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Media Contact: Vincent Joseph Dollard 06 November 2006    
  (404) 727-3366   Print  | Email ]

Emory's Winship Cancer Institute Appoints New Director
Brian Leyland-Jones, MD, PhD, has been appointed associate vice president and director of Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute, effective Jan. 1, 2007.

Dr. Leyland-Jones is currently the Minda de Gunzberg Chair in Oncology and professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. From 1990 to 2000, he served as founding chair of Oncology and director of the McGill University Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

"We are delighted to announce that Dr. Leyland-Jones will join the Emory Winship Cancer Institute," said Michael M.E. Johns, MD, executive vice president of Health Affairs for Emory University. "Dr. Leyland-Jones comes to Emory with a vision for the future of Winship and experience in making that vision a reality. We feel strongly that Dr. Leyland-Jones will develop and enhance Winship's upward trajectory of growth in cancer research, treatment and exceptional care.

"Dr. Leyland-Jones is internationally recognized for his work in individualized cancer therapies and development of novel clinical trials," said Dr. Johns. "In addition, Dr. Leyland-Jones' absolute devotion to patient-centered care makes him a perfect fit for Emory and the Winship Cancer Institute."

"Georgia's role in the fight against cancer is on the right track," said Sonny Perdue, Governor of the State of Georgia. "Dr. Leyland-Jones' appointment as director of Emory's Winship Cancer Center is an important step along that path. I look forward to working with Dr. Leyland-Jones and all of our Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholars and Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scientists as we continue to make significant progress against this terrible disease. The research we conduct here in Georgia will have an impact far beyond our borders."

Dr. Leyland-Jones holds biochemistry, medical and doctoral degrees from the University of London. Following residency training at Hammersmith, Brompton, St. Bartholomew's and London hospitals, he completed a clinical pharmacology fellowship at Cornell University and a medical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He then joined the academic staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and New York Hospitals with a special research interest in early clinical evaluation of new anti-cancer compounds.

In 1983, he moved to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to head the Developmental Chemotherapy section. During his time with the NCI, he was responsible for the overall development of approximately 70 anti-cancer compounds in various stages of transition from in-vitro screening to Phase III clinical trials.

"Emory University brings a tremendous array of resources to the fight against cancer," said Dr. Leyland-Jones. "I am very excited to be coming to the Winship Cancer Institute. We are well positioned here to harness the resources of Emory University as well as our partners in research and education at the American Cancer Society, the CDC, the Georgia Cancer Coalition and the Georgia Research Alliance. Our work with Georgia Tech and our research ties to the University of Georgia will continue to grow. Through collaboration with the exceptional resources we have here in Georgia, we can make significant strides in development of prevention and personalized treatment for all types of cancer."

Dr. Leyland-Jones also noted the extensive community outreach partnerships and opportunities that exist in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. "I look forward to working with the varied and well-organized patient support groups that are such an important part of patient and family support and education. Resources exist in many of Georgia's cities, however, we have an opportunity to build and grow these important organizations in every corner of the state."

During his tenure as director of the McGill Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Dr. Leyland-Jones led development of a clinical trials operation that integrated research with five clinical trial coo perative groups and more than 40 pharmaceutical companies. Cancer-related clinical trials at McGill currently include more than 100 protocols at any one time and are structured through nine multidisciplinary disease sections throughout the Cancer Centre. Dr. Leyland-Jones also initiated new sections of epidemiology and cancer pharmacology, increasing the Cancer Centre's research space and adding several new associate and full professorial appointments. In addition, he worked closely with the Montreal community to establish eight endowed chairs and several fellowships within the department.

Dr. Leyland-Jones' main research interests are pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics in oncological clinical trials; translation of preclinical models into the clinic; biomarker endpoints in Phase I/II clinical trials; and screening and mechanistic studies of novel targeted and chemotherapeutic anti-cancer agents. He has authored more than 125 peer-reviewed articles and book contributions, 150 abstracts and 29 patents.

Dr. Leyland-Jones holds leadership positions on numerous committees, including the Breast Cancer International Working Group/National Cancer Institute Cooperative Group; the Board of Directors for the National Cancer Institute of Canada; the Breast International Group, and the Herceptin Adjuvant Committee. He also serves on editorial boards for Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology; British Journal of Cancer; Clinical Proteomics; and The International Journal of IN VIVO Research, among others.

"Dr. Leyland-Jones brings a wealth of clinical, scientific and administrative experience to Emory's Winship Cancer Institute," said Thomas Lawley, MD, dean of the Emory University School of Medicine. "We are looking forward to working with Dr. Leyland-Jones as Winship continues its drive for National Cancer Institute designation."

"We are very excited to have Dr. Leyland-Jones take the helm at Winship," said James Wagner, PhD, president of Emory University. "He is an innovative leader whose dedication, integrity and experience will help guide Winship to even greater heights."

For more information about the Emory Winship Cancer Institute, log onto

A photo of Dr. Leyland-Jones is available from media contacts listed above.

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