TGen News & Press Releases : Businessman-philanthropist assists TGen-VARI study of rare cancer

UA Professor Daniel D. Von Hoff MD accepts additional role as Director of Translational Drug Development at TGen
Cancer Drug Development to be Primary Focus

October 16 2003

Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, FACP, currently Professor at the University of Arizona, has accepted the additional position as Executive Vice President of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). Dr. Von Hoff will also serve as Director of TGen's Translational Drug Development Division and Head of its Pancreatic Cancer Research Program. At TGen, Dr. Von Hoff and his team will concentrate on discovery of new targets in pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Von Hoff is a pioneer in the field of translational cancer research. His efforts to advance new agents into treatment of patient trials based on high-quality clinical research has significantly advanced the field of medical oncology and highlighted the value of new therapy development, allowing patient access to new drugs, and accelerating the process of drug development.

"The addition of Dr. Von Hoff to the TGen team is immeasurable. Among his many talents is his ability to move drugs ahead into the mainstream. His invaluable contributions in the area of initial clinical trails of new therapies has allowed physicians to think of these compounds as a standard component of medical therapy, changing the course of patient therapy and ultimately bringing new hope to cancer patients worldwide." said TGen President and Scientific Director Dr. Jeffrey Trent in announcing Von Hoff's appointment.

"It is an honor and a privilege to become a part of the TGen team. Dr. Trent has assembled an incredible team of talented investigators who compliment the other scientists we have in Arizona. My job will be to make sure their laboratory findings are translated into improved care of patients as rapidly as possible," said Dr. Von Hoff.

In addition to his duties at TGen, Dr. Von Hoff will remain Director of Arizona Health Sciences Center's Cancer Therapeutics Program, and Professor in the Department of Medicine, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Pathology, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona. He also serves as Vice President for the International Genomics Consortium.

"We believe Dr. Von Hoff will make an excellent addition to TGen's translational research program. He offers broad experience in so many facets of health care and clinical investigation and will bring additional strong leadership to TGen's management team. This is an exciting time in bioscience for Arizona, and Dan is the perfect choice to bring genomics to the clinic," said Dr. Raymond Woosley, Vice President for the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC).

Dr. Von Hoff has devoted his entire career to translational medicine. Translational medicine is defined as movement of new therapies from the research institution into patient care.

In the 1980's, he served as Professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, was one of only six investigators selected to conduct Phase I trials (initial trials in patients) of new anticancer agents sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. While at Texas, he organized investigators at The Cancer Therapy and Research Center (CTRC), UTHSCSA, St. Luke's Hospital, Brooke Army Medical Center and the VA hospitals to form one of the largest Phase I trials organizations in the world.

During the 1990's, Dr. Von Hoff's team of investigators led the early clinical development of a number of exciting new agents including gemcitabine, CPT-11, Taxotere, and muti-targeted antifol (Alimta). Dr. Von Hoff worked extensively with sponsors and the FDA to help get the following drugs approved and into the practice of medicine: gemcitabine (Gemzar) the first new drug to improve survival of patients with pancreatic cancer; CPT-11 (Irinotecan) a new agent to improve the survival of patients with colon cancer; alemtuzamab (CAMPATH 1H) an agent which gives substantial responses in patients with the most common form of leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia; docetaxel (Taxotere) a new therapy to improve the survival of women with breast cancer, to name just a few.

In addition, in the 1990's Dr. Von Hoff established the Institute for Drug Development (IDD) at CTRC. IDD provided preclinical testing services to evaluate new agents in animal model systems and in vitro cell-based assay systems. IDD remains one of the leading expert organizations that conduct this kind of work.

Dr. Von Hoff's contributions go well beyond the scientific and medical achievements detailed above. He served as Director of the Arizona Cancer Center from 1999-2003, where he led drug development efforts, bringing several anti-neoplastic and biologic agents to trials.

"Dr. Von Hoff's career has been about beating cancer. In the field of developing new treatments for cancer, he is widely recognized as a leader and innovator in the truest sense. His knowledge is encyclopedic, and he has an outstanding ability to communicate and teach. His expert advice is sought by investigators in the academic and pharmaceutical communities. Above all, Dr. Von Hoff puts the patient first as he constantly seeks ways to better understand cancer and discover better therapies," said Dr. John Mendelsohn, president of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Von Hoff has numerous honors including past president of the American Association for Cancer Research, the largest cancer research professional society in the word; fellow of the American College of Physicians; and a member and past board member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He is also a founder and board member of ILEX Oncology, Inc. (ILXO, Nasdaq).

"Dr. Von Hoff is a great scientist and ambassador for cancer research. He has dedicated his career to the cure and prevention of cancer, and his extraordinary worldwide reputation, coupled with a gifted ability to motivate others to share his vision, allows him to accomplish things in the field that would otherwise seem impossible to others," said Dr. Margaret Foti, Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Dr. Von Hoff has authored more than 484 papers, 122 book chapters, and 822 abstracts. He has served as Editor of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, and has served on 12 editorial boards of peer-reviewed journals including Cancer Research and Annals of Oncology. He has trained over 36 postgraduate fellows. He was a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the K. Bagshawe Honorary Lecture for the British Association for Cancer Research, the EORTC Michel Clavel Lectureship, and the Rosenthal Foundation Award for clinical research from the AACR. Most recently, he is the recipient of the 2003 Block Award, presented by Ohio State University and The Weinberg Award, presented by the Dana Farber Cancer Center.

About TGen
The mission of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is to make and translate genomic discoveries into advances in human health. "Translational genomics research" is a relatively new field employing innovative advances arising from the Human Genome Project to apply to the development of diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurologic disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases.


Search



Media Contact



RSS Feed

Newsletter