Taofeek K. Owonikoko, MD, PhD, will join the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UMPC) Hillman Cancer Center and Department of Medicine as Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology. A physician-scientist board-certified in medical oncology, hematology, and internal medicine, Dr. Owonikoko also will serve as Associate Director for translational research and Co-Leader of the Cancer Therapeutics Program at Hillman. He will hold the Stanley M. Marks–OHA Endowed Chair in Hematology/Oncology Leadership and will begin his appointment on July 1, 2021.
Taofeek K. Owonikoko, MD, PhD
Robert Ferris, MD, PhD
“Taofeek has an extraordinary track record of clinical and academic success and a deep commitment to helping early career researchers and clinicians achieve their fullest potential,” said Robert Ferris, MD, PhD, Director of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. “We are thrilled he is joining the senior leadership team at Hillman.”
Dr. Owonikoko will lead a division of more than 65 faculty members, consisting of recognized leaders in hematology and oncology clinical care and research. He will oversee translational research and efforts to expand clinical trial access across the Hillman network of more than 70 sites.
“I’m very excited to join such an exceptional team of physicians and scientists at Hillman,” said Dr. Owonikoko. “I look forward to being an active and engaged member of this community with a strong culture of improving patients’ lives through translation of cancer research from the bench to bedside.”
Dr. Owonikoko’s Background
A native of Nigeria, Dr. Owonikoko received his medical degree from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria and his PhD from Heinrich Heine University in Germany. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, followed by a residency in internal medicine at Drexel University. Dr. Owonikoko completed his hematology/oncology fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC, conducting translational research in small cell lung cancer.
Dr. Owonikoko has coauthored numerous publications and serves on the editorial boards of several organizations. His many awards include the Michaele C. Christian Oncology Development Lectureship and Award from the National Cancer Institute in 2020, the Heine Hansen Award for Small Cell Lung Cancer research from the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and the Leadership Development Program award from ASCO. He will begin a 4-year term on the ASCO Board of Directors in June 2021.