Five Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center faculty appointed to leadership roles

To support the continued growth of University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, five faculty members who have helped to foster that growth have been appointed to leadership positions.

The appointments, announced by George Weiner, MD, director of the cancer center, are effective Sept. 1, 2019.

“Supporting the careers of these successful faculty members and providing them with an opportunity to serve in leadership roles will ensure even greater success for Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center,” Weiner says. “All of them have demonstrated their dedication to keeping Holden at the forefront of patient care and a leader in the search for new ways to prevent and cure cancer.”

Bryan Allen, MD, PhDBryan Allen, MD, PhD, will serve as leader of the cancer center’s Experimental Therapeutics (ET) Program. Allen, an associate professor and associate chair of translational research in the Department of Radiation Oncology, is a leader of Holden’s project assessing the efficacy of pharmacological ascorbate in enhancing cancer therapy, an effort that is supported by a P01 grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Aliasger Salem, PhD, will continue as co-leader of the ET program.

 

 

Yusuf Menda, MDYusef Menda, MD, will serve as co-leader of the cancer center’s Free Radical Metabolism and Imaging (FRMI) Program. Menda, a professor in the Department of Radiology, was recently named chief of the department’s Division of Nuclear Medicine. Menda’s research expertise is in the development and testing of novel approaches to cancer diagnosis and therapy. His research is supported by a project on the University of Iowa Neuroendocrine SPORE P50 grant and a National Cancer Institute R01 grant.

In his new administrative role, Menda will work closely with Douglas Spitz, PhD, who will continue to serve as FRMI program leader.

 

Umar Farooq, MDUmar Farooq, MD, will serve as Holden’s director of cellular immunotherapy. Farooq is an associate professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation in the Department of Internal Medicine. His new position is based in the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program led by Margarida Magalhaes-Silverman, MD. Farooq led the effort to bring chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) therapy to the cancer center.

 

 

 

Yousef Zakharia, MDYousef Zakharia, MD, will serve as associate director of Holden’s Phase I Clinical Trials Program. Zakharia is an associate professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation in the Department of Internal Medicine. He has worked closely with Mohammed Milhem, MBBS, deputy director for clinical cancer care and associate director for clinical research, in the development and growth of the phase I program, which in the first six months of 2019 nearly matched accrual for all of 2018.

 

 

Arwa Aburizik, MD, MSArwa Aburizik, MD, MS, will serve as director of psychosocial oncology. Aburizik is an associate professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood & Marrow Transplantation in the Department of Internal Medicine. She carries a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. Aburizik developed a successful behavioral oncology clinic, cancer patient therapy group, cancer caregiver therapy group, and other clinical and educational efforts focused on enhancing the psychosocial well-being of cancer patients.

As director of psychosocial oncology, Aburizik will collaborate with other psychosocial oncology providers, including those in the Departments of Psychiatry and Social Work to strengthen the clinical, educational, and research psychosocial activities of the cancer center.

Date: 
Wednesday, September 11, 2019