Director’s Welcome

Welcome to the University of Florida Health Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center. By leveraging all the resources at the University of Florida, the UF Health Cancer Center blends comprehensive patient care and innovative research in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment. Our research directly impacts patient outcomes, allowing patients access to the very latest cancer-fighting technologies and drugs.

Jonathan Licht, M.D., stands next to the UF Health Cancer Center's blue golf cart.

In June 2023, the UF Health Cancer Center reached a major milestone when it became the 72nd NCI-designated cancer center in the country and the only one based at a public university in Florida. NCI designation signifies that the center has met rigorous standards for multidisciplinary research that is leading to the development of new and better approaches to preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer.

Our efforts to serve Florida with innovative research and leading cancer care have never been more critical. Cancer is the second leading cause of death for Floridians and our state has the second highest cancer burden in the nation. The 23-county area we serve in North Central Florida has a greater share of older adults — those at the highest risk of developing cancer — than the rest of Florida.

Our clinical enterprise uses a comprehensive care model, with multidisciplinary cancer programs offering advanced treatment options such as minimally invasive and robotic surgery, proton and intensity-modulated radiotherapy (as well as a 1.5-Tesla MRI-guided linear accelerator), hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy in conjunction with precision medicine. Patients have access to clinical trials and therapies available only at NCI-designated cancer centers.

Our membership consists of nearly 350 researchers, clinicians and educators throughout the University of Florida, ranked the No. 1 public institution on the 2024 Wall Street Journal’s Best U.S. Colleges list, and UF Health, the Southeast’s most comprehensive academic health center.

Members of the center have academic appointments in 72 departments of the 11 UF colleges and more than a dozen are based at The Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology. This multidisciplinary membership allows for productive collaborations and encourages the translation of basic laboratory findings to novel curative and preventive therapies.

With NCI designation, the UF Health Cancer Center has entered a new era of accelerating growth and service. We have greater access to a specific portfolio of national funding opportunities, collaborations and programs to push our cancer research to greater heights.

We plan to make our findings and resources available to colleagues at cancer centers across the state as a model of collaboration to accelerate discovery on behalf of all Floridians. We also plan to increase the engagement of community members as partners in our research, ensuring our research is tackling the questions that matter most.

At this intersection of research, education and treatment, the UF Health Cancer Center strives to find tomorrow’s answers for today’s patients.

Jonathan D. Licht, M.D.
Director, UF Health Cancer Center

NCI Cancer Center badge