Georgetown University Medical Center Names Cancer Expert as Dean for Research

Posted in News Release

Washington, D.C. — Georgetown University Medical Center has named Robert Clarke, Ph.D., D.Sc., as its Dean for Research. The new position will lead GUMC’s high performance research community and is a critical first step in the implementation of its strategic planning initiative launched in 2008.

As Dean for Research, Clarke will work to strengthen GUMC’s research profile, both by expanding its extramural research funding and by promoting the efforts of its research faculty. Clarke also will work directly with the dean of the Georgetown University Graduate School to cultivate and strengthen the research components of GUMC’s graduate programs and the quality of graduate biomedical education. Since 2007, Clarke has served as interim director of the Biomedical Graduate Research Program, home to 60 percent of the biomedical research activity at GUMC.

GUMC faculty and staff members have been actively engaged as a medical community to create an action-oriented strategic plan to offer sustainable growth and maximum opportunities for GUMC. Clarke’s appointment marks the first step to implement GUMC’s Action Plan: Paving a New Way in Health Sciences.

“Dr. Clarke is an excellent choice to elevate our biomedical research core and to leverage the immense skills and talents of the high-quality, world class scientists here at Georgetown,” says Howard J. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D., GUMC’s executive vice president for health sciences and executive dean of its School of Medicine. “Dr. Clarke will enjoy the full support of GUMC and GU’s Graduate Program as he moves into a full-court press in the implementation of our strategic vision of excellence for our academic medical center.”

Clarke, co-director of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center’s internationally renowned Breast Cancer Program and professor in the Departments of Oncology, immediately assumes the new role of Dean for Research.

Clarke sets the bar high in his quest for increasing extramural research dollars. In 2010, he was awarded a $7.7 million from the National Cancer Institute to apply a systems biology approach to study endocrine resistance in breast cancer. Clarke studies how hormones, growth factors, cells and molecules affect breast cancer, and how breast cancers become resistant to treatments. Clarke has developed a series of hormone-resistant breast cancer models widely used in breast cancer research.

“Biomedical research is a core mission at GUMC,” Clarke says. “It is integral to our high quality medical education and clinical care, and provides the driving force as we implement GUMC’s strategic vision.”
Clarke has served as chair of peer-review study sections for the NIH and the Department of Defense. He is senior editor of the journal Cancer Research, and he serves on the editorial boards of over a dozen other international peer review journals. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, and a Fellow of the Society of Biology in the U.K.

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis — or “care of the whole person.” The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO). In fiscal year 2009-2010, GUMC accounted for 79 percent of Georgetown University’s extramural research funding.