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Vol. 2, No. 19                                                                                                            Sept. 18, 2019

Cancer Institute Member Spotlight

Darin Jones, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
UAMS College of Pharmacy

Dr. Jones' research interests are broadly in the area of medicinal chemistry and chemical biology. Specifically, his team studies essential proteins involved in DNA damage response and repair processes (DDR). Read more>


Michael Birrer, M.D., Ph.D., Named UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute Director

Internationally recognized medical oncologist Michael Birrer, M.D., Ph.D., has been named vice chancellor and director of the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. Birrer specializes in gynecologic cancers and will join the university by the end of the year.

He formerly served as director of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Birrer succeeds Laura Hutchins, M.D., who served as interim director of the UAMS Cancer Institute since June 2018.

“It is an honor to welcome Dr. Birrer as the new director of the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. As a highly regarded physician-scientist, Dr. Birrer is uniquely qualified to increase the Cancer Institute’s capacity for innovative research and advanced clinical care in the years ahead,” said UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA. Read more>

Gala for Life Raises More Than $1.2 Million
For NCI Designation Efforts
About 570 guests took a journey down the yellow brick road at the Cancer Institute’s 24th Annual Gala for Life on Sept. 6. Held at the Statehouse Convention Center, the black-tie event raised more than $1.2 million to benefit our efforts to achieve National Cancer Institute Designation.

UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA, and Kris Patterson, M.D., served as honorary co-chairs. As Cam Patterson told guests, “The Gala for Life has a long history of being one of the most exciting fundraisers in the state. Over the past 24 years, it has raised millions of dollars to support research and clinical care for the patients of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.”

The event featured a cocktail reception, dinner, dancing and live entertainment by the Emerald City Band. Celgene and Highlands Oncology Group served as Visionary Sponsors.

Select photos from the event are below. View additional photos here.
Honors and Achievements

A study co-authored by Jerad Gardner, M.D., demonstrates the ability to use international Facebook patient support groups to rapidly reach large numbers of rare cancer survivors. The study was published Aug. 30 in the open-access journal JAMA Network Open.

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