Leach to be Director of Norris Cotton

Physician and scientist Steven D. Leach, MD, has been selected as the new Director of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Dr. Leach is currently the David M. Rubenstein Chair and Director of the Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center, leading a large team of scientists and clinicians focused on improving the lives of pancreatic cancer patients. As both a physician-scientist and a surgical oncologist, Leach has spent the past 25 years conducting both basic science and clinical research, becoming the inaugural director of MSK’s pancreatic cancer research center in 2014. He previously served as the Paul K. Neumann Professor in Pancreatic Cancer Research, Professor of Surgery, Oncology and Cell Biology, Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs at Johns Hopkins University.

In addition to his appointment as the director of the NCCC, Dr. Leach will hold the Preston T. and Virginia R. Kelsey Distinguished Chair in Cancer at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. This chair supports the director of the NCCC in advancing innovative research that translates into clinical and preventative cancer care. Dr. Leach will start his new role at the NCCC in September.

Dr. Leach will continue his research into pancreatic cancer biology. His lab at MSK has made important discoveries that have established previously unrecognized links between pancreatic development and pancreatic cancer. More recently, Dr. Leach’s team has completed highly translational studies focused on more advanced stages of the disease, including the development of novel models for testing the drug sensitivity of each patient’s individual tumor.

After earning his AB in Biology at Princeton University, Dr. Leach received his medical degree from Emory University in 1986. He completed his residency in general surgery and a post-doctoral research fellowship at Yale University, followed by a surgical oncology fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is board certified in general surgery. He also recently completed a term on the Princeton University Board of Trustees, and serves as Chair of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Board.