publication date: Jul. 7, 2017

In Brief

Steven Leach named director at Dartmouth Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Steven Leach was named director of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. He will begin his role in September.

Leach will oversee a program that combines cancer research at Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine with cancer care provided across the Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system.
Leach is the David M. Rubenstein Chair and director of the Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

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 is also a professor of surgery at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

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, 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.

Leach will continue his research into pancreatic cancer biology. His lab at MSK has made discoveries that have established previously unrecognized links between pancreatic development and pancreatic cancer.

More recently, 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.


Chi Van Dang appointed professor at Wistar Institute

Chi Van Dang was appointed professor at The Wistar Institute.

Prior to his appointments at Wistar and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Dang was the director of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and the John H. Glick, Abramson Cancer Center Director’s Professor.

Dang, the scientific director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in New York, shapes scientific strategy and oversees operations of its Lausanne, Oxford, and San Diego Branches.

He is also responsible for aligning the missions of six independent Ludwig Centers across the United States. Wistar will host Dang’s Ludwig Laboratory, which will focus on his own research on cancer and immune cell metabolism and the MYC cancer gene. The gene was discovered by Dang and his lab to control gene expression that affects metabolism and cancer cell growth.

At his Ludwig Laboratory at Wistar, Dang will continue his cancer biology work in the field of circadian biology, which focuses on how animals and their cells function in response to the day-night, feeding-fasting cycle, which profoundly affects metabolism.
This research could lead to optimizing therapies that affect or utilize metabolism. His goal is to capitalize on interest in cancer metabolism and determine how cancer cells interact with the immune system, to identify new pathways to disable cancer cells.

Dang has authored more than 200 scientific and medical articles and book chapters as well as books. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including appointment to the Blue-Ribbon Panel of Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

Dang is currently chair of the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors. He is a fellow to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, American Society for Clinical Investigation, and The Association of American Physicians.


Patricia Ganz named editor in chief of Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Patricia Ganz will replace Carmen Allegra as editor-in-chief of JNCI.

This move was precipitated by Allegra’s recent assignment at NCI as the head of gastrointestinal therapeutics of the Clinical Investigations Branch at the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program. Allegra will continue at JNCI as deputy editor.

Ganz is a professor of health policy and management in the Fielding School of Public Health, and a professor of medicine in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She also serves as director of Cancer Prevention & Control Research at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

As editor-in-chief, Ganz is responsible for JNCI Monographs, a supplement publication that provides a venue for conference proceedings or topic areas where a series of related articles serve a scientific purpose.

During the past two years, JNCI has developed a series of virtual collections curated from prior publications; these thematically organized collections focus on timely selected topics and are featured online with free access for several months.

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