Apr 06, 2015 8:00 AM

Martin McMahon
Martin McMahon

Expert in how cancer forms, progresses and responds to therapy in melanoma, lung, thyroid, and pancreas cancer

Martin McMahon, Ph.D., joins Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah in August as Professor in the Department of Dermatology and HCI Senior Director of Pre-Clinical Translation.

Professor McMahon is currently the Efim Guzik Distinguished Professor of Cancer Biology at the University of California, San Francisco and Assistant Director of Professional Education and Co-leader of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (HCFCCC) Developmental Therapeutics Program.

“Dr. McMahon is a distinguished scientist who is passionate about improving cancer outcomes,” said Mary Beckerle, Ph.D., CEO and Director of Huntsman Cancer Institute. “He is a natural leader who will play a major role in advancing the development of HCI research discoveries to improve cancer treatments.”

John Zone, M.D., Chair of Dermatology, notes “Dr. McMahon’s recruitment illustrates a great partnership between HCI and the Department of Dermatology. Utah has the highest incidence of melanoma in the USA and Dr. McMahon’s expertise will advance our strategic goal of expanding our melanoma research excellence and impact.”

In his new role as HCI Senior Director of Pre-Clinical Translation, McMahon will serve as a member of the HCI executive leadership board, the Director’s Cabinet, with key responsibilities in strategic planning and development of the cancer center.

“With the arrival of Dr. McMahon, HCI will be able to take new initiatives in the development of pre-clinical models, so essential to the discovery of not only new treatments for cancer, but prevention strategies as well,” said Bradley Cairns, Ph.D., HCI Senior Director of Basic Science. “His laboratory will actively pursue the design and evaluation of treatments that will combat a mutant protein, BRAF, known to be at the root of many cancers.”

McMahon is a highly sought after speaker in national and international forums, giving nearly 60 invited lectures in the past five years, both nationally and internationally. He is the current President of the Society for Melanoma Research.

“I am honored and very excited to join the faculty of the Department of Dermatology and the Huntsman Cancer Institute at this most exciting time in the battle against cancer,” McMahon said. “What excites me most is the opportunity to work closely with Mary Beckerle, John Zone, Brad Cairns and the entire team at HCI to build the research infrastructure required to transform clinical outcomes for our patients.”

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Heather Simonsen
Public Relations – Huntsman Cancer Institute
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About Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah is the official cancer center of Utah and the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West. The campus includes a state-of-the-art cancer specialty hospital, and two buildings dedicated to cancer research. HCI provides patient care, cancer screening, and education at community clinics and affiliate hospitals throughout the Mountain West. HCI is consistently recognized among the best cancer hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report. The region’s first proton therapy center opened in 2021 and a major hospital expansion is underway. HCI is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment for staff, students, patients, and communities. Advancing cancer research discoveries and treatments to meet the needs of patients who live far away from a major medical center is a unique focus. More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at HCI than at any other cancer center, including genes responsible for breast, ovarian, colon, head and neck cancers, and melanoma. HCI was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman.

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