Leadership update for Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy

Friday, September 13, 2019

Nelson Chao profile photoNelson Chao, MD, MBA, has served as the chief for the Division of Cellular Therapy since 1996, and for the expanded Division of Hematologic Malignancies & Cellular Therapy since 2013. At the same time, Dr. Chao also has served as leader of the Hematologic Malignancies & Cellular Therapy Research Program for the Duke Cancer Institute (DCI). 
"After 24 successful years as a leader for the Department of Medicine and DCI, Nelson has decided to step down from these positions and focus on his laboratory investigations," said Kathleen Cooney, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine.

Chao has agreed to continue as chief until a new leader is in place.  
Dr. Cooney is initiating a national search for a new chief of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy in collaboration with Michael Kastan, MD, PhD, executive director of the DCI.

See the call for applicants.

The Division of Hematologic Malignancies & Cellular Therapy is a flagship division in the Department of Medicine, as well as an integrated program within DCI. Dr. Cooney and Dr. Kastan have asked Tom Ortel and Scott Antonia to co-chair a search committee that will identify and bring forward top candidates who can continue to lead the tripartite mission of the division.

A list of the members of the search committee is below.

"Nelson has served the Department of Medicine with distinction, and he has inspired excellent patient care and innovative scientific investigation while also recruiting and training a cadre of talented physicians," said Cooney.

The Division anticipates a 2021 opening of the Duke Blood Cancer Center, the result of a three-year expansion project at North Pavilion’s Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic (ABMT) to co-locate the Hematologic Malignancies and ABMT Programs.

Kastan has worked closely with Chao, noting that Chao has been instrumental in leading multi-investigator grants, specifically the P01 grant in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and a U19 grant that funds the Center for Medical Countermeasures against Radiation.

"We are keen to find a leader to continue this legacy of success," said Cooney.

Search Committee

Co-chairs for the search committee are] Tom Ortel, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Hematology, and Scott Antonia, MD, PhD, director, Center for Immunotherapy in the Duke Cancer Institute.

Committee members are:

  • Carey Anders, MD, Instructor in the Department of Medicine (Medical Oncology), Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
  • Ann Brown, MD, Professor of Medicine, Vice Dean for Faculty
  • David D’Alessio, MD, Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition
  • Jiaoti Huang, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology
  • David Kirsch, MD, PhD, Barbara Levine University Professor, Vice Chair for Basic & Translational Research in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
  • Ann Reed, MD, Samuel L. Katz Professor of Pediatrics, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Physician-in-Chief at Duke Children's Hospital
  • Michael Spiritos, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology), Member of the Duke Cancer Institute, Chief Medical Officer, Duke Raleigh Hospital
  • John Strickler, MD,Associate Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology), Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
  • Ellen Steinour, Interim DOM Vice Chair Administration

Administrative support is provided by Corinne Grodski of the Duke Cancer Institute.