COLUMBUS, Ohio — Claire Verschraegen, MD, has been appointed director of the division of medical oncology and associate director of the translational research program at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), effective June 1, 2017.
Verschraegen also holds the Diane Nye and Michael Rayden Chair in Innovative Cancer Research and serves as a professor of internal medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
In her new role, Verschraegen oversees a division of more than 50 faculty who provide subspecialized care and/or conduct research for breast, endocrine, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, gynecologic, head and neck, prostate and skin cancer as well as soft tissue sarcoma and spine tumors.
Prior to joining The OSUCCC – James, Verschraegen served as professor of internal medicine and hematology/oncology division director at the University of Vermont Cancer Center. In this role, she held numerous leadership roles including director of the cancer service line at Fletcher Allen Health Care and co-director of the University of Vermont Cancer Center. She also led the cancer center’s phase 1 clinical trials program.
“Claire is nationally and internationally recognized as an accomplished clinician, scientist, leader and mentor. She brings steadfast, enthusiastic leadership and more than 30 years of experience in clinical research and drug development to our cancer center,” says Michael Caligiuri, MD, director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. “Perhaps most importantly, she is known nationally as an outstanding mentor in the conduct of clinical investigation. Her experience and track record of success in all three mission areas, as well as her administrative experience, will be of great value to the division and department, as well as the OSUCCC – James.”
Verschraegen earned her master's degree and medical degree at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium and trained at the Institut Jules Bordet in internal medicine. She then completed a cancer research fellowship at the Stehlin Foundation for Cancer Research and internal medicine residency training at the University of Houston, followed by a medical oncology fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she remained on the faculty for seven years.
In 2002 she was recruited to the University of New Mexico Cancer Center, where she was director of Translational Therapeutics and Clinical Research as well as medical director for the New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance. At the University of Vermont, she was the Irwin H. Krakoff, MD, Endowed Green & Gold Professor of Medicine, director of hematology/oncology, director of the cancer service line and deputy director of the University of Vermont Cancer Center.
Throughout her professional career, Verschraegen has been active in the EORTC early in her career, then in national cooperative oncology groups SWOG, GOG, and the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, where she served as the institutional principal investigator of these cooperative group trials at the University of Vermont. She will serve in the same capacity for the Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center. She also serves on the Alliance board of directors.
“In my 30 years of being an academic medical oncologist, incredible progress has been made in a few areas — most notably include some leukemias, lung cancer, and melanoma where novel targeted therapies and immunotherapies have transformed cancer from dreadful to possibly curable. These advancements have been possible through well-planned clinical and translational research, to which I have devoted the greatest part of my professional life. I now have been privileged to continue this mission at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, whose vision is the same as mine: to create a cancer-free world, one person, one discovery at a time,” says Verschraegen. “Collegial and collaborative innovation to improve patient care is the main theme our division, and I am focused on recruiting world class physicians and researchers to work in collaborative teams on innovative transdisciplinary topics to discover the next cures for various cancers.
About the OSUCCC – James
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of 48 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only a few centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs. As the cancer program’s 308-bed adult patient-care component, The James is one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report and has achieved Magnet designation, the highest honor an organization can receive for quality patient care and professional nursing practice. With 21 floors and more than 1.1 million square feet, The James is a transformational facility that fosters collaboration and integration of cancer research and clinical cancer care. For more information, visit cancer.osu.edu.