Moffitt Cancer Center Executive Leadership


John Cleveland, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer and Center Director

John Cleveland, Ph.D., is the executive vice president, chief scientific officer and center director at Moffitt Cancer Center, one of 53 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country and the only one based in Florida.

Dr. Cleveland is responsible for elevating Moffitt’s research enterprise and reputation for world-class bench-to-bedside science. He will set the strategy and vision for research, overseeing 100 research labs and approximately 175 renowned faculty at Moffitt. He is the principal investigator of Moffitt’s Cancer Center Support Grant, which brings in approximately $3 million in NCI funding by delivering transdisciplinary science and driving impact locally, regionally and beyond. 

His research interests include cancer cell checkpoints, cancer cell metabolism, cancer prevention and therapeutics, and the regulation and role of apoptosis and autophagy in the development and maintenance of cancer.

Cleveland is an exceptional scientist and leader, bringing 40 years of experience to this role. He joined Moffitt in 2014 as associate center director of Basic Science. Prior to Moffitt, Cleveland was professor and chair of the Department of Cancer Biology at The Scripps Research Institute. He also held various leadership roles with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He began his career working with the NCI, the federal agency charged with leading the National Cancer Program.

Cleveland is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society of Hematology. He is a Moffitt Distinguished Scholar and holds the Cortner-Couch Endowed Chair for Cancer Research from the University of South Florida School of Medicine. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Maine and his doctorate in immunology and microbiology from Wayne State University School of Medicine.