A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Letter From the Dean


New Beginnings…

In this issue of Medicine@Brown, you’ll read about one of the top priorities at The Warren Alpert Medical School: the Legorreta Cancer Center.

Planning for the cancer center began in 2019, with the arrival of Wafik S. El-Deiry, MD, PhD, associate dean of oncologic sciences. Dr. El-Deiry has been laser-focused on strategically laying out the steps to establish a center that could compete for and successfully receive National Cancer Institute designation. This has included uniting cancer-focused researchers and clinicians across the hospital systems, the basic science departments, and the School of Public Health.

It also includes the recruitment of key faculty who complement existing areas of excellence and fill gaps in our clinical and research programs. These are people such as Sheldon Holder, MD, whom you’ll read more about in the article; Stephanie Graff, MD, a clinician and investigator who treats breast cancer; and Sean Lawler, PhD, a researcher who specializes in brain tumors. More recruits will be joining us this year.

What’s most important about the Legorreta Cancer Center is the impact it is having on patient care in southeastern New England. The faculty I noted above may be drawn to Brown for the opportunity to build a world-class cancer center, but the ultimate beneficiaries are the citizens of our state who, facing a cancer diagnosis, are receiving care on the cutting edge of science from some of the country’s best clinicians. We have made these investments in the cancer center because it is an area of need in our local community.

I have to thank Pablo and Almudena Legorreta for their generous gift, which is going to spur so much more growth in the Legorreta Cancer Center. It is incredibly gratifying to be able to work with supporters who understand very well what is needed and what is possible in terms of cancer research and development of therapies. Their partnership and support will be transformative.

As I complete my tenure as dean of medicine and biological sciences, I would like to say, one last time, thank you to all of the alumni and friends of the Medical School. Your support in so many different ways has contributed to our success in recent years. I would also like to wish our incoming dean, Mukesh K. Jain, MD, all the best as he begins his tenure on March 1. I am very excited to see what’s next for the Division of Biology and Medicine.

Jack A. Elias, MD
Senior Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences



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