September 9, 2005

Cancer Center debuts new endowed chairs

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At the reception were, from left, Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D.; David Carbone, M.D., Ph.D.; Carlos Arteaga, M.D.; Orrin Ingram; and Harold Moses, M.D.
photo by Tommy Lawson

Cancer Center debuts new endowed chairs

The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center has announced the first holders of two newly created endowed chairs.

David P. Carbone, M.D., Ph.D., is the first Harold L. Moses Chair in Cancer Research, and Carlos Arteaga, M.D., is the first holder of the Vice Chancellor's Chair in Breast Cancer Research.

Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., Vanderbilt-Ingram's director, congratulated both recipients during a special reception last week.

“Establishing endowed chairs allows faculty some freedom to invest in high-risk research and support activities that will really make a difference in our fight against cancer,” said DuBois. “These are two outstanding faculty members. Dave's made a groundbreaking research impact for patients with lung cancer, and Carlos' interest in breast cancer research will also have a big impact on that disease.”

Orrin Ingram, CEO of Ingram Industries and chair of Vanderbilt-Ingram's Board of Overseers, agreed. “Chairs are really important as we strive to be the best Cancer Center in the world. A chair really helps to indicate to individuals how important they are to Vanderbilt.”

Moses said he was honored to have a chair in his name and congratulated Carbone on the achievement. “I am delighted David Carbone will be the first occupant of this chair and I am sure he'll make it very important over time.”

Carbone said he considers Moses a role model and was honored to receive the chair in his name. “Hal is one of the two reasons I came here. He is a person who has everything together and can get the most from people,” said Carbone.

He also thanked Vanderbilt for its support, “Vanderbilt has always been very supportive of its people and this chair reflects that Vanderbilt values people.”

Carbone is currently professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology and director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program at the Cancer Center. He is also director and principal investigator of the Vanderbilt Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Lung Cancer. His research interests, grant support and publications have been focused on lung cancer and specifically lung cancer genomics and proteomics, cancer immunotherapy, tumor-associated immunosuppression mechanisms and gene therapy.

DuBois read comments from Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs, recognizing Arteaga's contributions: “Carlos Arteaga is a world-renowned scientist whose research and leadership as director of the Breast Cancer SPORE have brought the cancer center to the forefront in breast cancer research. I am particularly proud and pleased that he has been named to hold the first Vice Chancellor's Chair of Breast Cancer Research.”

Arteaga was appreciative of the distinction.

“This would not have been possible without my family, my laboratory and the colleagues who pushed me to be better,” said Arteaga. He drew laughter from the crowd of attendees when he added that his children, on hand to witness the ceremony, didn't quite understand what receiving a “chair” means.

“I had to explain to my kids, who were asking, 'Where is this chair?' and 'dad, what is in this for me?'” But he said he plans to show them and others what it means through hard work. “It's a great honor and you have my full commitment to invest in it and make it produce like my former chair.”

Arteaga is professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology and a member of the Division of Hematology-Oncology. In addition to directing Vanderbilt-Ingram's SPORE in Breast Cancer, he is director of the Breast Cancer Research Program.

His funded research focuses on the role of growth factor receptors and oncogenes in the progression of breast tumor cells as well as the development of molecular therapeutics in breast cancer.