Gastrointestinal Cancer Program leaders announced

 Gastrointestinal Cancer Program leaders announced

Thomas Doetschman, PhD, and Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD, have been named co-leaders of the Arizona Cancer Center’s Gastrointestinal Cancer research program, replacing Eugene Gerner, PhD, who has retired from the program leadership position. The GI program is one of the Cancer Center’s five scientific research programs.

Dr. Doetschman is a professor of cell biology and anatomy at the UA where he is a member of the BIO5 Institute and the Molecular Cardiovascular Research Program. He is on the faculty of the cancer biology and the genetics graduate interdisciplinary programs. He received his doctorate from the University of Connecticut in biochemistry and biophysics.

Dr. Doetschman’s research areas are cancer biology, immunology, developmental biology and mouse genetics. Genetically engineered mice with mutations in the 3 TGFß ligands and in FGF2 are being used to understand why dysregulation of these genes cause colon cancer, autoimmune disease and congenital heart disease.

Dr. Dragovich is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Arizona and director of the clinical gastrointestinal cancer program at the Arizona Cancer Center. After graduating from medical school in Belgrade, Serbia, Dr. Dragovich received his pharmacology training at the University of Illinois, and his hematology and oncology training at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Dragovich’s research focuses on developing novel treatment approaches for patients with gastrointestinal malignancies (gastric, esophageal, pancreatic, hepatobiliary and colorectal cancers).

Dr. Dragovich’s current research interests include evaluation of receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors in patients with gastrointestinal malignancies, inhibition of thioredoxin-1/HIF-1 pathways as new therapeutic target, and early trials of novel red-ox targeting agents in patients with advanced solid and gastrointestinal malignancies. Dr. Dragovich is a member of the SWOG Gastrointestinal Cancers Committee and serves on the American Society of Clinical Oncology Scientific Committee (Experimental Therapeutics Track).

“We are extremely grateful to have the outstanding basic and clinical translational research leadership that Drs. Doetschman and Dragovich will provide to our Gastrointestinal Cancer Program for many years to come,” said David S. Alberts, MD, Arizona Cancer Center director.

- Aug. 24, 2010