He graduated cum laude in molecular biology from Princeton University in 1987 and received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in 1991. Agus completed his residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital and completed his oncology fellowship training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He spent two years at the National Institutes of Health as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-NIH Research Scholar.
Agus has had a long and varied career. At the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, he was an attending physician in the Department of Medical Oncology and head of the Laboratory of Tumor Biology. He was also Assistant Professor of Medicine at Cornell University Medical Center.
As director of the Spielberg Family Center for Applied Proteomics at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, he led a multidisciplinary team of researchers dedicated to the development and use of proteomic technologies to guide doctors in making health-care decisions tailored to individual needs. The center grew out of earlier clinical projects at Cedars-Sinai, where Agus served as an attending physician in oncology, which showed striking differences between the aggressiveness of prostate cancer in certain patients and their ability to respond to treatment.
Agus also formerly served as Director of the Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center, and as an attending physician in the Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was also an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
He currently is a Professor of Medicine and Engineering at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and is the Director of the USC Center for Applied Molecular Medicine and the USC Westside Norris Cancer Center. Agus is co-Director of the USC-National Cancer Institute Physical Sciences in Oncology Center together with Danny Hillis and Murray Gell-Mann. Agus chairs the Global Agenda Council (GAC) on Genetics for the World Economic Forum, and speaks regularly at TEDMED, the Aspen Ideas Festival and the World Economic Forum.
Agus has received many honors and awards, including the American Cancer Society Physician Research Award, a Clinical Scholar Award from the Sloan-Kettering Institute, a CaP CURE Young Investigator Award and the American Society of Clinical Oncology Fellowship Award, the HealthNetwork Foundation’s Excellence Award, and the 2009 Geoffrey Beene Foundation’s Rock Stars of Science™, as seen in GQ. In 2009, he was selected to serve as a judge for the first Biotech Humanitarian Award.
Agus’s research has focused on the use of technology to model cancer and the body as a complex system and the development of new therapeutics to treat cancer. He has published many scientific articles.
He is a member of several scientific and medical societies, including the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association for Cancer Research, American College of Physicians, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the American Medical Association.
Agus was named one of the "Future Health 100" by HealthSpottr.
"The End of Illness" is Agus's first book, was published January, 2012 by the Free Press Division of Simon & Schuster and is a New York Times #1 and international Bestseller.
Agus became a contributor for CBS News in 2013 and appears regularly on CBS this Morning. His second book, A Short Guide to a Long Life, was published in January, 2014 by Simon & Schuster and is a New York Times and international Bestseller. His third book, The Lucky Years: How to live in the age of smart medicine, was published in January 2016, and is a New York Times bestseller.
Agus is married to Amy Joyce Povich, actress and daughter of syndicated television talk show host Maury Povich. Her stepmother, Connie Chung, is a former CBS News anchor. Agus’ grandfather, Rabbi Jacob B. Agus, was a theologian and the author of several books on Jewish history and philosophy. Agus has two children, Sydney and Miles.
Agus has one film credit to his name, appearing as “David Agus” in the 2006 documentary “Who Needs Sleep?” Agus was also the physician to Johnny Ramone during his battle with prostate cancer.