Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, and Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, are highlighted.


Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, was appointed scientific director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, effective July 1. He previously served as director of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) Perelman School of Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

Dang will oversee the execution of Ludwig's scientific strategy to advance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer, and focus on operations at its Lausanne, Switzerland; Oxford, UK; and San Diego, CA, branches. He will align efforts at those branches with work at six independent Ludwig Centers across the United States, and cultivate collaboration within Ludwig's global research community.

Dang's research has focused on the molecular signaling pathways that govern cancer cell metabolism. His laboratory was the first to show that MYC alters sugar use in cancer cells, bolstering the hypothesis that these cells can become addicted to their reengineered signaling pathways. Disrupting those pathways could be a viable approach to treating cancer.


With Dang's departure, Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, an expert on cancer immunotherapy and translational research, became director of the Abramson Cancer Center on July 1. Previously, Vonderheide served as the center's associate director for translational research and executive director of its Translational Centers of Excellence program. At Penn, he is vice chair for research in the Division of Hematology/Oncology and codirector of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. He is also a coleader of the Stand Up To Cancer–Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Dream Team.

Vonderheide has led studies that demonstrated the role of agonist CD40 antibodies, a potential immune therapy for cancer, paving the way for late-stage clinical trials. He has also worked to develop vaccines for the prevention and treatment of cancer.

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