I am pleased to announce the formation of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Office for Global Oncology, and have appointed Dr. Christopher Loffredo to lead this important new initiative.
As many of you know, comprehensive cancer centers nationwide are investing in global oncology, engaging in a wide range of activities, including training, basic and clinical research, and cancer prevention and control. With the encouragement of the National Cancer Institute, these investments of time and talent are driven by the increasing awareness, recognition, and urgency to promote a truly international approach to decreasing the extreme global disparities in cancer care, control, and prevention.
At Georgetown Lombardi, individual faculty members have been engaged in isolated efforts, including some funded projects. With Chris' leadership, we'll have a coordinated and strategic approach to maximize the reach and impact of these efforts.
As you know, Chris has had a long and distinguished career in global oncology research and training. He received his first NCI R01 grant in 1997 to study the epidemiology of liver cancer in Egypt, followed by two decades of sustained R01-level funding that addressed both liver and bladder cancers, and carcinogens including hepatitis B and C infections, environmental exposures, and tobacco smoking. More than ten years ago, his portfolio of internationally-focused cancer research grew to include an ongoing project in Russia, where he and his team are building capacity for biorepository-enabled studies of the cancer outcomes of a cohort of 25,000 plutonium workers and their families. He is also the epidemiologist on a ten-year, NCI intramurally-funded study by Drs. Curt Harris and Xin Wang on liver and bile duct cancers in Thailand, where they are focusing on viral, genetic, and environmental risk factors, leading to prevention interventions.
In this new role, Chris will engage with Georgetown Lombardi members across the consortium, encompassing all of our research and clinical programs, and will seek the input and active participation of all sectors of the university that are engaged in global health, particularly Georgetown's Global Health Initiative. The mission of this office will be to address global cancer disparities in surveillance, screening, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and prevention. New faculty recruitment to bolster this mission is one of our highest priorities, together with identifying and exploiting opportunities for extramural and philanthropic support.
Chris will be stepping down as co-leader of our Cancer Prevention and Control Program to focus on his new role, but will continue to have a major role in the Program. We plan to identify a new program co-leader to succeed him.
I have every confidence in Chris' ability to lead this new effort, and encourage everyone's support to make it a success.
Louis M. Weiner, MD