Barbara Burtness, MD, Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology), has been named Chief Translational Research Officer for Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital and Associate Cancer Center Director for Translational Research for Yale Cancer Center. Dr. Burtness’ experience, leadership, and mentorship in clinical and translational research will benefit investigators across Yale Cancer Center to build a robust translational research platform for all types of cancer. Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, FACP, FASCO, has provided leadership of translational research over the past decade and has assumed new responsibilities as Deputy Director of the Yale Cancer Center.
Barbara Burtness, MD
A Leader in the Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer
Dr. Burtness is the founding Director of the Yale Head and Neck Cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE). She has headed numerous clinical trials, including an international phase III trial that led to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of immunotherapy in the first-line treatment of head and neck cancer. She is principal investigator of a laboratory funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, U.S. Department of Defense, Stand Up To Cancer, and the Fanconi Anemia Research Foundation, studying synthetic therapies for head and neck cancer. Her recent research on KRAS mutations has identified new pathways for resistance in the treatment of lung cancer, expanding her laboratory impact to the 30% of patients with non–small cell lung cancer identified as having KRAS mutations.
Dr. Burtness joined Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital in 2014 from Fox Chase Cancer Center. She is Division Chief for Head and Neck Cancers/Sarcoma, Co-Leader of the Developmental Therapeutics Research Program, and Interim Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Yale Cancer Center. Nationally, Dr. Burtness chairs the ECOG-ACRIN Head and Neck Therapeutics Committee and serves on the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer Head and Neck Guidelines Committee and the NCI Head and Neck Cancer Steering Committee.