TAMPA, Fla. Moffitt Cancer Center today announced new leadership for its clinical science research division. This area of research is responsible for clinical studies investigating new therapies and prevention strategies to fight cancer, as well as laboratory-based biomarker work, diagnostic strategies and supportive care.

Eric B. Haura, M.D., has been named the associate center director of Clinical Science. In this role, Haura will provide the strategic vision in developing physician-led laboratory science, as well as oversight of Moffitt’s clinical research operations, which are the largest in Florida with more than 600 active clinical interventional trials and over 100 observational studies. This includes Moffitt’s Clinical Trials Office and Clinical Research Unit. Additionally, he will foster cutting-edge team science and clinical research opportunities with our affiliate and consortium partners, and he will provide guidance and mentorship to investigators throughout the institution. 

Haura joined Moffitt in 2000 and has served in various leadership roles in research, including director of the Lung Cancer Center of Excellence and co-leader of the Chemical Biology and Molecular Medicine Program. His research focuses on identifying new vulnerabilities and biomarkers in lung cancer, where his goal is to develop novel therapeutic strategies for his patients. His lab is also heavily involved in proteomics, the large-scale study of proteins, to identify new diagnostic tools for lung cancer. As a highly innovative physician-researcher, Haura translates his discoveries directly back into the clinic, where he treats patients as a senior member of the Department of Thoracic Oncology

His training began with a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University, followed by a Doctor of Medicine degree at Duke University. He completed his internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins and rejoined Duke for a hematology/oncology fellowship before coming to Moffitt. Haura has authored 194 peer-reviewed journal articles and serves as principal investigator on numerous clinical trials and grants.

Nikhil Khushalani, M.D., has been appointed to a newly created role at the cancer center, assistant center director of Clinical Research Review & Partnerships. This position, which reports to Haura, provides oversight of Moffitt’s clinical trial scientific review operations. He will also work closely with Jennifer I. Vidrine, Ph.D., assistant center director of Research Strategic Partnerships, to expand our clinical research offerings to our affiliates and partners including a clinical research unit opening in collaboration with AdventHealth in Celebration, Florida.

Khushalani joined Moffitt in 2015 as an associate member of the Department of Cutaneous Oncology and quickly rose to become the vice chair and a senior member of the department. His clinical and research interests are in the development of novel therapeutics for patients with melanoma and other skin cancers. He is also studying the economic impact of new skin cancer therapies on health care with the goal of devising strategies to reduce costs for patients. Khushalani is the principal investigator on several skin cancer clinical trials at Moffitt. He is an author of more than 90 manuscripts and book chapters and is also a reviewer for more than 30 scientific journals. 

He earned his Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Surgery degree from Topiwala National Medical College at the University of Bombay in Maharashtra, India, followed by an internal medicine residency at The State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, and a medical oncology fellowship at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“Drs. Haura and Khushalani are transformative physician-scientists. Together they will ensure that cutting-edge translational and clinical research continues to flourish at Moffitt, and that it will be rapidly moved into the clinic to save the lives of our patients,” said John Cleveland, Ph.D., executive vice president and center director. “These two leadership positions are critical to the mission of Moffitt, which is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. Drs. Haura and Khushalani do this every day in everything they do, and in them we have selected leaders who will reshape the care and improve the outcomes for all of our patients.”

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