New Director of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Assistant VP for Research, and Associate Dean for Translational Science and Clinical Research

Published: March 5th, 2020

Category: Memos

David R. Nelson, M.D., Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, UF & President, UF Health, David P. Norton, Ph.D., UF Vice President for Research, and Joseph A. Tyndall, M.D., M.P.H., Interim Dean, UF College of Medicine

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Duane A. Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., as director of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, assistant vice president for research, and associate dean for translational science and clinical research.

A leading expert in the search for ways to treat aggressive adult and pediatric brain tumors, Dr. Mitchell is co-director of the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy and co-leader of the Cancer Therapeutics and Host Response Program at the UF Health Cancer Center. He is the Phyllis Kottler Friedman Professor in the Lillian S. Wells Department of Neurosurgery and the State of Florida Endowed Cancer Research Chair at the UF College of Medicine.

Dr. Mitchell graduated from Rutgers College in New Brunswick, New Jersey with a bachelor’s degree in biology, and received his medical degree and doctorate in immunology from Duke University.

In 2013, Dr. Mitchell joined the UF faculty after more than a decade at Duke, and leads a comprehensive brain tumor program focused on translational research. He has considerable clinical and translational research experience, having successfully developed five FDA-approved investigational new drug applications for new brain tumor therapies discovered in his laboratory. He also directed seven first-in-human clinical trials exploring brain tumor immunotherapies in adults and children with incurable brain cancers.

Dr. Mitchell has received over $20 million in research grants to support his work, including funding from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Neurologic Diseases and Stroke, and the Department of Defense.  He holds numerous patents for novel cancer therapeutics and has received several honors and awards for his work. In 2016, Dr. Mitchell received a Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award from the Clinical Research Forum in Washington, D.C., in recognition of his team’s work in advancing a new cancer vaccine for patients with glioblastoma.

Dr. Mitchell’s expertise has been sought out internationally by academic, private and government institutions. He serves as an appointed member of the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors and as the gubernatorial appointee to the Florida Center for Brain Tumor Research Scientific Advisory Council. 

As CTSI director, Dr. Mitchell will lead the institute in its mission to improve human health by accelerating the translation of scientific discoveries for the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and cure of human disease.  As assistant vice president for research and associate dean for translational science and clinical research, Dr. Mitchell will work with UF leadership to enhance the efficiency and impact of translational and clinical research activities across the UF campus.

In July, the CTSI received, in partnership with FSU, a $29 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health’s CTSA Program. This was the third CTSA for the institute, founded in 2008. Dr. Mitchell is now director of the CTSI, but will be named the principal investigator of the CTSA upon review and approval from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

Dr. Betsy Shenkman, Ph.D., remains co-director of the CTSI. We look forward to seeing the CTSI’s achievements under Dr. Mitchell’s leadership, and will continue our enthusiastic support of this vital catalyst of resources, people and ideas across UF’s 16 colleges, the state and the nation.

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