David Goldenberg was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. The son of Ukrainian and Polish immigrants, Dr. Goldenberg attended Stuyvesant High School in New York City, and in tenth grade was awarded a Ford Foundation Early Entrance scholarship to attend college. He matriculated at the University of Chicago’s affiliate, Shimer College, at the age of 16, and then transferred to the main campus in Chicago two years later.
After receiving his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago in 1958, Dr. Goldenberg continued his graduate education in Germany, earning an Sc.D. degree from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg Faculty of Natural Sciences (1965), and an M.D. (magna cum laude) from the University of Heidelberg Faculty of Medicine (1966). Following postgraduate training in Erlangen, Dr. Goldenberg embarked on his academic career. He served as Associate Research Professor of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh (1968-70), Associate Professor of Pathology at Temple University (and Director of Clinical Cytogenetics) (1970-72), Associate and then Professor of Pathology at the University of Kentucky Medical Center (and Director the Division of Experimental Pathology, Director of Clinical Cytogenetics, and also Director of Electron Microscopy), and finally Adjunct Professor of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry’s medical school in Newark. In Kentucky, he was also Founder and President of the university’s Ephraim McDowell Community Cancer Network, supported by the National Cancer Institute (1976-82). From 1979-80, he conducted research on sabbatical leave at the National Cancer Institute of the NIH in Bethesday, Maryland, at the invitation of the Director of the NCI.
In 1983, Dr. Goldenberg moved to New Jersey, founding and serving as President of the NCI-funded Center for Molecular Medicine and Immunology (1983-present), In the early 1980’s, Dr. Goldenberg also founded the biopharmaceutical company, Immunomedics, Inc., to develop antibody-based diagnostics and therapeutics for cancer and certain autoimmune diseases. From 1982 to 2017, Dr. Goldenberg served as Chairman of the Board of Immunomedics, as well as in various leadership roles, including Chief Executive Officer, Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Patent Officer. He was inventor and principal developer of the antibody-drug conjugate, Trodelvy®, approved by the FDA for the treatment of metastatic, recurrent triple-negative breast cancer in 2020, and for metastatic, recurrent urothelial cancer in 2021. Immunomedics was purchased by Gilead Sciences in October 2020.
Dr. Goldenberg is the inventor of over 200 scientific patents. He has published more than 900 peer-reviewed articles, and has edited two books and 14 journal supplements. He has collaborated and published with investigators at American universities and medical centers, and at international research centers including the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, the Weizmann Institute of Sciences in Rehovot, Israel, Nijmegen University in The Netherlands, Nantes University in France, Lilly University in France, Queens University in London, England, and the University of Göttingen in Germany. He has served on the editorial board of over 25 medical journals. His articles have been cited over 60,000 times in the medical literature, earning him an h-index of 120 in 2022, a distinguished achievement.
Dr. Goldenberg has been honored with numerous national and international awards in recognition of his pioneering contributions to science and medicine, particularly in the development of radioimmunodetection and radioimmunotherapy — two terms he coined for the cancer diagnostic and treatment technologies he invented based on radiolabeled antibodies. Honors include:
University of Kentucky Research Foundation Award (1978)
German Fund for Cancer Research, Silver Medallion and Certificate (1979)
National Cancer Institute, Outstanding Investigator Award (1985 and 1992)
New Jersey Pride Award in Science and Technology (1986)
Otto Herz Lecturer of Tel Aviv University Faculty of Life Sciences (1991)
British Institute of Radiology, 3M Mayneord Memorial Award and Lectureship (1991)
International Society of Oncodevelopmental Biology and Medicine, Abbott Prize Co-Awardee (1994)
Society of Nuclear Medicine of India, Sabrarhai Memorial Oration Award (1994)
Inventor of the Year, New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame, Research and Development Council of NJ (2005)
Society of Nuclear Medicine, Paul Aebersold Award (2005)
Since retiring from full-time research in 2017, Dr. Goldenberg has continued to publish scientific articles and to be an invited lecturer. Recently, he has turned to writing novels focused on medical research and espionage. He is currently working on sequels to The Scenturion Spy, his first book.
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