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Arteaga to direct UT Southwestern cancer center

July 13, 2017 | Dagny Stuart

Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D., director of the Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies (C2T2), director of the Breast Cancer Research Program and associate director for Clinical Research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), has been named director of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and associate dean of Oncology Programs at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D.

Arteaga, who holds the Donna S. Hall Chair in Breast Cancer and is a professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology, has been a member of the Vanderbilt faculty since 1989.

Since 2001, he has been the leader of the Vanderbilt Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Breast Cancer, a program that is in its third round of funding (five years per round) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The NCI SPORE grants support collaborative, interdisciplinary translational cancer research involving basic and clinical scientists working together to discover novel approaches to the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

As the founding director of C2T2 he helped launch the VICC center that integrates an early phase clinical trials program, a personalized cancer medicine infrastructure with expertise in tumor tissue-based molecular methods, as well as a core resource with novel functional imaging methods.

“Carlos Arteaga is one of the most admired and respected breast cancer investigators in the world. He has made some of the seminal discoveries in breast cancer and translated these research findings to the clinic for the benefit of patients,” said Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and director of VICC. “He has been an invaluable member of the VICC leadership team and his outstanding reputation for excellence and scientific discoveries has contributed to the rapid growth of our cancer center.”

Pietenpol noted that Arteaga also has mentored several of the rising young cancer investigators and clinicians at VICC, many of whom now hold independent positions at Vanderbilt and other institutions.

Arteaga recently served as the president of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) for 2014-2015. With more than 37,000 members in 108 countries, AACR is the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research for the prevention and cure of cancer.

Arteaga has served on the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors and as a member of the AACR Board of Directors and co-chair of the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Arteaga is internationally recognized for his research in oncogene signaling and molecular therapeutics in breast cancer with an emphasis on targeted therapies, mechanisms of drug resistance and investigator-initiated clinical trials. Early in his career, he was the first to identify the roles of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) receptors and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) in breast cancer progression and their use as therapeutic targets.

More recently, Arteaga and his team have focused on presurgical and neoadjuvant therapies to discover molecular biomarkers that are useful for patient selection into clinical trials and the role of oncogenes and tumor suppressors in resistance to antiestrogens and anti-HER2 therapies in breast cancer.

“After 28 years at this outstanding institution, the decision to make this transition has been most difficult for me and my family. I will always hold enormous gratitude and admiration for Vanderbilt and all it has done for my career,” Arteaga said.

“It has been wonderful to watch how VICC has become one of the top translational cancer research institutions in the country and I hope to remain a member of the Vanderbilt family in the years to come.”

During his career, Arteaga has received several awards, including the AACR-Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award; the American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor Award; the Gianni Bonadonna Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology; the Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction from the Susan G. Komen Foundation; the 2015 Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine from the American-Italian Cancer Foundation; and the Clinical Investigator Award from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and fellow of the AACR Academy, an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians and member of the Susan G. Komen Scientific Advisory Board. He also serves on the advisory boards of several academic Breast Cancer Programs and NCI-designated Cancer Centers.