Thomas George, M.D., receives National Cancer Institute award to support clinical trials leadership

Thomas George, M.D., FACP, deputy director of the UF Health Cancer Center, has received a Clinician Scientist R50 Award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to support his work leading and implementing NCI-funded clinical trials research at the Cancer Center.

Thomas George, M.D., FACP

The five-year, $576,000 award aims to encourage the development of stable research career opportunities for exceptional clinician scientists. The grant supports the activities of clinician scientist leaders in the NCI clinical trials networks who actively develop national clinical trials; implement NCI clinical trials in their home institutions; and provide service to the NCI clinical trials networks through participation in concept development, scientific reviews, monitoring and safety evaluations, and other oversight activities critical to the safe and efficient conduct of cancer patient clinical trials.

“This grant represents the first of what we hope becomes a recurring recognition of mid- to established-career clinical investigators at the UF Health Cancer Center who are nationally recognized and committed to developing, conducting and expanding NCI-sponsored clinical trials,” George said. “By reaching more patients with these clinical trials, we aim to accelerate the development of new therapies and positively impact clinical care for the patients and community we serve.”

NCI-sponsored clinical trials represent some of the highest priority clinical trials for the UF Health Cancer Center. These trials include patients seen at UF Health, as well as those who receive care at affiliate network sites and with community oncology partners across the state. The award will increase the engagement of UF Health clinician scientists with expertise in NCI-sponsored clinical trials, allowing them to expand opportunities for patients to access trials.

“The UF Health Cancer Center and I are immensely proud of Dr. George and his accomplishments in organizing and leading clinical cancer research at UF and nationally,” said Jonathan D. Licht, M.D., director of the UF Health Cancer Center.

The R50 award illustrates the impact that George and the Cancer Center have, Licht said, and he hopes the center will continue to develop clinical scientists who can vie for the prestigious award and bring innovative therapies to patients.

George is a professor in the division of hematology and oncology in the UF College of Medicine who specializes in gastrointestinal cancers and early-phase drug development. He has extensive experience leading clinical trials and served as associate director of clinical research at the Cancer Center for seven years before becoming deputy director in July.

He serves as the UF Health Cancer Center site principal investigator for the NCI’s Experimental Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network, as well as co-chair of the NCI National Clinical Trial Network NRG Oncology GI Committee. George is active in developing practice-changing clinical trials and early-phase clinical trials testing new therapies for patients with advanced cancers and mentoring the next generation of clinical investigators.

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