May 10, 2021 10:00 AM

Read Time: 5 minutes


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Huntsman Cancer Institute

In recognition of exceptional service including scientific achievements, training, and scholarly accomplishments, faculty at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) have recently received honors for their work. HCI congratulates faculty who have recently been honored with new or renewed endowed chairs and professorships, as well as a faculty member who was recently recognized as a distinguished professor at the U of U.

Endowed chairs at HCI play an important role in creating a partnership between donors and researchers. These chairs can provide resources to attract and retain top faculty, fund lab trainees, and support innovative research.

“Huntsman Cancer Foundation is delighted to contribute to the future of the cancer institute by raising funds to create these chairs,” says Susan Sheehan, president and chief operating officer of Huntsman Cancer Foundation. “Endowed chairs allow us to confer the highest accolades to a talented cancer researcher and we are immensely grateful to the donors who made three new chairs possible. We are honored to recognize Drs. Onega, Schiffman, and Kohli for their contributions to cancer knowledge and insights.”

2021 Newly Appointed Endowed Chairs

Photo of Joshua D. Schiffman, MD
Joshua D. Schiffman, MD

Joshua D. Schiffman, MD, pediatric hematologist-oncologist and researcher at HCI and professor at the U of U, as the Helen Clise Presidential Endowed Chair in Li-Fraumeni Syndrome Research

HCI established this endowed chair thanks to a generous estate donation from Helen Cliseand daughter Sherry Clise, both deceased. The Clises lost family members to Li-Fraumeni syndrome and were deeply committed to helping HCI advance its mission.

“Receiving an endowed chair named for a member of a family so drastically impacted by Li-Fraumeni syndrome is especially meaningful and underscores the importance of our research. The investigation of p53, a tumor suppressor gene, and its role in causing cancer remains a top priority in our research laboratory. The support of the Helen Clise Presidential Endowed Chair in Li-Fraumeni Syndrome Research will help us explore new approaches to the prevention and treatment of cancer. This endowed chair is particularly impactful to me having clinically cared for Clise family members through the Family Cancer Assessment Clinic at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Although the family members are no longer with us, we are grateful to continue our p53 research in honor of their memory.”  

Photo of Manish Kohli, MD
Manish Kohli, MD

Manish Kohli, MD, genitourinary oncologist and prostate cancer researcher at HCI and professor of  internal medicine at the U of U, as the Jack R. and Hazel M. Robertson Presidential Endowed Chair

The Roberstons gave generously to several areas of the U of U Health system, including HCI. Hazel Robertson, who died in 2017, had a lifelong love of nursing and a desire to help those in need.

“Being bestowed the Jack R. and Hazel M. Robertson Presidential Endowed Chair is an honor, a privilege, and an accomplishment. But beyond that it is a responsibility, an inspiration, and a commitment to work harder for alleviating morbidity and mortality from cancer.”

Photo of Tracy Onega, PhD
Tracy Onega, PhD

Tracy Onega, PhD, cancer, epidemiology, and health services researcher at HCI and professor of population sciences at the U of U, as a Jon M. and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professor in Cancer Research

The Utah State Legislature created the Jon M. and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professorship in Cancer Research at Huntsman Cancer Institute to honor and celebrate Mr. Huntsman’s legacy.

“I’m truly honored to be named as a Jon M. and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professor in Cancer Research. The Huntsman family’s generosity and dedication to ending suffering from cancer humbles me and calls me to also work tirelessly in that pursuit. I’m grateful for this honor and for the opportunity to work with my fabulous colleagues to deliver a cancer-free frontier.”

Renewed Endowed Chair

Photo of Daniel R. Couriel, MD, MS
Daniel R. Couriel, MD, MS

Daniel R. Couriel, MD, MS, hematologist and researcher at HCI and professor of internal medicine at the U of U, as holder of the Huntsman Cancer Institute Endowed Professorship in Adult Leukemia Research

“An endowed professorship is a recognition, an honor, and a responsibility beyond your academic rank. It means the institution recognizes you professionally and personally and honors your contributions to the field throughout your life. At the same time, as everything in life, it is our responsibility to live up to the expectation. I think that working in a healthy environment like ours makes it easy to do our part.”

Distinguished Professorship

Photo of Saundra S. Buys, MD
Saundra S. Buys, MD

At the U of U, distinguished professors are individuals who have been recognized by peers with national and international stature for achievements exemplifying the highest goals of scholarship, as well as recognized by students or colleagues for showing a high dedication to teaching.

Saundra S. Buys, MD, chief of the division of oncology at HCI and professor in the department of medicine at the U of U, as a Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine at the U of U

“My personal and professional lives have been shaped and immensely enriched by the example and mentoring of so many of the distinguished professors at the University of Utah. Being considered a colleague is a huge motivation in working to approach the standards they have set.”

 

Media Contact

Ashlee Harrison
Public Relations – Huntsman Cancer Institute
public.affairs@hci.utah.edu
801-585-1954

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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. The cancer campus includes a state-of-the-art cancer specialty hospital as well as two buildings dedicated to cancer research. HCI treats patients with all forms of cancer and is recognized among the best cancer hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report. As the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West, HCI serves the largest geographic region in the country, drawing patients from Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at HCI than at any other cancer center in the world, including genes responsible for hereditary breast, ovarian, colon, head, and neck cancers, along with melanoma. HCI manages the Utah Population Database, the largest genetic database in the world, with information on more than 11 million people linked to genealogies, health records, and vital statistics. HCI was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman.

Cancer touches all of us.

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