Leo Furcht, MD

Allen-Pardee Professor and Head, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

Leo Furcht

Contact Info


Office Phone 612-626-0622

Fax 612-626-2696

Mailing Address:
MMC 609 Mayo
420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Allen-Pardee Professor and Head, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

Pathologist, Head, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

SUNY State University of New York, Health Science Center, MD, 1972

University of Minnesota (Clinical Pathology intern and resident), 1972-1975

Columbia University, New York, NY (Pre-Medicine), BA, 1968


Leo T. Furcht is Allen-Pardee Professor and Head of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Division of Molecular Pathology and Genomics. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for University of Minnesota Physicians, the Medical School practice plan with approximately 700 physicians, from 2004-2014. For a three-year period in the 90’s he served as Vice Provost for Research of the University of Minnesota Health Sciences and established a research services organization to provide turnkey solutions for faculty and companies to facilitate clinical trials.

Furcht served as the President of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) a biomedical research advocacy organization with over 125,000 members and 23 constituent societies from 2006-2007. Prior to this he served as Vice President for Science Policy and led a FASEB program on conflict of interest in biomedical research. Furcht was also founding director of the Biomedical Engineering Center and led early efforts focused on biomedical MEMS, stem cells and molecular diagnostics. He was also founding director MD/ PhD program at the University of Minnesota and was principal investigator of the initial grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Medical Scientist Training Program for the MD/PhD program. He played the lead role in establishing a highly regarded Center for Immunology at the University of Minnesota. Early in his career Furcht received a Research Career Development Award from the NIH and later a NCI Merit award.

Furcht served on two American Association of Medical Colleges / American Association of Universities Task Forces working on issues surrounding academia industry interactions and issues regarding medical education and clinical research. He has testified in Congressional hearings on NIH budget re-authorization, before Institute of Medicine committees on scientific issues including embryonic stem cell research and a Presidential commission on the dual use of biological organisms.

Furcht has published more than 175 scientific papers and holds more than 30 patents in the fields of polypeptides, biomaterials, and adult stem cells.  He was profiled in the Medical School’s Impact Medicine campaign under the title “Dr. Leo Furcht Creates a Legacy Many Aspire to Achieve.” 

Awards & Recognition

  • Recipient Research Career Development Award, NCI/NIH, 1980 - 1985
  • Recipient NIH/NCI MERIT Award: "Molecular Mechanisms in Metastasis", NIH, 1989 - present
  • Endowed Chair, "Allen-Pardee Professor", University of Minnesota Medical School, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, 1987 - present

Professional Associations

  • Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Medical Association

Board Appointments

  • University of Minnesota Physicians Group: Chair, Board of Directors – 2004-2014. Chair, Executive Committee - 2004-2014?
  • Board of Directors, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB represents 27 scientific societies and 125,000 researchers world wide) 
    • President-Elect, FASEB – 2005-2006
    • President, FASEB – 2006-2007
    • Immediate Past-President, FASEB – 2007-2008


Research Summary/Interests

  • tumor cell behavior and metastasis
  • extracellular matrix proteins and receptors
  • stem cells
  • biotechnology


  • Hoffman, W. and Furcht, L. Divergence, convergence, and innovation: East-West bioscience in an anxious age.Asian Biotechnology and Development Review 16 (3): 3-23, 2014.
  • Hoffman, W. and Furcht, L.T. The Biologist’s Imagination: Innovation in the Biosciences (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).
  • Furcht, L.T., and Hoffman, W. The Stem Cell Dilemma, second edition (New York: Arcade Publishing, 2011).
  • DeLarco, J.E., Park, C.A., Dronava, H., Furcht, L.T. Cancer Biol. Ther. 9(5):362-70, 2010.
  • Furcht, L.T., and Hoffman, W. Stem Cells. Minnesota Health Care News, 7(3), March 2009.
  • Furcht, L.T., and Hoffman, W. The Stem Cell Dilemma (New York: Arcade Publishing, 2008).
  • Furcht, L.T. and Wolinetz, C.D. What cures will we miss? The effects of reduced funding for biomedical research. Minnesota Physician, XXI (5), August 2007.
  • Brockway LM. and Furcht, L.T. Financial disclosure policies of scientific publications. [Comment letter]. JAMA, 296(4): 2925-6: author reply 2926, 2006.
  • Delarco, J.E., Wuertz, B.R., Furcht, L.T. The potential role of neutrophils in promoting the metastatic phenotype of tumors releasing interleukin-8. Clinical Cancer Research. 10(15):4895-900, 2004.
  • Iida, J., Wilhelmson, K.L., Price, M.A., Wilson, C.M., Pei, D., Furcht, L.T., McCarthy, J.B. Membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase promotes human melanoma invasion and growth. J. of Investigative Dermatology. 122(1):167-76, 2004.

For a full list of Dr. Furcht's publications, Search PubMed.



  • Cell adhesion molecules and tumor metastasis