AACI members choose Winn as president-elect

Newswise – Robert Winn, MD, director of the VCU Massey Cancer Center, was elected by the members of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) to the position of vice president / elected chair of the board of directors of the AACI.

Dr. Winn’s new position is effective immediately. Current AACI President Caryn Lerman, PhD, director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, took over as director of the association in June after the departure of Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, who resigned to become director. General of the American Cancer Society.

Marcia Cruz-Correa, MD, PhD; Ruben Mesa, MD, FACP; and Robert H. Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, were elected as new members of the board of directors, and Joann Sweasy, PhD, has been appointed to serve the remainder of Dr. Winn’s term as a regular member of the Board of Directors (until October 2023). Drs. Cruz-Correa, Mesa and Vonderheide to replace outgoing board members Léon Platanias, PhD; Randall Holcombe, MD, MBA; and Tom Loughran, MD.

Dr Winn is the Chair of the Program Committee for the 2021 AACI / CCAF Annual Meeting. He was appointed Chairman of VCU Massey Cancer Center in 2019. He previously served as Director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center (2015- 2019), after 13 years spent at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and the School of Medicine in various fields. leadership roles and appointments within clinical faculty. Dr Winn is engaged in community-based research focused on eliminating health disparities. He is a principal investigator on several community projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.

Dr Cruz-Correa is the Executive Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) and heads the centre’s gastrointestinal oncology research program. She is Professor of Medicine at UPR, Assistant Associate Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, and Assistant Professor of Surgical Oncology at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Cruz-Correa is the Principal Investigator of the Hispanic Alliance for Clinical and Translational Research.

Dr Mesa is the Executive Director of the NCI-appointed Mays Cancer Center, home to the UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he is the Presidential President of the Mays Family Foundation Distinguished University. Dr Mesa previously served as chairman of the hematology and medical oncology department at the Mayo Clinic, Ariz., And deputy director of the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Mesa’s research focuses on the development of new therapies for myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Dr Vonderheide is Director of the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) and Director of the John H. Glick, MD Abramson Cancer Center at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is associate dean of cancer control programs at the Perelman School of Medicine and vice president of cancer control programs at the University of Pennsylvania health care system. He successfully led the competitive renewal of the ACC CCSG grant in 2020 with an “Outstanding” rating.

Dr Sweasy was appointed Director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC) in 2020. She is the inaugural Nancy C. and Craig M. Berge Chair for Director of UACC and was recruited at the Yale Cancer Center where she was a faculty member for 26 years. Dr Sweasy has been continuously funded by the NCI since 1994 and received the 2016 Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society Award and is currently President-elect of that society.

Drs. Cruz-Correa, Mesa, Vonderheide and Sweasy will work closely with other AACI leaders to support the organization’s mission to accelerate progress against cancer.


AACI’s mission is to accelerate progress against cancer by strengthening the impact of leading academic cancer centers in North America. For more information, please visit aaci-cancer.org

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