MCI Through the Years

Timeline 2000–2014



• President Gordon Moulton commissions feasibility study for Cancer Research Institute. 
• The commissioned consulting firm, Oncology Solutions, demonstrates need for academic cancer center serving the upper Gulf Coast Corridor, with a potential catchment area encompassing major portions of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
• USA Board of Trustees votes unanimously to support creation of USA Cancer Research Institute, representing the single largest research commitment in the University’s history.


2000 - 2002

• USA receives Tobacco Suit Settlement Funds in the amount of $3,870,000, used as seed money to initiate development of USA Cancer Research Institute.
• President Gordon Moulton and leadership within USA Board of Trustees spearheaded by Mr. Mayer Mitchell, engage Alabama Senators and Congressmen in advocating/securing federal appropriations to support establishment of USA Cancer Research Institute.    
• USA initiates national search for Director of USA-CRI in 2001.
• USA purchases PET/CT scanner through federal appropriations to support cancer-related diagnostic imaging at USA Knollwood Park Hospital. 
• Dr. Boyd joins USA Cancer Research Institute, as first employee and Director, on April 1, 2002.
• Dr. Michael Boyd recruits first USA-CRI faculty: Dr. Lewis Pannell from NIH, Dr. Oystein Fodstad and Dr. Steinar Aamdal, from Norwegian Radium Hospital.
• USA-CRI initiates basic/translational cancer research activities within space leased from College of Medicine on USA campus.



• Alabama State Bond Commission votes to approve $12 million to USA to help create USA-CRI.
• USA, through $12 million state monies and federal appropriations, initiates first-phase building plans.
• March 2003: USA selects architect through competitive RFP process, to design USA-CRI for construction on USA Knollwood Park Hospital Campus. 
• USA-CRI continues recruitment of USA-CRI faculty and staff; as of December 31, 2003, USA-CRI employees total 25.



• USA-CRI recruits Dr. Philip Wade as Chief, Medical Oncology, and Dr. Hung Khong as Physician-Scientist from NCI; first USA-CRI medical oncology clinic opens in leased space on USA Knollwood Park Hospital Campus.
• Recruitment of scientific faculty and staff accelerates.
• USA publicly announces plans to begin construction of a 120,000 square foot building on USA Knollwood Park campus.
• USA Foundation provides $1.5 million for USA-CRI and pledges total of $12 million to help build USA-CRI.
• June 2004:  USA unveils architectural drawings of the new USA-CRI building; USA-CRI announces recruitment of five additional cancer physicians and researchers.
• USA secures over $46 million to support USA-CRI, from direct federal appropriations, state economic development funding, USA Foundation support and other donations.
• July 2004:  Mobile City and Mobile County vote to support USA-CRI, with each entity committing $6 million.
• USA-CRI appoints Dr. Joseph LoCicero (USA College of Medicine Department of Surgery Chair) as director of “Center for Clinical Oncology” of USA-CRI.
• As of December 31, 2004, USA-CRI full-time employees total 40.



• Groundbreaking ceremony for USA-CRI occurs on April 11 at USA Knollwood Hospital site; many local, state and federal dignitaries and over 600 faculty, staff, students and community supporters attend.
• May 2005:  Construction of USA-CRI begins with site-prep work at Knollwood site.
• USA President Gordon Moulton and Infirmary Health System President and CEO Chandler Bramlett sign memorandum of understanding in July 2005, for developing a strategic healthcare alliance, including relocation of USA-CRI construction site to land adjacent to Mobile Infirmary Medical Center (MIMC) and USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital (C&W); site-prep work at Knollwood site ceases. 
• USA-CRI recruits Chief of Radiation Oncology, Raymond Wynn, and creates an academic radiation oncology division within USA-CRI.
• Dr. LoCicero departs USA.
• USA-MCI relocated organizationally under Office of the President. 
• As of December 31, 2005, USA-CRI employees total approximately 60.



• USA-CRI recruits Dr. Adam Riker from Moffitt as Chief of Surgical Oncology at USA-CRI and establishes USA-MCI Surgical Oncology Service; USA-MCI recruits second Surgical Oncologist, Dr. Matthew D’Alessio.
• Construction resumes for USA-CRI at new site, with first-phase budget at $80 million for 125,000 GSF clinical and research institute.
• March 2006:  The Mitchell family pledges $22 million to support development of USA’s Cancer Research Institute.
• USA Board of Trustees vote to rename the USA-CRI the “Mitchell Cancer Institute” in honor of the Mitchell family’s commitment.
• USA-MCI receives grant to enhance cervical cancer screening rates among Asian women living in Bayou la Batre, Alabama.
• USA-MCI launches Skin Cancer Screening/Prevention Program.
• As of December 31, 2006, USA-MCI employees total approximately 85.



• Construction of USA-MCI building underway. 
• Basic and Translational Research Grant portfolio continues to expand. 
• May 2007:  USA-MCI reaches 100-employee mark and receives cumulatively more than $125 million in charitable, state and federal funding. 
• June 2007:  USA-MCI Gynecologic Oncology Service begins with the recruitment of Drs. Michael Finan and Rodney Rocconi.
• USA-MCI Medical, GYN & Surgical Oncology Programs relocated to leased interim space on Mobile Infirmary campus.
• USA Board of Trustees approves creation of USA-MCI mission-specific primary faculty tracks (Oncologic Sciences and Interdisciplinary Clinical Oncology) within USA-MCI.
• Dr. and Mrs. Michael Boyd announce $2 million gift to USA-MCI.
• The Community Foundation of South Alabama provides largest outreach grant in its history to fund cancer screenings through USA-MCI.



• September:  USA-MCI opens the doors to its new 125,000 GSF clinical and research institute. 
• President and Mrs. Gordon Moulton pledge $3,000,000 to USA-MCI
• November: USA hosts grand opening of USA-MCI with over 1,000 attendees.
• Dr. Laurie Owen, Ph.D. joins USA-MCI as Barbara Colle Chair and Associate Director, Basic & Translational Sciences and Professor of Oncologic Sciences, USA Mitchell Cancer Institute
• Dr. Eddie Reed, joins USA-MCI as Point Clear Charities Chair and Associate Director, Cancer Prevention and Control, Professor of Oncologic Sciences, and Abraham Mitchell Distinguished Investigator, USA Mitchell Cancer Institute


2009 - 2010

• Surgical Oncology Program proves financially non-viable at USA-MCI; Dr. Riker departs to accept position at Oschner Cancer Institute (New Orleans) as medical director of cancer services.
• USAMC hires private medical oncology group practicing at Mobile Infirmary Medical Center/Thomas Hospital in April 2009, thereby consolidating medical oncology services at USA-MCI.
• April 2010:  USA-MCI acquires Radiation Oncology Department from MIMC, consolidating radiation oncology services under USA-MCI Department of Radiation Oncology; Dr. John R. Russell joins USA-MCI as Chair of Department.
• August 2010:  Dr. Suzanne Russo and Dr. Roger Ove join USA-MCI Department of Radiation Oncology.
• Negotiations ensue to assimilate Southern Cancer Center, the largest community-based, private medical oncology group in the region, but ultimately fail to result in acquisition.
• Swift Biotechnology Company is formed as result of clinical/ scientific collaborations at USA-MCI resulting in promising technology for early detection of ovarian and endometrial cancers.
• First and second annual “Celebrate Hope” fundraising events held at MCI in November 2009 and November 2010.
• As of December 31, 2009, USA-MCI employees total approximately 165; as of December 31, 2010, USA-MCI employees total approximately 190.



• Dr. Bruce Chabner agrees to head MCI Executive Advisory Board.
• USA-MCI initiates new patient-centered activities including Care Notebook, bffl TM bags, patient satisfaction surveys and support groups.
• Third annual “Celebrate Hope” event raises over $300,000, with cumulative net raised after 3 annual events totaling over $789,000.
• Dr. Windy Dean-Colomb from M.D. Anderson joins USA-MCI medical oncology service.
• USA-MCI appoints Dr. Rodney Rocconi as Deputy Associate Director for Clinical Research.
• USA-MCI receives additional $3,000,000/year in state appropriation, for total of $5,000,000/year in state appropriation.



• USA-MCI implements oncology-specific Electronic Medical Record.
• Business development and outreach efforts are formalized and expanded.
• USA-MCI researchers partner with Boston-based biotech firm to advance pancreatic cancer research
• USA-MCI establishes Drug Discovery Research Center with team headed by Dr. Gary Piazza.
• 6,000 patients treated; patient visits exceed 55,000.
• Member physicians reach total of 32.
• Third GYN Oncologist, Dr. Jennifer Scalici, joins GYN service.
• Dr. Carole Wisemen-Norden joins Medical Oncology Service.
• First site-visit review of MCI by Executive Advisory Board scheduled for October 24-26.
• Dr. Eddie Reed recruited by NIH to new position of Clinical Director, National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities.
• Preliminary discussions begin between USA-MCI and UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center to enter into a Cancer Consortium partnership.
• Currently, USA-MCI employees total approximately 300.



• In March the USA Board of Trustees approves the Cancer Consortium partnership between USA-MCI and UAB-CCC in a declaration of intent, endorsed by both universities. Consortium partnership activities begin immediately as the two institutions forge productive collaborations to advance and accelerate clinical, translational and basic cancer research.
• Dr. Mary Vu joins Medical Oncology Service.
• Dr. Michael Boyd retires as Director of MCI.
• Dr. Ronald Franks appointed Interim Director of MCI.
• Over 6,500 patients treated; patient visites exceed 58,000.
• MCI participates in lay navigator program through a CMS Innovation Grant with University of Alabama Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center.      



• Dr. Michael Finan appointed Interim Director of MCI.
• Dr. Robert Sobol, internationally acclaimed scientist, joins MCI to head up DNA Damage and Repair Program.
• Dr. William Taylor appointed Acting Chief, Medical Oncology Service.
• MCI faculty and staff reaches approximately 300 employees, with continuous recruitment of clinical and funded researchers underway.
• Oncology teams include: USAMCI Medical Oncology (six medical oncologists), USAMCI Radiation Oncology (two radiation oncologists), USA Gynecologic Oncology (three gynecologic oncologists), together with three USA Health Services Foundation Pediatric Oncologists within the USA Department of Pediatrics and five USA Health Services Foundation Surgical Oncologists within the USA Department of Surgery and others in the community, cancer care is provided in a multidisciplinary team approach.
• MCI also works with over 32 affiliate member physicians throughout the region.
• MCI has a growing Clinical Research Program. Currently, 31 clinical trials are open to patients and 205 patients are enrolled in clinical trials. Of our clinical trial enrollment, 60 minority patients are enrolled in studies, with 29.3% minority enrollment in all trials and 36.9% minority enrollment into interventional trials.
• MCI participates in a lay navigator program through a CMS Innovation Grant with University of Alabama Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center. This innovative program provides navigation services to over 800 MCI cancer patients age 65 plus.
• The MCI Cancer Research enterprise includes 12 Principal Investigators, eight non-tenure track faculty members, 28 postdoctoral trainees, nine Ph.D. graduate student trainees, five laboratory support staff managing core labs and highly specialized equipment, as well as lab support, compliance, and administrative staff.
• The MCI research infrastructure consists of state-of-the-art core laboratory research facilities in the areas of flow cytometry, advanced imaging, genomics, proteomics, pathology, tissue biobank and drug discovery. Drug discovery and advanced imaging facilities are among the best in the nation.
• Research focus areas include: Cancer Prevention/Drug Discovery, DNA Damage and Repair, Cancer Biology, and Biomarkers/Early Detection.
• Cumulative extramural funding at MCI is $21,999,521. On average, each Pl has $1.8 million in funding.
• Eight new research grants were awarded in FY 2014 alone, totaling $3,702,162.
• In FY 2014, active awards totaled $12,662,214 and the annual grant funds totaled $3,115,763.
• Since 2007, MCI has filed over 40 patents on inventions related to cancer diagnostics and/or therapy.
• MCI has two technology platforms licensed to two start-up companies: Swift Biotechnology and Braintree Labs, with two additional start-up companies recently formed by MCI using technology developed at MCI.


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