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Fox Chase Cancer Center Appoints New Chief Scientific Officer and Names New Executive Director of Institute for Personalized Medicine

PHILADELPHIA (August 5, 2010) – In an important step toward continuing its leadership in providing world-class care to current and future cancer patients and conducting leading-edge research, Fox Chase Cancer Center today appointed Jonathan Chernoff, MD, PhD, to the critical role of Chief Scientific Officer.  In addition, the Center named Jeff Boyd, PhD, as the new Executive Director of the Institute for Personalized Medicine, an area that will be an important focus for the Center in the years to come. Boyd will also become Chief of the Division of Molecular Pathology.

“These appointments are vital steps toward the execution of our strategic plan and critically important in allowing Fox Chase Cancer Center to grow and thrive in the future,” said Michael V. Seiden, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Fox Chase.  “I could not be more delighted that Dr. Chernoff and Dr. Boyd have accepted these appointments.  Their leadership, scientific expertise, and tireless dedication to cancer prevention, detection, and treatment will serve our current and future patients well.”

As Chief Scientific Officer, Chernoff will be tasked with coordinating and charting the future course of research at Fox Chase.  Chernoff is a dedicated and accomplished physician-scientist who has spent the last two decades of his career studying important enzymes within cells to determine how they influence the behavior of normal and malignant cells. He has particular expertise in a family of enzymes called PAK, which were recently discovered to play a pivotal role in several forms of cancer. Working with colleagues, Chernoff has explored potential strategies for nullifying the effects of overactive PAK and investigated ways in which these enzymes might cooperate with other genes in the cancer process.

“It has been an honor to serve at Fox Chase for the past two decades, and I am equally humbled and excited by this new opportunity,” stated Chernoff.  “The collegiality, cooperation and dedication of the scientists and physicians at Fox Chase are truly inspiring.  I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on expanding our high-quality translational research programs and capitalizing on our unparalleled scientific strengths.”

On the administrative side, Chernoff most recently held the role of Deputy Chief Scientific Officer for the Center and couples significant administrative skills with his wealth of scientific knowledge.  He was recruited to Fox Chase in 1991 as an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Cancer Research and was quickly recognized for his outstanding original research and leadership.  He is a member of the Faculty of 1000, an Editorial Board Member of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and a frequent ad hoc reviewer for, among others, Nature Cell Biology, various Cell journals, Current Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, EMBO Journal, Journal of Cell Biology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Oncogene.

As the new Executive Director of the Institute for Personalized Medicine, Boyd will work to match emerging targeted drug therapies to the unique genetic profiles of individual patient tumors on a much larger scale than previously possible. The goal of the new Institute is to make the one-size-fits-all approach to cancer treatment that dominates care today a thing of the past.

“With the Institute for Personalized Medicine, Fox Chase Cancer Center has a fantastic opportunity to influence dramatically the future of cancer care, and I am honored to help lead this effort,” said Boyd.  “Within ten years, personalized medicine will be the standard of care for treating cancer of all types, but today you will find it at Fox Chase.  Given the exciting opportunities we now have for productive collaborations with government agencies, other academic centers, and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies as we seek to grow the Institute, I am excited at the chance to serve in this role.”

In his role of Chief of the Division of Molecular Pathology, Boyd will oversee a closely related area of medicine.  The fast-developing discipline of molecular pathology seeks to define the molecular characteristics of individual patient tumors, again with the aim of matching available and experimental treatment options with a patient’s unique form of cancer.

In his most recent role as Chief Scientific Officer, Boyd has been the principle architect in launching the Institute for Personalized Medicine.  Prior to that, Boyd served as Director of the Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute and Vice President of Oncology and Research at the Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia.  He also served as Professor of Medicine, Surgery, and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mercer University School of Medicine.  At Mercer University, he served as the Assistant Dean of Research.  He also held the title of Distinguished Cancer Scholar from the State of Georgia.  Prior to his roles in Savannah, Boyd served a variety of leadership roles at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where he was Director of the Gynecology and Breast Research Laboratory in the Department of Surgery as well as the Director of Diagnostic Molecular Genetics Laboratory within the Department of Medicine.  Boyd had prior faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of North Carolina, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


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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