Michael A. Friedman, M.D., president and chief executive officer, has been named director of City of Hope’s comprehensive cancer center. As part of this appointment, Friedman also will be the first holder of the new Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director’s Distinguished Chair.
|Michael Friedman (Photo ©2007 Philip Channing)|
Funds from the endowed chair will support cancer center programs, which include cancer biology, developmental cancer therapeutics and cancer control and population sciences. A $3 million gift from the law firm Irell & Manella LLP, a longtime supporter of City of Hope, funded the endowed chair.
“I am pleased to serve in this role and to work alongside our excellent cancer center deputy directors, associate directors and program leaders whose outstanding leadership is ensuring that we continue to build on our position as a premier cancer research, treatment and education center,” said Friedman.
Friedman will oversee the growth of the cancer center’s clinical, research and education programs, including recruitment and expanded research opportunities.
“Michael Friedman is a distinguished clinical researcher and health-care policy leader whose commitment to collaborative research will advance our efforts to speed the process of translating scientific discovery into new and improved treatments for patients with cancer,” said Terry Peets, chair of City of Hope’s board of directors.
Friedman thanked Robert Figlin, M.D., Arthur and Rosalie Kaplan Professor of Medical Oncology and chair of the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research, for his energy and expertise as interim director of the cancer center. “Among his accomplishments were the introduction of a number of key improvements to the cancer center and assisting our organization with important new initiatives, including the Strategic Integrated Programs,” Friedman said. “He also represented us at national meetings and with the National Cancer Institute, National Comprehensive Cancer Network and other important organizations and forums.”
In addition to leading City of Hope, Friedman previously served as acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and associate director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) — positions providing valuable experience in directing large, multifaceted medical and research organizations, said Alexandra M. Levine, M.D., chief medical officer. “As an accomplished physician-scientist, he embodies our mission to provide outstanding, compassionate care and to develop the most effective and innovative treatments,” Levine added.
The new leadership structure combining the president and cancer center director into a dual role is the common model for the major comprehensive cancer centers.
Before joining City of Hope in 2003, Friedman was senior vice president of research and development, medical and public policy, for Pharmacia Corporation. He also served as chief medical officer for biomedical preparedness at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. After selection as acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, he helped streamline that organization’s review and approval process and provided oversight of evaluations for drugs, biologics, medical devices and food ingredients.
He previously served as associate director of the NCI Division of Cancer Treatment’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program. Before joining the NCI, Friedman spent nearly a decade at the University of California, San Francisco.
In addition to endowing the Cancer Center Director’s Distinguished Chair, Irell & Manella LLP has made other significant gifts to City of Hope in recent months. In June, the firm announced $7 million in philanthropic donations to support City of Hope’s Graduate School of Biological Sciences, including a $5 million gift (matched by an additional $5 million) to rename the school and a $2 million gift to create a visiting professorship.