Sep 22, 2017 9:00 AM

SALT LAKE CITY- Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah has announced David Gaffney, MD, PhD, as Senior Director for Clinical Research. In this position, Gaffney oversees HCI’s clinical research efforts which include more than 200 active clinical cancer trials at any given time.

“Dr. Gaffney is a distinguished clinician and translational researcher,” said Mary Beckerle, PhD, CEO and director of HCI.  “His judgment, expertise, and insight has helped craft a robust portfolio of high-quality clinical trials at HCI, extending opportunities to patients suffering from common and rare cancers, and leading to improvements in cancer prevention. His contributions and exceptional success are a reflection of his commitment to collaborative, team-based research.”

Dennis Shrieve, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Radiation Oncology at University of Utah Health, notes “Dr. Gaffney has been an outstanding leader at the University of Utah, and he is passionate about power of clinical research to unlock new and improved ways to care for our patients.”

In his new role as HCI Senior Director of Clinical Research, Gaffney will serve as a member of the HCI executive leadership board, with key responsibilities in clinical trial development, mentoring junior faculty, and overseeing the quality of HCI’s clinical research portfolio.

“I’m honored by this opportunity, and am looking forward to working closely with HCI’s leadership team to continue to advance our understanding of better ways to treat cancer, including through the development of new drugs,” said Gaffney. “HCI has some of the most gifted physicians and researchers in the world and an outstanding group of clinical trial experts. I am thrilled to be part of a team dedicated to HCI’s mission, to help create and improve cancer treatments, and provide patients with the best treatment options possible.”

Gaffney has been a faculty member at the University of Utah since 1996, where he is professor and vice chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. He serves as principal investigator of a National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant that enables HCI to serve as a Lead Academic Partnering Site (LAPS) of the NCI National Clinical Trials Network (NCI U10CA180818). He has served in a number of national leadership positions in gynecologic cancer and radiation oncology research. Currently he serves as a co-Chair for NCI’s Gynecologic Cancer Steering Committee.  He is also a senior editor for several peer-reviewed medical research journals including International Journal of Gynecologic Cancer, Gynecologic Oncology, Brachytherapy and the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.


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Heather Simonsen
Public Relations – Huntsman Cancer Institute
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Cancer Center Research Program Experimental Therapeutics

About Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah is the official cancer center of Utah and the only National Cancer Institute-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. Huntsman Cancer Institute provides patient care, cancer screening, and education at community clinics and affiliate hospitals throughout the Mountain West. It 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. Huntsman Cancer Institute 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 Huntsman Cancer Institute than at any other cancer center, including genes responsible for breast, ovarian, colon, head and neck cancers, and melanoma. Huntsman Cancer Institute was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman.

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