Reappointment of Lewis A. Chodosh, MD, PhD, as Chair of the Department of Cancer Biology

November 11, 2020

To:Penn Medicine Faculty, Students, and Staff

From:J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD
Jonathan A. Epstein, MD

We are pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. Lewis A. Chodosh for a third six-year term as Chair of the Department of Cancer Biology. The reappointment follows a review process that included a survey of departmental faculty about their experiences and perspectives, followed by an Internal Committee Review.

Created in 2000 with the goal of understanding the molecular, cellular, and genetic basis of cancer at its most fundamental level and ultimately reducing the burden of the disease, the Department of Cancer Biology is the youngest basic science department in PSOM. Its 15 standing faculty members are widely recognized as leaders in their respective fields, with particular strengths in cancer progression and signaling, cancer cell metabolism, genomic integrity and cell stress responses, and more recently cancer epigenetics. Numerous metrics evidence the strength of the Department’s research program, including 82 publications in high-impact journals in the last 6 years and a #1 ranking among US cancer biology departments by NIH funding per faculty member.

The review found that Dr. Chodosh has nurtured an exceptionally cohesive and collaborative departmental culture, noting in particular the high number of interdisciplinary and translational collaborations across Penn. Departmental faculty serve in leadership positions in other cancer-related entities on campus, including the Abramson Cancer Center and the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, and interact productively with the School of Engineering and Applied Science, as well as with clinical and basic science departments in PSOM.

The review also confirmed the high caliber of the Department’s trainees and the strength of its educational programs. Over the last 6 years, 21 PhD students from 7 labs successfully defended their theses. Of the 89 post-doctoral fellows in the last 6 years, most obtained scientific positions in academia or industry. The Department also significantly enhances training in cancer biology within the medical school curriculum and provides exceptional undergraduate and high school outreach programs.

The valuable feedback provided during this review will enable Dr. Chodosh and PSOM leadership to build on the Department’s manifest strengths and further develop an outstanding program in cancer biology at Penn. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Chodosh on his reappointment.