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Laura Q.M. Chow, M.D., FRCPC

Laura Q.M. Chow, M.D., FRCPC Photo

Provider Type: Physician

Board Certifications:
  • Medical Oncology


General Summary

Laura Chow is a medical oncology physician and professor who has achieved international recognition for her expertise in defining and setting the standard of clinical care, research and education of head and neck cancers (including salivary gland cancers), thyroid cancers, squamous cell cancers and thoracic cancers (non-small cell and small cell lung cancer, mesothelioma, thymoma, thymic cancers) over the past 20 years.

She is a current affiliate faculty member and previously led the clinical, research and education programs at the University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School, Livestrong Cancer Institutes as the former Director of the Head and Neck and Thoracic Cancer Program, Associate Director of Clinical Research and Associate Chair of Education in Oncology, Professor with Tenure in the Department of Oncology. She was also a former adjunct professor and clinical medical oncology faculty member in the Department of Thoracic, Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, University of Texas at MD Anderson.

She has practiced medical oncology in the clinic seeing patients, training medical students, residents and oncology fellows and has led Phase I Clinical trials research programs to develop multiple novel targeted and immunotherapy treatments for head and neck cancers, gastroesophageal cancers, thyroid cancers and lung cancers in the USA and Canada while serving on international and national clinical care guideline and research committees.


  • Subspecialty Fellowship in Phase I Clinical Trial and Drug Development Lung Cancer
    University of Colorado, Denver, CO
  • Fellowship in Medical Oncology
    University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Residency in Internal Medicine
    University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Medical Doctorate
    University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Accolades & Memberships

  • American Association of Clinical Research (AACR)
  • AACR Scientific Program Committee member (2015-2016) , AACR Women in Cancer Research member and mentor (2015)
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
  • ASCO Lung Cancer Education Track Leader, Education, and Scientific Committee Member (2012-2015)
  • ASCO Diversity Mentoring Program Member (2022)
  • ASCO Oncology Student Interest Group Faculty advisory member (2020-2022)
  • ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation Mentorship Award (2021-2022)
  • ASCO Core Symptom and Oral Chemotherapy Measures Panel Member (2019-2021)
  • ASCO representative for the American College of Radiology for Head and Neck Cancer (2021-2023)
  • ASCO measures steering group liaison to the Head and Neck Cancer Guideline Advisory Group Member (2018-2022)
  • American Head and Neck Society (AHNS)
  • AHNS faculty educator and invited speaker 2016
  • European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Cancer Institute (NCI) - (2006-2022)
  • NIH Head and Neck SPORE Grant Reviewer 2020, NCI Head, and neck cancer (PULA) Steering Committee
  • Member and Special Expert (2019-2022)
  • NCI Head and Neck Clinical Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Trials Working Group (2014)
  • Clinical Immunotherapy Trials Network Member and Clinical Advisor to Steering Committee (2011-2022)
  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)
  • NCCN Guideline Committee Member, small cell lung cancer committee (2010-2017)
  • Society for Immunotherapy in the Treatment of Cancer (SITC) 
  • SITC Faculty educator (2016-2022), SCION immunotherapy clinical trials workshop immunotherapy faculty and educator (2019-2024)
  • International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)
  • IASLC Membership Committee Member (2018-2021)
  • Texas Medical Association, Travis County Medical Society

Clinical Care and Awards

  • Chief Oncology Fellow, Tom Baker Cancer Center, Calgary, AB, Canada (2003-2004)
  • Clinical Care Award, Dell Medical School, Austin, TX (2021, 2022)
  • Clinical Care Award, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA (2016)
  • Clinical Care Award, University of Washington Lung Cancer Research Program (2011)
  • Guardian Angel Donor Award for Clinical Care Excellence (2008)
  • Ottawa Regional Cancer Center, Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • Clinical Care Award, Ottawa Regional Cancer Center Foundation (2007, 2008, 2009)

Previous Medical Practice

  • University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School, Professor and Affiliate faculty, Austin, TX (November 2022 to current)
  • University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School, Livestrong Cancer Institutes, Austin, TX
  • Professor with Tenure, Department of Oncology (04/2019-11/2022)
  • Lung, Head and Neck Cancer and Clinical Immunotherapy Program Director
  • Associate Cancer Center Director for Clinical Research
  • Associate Chair of Education in Oncology
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, Adjunct Professor and Clinical Faculty Medical Oncologist – Department of Thoracic, Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, Houston, TX (02/2021-10/2022)
  • Dell Seton Medical Center, Ascension Seton, Medical Oncologist, Austin, TX (2019 - current)
  • University of Washington, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA (2009-2019)
  • Professor of Medicine, Division of Oncology, Clinical and Education track (2018)
  • Associate Director Phase I Clinical Trials Program, Seattle, WA (11/2013 – 03/2019)
  • Thoracic, Head and Neck Cancer Medical Oncologist
  • The University of Ottawa, the Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (08/2006 – 11/2009)
  • Assistant Professor and Medical Oncology physician treating thoracic and esophageal and gastric cancers
  • Deputy Head Phase I Developmental Therapeutics Program
  • Director Medical Student Education in Oncology

Research Interest

Impactful and international invited speaker, teacher, and key thought leader in thoracic and
head and neck malignancy research with the development of novel first-in human targeted
therapies and immunotherapies in head and neck cancer and lung cancer with more than 80
peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals including the New England Journal of

Notable top five selected publications (out of 85):

  • Chow, Laura QM, Barlesi F, Bertino EM et al. ASCEND-7: Efficacy and Safety of Ceritinib Treatment in Patients With ALK-Positive Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer Metastatic to the Brain and/or Leptomeninges. Clin Cancer Res. 2022;28(12):2 506-2516 (design and chair of international study).
  • Chow Laura QM, Head and Neck Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine, 2020, 382:60-72 (invited review from the Editor defining the updated treatment of head and neck cancer).
  • Chow LQ, Haddad R, Gupta S et al. Antitumor activity of pembrolizumab in biomarker- unselected patients with recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC): results from the KEYNOTE-012 expansion cohort. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2016, 34:3838-3845.- clinical lead of the study leading to the first approved PD-1 inhibitor in head and neck cancer.
  • Shaw AT, Kim D-W, Mehra R, Tan D, Felip E, Chow LQM, et al. Ceritinib in ALK-Rearranged Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. 2014, 370:1189-1197 (principal investigator in study that led to accelerated FDA approval of drug for lung cancer).
  • Brahmer JR, Tykodi S, Chow LQM, et al. Safety and Activity of Anti-PD-L1 Antibody in Patients with Advanced Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. 366:2455-2465 (2012 ). Principal investigator of the first-in human study of the novel PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors that would establish the standard of care of immunotherapy in lung cancer.

Other Information

Dr Chow is a board and fellowship certified medical oncologist in both USA and Canada who arrived in Austin in April 2019 to help build the oncology programs at the new medical school. In November 2022, she left her academic position to develop new cancer drugs for head and neck and lung cancers as the Vice President of Clinical Development for a biotechnology company remotely and did not want to give up her love of patient care or living in Austin. She is available for consultations and second opinions and oncology expertise specialty care of head and neck, thyroid and lung cancers. She enjoys cycling, hiking, and running, fitness classes, cooking and spending time with her young son and husband.