August 10, 2023

New leaders named to Vanderbilt-Ingram research programs

Seven new leaders have been appointed to guide Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s research programs.

Seven new leaders have been appointed to guide Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s research programs.

“The researchers who have been appointed to lead these programs are committed to continuing the record of excellence established by their predecessors,” said Ben Ho Park, MD, PhD, Benjamin F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Oncology and director of Vanderbilt-Ingram. “These programs are vital to the mission and the success of Vanderbilt-Ingram as a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.”

The new leaders for the Cancer Health Outcomes and Control Research Program, which is aimed at improving population health in the areas served by Vanderbilt-Ingram, are Stacie Dusetzina, PhD, Eric Grogan, MD, MPH, and Daniel Barocas, MD, MPH.

Dusetzina, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, and professor of Health Policy, focuses on the intersection between health policy, epidemiology and economics related to prescription drugs. She has been recognized for her work at a national level. She is a co-author of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on “Making Medicines Affordable,” and she was selected to serve on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission in 2021.

Grogan, professor of Thoracic Surgery and Medicine, focuses on the early detection and optimal therapy for patients with lung cancer. In addition to his work at Vanderbilt, he serves as chief of Thoracic Surgery at the Nashville Veterans Affairs hospital.

Barocas, the William L. Bray Professor of Urology and executive vice chair of Urology, is a leader in robotic surgery for genitourinary cancers. In his research, he measures outcomes and works with patients and their families to improve the quality of surgical care for genitourinary cancers.

The Cancer Epidemiology Research Program has a new leader. Martha Shrubsole, PhD, joins Xiao-Ou Shu, MD, PhD, MPH, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, at the helm. Shrubsole, research professor of Medicine and director of the Survey Research Shared Resource, focuses on the molecular, nutritionaland interventional epidemiology of gastrointestinal cancers and their precancerous lesions.

The Breast Cancer Research Program also has a new leader. Vandana Abramson, MD, joins Justin Balko, PharmD, PHD, at the helm. Abramson, the Donna S. Hall Professor of Breast Cancer and professor of Medicine, serves as the principal investigator of several breast cancer clinical trials at Vanderbilt.

The Translational Research and Interventional Oncology Research Program has two new leaders. Eben Rosenthal, MD, and Kristen Ciombor, MD, MSCI, join Douglas Johnson, MD, MSCI, holder of the Susan and Luke Simons Directorship, in leading this program, which provides a multidisciplinary approach for clinical investigators and laboratory scientists to collaborate on cancer therapies.

Rosenthal, the Barry and Amy Baker Professor of Laryngeal, Head and Neck Research, chairs the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He conducts bench-to-bedside translational studies in targeted therapy and molecular imaging. Ciombor, associate professor of Medicine, is one of 10 physicians nationwide selected by the National Cancer Institute for the 2021 Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award. Her research involves the design and implementation of clinical trials for gastrointestinal malignancies. Her research interests include the genomics of colorectal cancer.