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Robert F. Ozols To Step Down as Chief Clinical Officer

PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 2008)—After two decades of service at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Robert F. Ozols, MD, PhD, will be stepping down as senior vice president and chief clinical officer. Ozols will remain as chief clinical officer until a successor is named and will, at that point, assume the role as senior advisor to the president.

Fox Chase began a national search for a new chief clinical officer shortly after Ozols announced his upcoming retirement last fall. The identification of a new clinical leader will be accompanied by a significant expansion of clinical space within the Center.

Ozols is internationally known for his expertise in ovarian cancer and is a leader in advancing chemotherapy research. He joined Fox Chase in 1988 as chairman of medical oncology. He became senior vice president for medical science and medical director of the Hospital of Fox Chase Cancer Center in 1993. In 2002, he became the first to fill the Audrey Weg Schaus and Geoffrey Alan Weg Chair in Medical Science at Fox Chase.

For nine years, Ozols served as principal investigator for Fox Chase Cancer Center's Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant in ovarian cancer from the National Cancer Institute.

For his contributions to cancer research and treatment, Ozols received the 25th Annual Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research in 2002 (shared with Robert C. Young, MD), the Ninth Claude Jacquillat Award in Clinical Research in 2001 and the 1990 Cancer Research Award from the Milken Family Medical Foundation.

Ozols' research has focused on how cancer cells develop drug resistance and on strategies for overcoming it. He has developed new clinical approaches to treating women with ovarian cancer, including new chemotherapy regimens that combine paclitaxel (Taxol) and carboplatin as well as pharmacologic techniques to reverse resistance of tumors to anticancer drugs.

The author of many scientific publications, Ozols serves on numerous editorial boards. He has served on the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration (1992-1996).

He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Investigation, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). He has chaired ASCO's Cancer Research Committee and Cancer Communications Committee. He was vice president of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society from 2003 to 2005. He has served on the board of directors of ASCO (2000-2003) and the American Association of Cancer Institutes (2001-2002).

Born in Latvia in 1944, Ozols earned his B.S. in chemistry in 1966, his PhD in biochemistry in 1971, and his MD in 1974 at University of Rochester in New York. He completed his internship and residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Before coming to Fox Chase in 1988, Ozols had headed the experimental therapeutics section of the National Cancer Institute's Medicine Branch since 1984. He joined the branch in 1976 as a clinical associate. Ozols held the rank of medical director (captain) in the Public Health Service, receiving the PHS Outstanding Unit Award in 1984 and 1988 and a PHS Commendation Medal in 1987.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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