Andrew E. Aplin, PhD, has been named Deputy Director for Scientific Strategy of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health.
Andrew E. Aplin, PhD, has been named Deputy Director for Scientific Strategy of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health (SKCC). Aplin, who is the Associate Director for Basic Research at SKCC and the Kalbach-Newton Professor in Cancer Research, assumed the role on June 1.
As Deputy Director for Scientific Strategy, Aplin will help guide strategic research priorities to ensure SKCC is successful in its mission to deliver the most advanced, personalized care through scientific discoveries and breakthroughs in cancer detection and treatment. One of his primary roles will be to foster collaborations among basic, translational, clinical, and population science researchers across the Jefferson enterprise and promote interdisciplinary research. He will also help lead SKCC’s next National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation renewal. Aplin will work alongside Neal Flomenberg, MD, SKCC’s Deputy Director for Clinical Integration and Chair of the Department of Medical Oncology.
“I look forward to enhancing collaborative and programmatic approaches within the SKCC and beyond since they are important for the depth and breadth of research within the cancer center,” Aplin said.
Aplin’s research focuses on how melanomas adapt and develop resistance to targeted therapies. He is a Principal Investigator of several research projects funded by the NIH/NCI, U.S. Department of Defense, Melanoma Research Alliance, and the Adelson Medical Research Foundation. He is a project leader in a funded NCI P01, which links the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson with the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. The Aplin lab is studying ways to alter the tumor microenvironment by inducing inflammatory forms of cell death in order to turn “cold” tumors into “hot” tumors that better respond to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Additionally, Aplin established several multi-institutional teams that study dormancy, epigenetics, and resistance to targeted inhibitors in uveal melanoma.
Aplin first joined Jefferson in 2008 as an Associate Professor of Cancer Biology. He was appointed SKCC’s Associate Director for Basic Research in 2015 and was previously leader of the Cancer Cell Biology and Signaling Research Program. He also holds secondary appointments in the Department of Ophthalmology at Wills Eye Institute and the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology at Thomas Jefferson University.
In addition to his institutional roles at SKCC, Aplin holds national level roles within professional organizations and the NCI. He serves on the NIH/NCI Molecular Cancer Therapeutics study section, the American Cancer Society’s Council for Extramural Grants, the Melanoma Research Alliance’s Grant Review Panel, the Melanoma Research Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council, and the Society for Melanoma Research’s Steering Committee. He is an active member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the Society for Melanoma Research, and the PanAmerican Society for Pigment Cell Research, and serves on the editorial boards of Cancer Research and Molecular Cancer Research. Aplin has been recognized with numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including a Dr. Ralph and Marian Falk Medical Research Trust Catalyst Award and a Falk Transformational Award, an American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, and the Melanoma Research Foundation Humanitarian Award.
“Dr. Aplin is an internationally respected scientist whose laboratory findings have translated to groundbreaking clinical trials that are now available to skin and uveal melanoma patients at Jefferson,” said Andrew Chapman, DO, Interim Enterprise Director of SKCC and Executive Vice President of Oncology Services at Jefferson Health. “As part of the SKCC executive committee, Dr. Aplin has had an integral role in SKCC’s upward trajectory as we have more than doubled our research funding in the last four years and have grown from a single hospital in Center City Philadelphia to four advanced care hubs across two states.
“It is clear that SKCC will have an even greater impact in translating our research discoveries to the clinic under Dr. Aplin’s leadership, and we are confident that he will successfully support our continued growth and commitment to research and discovery.”
Aplin received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Bath in the U.K., followed by a doctoral degree from King’s College, University of London. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before joining SKCC, he was an Associate Professor at Albany Medical College in New York.