David S. Alberts, MD, director of The University of Arizona Cancer Center, is implementing a leadership transition plan that calls for a nationwide search for a new director to succeed him when he retires after his many years of distinguished service.
An internationally recognized cancer researcher and clinician who has led the National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center since 2005, Dr. Alberts will remain UA Cancer Center director until a successor is named, after which he will become director emeritus. Dr. Alberts is the principal investigator on several National Cancer Institute grants funded through 2016 and will remain active with those research programs and in training the next generation of cancer researchers. A committee to oversee a national search to recruit a new director is slated to be established by mid-February.
"With the support of UA President Eugene Sander and Senior Vice President for Health Sciences J. Lyle Bootman, I have decided that the time is right to begin a smooth transition to a nationally prominent physician-scientist or basic scientist to assume leadership of our great Cancer Center," Dr. Alberts said.
Dr. Alberts joined the faculty of the UA College of Medicine in 1975 and was a founding researcher when the Cancer Center was started by the late Sydney E. Salmon, MD, in 1976. Dr. Alberts is a Regents Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology, Nutritional Sciences and Public Health, and is a member of the BIO5 Institute. Prior to being named director, Dr. Alberts led the Center's Cancer Prevention and Control Program, one of the largest prevention research programs at a U.S. cancer center. He also served as associate dean for research at the UA College of Medicine.
Dr. Alberts has been one of the most highly funded National Institutes of Health researchers nationally for the last quarter century. He currently oversees $39.5 million in research grants. He serves on the board of the American Association of Cancer Institutes, and he served three directors of the National Cancer Institute - Richard Klausner, Andrew C. von Eschenbach and John E. Neiderhuber - as a member of its Scientific Advisory Board.
"We can't thank Dave Alberts enough for his years of tremendous dedication to The University of Arizona Cancer Center," said Dr. Bootman. "He has played a pivotal role in its growth and development into one of the nation's premier cancer centers. Today, the UA Cancer Center boasts cutting-edge patient-care and research programs and facilities, with plans for additional growth throughout the state. Dave will leave a huge legacy in cancer treatment and research at the University of Arizona and beyond. "