Press Releases | 2013

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Moffitt Cancer Center Announces First Cancer Research Chair Endowed by the State of Florida

Sep 03, 2013

TAMPA, Fla. – Howard McLeod, Pharm.D., an internationally recognized expert in how genetic makeup affects an individual's response to cancer treatment, joined Moffitt Cancer Center as the new medical director of the DeBartolo Family Personalized Medicine Institute and senior member in the Department of Cancer Epidemiology. McLeod is also the center’s first cancer research endowed chair, as established by the Florida Legislature.

During the 2013 legislative session, state lawmakers approved the Quality Cancer Care and Research bill aimed at attracting more business to Florida’s top cancer hospitals. Part of the legislation includes endowment awards for Moffitt and two other state institutions to recruit research chairs. The endowed chairs are required to specialize in a cancer-related field of research that will facilitate coordination among research institutions within the state and attract other promising researchers and national funding.

McLeod has been principal investigator for more than $16 million in grants and co-investigator for more than $80 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health. He has also authored more than 450 peer-reviewed papers on pharmacogenomics, applied therapeutics and clinical pharmacology.

As the medical director of the Personalized Medicine Institute, McLeod will be involved with Moffitt’s Total Cancer Care® Study to create and share targeted cancer treatments that will improve outcomes, cure disease, extend survivorship and improve quality of life for patients.

“The Personalized Medicine Institute was established to expand Total Cancer Care® as a resource to the scientific community to enhance research collaborations and bring personalized treatments to patients sooner,” said William S. Dalton, Ph.D., M.D., director of the Personalized Medicine Institute and founder and CEO of M2Gen. “McLeod’s extensive background in personalized medicine will help further our goal to make the right treatment for the right patient at the right time a reality.”
In addition to his role at the Personalized Medicine Institute, McLeod will cultivate his own research on the role genetic differences play in an individual response to cancer drugs as part of Moffitt’s Cancer Epidemiology Program.
 
“Much of McLeod’s research focuses on integrating genetic information into clinical practice in order to personalize cancer therapy and improve outcomes,” said Thomas A. Sellers, Ph.D., M.P.H, center director and executive vice president of Moffitt. “McLeod and his team of researchers will help Moffitt and Florida transform cancer care.”

Before joining Moffitt, McLeod served as the founding director of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy and as professor of pharmacy and medicine. He is a member of the National Human Genome Research Institute Advisory Council and vice chairman at the Alliance Cancer Clinical Trials Group.

A graduate of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, McLeod completed his research fellowship training in cancer pharmacology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.  

About DeBartolo Family Personalized Medicine Institute
The Personalized Medicine Institute was established in 2012 to revolutionize the discovery, delivery and effectiveness of cancer care on an international scale. Providing oversight for Moffitt Cancer Center’s Total Cancer Care® Study, the Institute seeks to create and share targeted treatments that will improve outcomes, cure disease, extend survivorship and improve quality of life for patients regardless of where they live. The Institute is supported by a generous donation from the DeBartolo family.

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Since 1999, Moffitt has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. With more than 4,200 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact on the state of nearly $2 billion. For more information, visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, twitter and YouTube.

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