Tom Loughran tells us how he got UVA over the hump to comprehensive designation

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The University of Virginia has taken a long, circuitous path to NCI comprehensive cancer center designation, but it got there. 

The cancer center was founded in 1984, originally designated by NCI as a basic science center in 1987. This designation seems puzzling today, because even at that time UVA treated patients, which is something basic a science center generally doesn’t do. 

The designation changed to “cancer center” at a later date, and on Feb. 1, 2022, UVA will finally add the word “comprehensive” to its logo.

Eight years ago, Thomas P. Loughran Jr., was recruited as director and presented with the challenge of getting UVA over the hump to comprehensive designation. 

Loughran said the institution had a strong basic science program, but needed to beef up the clinical programs and build a population sciences program from the bottom up. 

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