UF Health Cancer Center appoints new director

Published: June 29th, 2015

Category: Memos

David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Health Affairs,
President, UF Health

Jonathan D. Licht, M.D., an internationally known expert in blood cancers, has been appointed director of the University of Florida Health Cancer Center. His appointment will be effective Oct. 1.

Licht comes to UF Health from Northwestern University in Chicago and brings a $2 million research portfolio that includes funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute and national foundations such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. His laboratory studies aberrant gene regulation as a cause of blood cancers and is developing treatment strategies to reverse abnormal, cancer-causing gene functions. Licht currently serves as the associate director for clinical sciences at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, and holds appointments in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine as the Johanna Dobe Professor of Hematology/Oncology, chief of the division of hematology/oncology and professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics.

Licht’s cancer career spans nearly three decades and his research program is distinguished by 25 years of NIH and national foundation funding. He serves on the editorial boards of numerous peer-reviewed cancer journals, is a member of the executive committee of the American Society of Hematology and is on the faculty of the ASH/European Hematology Association Translational Research Training in Hematology joint program. He sits on the Medical/Scientific Board of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and is a member of the Basic Mechanisms of Cancer Therapeutics Study Section of the NIH. Licht has published more than 170 original articles, reviews and book chapters and his work has been cited more than 10,000 times.

Prior to his position at Northwestern, Licht was a professor and chief of hematology/oncology and associate dean for cancer programs at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. A graduate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Licht completed his internal medicine residency and medical oncology fellowship at Harvard Medical School.

As UF Health Cancer Center director, Licht succeeds Paul Okunieff, M.D., who, after five years of service, announced in January that he is stepping down to focus his energy on the UF department of radiation oncology, which he chairs, and on his robust and demanding research program. Okunieff led the UF Health Cancer Center during a time of unprecedented growth in cancer patient care and research funding.

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