New cancer leader to expand clinical trials at UFSCC

Carmen Allegra, M.D., a specialist in the study of colorectal cancer, has been named associate director for clinical and translational research at the University of Florida Shands Cancer Center, effective April 9.

He will oversee the center's Cancer Clinical Trials Office.

''In this capacity, he will be a member of the executive committee that provides a vision and sets annual goals and the budget for the center,'' said W. Stratford May, M.D., Ph.D., UFSCC director. ''His expertise as a cancer clinical trials expert will enhance our capacity to develop new and novel therapies for patients with cancer.''

Allegra will also serve as professor and chief of the hematology/oncology division at UF's College of Medicine and continue as co-director of the Foundation Research Program for the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project as a means of rapidly expanding UF clinical trial offerings.

''Offering state-of-the-art therapy to our patients through the conduct of clinical trials that leverage the latest technologic and scientific advances will be a critical area of expansion and Development at the University of Florida,'' Allegra said.

Most recently, he served as chief medical officer for the Network for Medical Communication and Research and, prior to that, worked for nearly 20 years at the National Cancer Institute, starting as a senior investigator and then as section chief of Biochemical and Molecular Pharmacology at the NCI's Medicine Branch. In 1991 he was named chief of the NCI's Navy Medical Oncology Branch. He later served as deputy director of the NCI's Division of Clinical Sciences as well as chief of the NCI's Medicine Branch. In 2000, he was named vice deputy director for extramural sciences.

Allegra's studies have led to improved understanding of how cancer grows resistant to anticancer drugs. In addition, he has spearheaded research to enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy agents. He is presently the principal investigator of an NSABP-led study to determine the benefit of adding an anti-angiogenic antibody to standard chemotherapy for the adjuvant treatment of patients with colon cancer.

Allegra also patented a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug therapy for the treatment of pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, once the most common cause of death in patients with HIV.

He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where he completed his residency. He is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.

He has authored or co-authored more than 240 publications and serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals. Allegra holds several U.S. and foreign patents and is a member of the FDA's Oncology Drug Advisory Committee, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Association for Cancer Research.

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Melanie Fridl Ross

Chief Communications Officer/ UFHealth, the University of Florida’s Academic Health Center

Chief communications officer for UF Health. She also serves as senior producer and managing editor for the public radio program Health in a Heartbeat, overseeing operations for the nationally aired...Read More