Dr Robert Nagourney in lab coat picture


Robert Nagourney, MD

Dr. Robert Nagourney has been a pioneer in cancer research and personalized cancer treatment for over 20 years. He is the founder and medical director of Rational Therapeutics and a Clinical Professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine.  

He is a practicing oncologist and triple board certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Hematology. 

Dr. Nagourney is an internationally recognized speaker (see sample TedX talk here), an active blogger and author of the book Outliving Cancer.

He has been featured on national and local television such as CNN, ABC World News Tonight, CNBC, Extra, Hard Copy, Fox 11 Los Angeles, KTLA 5 and major newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times.  

Click here for a short video collage of a few of his appearances.

He has also served as a journal reviewer and on the editorial boards of several journals including Clinical Cancer Research, British Journal of Cancer, Gynecologic Oncology, Cancer Research and the Journal of Medicinal Food.

Educational Background

Undergraduate Education

Boston University, BA Chemistry
Summa Cum Laude
Phi Beta Kappa with Distinction in Biochemistry

Medical Education  

McGill University, Montreal, Canada
University Scholar


Internal Medicine
University of California Irvine, Long Beach VA Medical Center


Medical Oncology
Georgetown University Hospital, Washington DC


Scripps Clinical & Research Institute, La Jolla CA
Recipient of the Scripps Institute Young Investigator Award

Professional Experience

In 1986, Dr. Nagourney co-founded Oncotech with Larry Weisenthal, MD, PhD. After serving as the medical director, he left Oncotech in 1991 to focus his full attention on the study of drug-induced programmed cell death in human tumor primary cultures. Recognizing the profound impact that these discoveries would have upon the practice of clinical oncology, he accepted the position of Director of Experimental Therapeutics at Long Beach Memorial in California.

Convinced that the broad application of Ex Vivo Analysis had the potential to revolutionize patient care, Dr. Nagourney founded Rational Therapeutics in 1993, where he pioneered the use of "functional profiling" to create the world’s first personalized cancer therapy program.

With the desire to change how cancer care is delivered, he accepted the position as Medical Director of the Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Memorial in 2003. In 2008, he returned to Rational Therapeutics full-time to rededicate his expertise to expanding the Rational Therapeutics program, nationally and internationally.


With more than 20 years’ experience in human tumor primary culture analyses, Dr. Nagourney has authored more than 100 manuscripts, book chapters and abstracts including publications in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Gynecological Oncology and The Journal of National Cancer Institute.

As co-investigator on national cooperative trials, Dr. Nagourney is recognized for the introduction of Cisplatin/Gemcitabine doublets in the treatment of advanced ovarian and breast cancers.

In March 2013, his book Outliving Cancer was released by Basic Health Publications.  Outliving Cancer is Dr. Nagourney's story of discovery, the biology of cancer and how best to treat it.

Dr. Nagourney also blogs on the latest cancer research, treatment and inspiring patient outcomes.  Please click here to read his latest blog post and/or to sign up to receive new blog posts as soon as they are released.

Clinical Consultations Are Available

Click here for more information on scheduling a consultation with Dr. Nagourney or call our office at 800-542-4357.

If you cannot visit our office in Southern California, we may be able to schedule a phone or video call consult.  


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