Dr. Robert Houlihan named Associate Director for Administration

The University of Florida Health Cancer Center is pleased to announce that Robert Houlihan, D.H.A., MBA, FACHE, has been appointed the center’s associate director for administration.

In this role, Dr. Houlihan will oversee all administrative activities of the UFHCC. Working closely with other members of the senior leadership board, Dr. Houlihan will be responsible for programmatic development and operational management to fully realize the center’s mission and strategic vision of achieving National Cancer Institute designation.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Houlihan join us in our push to obtain NCI designation,” said Jonathan Licht, M.D., director of the UF Health Cancer Center. “Dr. Houlihan has years of experience developing cancer centers and his skills and insights will be essential as we move forward.”

Dr. Houlihan’s position is one of several new leadership roles being added to the UF Health Cancer Center roster. The revamped leadership team and Dr. Licht will work with clinical, population science and laboratory-based faculty and staff to develop and implement new and innovative strategies for the treatment and prevention of cancer. These leadership positions are critical in aligning the UFHCC with the center structure required for NCI designation.

“I am truly honored to be offered the opportunity to join the UFHCC,” said Dr. Houlihan. “The chance to work with internationally renowned researchers and clinical investigators, developing cutting edge therapies is not only exciting, but a testament to the scientific depth and strength of the center’s research community; moreover, having the chance to provide administrative guidance and support in the submission of a competitive application to NCI is a privilege that I am thrilled to have.”

Dr. Houlihan has over twelve years of experience overseeing administrative efforts within cancer centers, and comes to UF from the NCI-designated Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he worked over seven years — first as the director of research administration and operation and then as the senior director of research administration. During this time, he played a major role in the successful renewal of Massey’s NCI Core grant two times, actively providing senior-level input and contribution to the strategic planning in maintaining NCI designation, research space management and shared resources and equipment including core laboratories supported by Massey Cancer Center in support of its research mission.

Additionally, he was responsible for the leadership of all basic, clinical and translational research administration efforts and center initiatives, including the Massey clinical trials office, a state-wide clinical research affiliate network program, community engagement initiatives, cancer research and resource centers, clinical research minority recruitment and a clinical/translational research laboratory.

Prior to Massey, Dr. Houlihan was at the University of Massachusetts Medical School for eight years, serving in several high-level administrative roles including administrator of the UMass Memorial Cancer Center of Excellence and Department of Cancer Biology. Here, he was responsible for controlling and coordinating all administrative and operational activities for both an academic department of the medical school and the research, service and educational components of the center.

Dr. Houlihan received his D.H.A. (Doctor of Health Administration) from Central Michigan University in 2009 and his M.B.A. in Health Services from Clark University in 2001. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a Certified Clinical Research Professional as designated by the Society of Clinical Research Associates and a Certified Research Administrator as designated by the Research Administrators Certification Council.

He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, as well as a member of Eta Sigma Gamma and Beta Gamma Sigma, both professional honor societies, and a number of professional organizations that include the National Council of University Research Administrators and the Society of Clinical Research Associates.

Dr. Houlihan takes over the position of associate director of administration from Brian Sevier, Ph.D., who had been serving admirably in the interim role since September. Brian will lead the new UF Office of Clinical Research and will continue to work closely with the UFHCC to promote high-quality clinical research.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Houlihan as he joins the University of Florida Health Cancer Center team.

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