New leadership for Animal Cancer Center
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jan Williams, College of Veterinary Medicine, 612-624-6228
Dr. Jaime Modiano holds Al and June Perlman Endowed Oncology Chair
Leads Animal Cancer Center at U of M
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (July 12, 2007) – Jaime Modiano, V.M.D., Ph.D., has joined The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine as the Al and June Perlman Professor of Oncology. He will serve as director of the Veterinary Medical Center’s Animal Cancer Center. Modiano will lead the college’s comparative cancer research program, which ultimately seeks to develop effective strategies for cancer prevention and treatment by integrating knowledge gained from studies of cancer in people and animals.
“Cancer in animals is very similar to cancer in humans, both in cause and in response to therapy,” said Dr. Robert Washabau, chair of the college’s Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department. “Comparative medicine is an important part of research efforts at the University of Minnesota. The research directed by Dr. Modiano will support that program by benefiting both animals and humans.”
“I am extremely pleased that Dr. Modiano has joined our faculty,” said Dr. Trevor Ames, interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “He has the experience, commitment, and know-how to help the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine become a world leader in comparative cancer research.”
Cancer accounts for almost half of the deaths of pets over 10 years of age, and each case requires individual treatment. “Dr. Modiano’s research will expand the types of treatments available to effectively treat cancer through his discoveries of new knowledge,” Dr. Ames added.
Modiano was previously associate professor of immunology and full member of the Cancer Center at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and a senior scientist at the AMC Cancer Center in Denver, Colorado. His research program focuses on control of activation and signaling in cells of the immune system, the genetic basis of cancer, and cancer gene therapy and immunotherapy.
“I’m very excited about joining the University of Minnesota,” Modiano said. There is a high caliber of people working on cancer at the college and across the Academic Health Center, and I look forward to working with this committed group to build the comparative oncology program at the College of Veterinary Medicine.”
Modiano completed his veterinary and Ph.D. training in immunology at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a residency in veterinary clinical pathology at Colorado State University and a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine in Denver, Colo. He was assistant professor of Veterinary Pathobiology at Texas A&M University from 1995 to 1999 and joined the AMC Cancer Center in 1999. He has co-authored more than 150 scientific manuscripts, presentations, and book chapters on various aspects of immunology, cancer cell biology, the genetic basis of cancer, and applications of gene therapy. He is the recipient of the Shannon Award from the National Cancer Institute (1999) and the Research Scholar Award from the American Cancer Society (2002). Modiano is married to Dr. Michelle Ritt, who also joined the college as clinical associate professor of medicine. They share their home with Logan, an accomplished agility Gordon setter, and Quetzal, a German shepherd.
“Recruitment of Dr. Modiano to the University of Minnesota builds a bridge between the Medical School’s Cancer Center and the College of Veterinary Medicine, providing the critical link needed in the area of comparative cancer research that will benefit both animals and humans,” added Dr. Tucker LeBien, associate director of basic research at the University of Minnesota Cancer Center.
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