Nationally acclaimed oncologist Victoria Seewaldt joins City of Hope

September 29, 2015
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Specialist in high-risk breast and ovarian cancer will head Department of Population Sciences

DUARTE, Calif. — Nationally renowned breast cancer and ovarian cancer specialist Victoria L. Seewaldt, M.D., has joined City of Hope as the Ruth Ziegler Chair in Population Sciences. An expert in cancer prediction and prevention, Seewaldt will advance the institution’s efforts to ensure its research reflects and represents the diversity within City of Hope’s community.
A specialist in developing risk models for aggressive cancers, particularly in women of color, Seewaldt will also serve as the associate director of the comprehensive cancer center. Seewaldt comes to City of Hope from Duke University, where she was a professor of medicine and leader of the Comprehensive Cancer Breast and Ovarian Cancer Program. She also founded the institution’s community outreach program for underserved women.

“City of Hope is extremely fortunate to welcome a physician and researcher with Dr. Seewaldt’s deep understanding of high-risk cancers and how that affects the community,” said Steven T. Rosen, provost and chief scientific officer at City of Hope. “With her guidance, experience and vision, our Population Sciences Department will be able to improve outcomes not only for patients today, but also for patients tomorrow.”  

Seewaldt will lead the Breast Cancer Early Detection and Health Disparities Program at City of Hope, operating a clinic for women at high risk of breast and ovarian cancers and working to better understand which cancers can be predicted, and thus prevented. She will also work with City of Hope’s community sites to gather information on the areas’ diverse population in order to gain a more thorough understanding of risk and disease progression.

Seewaldt will emphasize clinical trials that focus on keeping high-risk women healthy, as opposed to those that emphasize intervention through medications, which can have serious side effects. She also will work to provide women in the community with health education and improved access to breast cancer screenings and treatment, as well as provide mentorship of young minority scholars.

“City of Hope has an impressive legacy of accomplishments in the assessment of cancer risk and survival on a population-wide basis, and I’m extremely pleased to be joining such a remarkable institution,” Seewaldt said. “I’m looking forward to furthering our work to ensure cancer research represents the community more broadly.”

Seewaldt earned her medical degree from University of California, Davis, completed her residency and clinical fellowship in medical oncology under the ABIM Clinical Investigator Pathway at University of Washington, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.  She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University.

Christopher Sistrunk, Ph.D., will be joining Seewaldt at City of Hope from Duke University, serving as assistant research professor. He will be taking on responsibilities involving education initiatives and outreach to the community. Seewaldt is scheduled to assume her new duties on the City of Hope campus in Duarte on Oct. 1.

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About City of Hope
City of Hope is an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the nation. City of Hope’s main hospital is located in Duarte, California, just northeast of Los Angeles, with community clinics in southern California. It is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation and genetics.