Award-Winning Scientist to Enhance Skin Cancer Research at Moffitt Cancer Center

August 31, 2016

Kenneth Tsai, Ph.D.
Kenneth Tsai, Ph.D.

TAMPA, Fla. – Moffitt Cancer Center has recruited Kenneth Y. Tsai, M.D., Ph.D., to bring new expertise and expanded scope to its longstanding commitment and strengths in preventing and treating melanoma and skin cancer. Tsai will serve as the section head of non-melanoma cancer research and treatment in the Donald A. Adam Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence. The Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence is a diverse group of scientists who are investigating skin cancer from different perspectives, all working together to understand the disease at every level.

“Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. New cases of skin cancer outnumber new cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer every year. Moffitt is a pioneer in developing new therapies for the treatment of melanoma, and now with the additional expertise of  Dr. Tsai, our scientists can continue to make breakthroughs in melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers,” said Daniel Sullivan, M.D., associate center director of Clinical Science at Moffitt. 

Tsai is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist. Utilizing his clinical and science expertise, his research focuses on understanding the genomic changes that drive the development of non-melanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, and how they evade the immune system. This includes identifying molecular targets that can be used for novel therapeutic and chemopreventive approaches and harnessing the body’s own T cells to battle skin cancer.

Prior to Moffitt, Tsai was an associate professor in the Departments of Dermatology and Translational Molecular Pathology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. His research has been funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, and he has served on multiple National Institutes of Health study sections as well as the editorial board for the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. In 2013, he received The Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of cancer prevention. He holds degrees from Yale College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School.

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 47 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the No. 6 cancer hospital in the nation and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 2.5 million square feet to research and patient care. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 5,200 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.1 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube