patient has, I think it is fair to say we really need new, better treatments. Maybe 10 years ago, pancreatic cancer, melanoma, and glioma were three types of cancers which were the amongst the hardest to treat; they were still in the ‘basement.’ Now, melanoma has left the basement, thanks to advances in immunotherapy. Glioma hasn’t moved up yet.”
Read more at Penn Medicine News.