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Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah (The U) is pleased to congratulate three of our newest endowed chairs. A chair appointment recognizes excellence, while providing academic distinction and funding for future research. Alana Welm, PhD, received a five-year extension in her current role as Ralph E. and Willia T. Main Presidential Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, Aik Choon Tan, PhD, was named the Jon and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professor in Cancer Research, and Brad Cairns, PhD, was named the inaugural Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Endowed Chair in Cancer Research given by the 2018 Utah State Legislature.
“We are surrounded by dedicated and talented colleagues here at Huntsman Cancer Institute,” says CEO Mary Beckerle, PhD. “Our vision - passionate individuals and teams, delivering a cancer-free frontier through scientific discovery and human touch - is encompassed in the work these three individuals do every day.”
Cairns is the chief academic officer at Huntsman Cancer Institute and relinquished his role as Jon and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professor of Cancer Research to move into this new position. He is also a professor and chair in the department of oncological sciences at the U. Cairns has been with Huntsman Cancer Institute since 1998. His vast and important work in cancer research has led to this inaugural appointment.
“This appointment is very special to me as it honors the vision and legacy of Jon M. Huntsman,” Cairns says. “It was given by our Utah State Legislature in recognition of his impact. His passion for cancer patients, care, and research continue to inspire me and all Huntsman Cancer Institute leadership.”
Tan is the senior director of data science, a professor in the department of oncological sciences, and an adjunct professor in biomedical informatics. He joined Huntsman Cancer Institute in October 2022. Tan’s research helps find precise, individualized ways to treat cancer.
“I am honored and grateful for this recognition,” says Tan. “My work here at Huntsman Cancer Institute is just beginning. I look forward to what’s to come.”
Welm is the senior director of basic science at Huntsman Cancer Institute and a professor in the department of oncological sciences at the U. Her research focuses on breast cancer and has paved the way to understanding its risk, outcomes, and disparities.
Endowed chairs are made possible by generous donors, including those who donate to Huntsman Cancer Foundation.