The University of Arizona Cancer Center has a new director — a prostate cancer researcher and medical oncologist from the Medical University of South Carolina.
Dr. Andrew S. Kraft will begin his new job in September at a salary of $650,000, UA officials said Monday. He’ll be the 38-year-old center’s fourth permanent director. The UA Cancer Center has been without a permanent director for nearly a year.
Dr. David S. Alberts retired from the director’s post June 30, 2013, after nearly nine years on the job, and he continues to work at the center as director emeritus doing research.
Anne E. Cress , professor of cellular and molecular medicine and radiation oncology at the UA College of Medicine has been serving as interim director since last summer.
Officials say Kraft will have overall responsibility for the cancer center’s $35 million research portfolio and oversight of oncology clinical operations in Tucson, in partnership with the UA Health Network.
He will also oversee the development and implementation of the clinical and clinical research operations at the new UA Cancer Center facility in Phoenix, in collaboration with Dignity Health/St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. That facility is slated for completion in summer 2015.
In addition to director of the UA Cancer Center, Kraft has been named the Sydney E. Salmon endowed chair and associate vice president for oncology programs for the UA Health Sciences Center.
He’ll also be a tenured professor of medicine in the department of medicine, division of hematology/oncology and senior associate dean for translational research in the UA College of Medicine.
Kraft joined the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston in 2004 as director of its Hollings Cancer Center. He also served as associate dean for oncology affairs, was a university distinguished professor of medicine and biochemistry and molecular biology, and held the Dr. William H. Folk chair in experimental oncology.
Kraft’s research has continuously been funded by the National Cancer Institute since 1985, UA officials say. He also has received support from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Prostate Cancer Research and Education Foundation, and has more than 130 publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Kraft’s appointment was announced by Dr. Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia , UA senior vice president for health sciences and interim dean of the UA College of Medicine. Garcia came to Tucson from the University of Illinois in September.
Garcia is expected to infuse the university with millions of dollars in research grants, and has said he intends to build up the UA as a leader in genetic research and as an economic engine for the state.
In a statement, Garcia said Kraft’s strengths include developing and implementing clinical trials, recruiting outstanding faculty, and successfully shepherding the construction of cancer center facilities.
Prior to his appointment in South Carolina, Kraft was chief of the division of medical oncology at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Prior to that, he was associate director of the division of hematology/oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Kraft received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, completed an internship and residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, and was first a research associate and then a clinical staff fellow at the National Cancer Institute.