Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology


MD - Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
BA - Davidson College, Davidson, NC

Postgraduate Training

University of California, Davis, and San Francisco
University of California, Davis, and San Francisco
Hematology/Oncology - University of Michigan
Board and Certifications
Medicine - American Board of Internal Medicine, 2005
Medical Oncology - American Board of Internal Medicine, 2008
Hematology - American Board of Internal Medicine, 2008
Professional Highlights

Professor Savona is currently the Head of Hematology, Cellular Therapy and Stem Cell Transplant after service as Acting Chief of Hematology, Cellular Therapy and Stem Cell Transplant since 2019. He is also Director of Hematologic Malignancies Research and the Early Therapy Program, and Professor of Internal Medicine and Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University.

He is a physician scientist specializing in myeloid malignancies, Chair of the MDS/MPN International Working Group, and a leader in development of novel therapies for these patients. He has led development and approval of several novel therapies targeting the proteosome, BCL2 family proteins, PI3 kinase delta, the JAK/STAT pathway, and various epigenetic agents. He has been involved medical research for over 20 years, and has published over 100 manuscripts in major academic journals including: Cancer Discovery, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Nature Medicine, Nature Cancer, Blood, Cell Stem Cell, Lancet Oncology, Lancet Haematology, JAMA, and Nature Cancer Reviews.

Dr. Savona founded the Clonal Hematopoiesis Clinic in 2018, and related Vanderilbt collaborative venture, CHIVE: Clonal Hematopoiesis and Inflammation in the VasculaturE, in 2020. CHIVE is a registry, biorepository, and thinktank of experts from multiple medical specialties, genetics, data science and molecular biology focusing on the how clonal hematopoiesis contributes to pathology, in order to develop new therapies to block disease before it starts.

He is a board certified hematologist, an elected fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Clinical Scholar. Dr. Savona obtained his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Davidson College and medical degree at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He did post graduate clinical and research training at the University of California (Davis and San

Francisco), and the University of Michigan. He also served as physician in the United States Air Force and is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Clinical Interest

Clinical Specialty: Clonal hematopoiesis, myeloid diseases, leukemia, clinical trialsAreas of Expertise
Hematology / Oncology
Leukemia, Acute and Chronic
Vanderbilt Hematology Clinic
1301 Medical Center Drive
Suite 3900
Nashville, TN 37232
Preston Research Building
2200 Pierce Avenue
Office Address
Research Keywords

Developmental therapeutics in myeloid disease

Research Description
Our laboratory focuses on hematopoiesis and the biology of myeloid diseases (including acute myeloid leukemia, myelodysplasia, myeloproliferative neoplasms, and MDS/MPN overlap syndromes). Understanding how to attack therapeutic liabilities in myeloid malignancies requires a composite investigation of intrinsic and extrinsic factors in the bone marrow.  We study the genesis of marrow disease in our investigations of clonal hematopoiesis, the marrow niche with human hematopoietic cells in ex vivo organoid model systems, and the effects of therapy and behavior of disease in correlative assays from clinical trials.  Discovering biomarkers of response to therapy, and novel model development is central to our ethos.  The translational tenor with the laboratory emanates from the hopes of advancing discoveries quickly to the clinic.  Our mission is to develop the best therapy as quickly as possible for the appropriate patients.  This mission drives our inquiry into fundamental questions of myeloid biology and the interaction between hematopoietic cells and their environs, our search for meaningful biomarkers of response, and our decisions to develop new therapy in areas of considerable need.