University of New Mexico Health Sciences and Cancer Centers Recruit Four Cancer Experts to Top Positions


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These four world-renowned experts in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and the development of new cancer drugs and therapies will take the outstanding cancer research and treatment programs at the UNM Cancer Center to a whole new level.

—Cheryl Willman, MD

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and the University of New Mexico Cancer Center, Albuquerque, recently announced the recruitment of four cancer physicians and scientists. The UNM Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of the State of New Mexico and one of the nation’s 60 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Centers.

Joining the UNM Cancer Center and UMN School of Medicine are: Wadih Arap, MD, PhD, and Renata Pasqualini, PhD, recruited from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston; Martin J. Edelman, MD, FACP, recruited from the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore; and Anita Kinney, PhD, recruited from the Huntsman Cancer Center at the University of Utah.

“These four world-renowned experts in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and the development of new cancer drugs and therapies will take the outstanding cancer research and treatment programs at the UNM Cancer Center to a whole new level,” said Cheryl Willman, MD, Director and CEO of the UNM Cancer Center, and the Maurice and Marguerite Liberman Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research. “We are absolutely thrilled to have them join our team. Their expertise will not only greatly benefit New Mexicans in their fight against cancer, but their success in the discovery of new cancer drugs and the development of new biotechnology companies will spur New Mexico’s economic development.”

Wadih Arap, MD, PhD

Wadih Arap, MD, PhD will join UNM as the new Deputy Director of the UNM Cancer Center and Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine in the School of Medicine. He will hold the Victor and Ruby Hansen Surface Endowed Chair in Cancer Medicine.

Currently the Stringer Professor of Medicine and Experimental Diagnostic Imaging and Deputy Chair of the Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology in the Division of Cancer Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Arap earned his MD degree from the University of São Paulo Medical School in Brazil and completed his clinical training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He earned his PhD in Cancer Biology from Stanford University and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in La Jolla.

During his 14-year tenure at MD Anderson, Dr. Arap gained international recognition for his expertise in the treatment of prostate cancer. His research focused on the development of new cancer drugs and therapies that could be precisely targeted to cancer cells. His research, supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and several philanthropic foundations, has led to over 60 patents worldwide and the publication of over 150 scientific studies.

Renata Pasqualini, PhD

Renata Pasqualini, PhD, will join UNM as the new Associate Director for Translational Research. She will co-lead the UNM Cancer Center’s Program in Experimental Therapeutics and Drug Discovery with Larry Sklar, PhD, Distinguished Regents Professor of Pathology. Dr. Pasqualini will be a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and will hold the Maralyn S. Budke Endowed Chair in Cancer Experimental Therapeutics.

Currently the Helen Buchanan & Stanley Seeger Professor of Medicine and Experimental Diagnostic Imaging in the Division of Cancer Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center, she earned her PhD in Biochemistry from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the Institute of Chemistry at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Dr. Pasqualini completed her research training at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in San Diego.

During her 14-year tenure at MD Anderson, Dr. Pasqualini has won international acclaim for her scientific contributions in cancer biology and drug development. Working with her husband, Dr. Arap, in their joint laboratory program, she has developed novel diagnostic and imaging tools for cancer and obesity.

Martin J. Edelman, MD, FACP

Martin J. Edelman, MD, FACP, will join UNM as a Professor of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine. He will be the new Associate Director for Clinical Research at the UNM Cancer Center and will co-lead the UNM Cancer Center’s Program in Lung Cancer and Aerodigestive Malignancies with Stephen Belinsky, PhD, of the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute. Dr. Edelman will also lead the New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance, a collaborative statewide cancer clinical trials network between the UNM Cancer Center and several community health-care systems. He will hold the Victor and Ruby Hansen Surface Endowed Chair in Clinical Cancer Research.

Currently Professor of Medicine, Director of the Solid Tumor Oncology, and Director of Thoracic Oncology at the University of Maryland’s Greenebaum Cancer Center, Dr. Edelman earned his medical degree from The Albany Medical College and completed his clinical training at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego. Following active military service, he held faculty positions at the University of California at Davis and the VA Northern California Health Care System before joining the University of Maryland.

Anita Kinney, PhD

Anita Kinney, Ph.D., will join UNM as a Professor of Internal Medicine and as the new Associate Director for Cancer Control and Population Sciences in the UNM Cancer Center. Holding the Victor and Ruby Hansen Surface Endowed Chair in Cancer Population Sciences, Dr. Kinney will also assist in the development of the new College of Public Health at UNM.

She is currently a Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Epidemiology, Leader of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program, and a Jon and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professor in Cancer Research at Huntsman Cancer Institute and the University of Utah. Dr. Kinney first earned degrees in Nursing from Seton Hall University and the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her doctorate in Epidemiology from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston. She completed a National Cancer Institute–funded postdoctoral fellowship in epidemiology and cancer control at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Dr. Kinney is a population scientist. During her 15-year tenure at the University of Utah, she has received international recognition for work in cancer prevention and control, disparities and behavioral epidemiology. She has published over 150 scientific articles and abstracts, and has won numerous awards. ■



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