Moffitt Cancer Center Launches New Personalized Medicine Institute

February 22, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. – Moffitt Cancer Center’s Institute Board of Directors today announced the creation of a Personalized Medicine Institute aimed at making a national impact in the war on cancer by delivering on the promise of personalized cancer care. Moffitt Chief Executive Officer William S. Dalton, Ph.D., M.D., will dedicate his entire focus to the establishment of the new institute and the growth of Moffitt’s innovative biotechnology subsidiary M2Gen™ as its CEO. Alan F. List, M.D., will advance to CEO of Moffitt. Thomas A. Sellers, Ph.D., will assume the role of center director. The changes will take effect in July.

Moffitt Board Chairman Robert Rothman noted that these changes, driven by the board in collaboration with Dalton, ensure that the right leaders are in place to take Moffitt and M2Gen™ to the next level as a national model for transforming the fight against cancer. 

“The time is now because cancer research and treatment is at an inflection point that requires the right mix of visionary leadership and collaboration to realize the promise of personalized cancer care for patients everywhere. Moffitt, under Dr. Dalton’s leadership, is considered a national leader in personalized medicine, and we must capitalize on our success in this important area,” Rothman said.

“The potential impact of the Personalized Medicine Institute based on Moffitt’s Total Cancer Care™ and M2Gen™ is so great that we believe it is critical to have Dr. Dalton’s leadership steering that effort,” Rothman added. “Because of our ongoing succession planning, Moffitt is fortunate to have two highly accomplished leaders within the organization. Dr. List has all of the credentials and experience to be an outstanding CEO for Moffitt, and Dr. Sellers is uniquely qualified to serve as center director.”

List joined Moffitt in 2003 and serves as executive vice president/physician-in-chief of Moffitt and physician-in-chief/president of the Moffitt Medical group. In his previous role at Moffitt, he served as program leader of Malignant Hematology. He has proven leadership experience as director of the Leukemia and Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and the Division of Translational/Clinical Research at The University of Arizona. List is recognized for his contributions to understanding the biology of acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes.

Sellers also joined Moffitt in 2003 and has served as director of the Moffitt Research Institute since 2006. A distinguished epidemiologist, he was formerly affiliated with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. Sellers’ research focuses on epidemiology and molecular genetics to understand the complex interplay between genetic and environmental origins of cancer, with a goal of developing better methods for prevention and clinical management.

“Dr. Sellers and I look forward to building on the momentum created during Dr. Dalton’s tenure and continuing to focus on personalized cancer treatment, pioneering research, quality medical education and community outreach to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer,” List said.

Dalton has served as Moffitt’s president, CEO and center director for the past 10 years, as well as founder and board chairman of M2Gen™. During that time, the center has realized tremendous growth and innovative advances in personalized medicine, including the launch of M2Gen™ and the Total Cancer Care™ approach to developing evidence-based, personalized cancer treatments and information/decision tools for patients and clinicians. Dalton’s accomplishments have made him a national leader in the cancer community. He is president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes, chair of the Science Policy & Legislative Affairs Committee of the American Association for Cancer Research, and was the 2010 recipient of the Personalized Medicine Coalition’s Leadership in Personalized Medicine Award.

Dalton noted that this is the optimum time for him to focus exclusively on personalized medicine by developing the Personalized Medicine Institute and being the CEO at M2Gen™.

“This year will be a time of exciting milestones for Moffitt in advancing personalized medicine,” Dalton said. “Moffitt’s investment in Total Cancer Care™ has positioned us to realize the dream of cancer therapy based on the right treatment, for the right patient, at the right time. Our unique clinical trial matching process has been recognized by an issued patent. M2Gen™ is partnering with Merck and other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to launch the first clinical trials in which patients have been recruited using the world’s largest cancer-focused biorepository, enabled by a revolutionary new IT platform in partnership with Oracle. This approach speeds the clinical trial process, giving cancer patients faster access to drugs that are a good match for their unique genetic characteristics.”

“We salute Dr. Dalton for his leadership that has positioned Moffitt to make a real difference for cancer patients not only here in Florida, but across the nation,” Rothman said. “And we are excited to see Dr. Dalton now have the ability to focus on what has clearly been a passion for him: the promise of a truly personalized approach to cancer care that is within our grasp through the pioneering work of M2Gen™ and Total Cancer Care™.”

About Moffitt Cancer Center

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Located in Tampa, Moffitt Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, which recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is also a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer.

About M2Gen™

M2Gen™ is Moffitt Cancer Center’s wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary focused on advancing personalized medicine by using high quality tissue, clinical data and molecular technology to advance targeted cancer treatments. M2Gen, along with Moffitt and 18 hospitals in a Consortium Network, has created the world’s largest cancer-focused biorepository linked to clinical and molecular data. Since 2006, M2Gen has partnered with Merck & Co., Inc., to fulfill its vision for transforming cancer treatment and improving patient outcomes.