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March 20, 2013

Jonathan Friedberg named Wilmot Cancer Center director

Jonathan Friedberg
Jonathan Friedberg

Jonathan Friedberg has been appointed director of the Wilmot Cancer Center. A hematologist and national leader in lymphoma care and research, Friedberg joined the Medical Center in 2002 and was named chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Medicine in 2009. He has served as acting director of Wilmot since July 2012.

“Jonathan is respected across the institution as an academic and clinical leader of exceptional vision and talent,” says Bradford Berk, CEO of the Medical Center. “He leads with warmth and respect for those around him, while at the same time driving multiple initiatives forward at a rapid pace. I have no doubt that Wilmot’s broad mission—to deliver the most advanced cancer care, to expand the reach of our services regionally, and to be a leader in cancer research— will thrive under Jonathan’s leadership.”

“Our scientific understanding of cancer—of how it begins in our cells, how it progresses, and how we can stop it—has increased dramatically over the last decade,” says Friedberg. “Wilmot’s greatest strength is that we have clinicians and researchers working together, studying cancer and applying the latest scientific knowledge to the care of every patient. One of my goals for Wilmot is to create an environment that nurtures those interactions so that we deliver the highest quality of care for our patients.”

Friedberg intends to focus the development of Wilmot along four strategic priorities:

  • Developing a new strategic plan for research that focuses on four areas:
    •  cancer vulnerabilities (finding new ways to attack cancer by targeting its weaknesses within cells);
    • solid tumors (such as breast, colon, and lung cancer);
    • hematologic malignancies (such as leukemia and lymphoma); and
    • cancer control and survivorship
  • Extending Wilmot’s services to patients throughout the region, through new programs and through affiliations with other oncology providers
  • Embracing multidisciplinary care, in which patients receive care from a team of clinicians
  • Serving the community through outreach and advocacy

“Jonathan’s career path as a clinician and clinical researcher, as a mentor for junior faculty, and as division chief of hematology/oncology make him an outstanding choice to lead Wilmot,” says Mark Taubman, dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “He has the experience and perspective to grow the clinical enterprise regionally, elevate our research programs, and set new standards in patient care.”

In addition to announcing Friedberg’s appointment, Berk and Taubman reaffirmed the 2012 appointment of Hartmut (Hucky) Land as director of research and codirector of Wilmot Cancer Center. As Wilmot’s director of research, he is working with Friedberg to develop the center’s research strategic plan.

The number of cancer patients receiving care at Wilmot has grown at a double-digit rate each year since 2009. Much of that growth has been driven by patients in outlying areas who travel to Wilmot for specialty services. In part to accommodate the increased demand, three floors were recently built atop the cancer center’s building, providing an additional 100,000 square feet of space that now houses a new blood and bone marrow transplant unit and a hematology/ oncology unit. The two new inpatient units complement a range of outpatient services—including radiation oncology and a comprehensive breast care center—on the floors below. The third floor houses 30,000 square feet of research labs that allow cancer researchers at Wilmot to work more closely with oncologists.

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