Helen Piwnica-Worms, PhD, a leader and scientist whose success in cancer research spans the spectrum from basic science discovery through arduous preclinical follow-up and delivery of potential new drugs to clinical trial, will lead science research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, starting June 1. She will serve as Vice Provost, Science, overseeing preclinical and basic science research. She also will be a Professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Cancer Biology.
Dr. Piwinca-Worms is currently Head of the Washington University School of Medicine Department of Cell Biology and Physiology as well as Associate Director for Basic Science and Executive Committee Member at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University in St. Louis.
“Helen’s career has been marked by continual waves of innovation and translation. Her pioneering work in cell-cycle checkpoints has been translated into new therapeutic opportunities for cancer patients,” said MD Anderson President Ronald A. DePinho, MD. “Her powerful blend of great science and effective translation, coupled with her strategic bandwidth, make her uniquely qualified to guide our laboratory sciences into an exciting era of vibrant discovery and clinical impact,” he added.
During her 19 years at Washington University, Dr. Piwnica-Worms became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and assumed greater levels of leadership, playing an instrumental role in building the Molecular Oncology program and establishing the Siteman Cancer Center.
She also collaborates with her spouse, David Piwnica-Worms, MD, PhD, in molecular imaging research. He is coming to MD Anderson to lead the Department of Cancer System Imaging and as Deputy Division Head, Research, in the Division of Diagnostic Imaging. ■