International Expert in Early-Phase Cancer Research Tapped to Head Clinical Investigation Team at Roswell Park

Igor Puzanov, MD, MSCI, FACP, has been promoted to Senior VP of Clinical Investigation and will grow Center for Early-Phase Clinical Trials.

Igor Puzanov, MD, MSCI, FACP

Having dedicated his career to developing better treatments for cancer, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Igor Puzanov, MD, MSCI, FACP, has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Clinical Investigation.

Dr. Puzanov, in his new role, will be responsible for planning and further developing Roswell Park’s robust clinical research program, evaluating promising treatments that often become new standards of care. Dr. Puzanov, who remains Chief of Melanoma within the Department of Medicine, will also oversee Roswell Park’s Clinical Research Center as Medical Director.

Clinical research is the process of assessing new medical treatments and their effects on patients, potentially paving the way to FDA approval of new drugs and interventions. Dr. Puzanov’s particular expertise is in early Phase I trials, the important first-in-human studies in which researchers look to establish safe dosage of a new treatment approach, how it should be delivered to a patient and how often.

Roswell Park has more than 400 active clinical trials in progress, including studies involving new treatments or strategies developed in our own labs. Dr. Puzanov will continue to develop the program as Director of the Center for Early-Phase Clinical Trials and work collaboratively with other Roswell Park teams, including the Center for Immunotherapy and Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, to bring research from bench to bedside.

Earlier this year, Dr. Puzanov was the Principal Investigator who led a local collaborative group of researchers from Roswell Park and the University at Buffalo as part of an international COVID-19 phase 2/3 trial. The study is looking at the effectiveness of an anti-inflammatory drug in patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19, seeing whether it can address some of the disease’s most damaging effects.

“Igor offers people hope. Early-phase trials have such an important role in cancer care, and often give patients and their families an option when other treatments have failed,” said Candace S. Johnson, President & CEO of Roswell Park. “We are so lucky to have his leadership in this crucial element of cancer care research.”

Dr. Puzanov joined Roswell Park in 2016. Often invited to lead sessions at international cancer research conferences, he holds his medical degree from Charles University in the Czech Republic and a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

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