Joseph A. Califano III, MD, has been named director of the Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health.
Califano succeeds Scott Lippman, MD, who announced in November 2021 that he would step down as director to lead the PreCancer Genome Atlas, a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored effort to map across time and space all the molecular, cellular and structural characteristics of precancerous lesions and how they evolve into invasive cancers.
Califano is currently chief medical officer at Moores Cancer Center, director of the Hanna and Mark Glieberman Head and Neck Cancer Center, and co-lead of the structural and functional genomics program.
“I am honored to have been selected as director and to continue to work with an outstandingly talented faculty and staff, whose abilities, compassion and dedication have made Moores Cancer Center one of the premier destinations for research and treatment since its founding in 1978.”
A board-certified otolaryngologist specializing in surgical oncology of the head and neck and the integration of basic, molecular and biological research into this practice, Califano’s clinical expertise includes the minimally invasive treatment of tumors of the mouth, throat and head and neck.
Califano runs a laboratory studying the molecular and biological basis of head and neck cancer. He has published over 260 peer-reviewed articles related to basic clinical and scientific aspects of cancer, and has served on various professional organizations and editorial boards, including the NCI Head and Neck Steering Committee and the Council of the American Head and Neck. Neck Company.
As Chief Medical Officer, he oversaw clinical operations and all related inpatient and outpatient oncology services at UC San Diego Health, as well as operations with branch and outreach clinics. Participated in Visitor and Philanthropy Board meetings, and was appointed to the Cancer Center Executive Committee, where he worked in partnership with the CEO on operational and strategic opportunities that advance the mission and vision. from the cancer center.
“Dr. Califano brings enormous experience and expertise to the position of director,” said Steven R. Garfin, MD, acting vice chancellor for health sciences at UC San Diego. “He has a history of success. And he’s already fully immersed and involved in the institution’s multiple missions and ambitions. He’ll hit the ground running already.”
Before joining UC San Diego Health in 2015, Califano was a professor in the department of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. He completed a fellowship in head and neck surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a residency in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School.
Moores Cancer Center is the only Comprehensive Cancer Center in the area, an NCI designation reserved for institutions with the highest performance in cancer research, clinical care, education and community contributions. The NCI designation places Moores Cancer Center among 4% of approximately 1,500 cancer centers in the United States and one of 53 comprehensive cancer centers nationwide.
In the most recent US News and World Report According to the “Best Hospitals” survey, UC San Diego Health’s cancer program was ranked 20th in the nation.
“One of the primary reasons UC San Diego Health is ranked #1 in San Diego and #5 in California is the outstanding and enduring excellence of its cancer programs, exemplified by physicians, nurses and the extraordinary staff at Moores Cancer Center and throughout the healthcare system,” said Patty Maysent, CEO, UC San Diego Health.
“Dr. Califano assumes the leadership of an extraordinary team and institution, in which he has already invested years and talent to help build, develop and improve. I expect all of this to continue without respite, with greater accomplishments to come.
Lippman will remain at UC San Diego as associate vice chancellor for cancer research.