Jonathan Riess, M.D., M.S.

Jonathan Wesley Riess, M.D., M.S.



Lung Disease

Head and Neck Cancer


Internal Medicine


  • Associate Professor


To see if Jonathan Wesley Riess is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

2279 45th Street
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:

Additional Phone Numbers

Clinic Fax: 916-703-5265
Clinic Referral Phone: 916-703-5210
Physician Referrals: 800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Clinical Interests

Dr. Riess is Medical Director of Thoracic Oncology.  Dr. Riess' clinical interests include lung cancer and other thoracic cancers (mesothelioma and thymoma) as well as head and neck cancers. He currently serves on the Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer/Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma/Thymomas and Thymic Carcinomas Panel for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). Dr Riess seeks to deliver exceptional clinical care by leveraging advances at UC Davis in novel diagnostics, targeted therapies and immunotherapy, while providing effective symptom management with a holistic approach towards patient care. 

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Riess' research interests encompass novel diagnostics, targeted therapies and immunotherapies in lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. He is the past recipient of the National Cancer Institute Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award given to researchers who are working to improve the lives of people with cancer through extensive involvement in NCI-funded collaborative clinical trials and whose leadership, participation and activities promote clinical trials and research. He is also the past (co)recipient of the Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Van Auken Foundation Young Innovators Team Award.



Hematology and Oncology

Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center


M.D., Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Camden NJ 2006

M.S., Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Stanford University, Stanford CA 2013

B.A., Swarthmore College, Swarthmore PA 2000

Internship: Internal Medicine, UC San Francisco, San Francisco CA 2007


Internal Medicine, UC San Francisco, San Francisco CA 2006-2009


Hematology/Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford CA 2009-2011

Board Certifications

American Board of Internal Medicine,

American Board of Internal Medicine, Hematology,

American Board of Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology,

Professional Memberships

Alpha Omega Alpha

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

American Society of Clinical Oncology

Association of Northern California Oncologists (ANCO)

California Cancer Consortium

International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer

International Thymic Malignancy Interest Group

Southwest Oncology Group

Honors and Awards

Adi Gazdar Translational Research Lectureship Award. 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer. Vienna, Austria, 2016

Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Van Auken Foundation Young Innovator in Lung Cancer, 2014

NIH K12 Career Development Award. UC Davis School of Medicine, 2013

Stanford Cancer Institute Developmental Cancer Research Award (with Joel Neal, MD, Ph.D.), 2012

NIH KL2 Clinical Research Scholar Award Recipient. Stanford University School of Medicine, 2011

Stanley S. Bergen Medal of Excellence. Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, 2006

Alpha Omega Alpha, 2006

Robert Wood Johnson Summer Research Fellowship, 2003

Select Recent Publications

For a comprehensive list of Riess' publications, please click here.

Chen JA, Riess JW. Advances in targeting acquired resistance mechanisms to epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors. J Thorac Dis. 2020 May;12(5): 2859-2876. doi:10.21037/jtd.2019.08.32. PMID:32642199.

Schrock AB, Madison R, Rosenzweig M, Allen JM, Erlich RL, Wang S-Y, Chidiac T, Reddy VS, Riess JW, Yassa AE, A Shakir, Miller VA, Alexander BM, Venstrom J, McGregor K, Ali SM. Patients with NSCLCs Harboring Internal Inversions or Deletion Rearrangements of the ALK Gene Have Durable Responses to ALK Kinase Inhibitors. Lung Cancer (Aucklands). 2020;11: 33-39. Published online 2020 Apr 17. doi:10.2147/LCTT.S239675. PMID:32368168.

Riess JW, Kong CS, West RB, Padda SK, Neal JW, Wakelee HA, Le QT. Increased Galectin-1 Expression in Thymic Epithelial Tumors. Clinical Lung Cancer. 2019 Dec 20;20(3): e356-e361. doi:10.1016/j.cllc.2018.12.005. PMID:30773448.

Blakely CM, Riess JW. Interpretation of ceritinib clinical trial results and future combination therapy strategies for ALK-rearranged NSCLC. Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2019 Dec;19(12):1061-1075. doi:10.1080/14737140.2019.1699792. Epub 2019 Dec 6.

Benjamin DJ, Klapheke A, Lara PN, Cress RD, Riess JW. A Population-Based Study of Incidence and Survival of 1588 Thymic Malignancies:Results From the California Cancer Registry. Clin Lung Cancer. 2019 Nov;20(6):477-483. doi:10.1016/j.cllc.2019.06.005. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

Chu LP, Franck D, Parachoniak CA, Gregg JP, Moore MG, Farwell DG, Rao S, Heilmann AM, Erlich RL, Ross JS, Miller VA, Ali S, Riess JW. MET Genomic Alterations in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC): Rapid Response to Crizotinib in a Patient with HNSCC with a Novel MET R1004G Mutation. Oncologist. 2019 Oct;24(10):1305-1308. doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0230. Epub 2019 Aug 7.

Lara MS, Afify A, Ellis MP, Phan CT, Richman DP, Riess JW. Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor-Induced Myasthenia Gravis in a Patient with Advanced NSCLC and Remote History of Thymoma. Clinical Lung Cancer. 2019 Jul;20(4): e489-e491. doi:10.1016/j.cllc.2019.04.007. Epub 2019 Apr 19.

Narayanan A, Knollmann FD, Walby JAS, Lim S, Gandara DR, Riess JW. EBV-positive Primary Pulmonary Lymphoepithelioma-like Carcinoma Response to PD-L1 Blockade. Clin Lung Cancer. 2019 May;20(3):e238-e241. doi:10.1016/j.cllc.2018.12.015. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

Levy B, Paz-Ares L, Bennouna J, Felip E, Abreu DR, Isla D, Barlesi F, Molinier O, Madelaine J, Audigier-Valette C, Kim SW, Kim HR, Ozguroglu M, Erman M, Badin FB, Mekhail TM, Scheff R, Chisamore MJ, Sadrolhefazi B, Riess JW. Afatinib With Pembrolizumab for Treatment of Patients With Locally Advanced/Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Lung: The LUX-Lung IO/KEYNOTE 497 Study Protocol. Clin Lung Cancer. 2019 May;20(3):e407-e412. doi:10.1016/j.cllc.2018.12.022. Epub 2019 Jan 4.

Leonardi GC, Gainor JF, Altan M, Kravets S, Dahlberg SE, Gedmintas L, Azimi R, Rizvi H, Riess JW, Hellmann MD, Awad MM. Safety of Programmed Death-1 Pathway Inhibitors Among Patients With Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer and Preexisting Autoimmune Disorders. J Clinical Oncol. 2018 Jul;36(19):1905-1912. doi:10.1200/JCO.2017.77.0305. Epub 2018 May 10.