Patient Story

Saint Luke’s Innovation Week Profile: Dr. Janakiraman Subramanian


"Patients first. Without patients, there is no research."

Janakiraman Subramanian, MD, once thought of studying entomology. The insect world's loss, however, was humanity's gain.

Dr. Subramanian grew up in Chennai, India and graduated from Sri Ramachandra Medical College. His father was a physics professor and his mother was a homemaker. It was his father who persuaded him to pursue medicine.

He moved to the U.S. in 2001 and finished his residency at St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield, MO (no relation to our Saint Luke's Health System). During his fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, a mentor inspired him to specialize in thoracic medical oncology.

“The work he did changed the paradigm of how we treat patients with lung cancer. That is an impressive achievement. At the same time, his bedside manner with patients was also quite impressive. I was expecting that oncologists would be very forthright when communicating with patients. But with him, I learned that you can do it with compassion and give them hope that the diagnosis is not the end of the journey.”

Today, Dr. Subramanian is a beloved Saint Luke's oncologist and director of the Saint Luke's Center for Precision Oncology. He has authored multiple scientific articles and has been the lead investigator in a number of clinical trials focused on lung cancer.

Dr. Subramanian's passion and commitment to his patients was the driving force behind his involvement in creating Saint Luke's precision oncology program. This program uses computational biology and tumor genomics to identify each patient's unique tumor drivers and develop an individualized treatment plan to attack their specific cancer.

He wants to give more patients hope and help them understand although lung cancer is a serious diagnosis, it's not a death sentence. People can live productive and active lives while being treated for lung cancer.

Lung cancer care improved significantly over the past five years, and Dr. Subramanian is very optimistic about Saint Luke's research and our ability to advance care for patients.

"Patients first," said Dr. Subramanian. "Without patients, there is no research."

Join us for more ground-breaking research stories this week during Saint Luke's Innovation Week.