News Column

N.M. Cancer Center Announces 'Tremendous Hires'

May 13, 2013

The University of New Mexico Cancer Center has recruited four prominent cancer physicians and scientists from three of the nation's leading cancer centers to assume high-level leadership roles beginning this summer.

"All of these folks are tremendous hires, and we have held out in our searches for the very best people we could find," said UNM Cancer Center CEO Cheryl L. Willman.

"Their expertise will not only greatly benefit New Mexicans in their fight against cancer, but their success in the discovery of new cancer drugs and the development of new biotechnology companies will spur New Mexico's economic development," Willman said.

Joining UNM are:

Wadih Arap, to be the cancer center deputy director and chief of the hematology/ oncology division at the UNM School of Medicine. He is currently a professor and a deputy department chairman at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center division of cancer medicine in Houston.

Renata Pasqualini, who will be associate director for translational research, a coleader of the cancer center's program in experimental therapeutics and drug discovery, and a professor of medicine and experimental diagnostic imaging. Pasqualini is a professor of medicine and experimental diagnostic imaging at M.D. Anderson.

Martin J. Edelman, who will be a UNM professor of hematology/oncology, the cancer center's associate director for clinical research, and co-leader of the center's program in lung cancer and aerodigestive malignancies. Edelman will also lead the New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance, a statewide collaborative clinical trials network. He is professor and director of thoracic oncology at the University of Maryland Greenbaum Cancer Center.

Anita Kinney, to be associate director for cancer control and population studies. Kinney will help develop a new College of Public Health at UNM and will be a professor of internal medicine. She is a professor and leader of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program at the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Center.

Willman said that Arap and Pasqualini "are international experts in cancer drug development, hold over 100 patents and licenses, and have started five new biotechnology companies. We believe their expertise will really catapult the growing biotech community here in New Mexico and promote economic development" while providing new cancer drugs.

Edelman "has won international recognition for his clinic and scientific contributions in lung and thoracic cancers," Willman said. He will oversee what Willman called "pioneering programs" to improve clinical trials.

She said that Kinney is "a world-renowned population scientist" who has won "international recognition for work in cancer prevention and control, behavioral and clinical cancer genetics, and behavioral epidemiology."

"She is particularly interested in developing effective interventions to improve decision-making and health outcomes among socially and geographically underserved populations," Willman said.


(c)2013 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)

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Source: Copyright Albuquerque Journal (NM) 2013

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