TAMPA, Fla. — John Cleveland, Ph.D., has been named center director and executive vice president of Moffitt Cancer Center, one of 51 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country and the only one based in Florida.
Cleveland is an exceptional scientist and leader, bringing 40 years of research experience to the role, including work with the National Cancer Institute, the federal agency charged with leading the National Cancer Program. He will be responsible for continuing to elevate Moffitt’s research enterprise and reputation for world-class bench-to-bedside science.
With its singular focus on cancer and multidisciplinary approaches to patient care and team science, Moffitt is uniquely positioned to pioneer cutting-edge breakthroughs. Moffitt is one of the few cancer centers in the world with specialists in evolutionary biology, mathematical oncology, cancer biology, computer science and informatics working collaboratively to anticipate a tumor’s path and harness the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. Most recently, Moffitt conducted national clinical trials that led to the FDA approval of CAR T cell therapy, which uses a patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer.
“Moffitt is built on a strong tradition of research excellence, which fuels our quest to find a cure for cancer,” said Timothy Adams, chair of Moffitt’s Institute Board of Directors. “John Cleveland has a proven track record and will no doubt strengthen our innovative discoveries to continually improve the standard of care for our cancer patients.”
Cleveland will set the strategy and vision for the research enterprise, overseeing 100 research labs and 175 renowned faculty at Moffitt. He will serve as principal investigator of Moffitt’s Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG), which brings in approximately $3 million in NCI funding by delivering transdisciplinary science and driving impact locally, regionally and beyond. Cleveland will also focus on recruitment, mentoring and training. He will report to the president and CEO of Moffitt.
Cleveland joined Moffitt in 2014 as associate center director of Basic Science. He stepped into the interim center director role in December. Moffitt worked with Russell Reynolds Associates, a global leadership advisory and search firm, to identify top center director candidates across the country, and Cleveland rose to the top of the list.
Prior to joining 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.
Cleveland 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.
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 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s scientific excellence, multidisciplinary research, and robust training and education. Moffitt is a Top 10 cancer hospital and has been nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report since 1999. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 6,500 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.4 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.