December 1, 2005
Contact: Paul Taylor
ptaylor@usouthal.edu 251.461.1509

USA Cancer Research Institute Announces Key Appointment


Dr. Adam Riker

Dr. Adam I. Riker has been appointed senior staff surgeon and chief of surgical oncology services at the University of South Alabama Cancer Research Institute (USACRI). In addition, he will hold a joint appointment as an associate professor of surgery at the USA College of Medicine.

Riker will also be named the first recipient of the Abraham A. Mitchell Clinical Cancer Research Scholarship, recognizing a $1 million gift from local businessman and philanthropist Abraham Mitchell to the USA Cancer Research Institute to establish Riker’s cancer research program at USA. This scholarship will be devoted to the collaborative research efforts of the USACRI focused on the development of translational clinical trials and the genomic analysis of patients with metastatic melanoma and breast cancer.

Riker is currently on faculty at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Fla., serving in the department of interdisciplinary oncology. At Moffitt, he maintains a very busy clinical practice devoted to patients with melanoma and breast cancer. He is also actively involved in several translational clinical trials for patients with advanced cancer (melanoma and breast cancer) in collaboration with the experimental therapeutics program.
“Dr. Riker has established a most impressive record of clinical research and service at one of the nation’s largest and most renowned National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers,” said Dr. Michael Boyd, director of the USA Cancer Research Institute. “In addition to providing exemplary care to those impacted by cancer, Dr. Riker has developed effective and novel programs to educate the public about cancer prevention.”

During his career, Riker has been recognized several times for his scientific achievements and his contributions to cancer care. Most recently, he was awarded the Pfizer Award for Scientific Achievement in Breast Cancer. The Pfizer Award is made annually to an academic scientist whose innovative research has made a significant impact on patients with breast cancer. The award was given for his annual efforts in traveling to several major cancer centers in China in an attempt to train breast surgeons in performing breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy) in addition to leading-edge surgical techniques, such as sentinel node mapping procedures.

Riker received his medical degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency training in general surgery at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. Additionally, he has completed a three-year surgical oncology fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute, Surgery Branch.
Currently, Riker has several research projects funded through the NIH, the American Cancer Society and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute. His primary research interests are focused on the development of novel vaccination strategies for patients with advanced cancer. He is also interested in the biobanking of cancer tissues for future immunologic, genetic and molecular analysis.

Riker is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a founding member of the Society for Melanoma Research. He is an active member of numerous medical and surgical societies and is a peer reviewer for several medical journals. In 2004, Riker was named one of America’s Top Surgeons in Surgical Oncology.
Riker will join USA’s team of cancer specialists in July 2006.

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