Dr. Daniel Persky receives leadership award from the National Cancer Institute

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Daniel O. Persky, MDDaniel O. Persky, MD, a lymphoma specialist at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, is among 12 physicians from across the country to receive the 2014 Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award from the National Cancer Institute. This highly competitive award recognizes exceptional cancer investigators for their contributions to the advancement of clinical research through collaborative team science.
The award is a $100,000, two-year supplement to the UACC’s Cancer Center Support Grant.  Dr. Persky is the first UACC member to be honored with this recognition.  The UACC is one of just 41 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers and the only one headquartered in Arizona.

Dr. Persky is a board-certified medical oncologist, an associate professor of medicine and a co-leader of the Cancer Center’s lymphoma team. He specializes in treating cancers of lymphocytes, such as lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Together with Soham Puvvada, MD, and Jonathan Schatz, MD, he provides both standard and innovative therapy options to patients with such conditions.

 The Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award is designed to support, acknowledge and recognize outstanding clinical investigators whose participation and activities promote a culture of successful clinical research, according to the NCI.

Dr. Persky and the other awardees are actively engaged in NCI-funded clinical trials and collaborate across disciplines, institutions and programs to advance the design and conduct of cancer clinical trials. The clinical researchers serve as mentors and academic role models for trainees and junior faculty members interested in clinical research and clinical trials.

Dr. Persky’s research focuses on translating the advances of his colleagues from multiple disciplines into clinic by designing innovative clinical trials to treat lymphomas, both at UACC and at the national level.  He is the principal investigator of a national trial studying the role of PET/CT scans in tailoring therapy for patients with early stage diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. 

“I am greatly honored to receive this award, which recognizes the importance and excellence of clinical research at the University of Arizona Cancer Center,” Dr. Persky said.  “This award will help to foster team science and the conduct of investigator-initiated trials at our institution.”

“Our lymphoma program excels at translating scientific advances into the clinical practice. We have set the standard of care for lymphoma treatment for the state and the country,” said Andrew S. Kraft, MD, UACC director.
Dr. Persky received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He completed his internship and residency at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, and a three-year fellowship in medical oncology and hematology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He joined the UACC in 2006 and is a member of the center’s Therapeutic Development scientific research program. At UACC, he was mentored by Thomas Miller, MD, a renowned lymphoma clinical researcher.

Dr. Persky is the chair of the UACC’s Data Safety and Monitoring Board and serves on the Hodgkin Lymphoma subcommittee of the National Cancer Trials Network. In 2010, he received the SWOG/Hope Foundation Coltman Fellowship, a competitive program that funds outstanding young investigators from SWOG member institutions to develop expertise in clinical trials methodology, protocol activation and management.

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About the University of Arizona Cancer Center

The University of Arizona Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center with headquarters in Arizona. The UArizona Cancer Center is supported by NCI Cancer Center Support Grant No. CA023074. With its primary location at the University of Arizona in Tucson, the Cancer Center has more than a dozen research and education offices throughout the state, with more than 300 physicians and scientists working together to prevent and cure cancer. For more information: cancercenter.arizona.edu(Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube).