One of the world’s most renowned tumor immunologists, Patrick Hwu, M.D., is set to become the new chief at the Moffitt Cancer Center eight months after its former chief stepped down over alleged Chinese influence.
Hwu joins Moffitt from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he has been its division head of cancer medicine. He starts at the Moffitt, a nonprofit cancer treatment and research center in Tampa, Florida, Nov. 10.
He comes on board after the departure at the start of the year by former president and CEO Alan List, M.D., following concerns about Chinese interference in research there.
Evidence was found that they were compensated by a Chinese talent recruitment program and failed to disclose it, officials at the center disclosed at the time.
He was followed out the door by center director Thomas Sellers, who stepped down from the Tampa-based facility, one of 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, “for violations of conflict of interest rules through their work in China.”
With Hwu, they are now hoping to move on from the scandal, internally at least.
“Dr. Hwu is truly a cancer visionary ready to elevate Moffitt to even greater success,” said Tim Adams, chair of Moffitt’s board, who had been running things since List’s exit.
“Drawing from his innovative cancer research, quality patient care and extensive leadership experience, Dr. Hwu will no doubt continue to help Moffitt in our pursuit of dynamic growth and ground-breaking work.”
Hwu helped pioneer the field of gene-modified T cells, publishing research on the first chimeric antigen receptor directed against cancer.
“I look forward to bringing my years of experience as a cancer physician, researcher and leader to help advance the outstanding work already underway by the teams of cancer experts at Florida’s top-ranked cancer hospital,” Hwu said.
“I’m confident that our collective efforts will further elevate Moffitt’s leadership in cancer patient care, research and education.”