UF Shands Cancer Center director named to scientific advisory committee

Dr. Joseph V. Simone, director of the University of Florida Shands Cancer Center

Dr. Joseph V. Simone, director of the University of Florida Shands Cancer Center, has been named to the Stand Up To Cancer scientific advisory committee.

Committee members include world-class laboratory researchers, physician-scientists representing several research disciplines and patient advocates. They will identify innovative projects to be funded by “Dream Team” grants through the American Association for Cancer Research on behalf of Stand Up To Cancer. The organization aims to quickly translate the most promising cancer research into advances in diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

“The idea is that if we only could focus money and attention on a more narrow area, we can speed up research in cancer,” said Simone, a pediatric oncologist who also serves as physician-in-chief of cancer services for Shands at UF medical center. “Groups of doctors are going to be able to apply for unique projects that are particularly strong and that have a good chance of delivering something that might be clinically relevant.”

Before joining UF this July, Simone held leadership positions in some of the country’s top cancer programs. He spent 25 years at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., where he developed treatments for childhood leukemia and lymphoma and served as the hospital’s director, and served as physician-in-chief of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where he developed a cancer disease management system and a regional clinical cancer network.

Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., a professor at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will chair the advisory committee.

Stand Up To Cancer kicked off a fundraising campaign Sept. 5 with a one-hour nationally televised program that included renowned personalities in television, film, sports and music.