University of Illinois Cancer Center Leadership: Gadi Is Cancer Center Deputy Director

VK Gadi, MD, PhD, whose laboratory and clinical cancer research has focused primarily on breast cancer, is the new Deputy Director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center.

Gadi joined the Cancer Center in March 2020 as Associate Director of Translational Medicine when he came to the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) after 20 years in Seattle at the University of Washington, where he did his postgraduate training, and the Fred Hutch Cancer Center.

Gadi’s Work at the University of Illinois Cancer Center

Since coming to Chicago, Gadi has worked to stabilize, expand and diversify cancer research in the clinical and research workforce focused on solid tumor malignancies in the Cancer Center’s catchment area of Cook County, the second most populous county in the US and one of the most diverse catchment areas in the nation.

Read about cancer disparities in Chicago — and what the Cancer Center is doing to address them.

Working closely with Cancer Center leadership, Gadi continues to lead efforts in cancer research to identify and recruit novel molecular assets for clinical trials testing from both big pharmaceutical companies and smaller biotechs. His efforts have increased national-level engagement for cooperative group studies and provided access to Cancer Center disease team leaders for clinical trial development opportunities to ensure trials are written to address the needs of diverse patient populations.

In collaboration with several groups of investigators and UIC technology transfer, Gadi also is accelerating the process of commercialization of multiple diagnostic and therapeutic intellectual properties to build a sustainable licensing revenue stream to support Cancer Center activities.

Gadi on Changing Cancer Research at the University of Illinois Cancer Center

“When I came to UIC and the Cancer Center a little over two years ago, I was so excited to put my skills toward the tremendous goals of bringing top-flight care and research to the patients that we serve in our community. I must admit how humbled I am by how much I have personally learned from the diverse patients seen at UI Health and the providers who for so long have collaborated in their care,” Gadi said.

“By listening to these patients and providers, we are now able to translate our advancements for the benefit of patients everywhere whose voices have not been previously well represented or even heard. This place is where a true transformation of cancer care is taking place – it is a dream come true to be here in this moment.”

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