Renowned scientist Ramon E. Parsons, MD, PhD, has been named Chair of the Department of Oncological Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. Dr. Parsons is a researcher in cancer genetics and will bring an interdisciplinary, holistic approach to Mount Sinai’s research team. His appointment was effective in March.
Dr. Parsons’ research goals include identifying the genetic and biochemical changes that lead normal cells to develop into aggressive cancer cells. He discovered the PTEN tumor-suppressor gene, which provided a critical therapeutic target in a variety of carcinomas including breast, brain, prostate, and endometrial cancers. He favors organ-based studies that rely on human tissues, which he feels are essential to understanding the biochemistry of disease.
Formerly a Professor of Breast Cancer Research, Medicine, Pathology, and Cell Biology in the Institute for Cancer Genetics and in The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, he also led the HICCC’s Breast Cancer Program.
“We are entering a new era in cancer research in which genetics and genomics are playing a central role,” said Dr. Parsons. “Mount Sinai recognizes this and is leading the charge in its commitment to multidisciplinary, translational cancer research. I look forward to leading such an innovative group of researchers and to recruit additional world-class scientists to the Department of Oncological Sciences.”
The recruitment of Dr. Parsons follows the appointment of Stuart Aaronson, MD, Jack and Jane B. Aron Professor and formerly Chair of the Department of Oncological Sciences, as Founding Chair Emeritus of the department after 20 years of exceptional leadership at Mount Sinai. As a highly funded researcher in the department of Oncological Sciences at Mount Sinai, Dr. Aaronson will focus more on his active laboratory and continue to seek new discoveries in cancer research. ■