March 7, 2002 
 
Contact: Keith Ayers, USA Director of Public Relations
Kayers@usouthal.edu  (251) 460-6211 

 
University of South Alabama Cancer Institute Names Director
 
A top researcher at the National Cancer Institute has been named director of the new University of South Alabama Cancer Institute.

Dr. Michael R. Boyd is currently senior investigator and program director of the Molecular Targets Drug Discovery Program at the NCI Center for Cancer Research near Washington, D.C. He has been selected to lead the USA Cancer Institute following an extensive national search.

“The appointment of Dr. Michael Boyd is a significant milestone in the development of the USA Cancer Institute,” said USA President Gordon Moulton. “He has a stellar reputation as a cancer researcher and as an innovative leader in scientific discovery. This is a giant step forward as we work with the community to take the USA Cancer Institute to the highest possible level of achievement in cancer prevention and treatment.”


  

“We are very fortunate to have an individual with the credentials of Dr. Michael Boyd to lead our USA Cancer Institute,” said Dr. Robert A. Kreisberg, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the USA College of Medicine. “His research at the National Cancer Institute is among the most significant in the field and his prominence in the scientific community will be an excellent catalyst for expanding our program.”

“I am honored to lead the USA Cancer Institute,” said Boyd. “This new USA Cancer Institute presents a remarkable opportunity to bring cutting-edge cancer research and treatment to the people of the upper Gulf Coast, with the additional benefit of enhancing the local economy. The Cancer Institute will be an important and unique resource for this community and the Gulf Coast region.”

In addition to serving as director, Boyd will hold the Abraham Mitchell Chair for the Director of the Cancer Institute.

Boyd has introduced major innovations for anti-cancer and anti-HIV drug discovery research and development. Named director of the NCI Laboratory of Drug Discovery Research and Development in 1990, Boyd and his colleagues subsequently interpreted a wide array of novel anti-HIV and anti-tumor drug development leads and candidates. His team’s discoveries are the basis of more than 130 U.S. and international patents and patents pending.

Boyd has 435 scientific publications to his credit. His research and public service have been recognized by numerous awards, including the U.S. Public Health Service Commendation and Meritorious Service Medals, the Achievement Award of the Society of Toxicology, two Pfizer Awards in Pharmacology, the Lupiloff Award in Clinical Oncology, and others.   
 
Boyd, a native of Cookeville, Tenn., earned his bachelor of science in chemistry at the University of Kentucky, and his M.D. and Ph.D. in pharmacology and organic chemistry from Vanderbilt University. He has been a National Institutes of Health-tenured senior investigator since 1977, and interacts extensively with NIH and NCI technology transfer officials.

Primary objectives of the USA Cancer Institute are to increase care and treatment options for cancer patients in the Gulf Coast region, support advanced research and development of new cancer therapies, provide a single location for coordinated comprehensive cancer care – prevention, diagnosis, treatment and research - and provide local access to high technology medicine, such as USA’s new PET/CT scanner. The Institute will also seek designation as a National Cancer Institute cancer center.

The USA Cancer Institute is being funded through tobacco settlement funds, federal appropriations, competitive contracts and grants, and the USA Foundation. Moulton said the Institute could create 700 jobs for citizens of all educational levels, with an economic impact of $1 billion expected in the first decade. The Institute will stimulate the growth of a strong regional economy built on biomedicine and biotechnology.

“We believe the USA Cancer Institute will have a significant economic impact for Mobile, attracting patients from the surrounding areas, creating high-tech jobs and providing up to $50 million for the local economy over the next five years,” Moulton said. “There’s also great potential for creating new products, companies and jobs from patents and new medical technology that is developed at the USA Cancer Institute.”

Some 6,000 people on the upper Gulf Coast die of cancer each year. The annual cancer death rate is more than 30 percent higher than the national average. Mobile County loses 1,200 people per year to cancer, while Baldwin County loses about 400. More than 50 percent of cancer patients do not respond to conventiOctober 7, 2005 11:31 AMse developed at academic cancer research institutes. Currently, 2.5 million people in the area do not have access to an academic cancer institute.

The USA Cancer Institute will be located at USA Knollwood Hospital and will involve the entire USA Health System, working closely with local hospitals and physicians.
 

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