Alan N. Houghton, MD -- Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, Department of Medicine; Lloyd J. Old Chair in Clinical Investigation

Alan Houghton, MD

Medical Oncologist


Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, Department of Medicine

Clinical Expertise

Melanoma; Immunotherapy; Cancer Vaccines

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Accepted Insurance Providers

Dr. Houghton accepts the following list of insurance providers. Select your insurance provider to see more details.

Contact and Location

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Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offers many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.

About Me


MD, University of Connecticut School of Medicine


University of Connecticut School of Medicine


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Board Certifications

Internal Medicine; Medical Oncology

I am a physician-scientist with a special expertise in cancer immunology, the study of the immune system and cancer. I also have a particular focus on understanding and treating melanoma, and I have developed novel treatments for this deadly form of skin cancer.

My research is focused on understanding both how the immune system recognizes cancer and how it rejects cancer. My colleagues and I conducted a clinical trial that was the first to show that a monoclonal antibody could significantly shrink a solid tumor — in this case melanoma. Additional studies in my laboratory have identified molecules and molecular targets on cancer cells that may be useful for therapy and many of these are being evaluated in clinical trials. These trials are investigating glycolipids, peptides, and DNA. The vaccines are being evaluated in people with metastatic melanoma, prostate, breast, pancreatic, and small-cell lung cancers, soft tissue sarcoma, and other cancers.

Over the years, I have published more than 300 scientific papers and books, including a definitive textbook on melanoma entitled Cutaneous Melanoma (QMP Publishing, St. Louis). I am also actively involved in training young scientists, medical students, and clinicians who are interested in careers in biomedical research. I currently hold the Lloyd J. Old Chair in Clinical Investigation and am Co-Leader of the Melanoma Disease Management Team, and Head of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. I am also a Professor of Medicine & Immunology at Weill-Cornell Medical School.

In addition to my clinical and research activities at Memorial Sloan Kettering, I am actively involved in oncology on a national level. I served as Chairman of the National Cancer Center Networks Melanoma Committee and Co-Chairman of the Melanoma Study Group of the national cooperative clinical trials group CALGB. I had also served for ten years as an Editor of the Journal of Experiment Medicine.

My work has been recognized by various awards including the Boyer Award for Clinical Research, the C. Chester Stock Award, the Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Skin Association, the Cancer Research Institute Investigator Award, the Muscular Dystrophy Association Distinguished Achievement Award, and the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Award in Clinical Medicine. In 2009, Memorial Sloan Kettering establishedthe Alan Houghton Chair in Immunology in my honor.


Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.

Clinical Trials

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Find a Clinical Trial for You

Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.

You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.

Research and Publications

View Dr. Houghton's Lab

Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Houghton’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.