Ira Mellman, Ph.D. ’78, chair and Sterling Professor of Cell Biology and professor of immunobiology, has been named scientific director. Edward Chu, M.D., professor of medicine (medical oncology) and pharmacology, has been named chief of medical oncology.

As scientific director Mellman will have a central role in the recruitment of cancer scientists and will collaborate closely with Chu and Jose Costa, M.D., the center’s deputy director. Mellman’s research combines cell biology and immunology to understand fundamental mechanisms of antigen processing and presentation by cells. His leadership skills and familiarity with the Yale research community make him an ideal choice for the new position, said Richard L. Edelson, M.D. ’70, director of the Yale Cancer Center, who announced the appointments.

“His seminal contributions to our understanding of how dendritic antigen-presenting cells trigger immune reactions have profound implications for the field of tumor immunotherapy, a major area of interest in the Cancer Center,” Edelson said.

Chu plans to build on Yale’s strengths in several areas as he recruits new faculty and builds up translational clinical research as well as the cancer clinical program. “My challenge,” said Chu, “is to be able to recruit a large number of new clinical faculty. Their main task, along with the current faculty, is to expand our clinical programs and really work with the scientists here on campus to translate the great discoveries from the laboratories into the clinic to treat cancer patients.”

“Dr. Chu brings a special blend of clinical skills, major accomplishments as an innovative cancer researcher, familiarity with our school and hospital, and demonstrated leadership talents to the Center,” said Edelson.