Five Cancer Center Directors Selected as New AACI Leaders

AACI congratulates Roy Jensen, MD, on his election as the associationís Vice President/President-elect. Dr. Jensen is director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center. His term will start on October 23, during the AACI/CCAF annual meeting, in Chicago.

AACI members have also chosen Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, Norman Sharpless, MD, and Eduardo Sotomayor, MD, to serve three-year terms on AACIís Board of Directors. Peter D. Emanuel, MD, will serve a two-year term after being appointed to fill the seat held by Robert DiPaola, MD, who became dean of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine earlier this year.

In 2004 Dr. Jensen was appointed the William R. Jewell, MD Distinguished Kansas Masonic Professor, the director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, the director of the Kansas Masonic Cancer Research Institute, professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Under his leadership, Kansas earned designation as a National Cancer Institute cancer center in 2012. Dr. Jensen has been a member of AACIís board of directors since 2013 and he chaired the associationís 2013 Annual Meeting program committee.

Dr. Knudsen is the third director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) at Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia, an NCI-designated cancer center since 1995. Dr. Knudsen was appointed Director in January 2015 after having served as the Deputy Director and the founding member of the SKCC Prostate Cancer program. Prior to taking on the directorship, Dr. Knudsen also served as the Vice Provost of Thomas Jefferson University, overseeing basic and clinical research at all six schools within the university. In addition to cancer center leadership, Dr. Knudsen serves as chair of the Department of Cancer Biology for Thomas Jefferson.

Dr. Sharpless became director of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in January 2014. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and in hematology and oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Sharpless runs a 15-person basic science group that employs genetically engineered mice to study cancer and aging. His research has focused on how normal cells age and undergo malignant conversion. Dr. Sharpless discovered a fundamental biological link between cancer and aging, and has used this knowledge to develop murine models and human diagnostic tests of molecular age.

Dr. Sotomayor is the director of George Washington Cancer Center at George Washington University in Washington, DC. He received his MD degree from Federico Villarreal National University School of Medicine in Lima, Peru. He completed a residency training in Internal Medicine at Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami School of Medicine in Florida, followed by a fellowship in Medical Oncology at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore. Dr. Sotomayorís basic/translational research focuses on the immunobiology and immunotherapy of B-cell malignancies. His clinical interest lies particularly with mantle cell lymphoma.

Dr. Emanuel is director of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. His translational research interests have focused for more than 25 years on myeloproliferative neoplasms, and his laboratory has been an international leader in investigating juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, using it as a model for dysregulated Ras signaling. Dr. Emanuel served on the program committee for the 2012 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting.

A key element of AACIís mission is to assist the centers in keeping pace with the changing landscape in science, technology, and health care. AACI does this by gathering and sharing best practices among cancer centers, providing a forum for its members to address common challenges and explore new opportunities, supporting initiatives that engage the membership in developing specific recommendations to the National Cancer Institute, and educating policy makers about the important role cancer centers play in advancing cancer discovery.