What is your background?

I’m a cancer biologist.  I received my PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and went on to complete fellowship training in molecular biology and tumor virology at Cold Spring Harbor, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and Case Western Reserve.  I’ve conducted research in the study of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer for the past 30 years (Mayo Clinic, Yale, and Medical College of Georgia), with a special interest in the EGFR/HER family of growth factor receptors.  Our laboratory is working to develop new cancer diagnostics and biologically targeted therapeutics for cancer patients.

What area will you be working in at UMMC? 

I was recruited to help build an NCI-Designated Cancer Center at UMMC.  I’ve been involved in cancer center leadership most of my career.  Such centers form the backbone of NCI’s programs for studying and controlling cancer. There are only 70 NCI-Designated cancer centers located in 36 states; the State of Mississippi has never had such a center – yet we have specific needs in our community.  By serving those needs with evidence-based findings, our center will not only better serve our patients, we also will help to inform national research and treatment priorities.

What are you most looking forward to working at UMMC? 

I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with newly recruited leadership (Depts of Medicine, Pathology, and the Cancer Institute) toward goals of mutual interest, including strengthening our translational and clinical research capabilities at UMMC.  As you know, it’s really an exceptional period of discovery in biomedical sciences – discovery that is rapidly being translated into more tailored approaches to each patient’s needs (‘precision medicine’).  It’s truly a privilege to be here – and I look forward to getting to know my new colleagues in the Department of Medicine better.


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