Paul Sondel, MD, PhD

Position title: Professor, Research Director

Division of Hematology, Oncology & Bone Marrow Transplant
For Academic Inquiries: (608) 263-6691


BS, University of WisconsinMadison, Madison, Wisconsin
PhD, Immunogenetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
MD, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
Internship, Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Residency, Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 

Professional Activities

Dr. Paul Sondel is tenured professor and research director in the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplant. Since 1990, he has led or co-led the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center’s efforts in advancing immunology and immunotherapy. Sondel is a leader in scientific policy translation and serves on multiple national committees, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), where he contributes to the development of curative treatments for childhood cancers. Additionally, he previously served as a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), as well as chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee and external cancer center advisory board at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. 

Clinical Interests

Sondel’s clinical interests include childhood cancers, with an emphasis on leukemias; bone marrow transplantation, and neuroblastoma. This clinical work is closely linked to his research interests in cancer immunotherapy. 

Research Interests

Sondel’s laboratory pursues preclinical and clinical analyses of graft-versus-leukemia reactions, anti-tumor immune destruction with Interleukin-2 and tumor reactive monoclonal antibodies to facilitate tumor killing by leukocytes, and preclinical combination immunotherapy strategies. These studies have moved into clinical testing, with some demonstrating clear clinical benefits. This includes the use of anti-GD2 antibody as an FDA-approved treatment for high-risk neuroblastoma. Sondel has published more than 400 scientific articles and chapters and has trained more than 70 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in his laboratory. The NCI has supported his research since 1982. He received a seven-year Outstanding Investigator Grant from the NCI in 2015, the Richard V. Smalley Memorial Award from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) in 2017, and the Edward H. Ahrens, Jr. Distinguished Investigator Award from the Association for Clinical and Translational Research (ACTS) in 2021.