Washington, DC – Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital announced today the appointment of Louis M. Weiner, MD, as director of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown. Dr. Weiner, who has a long and distinguished career in cancer research and patient care, is an internationally recognized medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers. Dr. Weiner currently serves as the chairman of the Department of Medical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, where he holds the G. Morris Dorrance Jr. Endowed Chair in Medical Science.
“The recruitment of Dr. Louis Weiner will help us continue to realize the extraordinary potential of Georgetown University’s partnership with Georgetown University Hospital and MedStar Health,” said M. Joy Drass, MD, president of Georgetown University Hospital. “With his leadership, Lombardi will continue to strengthen its already outstanding clinical services that are provided to thousands of patients each year.”
“The recruitment of Dr. Weiner marks the end of a nationwide search for a Lombardi director whose accomplishments and vision align with GUMC’s mission and goals of providing cutting-edge cancer research, education and patient care,” said Howard Federoff, MD, PhD, executive vice president for health sciences at Georgetown University Medical Center. “Dr. Weiner’s recruitment places Lombardi in an excellent position to accelerate the progress of cancer research as a national leader and as the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Washington, DC, area.”
In addition to treating patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancers, Dr. Weiner conducts research on innovative cancer therapies, such as those that mobilize a patient's own immune system to fight the disease. His laboratory designs and produces new antibody-based proteins designed not only to recognize and bind to cancer cells, but to stimulate immune-system cells to attack the targeted cancer cells. Dr. Weiner’s work has led to the surprising and clinically important observation that tumor targeting is impaired if the antibodies attach too tightly to their tumor targets. More recently, he has developed strategies that improve the ability of antibodies to activate the body’s immune system to attack cancers and to disrupt signaling pathways that sustain cancers.
Louis Weiner has more than 20 years of experience as a researcher and clinician. He has served as chairman of the Department of Medical Oncology at Fox Chase, also an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, since 1994. In 2002, Dr. Weiner was appointed the first vice president for translational research at Fox Chase. In this position, he developed the cancer center’s translational research program -- coordinating research activities among three divisions. He also developed Fox Chase’s immunotherapy laboratory and clinical programs, and established the Center’s medical oncology fellowship program.
“Dr. Weiner’s experience in translating laboratory research discoveries into better, more targeted treatments for patients with cancer will strengthen Lombardi’s research and patient care focus by offering the most treatment options in both standard therapies and clinical investigational treatments,” said Dr. Federoff. “This approach and Dr. Weiner’s rich experience aligns with our overall vision for GUMC, which includes evolving the way we teach and practice medicine, and how we translate research from the lab bench to the patient bedside in order to offer the best patient care.”
After earning his BA with honors in biology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Weiner received his MD at Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University in New York City. He completed his internship, residency, and chief medical residency at the University of Vermont’s Medical Center Hospital, and held clinical and research fellowships in hematology and oncology at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He joined Fox Chase in 1984. In 1995, Dr. Weiner was named a senior member (tenured professor) of the Division of Medical Science at Fox Chase. Dr. Weiner also serves as professor in the Department of Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine, where he joined the faculty in 1987 as assistant professor.
“I was attracted to this position at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center for many reasons—but perhaps most importantly, because of the outstanding researchers and clinicians who work every day to prevent, treat, and cure cancer using cutting-edge tools and ideas that arise at this exceptional institution,” said Dr. Weiner. “We are in an era of unprecedented opportunity to effectively translate advances in cancer research into improved patient care, and Lombardi has a perfect mix of outstanding physicians and scientists who will work together to accomplish this goal. I look forward to catalyzing the tremendous potential for growth in the research and patient care spheres at Lombardi, in partnership with Georgetown’s clinical partner, MedStar Health.”
Dr. Weiner is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He has published more than 150 scientific papers and lectures extensively on targeted therapies for cancer. Dr. Weiner is chair of the Immunology Task Force of the American Association for Cancer Research, serves on the steering committee of the NCI Translational Research Working Group and is a standing member of the Cancer Immunopathology and Immunotherapy Study Section of the National Institutes of Health. Active in many other professional organizations, Dr. Weiner is on several journal editorial boards, including Cancer Research and Clinical Cancer Research, and also reviews manuscripts for numerous peer-reviewed medical journals.
Dr. Weiner replaces Dr. Anatoly “Tony” Dritschilo, who has served as interim director of the cancer center since November 2005.
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center attracts approximately $50 million yearly in external research funding, has nearly 200 full-time faculty members, and more than 200 ongoing clinical trials. Lombardi is home to six primary research programs: Breast Cancer, Cancer Control, Cancer Genetics and Epidemiology, Growth Regulation of Cancer, Molecular Targets and Developmental Therapeutics, and Radiation Biology and DNA Repair.
Media Contact: Marianne Worley
Patient Contact: 202-342-2400