Internationally Recognized Breast Cancer Specialist Dr. Carlos L. Arteaga to Head UT Southwestern's Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center

Published: Friday, Aug 18, 2017

Mike Hennessy
Carlos L. Arteaga, MD
Dr. Carlos L. Arteaga, internationally recognized for his work in laboratory-based translational research and advancing the care of breast cancer patients, has been selected as Director of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center, after an extensive nationwide search. His appointment begins September 1.

UT Southwestern’s Simmons Cancer Center – one of 48 in the country designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the only such designated center in North Texas ­– includes more than 275 faculty members, doctors, nurses, scientists, and other professionals in more than 30 departments and centers, ranging from basic science to clinical care. The Center focuses on more than a dozen major cancer programs that provide innovative treatments for complex care and receives more than $100 million annually for cancer research from the NCI and other NIH and peer-reviewed funding agencies, as well as the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).

“Dr. Arteaga brings a wealth of experience to this leadership role that will help further integrate UT Southwestern’s advances in multidisciplinary cancer care and clinical/translational investigation across departmental boundaries,” said Dr. J. Gregory Fitz, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and Dean of the UT Southwestern Medical School. “Such integration is fundamental to our commitment to our patients to advance the treatment and prevention of cancer through innovative therapies, leading-edge clinical trials, and the latest technology.”

Dr. Arteaga, a medical oncologist, also will serve as Associate Dean for the Oncology Program at UT Southwestern Medical School and will hold the Lisa K. Simmons Distinguished Chair in Comprehensive Oncology at UT Southwestern. Dr. Arteaga’s recruitment to UT Southwestern was facilitated by a $6 million grant from CPRIT.

“I was attracted by the large cancer community served by UT Southwestern, the commitment of the institution to the growth of cancer medicine, as well as the superb quality of research at the institution, which has been a basic science powerhouse for decades,” said Dr. Arteaga. “My vision is for UT Southwestern to become one of the top institutions for conducting translational cancer medicine in the country, as well as to ease the burden of cancer at UT Southwestern’s Simmons’ catchment area through exceptional patient care, transdisciplinary research, discovery, education, partnership, and collaboration.”

Dr. Arteaga becomes the second Director of the Simmons Cancer Center.

The Simmons Cancer Center serves a racially, ethnically, geographically, and socioeconomically diverse population of nearly 7 million people in 12 North Texas counties, with lung, hepatocellular, kidney, and breast cancers constituting major challenges in the region.

‘Wealth of Experience’

Dr. Arteaga comes to UT Southwestern from the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Tennessee, where he has been on faculty since 1989 and serves as Director of the Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies and the Breast Cancer Program, Associate Director for Translational & Clinical Research, and Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and Cancer Biology. He also holds the Donna S. Hall Chair in Breast Cancer.

There, Dr. Arteaga led a robust research program that included a long-standing NCI Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) award in breast cancer research, along with research into drug-resistance in breast cancer and genotype-driven trials in cancer care.

“My research focuses on the role of oncogenes in breast cancer and using that information to develop therapeutic strategies, as well as the mechanism of resistance to targeted therapies and the generation of clinical trials that use that information,” he said.

In addition to having authored over 300 scientific publications, Dr. Arteaga’s honors include the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award, a 2007-2017 ACS Clinical Research Professor Award, the 2009 Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the 2011 Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, and the 2015 Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine from the American-Italian Cancer Foundation. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (1998) and the Association of American Physicians (2005) and was elected as a Fellow of the AACR Academy in 2015.

Dr. Arteaga earned his medical degree at Facultad de Ciencias Médicas at the Universidad de Guayaquil, in his home country of Ecuador, and completed his residency at Emory University in Atlanta and a fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

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