Dr. Kiran K. Velpula 

University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria

Dr. Kiran K. Velpula is an assistant professor in the Cancer Biology & Pharmacology and Neurological Surgery departments at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria (UICOMP). In addition to instructing medical students, he runs the cutting-edge Velpula Neuro-Oncology Lab, working to create new therapies for deadly brain cancers.

An international leader in cancer research, Dr. Velpula focuses his efforts on starving brain tumors of their energy in novel ways. He works with collaborators across North America and currently oversees a team of eight mentees, including six medical students, OSF neurosurgeon Dr. Andrew Tsung and OSF neuropathologist Dr. Sarah Bach. He has mentored students ranging from high schoolers to neurosurgery residents, imparting his wisdom and passion while paving the way for the next generation of cancer researchers.

Dr. Velpula is an invited peer reviewer for more than 15 scientific journals and sits on two editorial boards. He is credited with 39 scientific publications, including 29 novel research articles, five review papers, two editorials and two book chapters. He has also been the presenting author on 15 posters at international oncology conferences and holds memberships in numerous international cancer research societies.

Deeply committed to the Peoria community, Dr. Velpula has built a close partnership with Mark Linder Walk for the Mind, raising money for brain cancer research in memory of the Peorian who died from brain cancer in 2005. For the last four years, he and his team have volunteered at fundraising events and the namesake walk, working to inspire hope in families affected by this devastating disease. He also volunteers heavily with UICOMP, serves on multiple committees for the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, and volunteers with Peoria Public Schools’ Horizons Club program.

Dr. Velpula won UICOMP’s 2016-2017 Outstanding Research Award with his co-principal investigator, Dr. Tsung, and recently received an International Outstanding Faculty Award. He was also invited to become an Early Career Reviewer in molecular oncogenesis at the National Institutes of Health, one of the few scientists in the country who helps allocate national funds to labs based on grant proposals. iBi

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