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Patricia M. LoRusso, DO Joins Yale Cancer Center to Further Innovation in Cancer Research

June 18, 2014
by Vicky Agnew

Patricia M. LoRusso, DO, widely-regarded as a leading expert on developing new cancer drugs through clinical trials, will join Yale Cancer Center in August as a Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of Innovative Medicine at Yale Cancer Center.

LoRusso brings more than 25 years of expertise in medical oncology, drug development, and early phase clinical trials. Prior to her Yale appointment, she served in numerous leadership roles at Wayne State University’s Barbara Karmanos Cancer Institute, most recently as director of the Phase I Clinical Trials Program and of the Eisenberg Center for Experimental Therapeutics.

“Pat LoRusso is a pre-eminent leader in early phase drug development, and she joins the cancer center at a time during which we have committed to accelerating the process of getting new drugs to patients,” said Thomas J. Lynch, MD, director of Yale Cancer Center and physician-in-chief at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. “She will help the center continue to make significant contributions to the global cancer problem.”

LoRusso has served as co-chair of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) Investigational Drug Steering Committee. She also served on the scientific committee of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the education and scientific committees of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), numerous peer-reviewed study sections, and NCI committees. She has garnered numerous awards, including the 1999 Heroes of Breast Cancer Award; 2004 Bennett J. Cohen Educational Leadership Award for Medical Research, 2008 NCI Michaele C. Christian Oncology Development Lectureship and Award; the 2014 Targeted Anticancer Therapies (TAT) Honorary Award; and will receive the 2014 Michigan State University Distinguished Alumni Award. She was recently honored as one of the 2014 Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center’s “One Hundred” individuals and organizations recognized for their dedication in making a difference in the fight against cancer. LoRusso is a former editor of Investigational New Drugs, is currently on the editorial board for Clinical Cancer Research, and is a reviewer for several journals. She has authored more than 200 articles on cancer research in peer-reviewed journals, and written multiple book chapters.

“My primary mission is to make a difference in human lives, and one of the ways to do this is by bringing the very latest therapies to patients through clinical trials,” LoRusso said. “Yale Cancer Center has great research, great leadership, and a passionate group of scientists and physicians dedicated to fighting cancer, and this is where I want to apply my skills and passion.”

Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, chief of Medical Oncology at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital, and associate director of the cancer center’s Translational Research Program, called LoRusso a “truly transformational” leader.

“Bringing new drugs into clinical trials - and ultimately to FDA approval - is no easy feat, and Pat has the proven ability to do this. The global cancer community has seen her achieve this time and again,” Herbst said. “Pat joining our team is going to make a huge impact on how we grow our research program and help our patients.”

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Yale Cancer Center (YCC) is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation and the only such center in Connecticut. Comprehensive cancer centers play a vital role in the advancement of the NCI’s goal of reducing morbidity and mortality from cancer through scientific research, cancer prevention, and innovative cancer treatment.

Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven is part of the nationally recognized Yale-New Haven Hospital, and is affiliated with Yale Cancer Center. Smilow Cancer Hospital, the most comprehensive cancer facility in New England, is a 14-story, 500,000-square-foot cancer hospital, which includes 168 private inpatient rooms, outpatient multidisciplinary treatment centers, 12 operating rooms, infusion suites, diagnostic imaging services, a floor for children with cancer, a specialized women's cancer center and diagnostic and therapeutic radiology services for children and adults. YNHH’s York Street campus and associated ambulatory sites are Magnet-designated by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Submitted by Renee Gaudette on June 18, 2014