Steven D. Leach, MD
Physician and scientist Steven D. Leach, MD, has been selected as the new Director of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC). As the leader of northern New England’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center, Dr. Leach will oversee a program that combines advanced cancer research at Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine with patient-centered cancer care provided across the Dartmouth–Hitchcock health system. Dr. Leach will start his role at the NCCC in September 2017.
“My vision is to further extend the Dartmouth model of truly patient-centered multidisciplinary cancer care throughout the region and beyond and to advance the frontiers of cancer research through transdisciplinary partnership with scientists and researchers throughout Geisel, Dartmouth–Hitchcock, and Dartmouth College,” said Dr. Leach.
In addition to his appointment as the Director of the NCCC, Dr. Leach will hold the Preston T. and Virginia R. Kelsey Distinguished Chair in Cancer at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. This Chair supports the Director of the NCCC in advancing innovative research that translates into clinical and preventative cancer care.
Basic Science and Clinical Research
Dr. Leach is currently the David M. Rubenstein Chair and Director of the Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (Memorial), leading a large team of scientists and clinicians focused on improving the lives of patients with pancreatic cancer. As both a physician-scientist and a surgical oncologist, Dr. Leach has spent the past 25 years conducting both basic science and clinical research, becoming the Inaugural Director of Memorial’s Pancreatic Cancer Research Center in 2014. He is also Professor of Surgery at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He previously served as the Paul K. Neumann Professor in Pancreatic Cancer Research; Professor of Surgery, Oncology, and Cell Biology; Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology; and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs at Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Leach will continue his research into pancreatic cancer biology. His lab at Memorial has made important discoveries that have established previously unrecognized links between pancreatic development and pancreatic cancer. More recently, Dr. Leach’s team has completed highly translational studies focused on more advanced stages of the disease, including the development of novel models for testing the drug sensitivity of each patient’s individual tumor.
Dr. Leach received his medical degree from Emory University. He completed his residency in general surgery and a postdoctoral research fellowship at Yale University, followed by a surgical oncology fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He also serves as Chair of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Board. ■