Cancer Immunotherapy, Translational Research Expert to Lead Abramson

Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, a cancer immunotherapy and translational research expert, has been named the new director of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Hanna Wise Professor in Cancer Research at the Perelman School of Medicine, and currently serves as the Abramson Cancer Center’s Associate Director for Translational Research and Executive Director of its Translational Centers of Excellence program. He will begin his new role on July 1, 2017.

Dr. Vonderheide succeeds Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, who has served as the ACC’s director since 2011 and will become scientific director of the Ludwig Institute. At Penn, Dr. Vonderheide is also vice chair for research in the division of Hematology-Oncology, and he serves as co-director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Penn, which was founded in April 2016 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean Parker to foster greater collaboration between the country’s cancer centers with the goal of accelerating immunotherapy research. He is also co-leader of the Stand Up to Cancer - Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Dream Team.

The Abramson Cancer Center has been continuously designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) since 1973, one of 45 such centers in the United States. It is among the nation’s most highly ranked cancer centers, providing care during more than 230,000 outpatient visits annually, as well as delivering more than 37,000 chemotherapy treatments, over 66,000 radiation treatments and 230 stem cell transplants each year. In 2015, the ACC was rated as “exceptional” during a competitive research funding review, the highest possible rating for an NCI Cancer Center.