Susan M. O’Brien Joins UC Irvine/Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center


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Susan M. O’Brien, MD

Susan M. O’Brien, MD has joined UC Irvine Health as Associate Director for Clinical Science for the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Medical Director of the Sue and Ralph Stern Center for Cancer Clinical Trials and Research. A renowned researcher and clinician, Dr. O’Brien’s leadership will help UC Irvine Health and the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center increase both the number and complexity of innovative, outcomes-focused clinical trials. Her appointment was effective January 1, 2015.

“This is an exciting time for cancer research. UC Irvine Health has an opportunity to build on its decades-long commitment to serving our region with leading-edge treatments and access to clinical trials,” said Richard A. Van Etten, MD, PhD, Director, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Irvine.

“As a comprehensive cancer center, we have an obligation to lead the way in our region and nationally,” he said. “Dr. O’Brien’s appointment is a critical step toward achieving those goals.”

Multiple Accomplishments

Dr. O’Brien comes to UC Irvine from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she was the Ashbel Smith Professor in the Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine. She has been principal investigator for more than 40 funded clinical research protocols and has authored more than 600 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 30 invited articles, and numerous book chapters and abstracts. 

Dr. O’Brien is the Chair of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Guidelines Committee, a member of the NCCN Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Guidelines Committee, and the hematology member of the Southwest Oncology Group Executive Committee.

As Associate Director for Clinical Science, Dr. O’Brien will be responsible for overseeing and coordinating clinical cancer research across the entire UC Irvine Health enterprise, including medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, and gynecologic oncology. 

Dr. O’Brien will take the lead with UC Irvine Health clinical investigators to expand the portfolio of early-phase clinical trials and launch a formal Experimental Therapeutics Program in her role as Medical Director of the Sue and Ralph Stern Center for Cancer Clinical Trials and Research. ■



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