School of Medicine forms new Division of Oncological Sciences

From left, Mary Stenzel-Poore, Ph.D., Sadik Esener, Ph.D.

Led by Dr. Brian Druker, division aligns academic and research structures in support of scientific success

OHSU School of Medicine Dean Sharon Anderson has formed a new freestanding division within the school called the Division of Oncological Sciences, effective November 1.

Members of the Knight Cancer Institute who hold faculty, postdoctoral fellow and staff positions in basic and translational cancer research will be invited to join the new division, following a review and approval process.

The division is led by Brian Druker, M.D., director, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

With the growth of research recruitments in the Knight Cancer Institute – particularly of staff scientists within the Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center (CEDAR) – school leaders saw a need for an additional academic structure responsible for faculty development and administration in cancer research.

“This new division creates an academic home and pairs it with Knight Cancer’s well-established intellectual home, creating better alignment for research success,” said Dean Anderson.

The new division will operate in a similar manner to the school’s other freestanding divisions, the Division of Management and the Division of Physician Assistant Education. As division head, Dr. Druker will offer faculty appointments contingent upon the dean’s and the provost’s approval.

“The approach we’ve taken with CEDAR has redefined the way we recruit and fund our research,” said OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Director Brian Druker. “Because CEDAR has a unique organizational structure, we recognized a need to create faculty appointments within that environment, and a need to allow those in CEDAR, and others, an opportunity to apply for grants. This new division will allow those opportunities to take place.”

The division will facilitate a path for researchers such as staff scientists to obtain principal investigator status through a faculty appointment so they’re able to apply for grants in support of OHSU’s goal to increase its research funding.

As the division gets underway, Dr. Druker will appoint an associate director of faculty affairs who will be responsible for faculty administrative support and career development in accordance with the school’s promotion and tenure policies.

“This division is designed to empower our staff scientists; it is not designed to change aspects of OHSU’s cancer research enterprise that are already working well,” said Mary Stenzel-Poore, Ph.D., OHSU Knight Cancer Institute chief of research. “The Knight Cancer Institute  intends to use the division as a recruitment tool moving forward, offering potential CEDAR staff scientists the flexibility of the CEDAR environment with the more traditional options at a research institute.”

Faculty in the Division of Oncological Sciences must be approved as graduate faculty by the school’s Graduate Council and dean to be eligible to train graduate students and fellows.

Look for a website with additional details about new division in the coming months.

Pictured above: from left, Mary Stenzel-Poore, Ph.D., Sadik Esener, Ph.D.