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Richmond steps down as associate director for Research Education for VICC

Jul. 16, 2020, 9:16 AM


by Tom Wilemon

After serving 16 years as associate director for Research Education at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), Ann Richmond, PhD, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, is stepping down from the leadership post.

Ann Richmond, PhD, is stepping down from her role as associate director for Research Education at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
Ann Richmond, PhD, is stepping down from her role as associate director for Research Education at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Richmond, who is internationally known for her research on chemokines and tumor growth, will continue as director of the Graduate Program in Cancer Biology and to lead her research lab in the Department of Pharmacology as an Ingram Professor. Scott Hiebert, PhD, professor of Biochemistry and Hortense B. Ingram Professor of Cancer Biology, will serve as interim associate director for Research Education.

Richmond was recruited to Vanderbilt in 1989 from Winship Cancer Center at Emory University, where she was director of the Tumor Biology Section. During her time at Vanderbilt, she has served in numerous leadership roles, including director of graduate studies for the Department of Cell Biology and assistant dean of Biomedical Research.  She has brought trainees and scientists together for more than 15 years by designing innovative annual VICC retreats and seminar series. Further, her leadership efforts have been critical in the formation and success of the research and educational missions of the Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Tennessee University U54 Partnership: “Partners in eliminating cancer disparities.”

“Ann Richmond’s accomplishments as a world-renowned cancer investigator and an expert in cancer education and training have been a guiding force in making Vanderbilt-Ingram’s research and career development programs what they are today,” said Jennifer Pietenpol, PhD, B.F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Oncology, Executive Vice President for Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, director of Vanderbilt-Ingram and holder of the Brock Family Directorship in Career Development.  “She has created, grown and integrated VICC’s cancer education and mentoring activities with Vanderbilt-wide efforts. Ann has nurtured an environment of discovery, learning and collaborative sharing, and I am very grateful for all her leadership contributions.”

Richmond has been a Research Career Scientist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville campus since 1989 and was recently renewed through 2027. She received the 2016 William S. Middleton Award, the highest honor bestowed by the VA Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service. Last year, she received the Society for Leukocyte Biology Legacy Award, the highest honor the society bestows upon one of its members. She has previously been awarded the Charles R. Park Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research for Basic Research into Physiology and Pathophysiology and the Delores Shockley Partnership Award.

She began her career in science as a classroom teacher of chemistry, physics and biology before attending graduate school. Richmond received her BS at University of Louisiana Monroe, her MNS in zoology at Louisiana State University and her PhD in developmental biology at Emory University.

Richmond’s postdoctoral work led to the purification, cloning and characterization of MGSA, now known as the chemokine, CXCL1 and her lab made many significant discoveries of the role of chemokines in inflammation, wound healing, cancer progression and metastasis over the last 35 years. Currently, she is focused on developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of melanoma and breast cancer.

“My time with Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center has been enormously rewarding,” Richmond said. “It has given me great joy to work with its talented and energetic leaders over the years. I am thankful for having the privilege to serve alongside this extraordinary team, and I look forward to continuing to contribute by making scientific discoveries that will improve the lives of cancer patients.”

Richmond serves on the editorial board or is a reviewer for several medical journals related to cancer research. She is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society for Cell Biology, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, International Cytokine and Interferon Society and Melanoma Research Society. She is a fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science. She is past president of the Society for Leukocyte Biology. She has served on numerous National Institutes of Health study sections over the years as a full member and for ad hoc reviews.  She also serves on the grant review board for the Harry J. Lloyd Foundation for Melanoma Research.

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