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Message from the Director

Dear colleagues and supporters,

I AM PLEASED TO SHARE THE SYLVESTER 2022 ACCOMPLISHMENTS REPORT, which captures some of our key successes of the year. We continue to make great strides in advancing our research and clinical effort to improve outcomes for our patients.

Stephen Nimer, MD

Today, excellent cancer care includes a focus on survivorship, enabling and empowering patients to live the best lives possible after their diagnosis.

Our commitment to translational cancer research has never been stronger. We are developing novel targets and therapies for treating common and rare cancers alike, and have recruited and promoted accomplished, forward-thinking investigators who are unraveling why some cancers remain notoriously treatment resistant.

Research leaders recruited to Sylvester in 2022 include deputy director Antonio Iavarone, M.D., a leader in brain tumor research for more than 20 years, and David B. Lombard, M.D., Ph.D., who co-leads Sylvester’s Cancer Epigenetics Research Program. Scott Welford, Ph.D., and Priya Rai, Ph.D., were promoted as co-leaders of our Tumor Biology Research Program, and Jaime Merchan, M.D., M.M.Sc., as co-leader of our new Translational and Clinical Oncology Research Program.

We are investing in building teams, facilities, collaborations and community partnerships to help people with cancer survive and thrive. Investigators working in this area include Tracy Crane, Ph.D., R.D.N., co-leader of our Cancer Control Research Program, who was awarded a prestigious NCI U01 consortium grant to study how physical activity and exercise can help women with ovarian cancer complete chemotherapy regimens without delays.

In 2022, we created the Sylvester Pancreatic Cancer Research Institute, led by surgical oncologist and founding director Nipun Merchant, M.D., and received the approval to build a world class Myeloma Research Institute, led by C. Ola Landgren, M.D., Ph.D. We also joined forces with the University of Miami College of Engineering for Engineering Cancer Cures™, to develop and deploy novel technologies to detect, diagnose and treat cancer.

Funding has significantly increased on all fronts, including governmental and private donations. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited Sylvester as part of the administration’s renewal of the Cancer Moonshot initiative. Dolphins Challenge Cancer brought our local community together for the 12th year, for an inspiring and fun event that brought DCC’s total fundraising for cancer research to more than $50 million. There’s no stopping Sylvester. We are unrivaled in our commitment to preventing, treating and curing cancers, and to supporting our patients through care and programs that truly enhance their quality of life.

With gratitude, 

Signature of Stephen Nimer

Stephen D. Nimer, M.D.
Director, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Oscar de la Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research
Executive Dean for Research, Miller School of Medicine
Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology