TAMPA, Fla. and CELEBRATION, Fla. — George Simon, M.D., joins Moffitt Cancer Center and AdventHealth as executive medical director of the joint Moffitt Cancer Center-AdventHealth clinical research unit in Celebration. The new facility, slated to open in September, will provide access to the latest in cancer treatments through cutting edge research, and access to investigational early phase clinical trials to patients in Central Florida.
Simon brings more than 20 years of clinical oncology translational research experience to this new role. Most recently, he served as section chief of Translational Research in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Additionally, he served as medical director of the MD Anderson Cancer Network. He has also held director level positions at Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston, S.C., and Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Prior to that, Simon was a faculty member at Moffitt from 2000 to 2008 as director of Mesothelioma Research and a member of the Department of Thoracic Oncology.
“Dr. Simon’s expertise in early phase clinical research and his knowledge of Moffitt and the Florida oncology community make him the perfect selection for this important role,” said. Eric B. Haura, M.D., associate center director of Clinical Science at Moffitt. “As Moffitt and AdventHealth continue to expand research activities, our clinical research units like the one at AdventHealth Celebration will become critical for translating new therapies to our patients. It will also allow us to expand our reach to other areas of the state where next generation treatments may not be available.”
In addition to his role at AdventHealth Celebration, Simon will also be a senior member of the Chemical Biology and Molecular Medicine Program at Moffitt. He specializes in lung cancer, mesothelioma and thymoma. In particular, he studies optimal strategies to deliver personalized cancer care in the form of either immunotherapy or targeted therapy individualized to a patient’s tumor molecular profile. He has served as principal investigator on numerous clinical trials and received several federal grants to support his work.
“Moffitt and AdventHealth are committed to offering world-class care and treatment options to cancer patients across Central Florida, including investigational therapies. Dr. Simon’s translational research experience and ability to work with clinicians, researchers, patients and community partners to increase clinical trial awareness and enrollment will be key to better serving our patients and advancing care,” said Steven R. Smith, M.D., associate center director of the AdventHealth-Moffitt Partnership and chief scientific officer of AdventHealth Research Institute in Orlando.
The new facility, on the campus of AdventHealth Celebration, will have 28 chairs in the infusion center to provide standard-of-care therapies and 14 chairs in the clinical research unit, where investigation treatments will be administered. Care will be provided to patients with solid tumors or hematologic malignancies, such as leukemia. One clinical trial for lung cancer is already accruing patients at the location.
This new research center is part of a larger partnership between Moffitt and AdventHealth focused on enhancing both institutions’ ability to deliver the highest quality cancer care to their patients. It includes innovative and leading-edge research activities at the AdventHealth Orlando and Celebration campuses, as well as a new Moffitt outpatient cancer center based in the community at AdventHealth Wesley Chapel.
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 the No. 11 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 7,000 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.
Founded in 1908 by pioneering Seventh-day Adventists who believed in whole-person health — healing the body, mind and spirit — AdventHealth has grown into one of the largest nonprofit hospitals in the country, caring for more than two million patient visits per year in metro Orlando alone. AdventHealth operates approximately 50 hospitals and hundreds of care centers in nearly a dozen states, making it one of the largest faith-based health-care systems in the United States.
AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division encompasses 21 hospitals in the seven counties in and surrounding metro Orlando: Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Polk, Lake, Volusia and Flagler. The Central Florida Division’s care network also includes more than 30 CentraCare urgent-care centers; dozens of sports-rehab and imaging centers; and hundreds of physicians, ranging from primary care to a full spectrum of specialties.
AdventHealth Orlando, the division’s flagship campus, serves both as a community hospital and as a major tertiary referral hospital for the region, much of the Southeast, the Caribbean and Latin America.
AdventHealth Orlando is a designated statutory teaching hospital and trains physicians from around the world on the newest technology and procedures. The system provides a wide range of health services, including many nationally and internationally recognized programs in cardiology, cancer, women’s medicine, neuroscience, diabetes, orthopedics, pediatrics, transplant and advanced surgical programs.
The AdventHealth Research Institute has more than 250 investigators and more than 500 clinical trials in progress. AdventHealth Orlando is also home to the Translational Research Institute and the Nicholson Center for Surgical Advancement.