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Parsa Named Co-Leader Translational Research in Solid Tumors Program

Andrew Parsa, MD, PhD, has been named Co-Leader of the Translational Research in Solid Tumors Program (TRIST) at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

Parsa, an internationally-renowned neurosurgeon and researcher specializing in complex tumors of the brain and spine, is the Michael J. Marchese Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

The overall goal of the TRIST Program is to coordinate and enhance the interactions among researchers in the area of solid cancers at Northwestern University. A highly interactive and productive program, TRIST consists of accomplished faculty conducting translational studies centered on the themes of molecular and cell biology, early diagnosis, prognosis, risk factors, therapeutics and treatment of cancer of the aerodigestive tract, dermatologic, gastrointestinal, genitourinary and neuro-oncologic cancers. Parsa’s skills will complement the expertise of the TRIST Program Leader, Marcus Peter, PhD.

 “As a physician scientist with a remarkable history of success in translating research into advanced therapeutics, Andy’s accomplishments make him the ideal person to be the clinical Co-Leader of the TRIST program” said Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, Interim Director of the Lurie Cancer Center.

Parsa has served in numerous leadership positions throughout his impressive career, including a role on the Executive Board for the Joint Section on Tumors. He is currently the study chair for the largest randomized brain tumor vaccine trial ever funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Lurie Cancer Center researchers are currently conducting a randomized phase II trial, the next phase of this research. Parsa is the Chair of Neurological Surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and plays a key role in the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute.

Al B Benson III, MD, who served for two years as the TRIST Program’s previous Co-Leader, is taking on expanded responsibilities in his role as Associate Director for Clinical Investigations. He will Chair the Lurie Cancer Center’s newly created National Clinical Trial Network (NCTN) oversight committee which is charged with overseeing all cooperative clinical trial activities, including the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), the new Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium, and all NCI groups. Benson was instrumental in developing the TRIST Program prior to its first review by the NCI in 2013, when it received an “Outstanding” rating. 

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