Robert H. Vonderheide, MD, DPhil
Robert H. Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, has been appointed to a second 5-year term as Director of the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) at the University of Pennsylvania, following a highly successful tenure that saw 17 U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals in oncology for therapies based on studies led or co-led by ACC investigators, high-impact basic and translational research discoveries, expansion of radiation oncology services to new sites across the Philadelphia region, and development of new methods for live tumor imaging during surgeries. Under his leadership, the ACC has also launched new cancer home care and telemedicine programs, as well as initiatives that drove improvements in germline genetic testing, cancer screenings, and clinical trial participation by minority patients. He will continue in his roles as Vice President for Cancer Programs for the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Vice Dean for Cancer Programs in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine.
Dr. Vonderheide will build on the development of pathways to ensure that patients across the entire health system are able to access Penn Medicine care no matter where they live. Among key examples already underway are proton therapy at Lancaster General Health and Virtua Health in New Jersey, both set to open this year; subspecialty surgery consultation at outpatient sites and Penn Medicine’s regional hospitals; and telemedical options for genetic counseling and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy and bone marrow transplant evaluation and education.
Dr. Vonderheide’s renewal as ACC Director includes a 5-year, $130 million investment from the health system to provide resources and infrastructure to unify all missions of cancer care and research across Penn Medicine. Growing access to cancer clinical trials is a key area of focus, through the development of a cancer clinical trials network.