Ajjai Alva received his medical training in India and then performed laboratory research on cancer cell death at the University of Maryland in College Park and at the NIH, obtaining a MS degree in Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics. His thesis research on non-canonical forms of cell death and their potential use in cancer therapeutics was published in the journal Science. He went on to complete his Internal Medicine residency in Maryland as well before joining the University of Michigan for a Hematology and Oncology fellowship which he completed in 2010. During his fellowship, he conducted laboratory work in the lab of Dr Kenneth Pienta on mechanisms of prostate cancer metastases to bone and clinical research in urologic cancers under the guidance of Dr Maha Hussain.
As faculty, I am a clinical investigator and translational researcher with expertise in medical oncology clinical trials with a particular focus on translating breakthrough laboratory advances in genomics into precision therapeutics. I am an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, specializing in urologic cancers and pan- cancer trials. I also have a weekly prostate cancer clinic at the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs hospital where I am Principal Investigator of a Prostate Cancer Foundation Center of Excellence Award to implement precision oncology for prostate cancer.
I am a recipient of a NCI Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award and past Co-Chair of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium’s GU Group. I am a Principal Investigator on 15 active clinical trials including several investigator-initiated precision oncology clinical trials in genomically-defined cancer subsets including a national immunotherapy trial for cancers with loss of the CDK12 gene (NCT03570619). I also serve as site Principal Investigator on several pan-cancer trials such as ASCO TAPUR and NCI MATCH.
Additionally, I serve as the University of Michigan Sponsor Principal Investigator for the P30 Supplement for Access to Experimental Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network (ETCTN) Agents at University of Michigan. I have leadership positions in multi-site organizations such as SWOG (GU committee member), ASCO TAPUR (Steering Committee and Molecular Tumor Board member) and the NCCN Oncology Research Program Investigator Steering Committee.