Jun 06, 2022 3:00 PM

Read Time: 2 minutes

Author: Carley Lehauli


Gita Suneja, MD, MS, Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, MD, PhD, and Douglas Sborov, MD, MS
Gita Suneja, MD, MS, Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, MD, PhD, and Douglas Sborov, MD, MS

Huntsman Cancer Institute established The Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars, an initiative that recognizes excellence in the discipline of translational science. Translational researchers extend basic discoveries made in the laboratory and apply them to solve clinical problems and benefit patients through new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Leaders at Huntsman Cancer Institute and the University of Utah recently recognized three physician-scientists with a Huntsman Translational Scholar award: Gita Suneja, MD, MS; Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, MD, PhD; and Douglas Sborov, MD, MS.

Recognition as a Huntsman Translational Scholar provides financial support to promote studies that accelerate the development of new cancer treatments. The awardees also work as a team to share best practices and mentor other scientists interested in translational cancer research.

Photo of Gita Suneja, MD, MS
Gita Suneja, MD, MS

Gita Suneja, MD, MS

Suneja is a radiation oncologist at Huntsman Cancer Institute and associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Utah. Her clinical specialties include the treatment of breast and gynecologic cancers. Her research focuses on enhancing health equity to improve cancer outcomes for all people. Suneja completed her medical degree at Brown University and served as chief resident during her radiation oncology residency training at the University of Pennsylvania.
Photo of Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, MD, PhD
Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, MD, PhD

Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, MD, PhD

Hu-Lieskovan is a physician-scientist and director of solid tumor immunotherapy at Huntsman Cancer Institute and associate professor of medicine at the University of Utah. She specializes in caring for people with melanoma and other skin cancers. Hu-Lieskovan completed her medicine residency at the University of Southern California and oncology training at the University of California, Los Angeles. She develops clinical trials to test new immunotherapy approaches to improve outcome for patients diagnosed with solid cancers and investigate ways to overcome resistance and prevent side effects from immunotherapy.

Photo of Douglas Sborov, MD, MS
Douglas Sborov, MD, MS

Douglas Sborov, MD, MS

Sborov is a physician-scientist and director of the multiple myeloma program at Huntsman Cancer Institute and assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah. He primarily researches treatment for patients with multiple myeloma. Sborov completed medical school through American University of the Caribbean and completed his training in Salt Lake City.

“The Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars was designed to support a community of distinguished cancer researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute,” says Neli Ulrich, PhD, executive director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute. “Translational Scholars are inspirational members of our community who embody our core values and demonstrate extraordinary commitment to our mission.”

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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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