Mani will lead efforts to expand the translation of discoveries to patient populations.
Sendurai A. Mani, PhD, has been appointed associate director for Translational Oncology at the Legorreta Cancer Center at Brown University and professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, effective December 1, 2022.
“This appointment aligns with the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University’s recent efforts to build and expand cancer research in Rhode Island. Our cancer programs will benefit from Dr. Mani’s leadership and focus on translational oncology,” said Wafik El-Deiry, MD, PhD, associate dean for oncologic sciences and director of the Legorreta Cancer Center.
Dr. Mani comes to Brown from MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he was co-director of the Metastasis Research Center and co-director of the Stem Cells and Developmental Biology Center. He brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to Brown to translate and form alliances with researchers within the state, country, and with biotech companies to strengthen the tie between bench scientists and clinicians.
“We aim to focus on prevention, treatments, and cures for cancer by providing a remarkable environment to increase opportunities and improve outcomes for our cancer patients,” Dr. El-Deiry said. “Only through team science we can find solutions that will help them. Dr. Mani is an ideal candidate to lead this endeavor; his years of leadership in his laboratory, as director of the Metastasis Research Center and the director of the Stem Cell and Developmental Biology Center at MD Anderson, are evidence of his talent and vision.” In addition to his leadership of translational oncology at Legorreta Cancer Center, Dr. Mani is leading a developing cancer stem cell institute and will be invigorating translational collaborations across the Brown community and health systems through his leadership of the Translational Research Disease Groups at the cancer center.
Cancer programs at the Legorreta Cancer Center include a broad array of clinicians, basic scientists, and researchers in epidemiology, clinical trials, cancer prevention, imaging, pathology, cell biology, molecular oncology, radiology precision medicine, and stem cell biology. On the strength of a $25 million gift from Pablo and Almudena Legorreta last year, the Cancer Center has been growing and working toward the goal of becoming a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Mani to the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,” said Jonathan Kurtis, MD, PhD, Stanley Aronson Professor of Pathology and chair of the department. “Cancer stem cells are responsible for the development of metastasis, resistance to treatments and tumor relapse. He was the first to demonstrate that cancer can make its own stem cells by reactivating the embryonic program known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition. This highly influential finding explained the presence of cellular plasticity within tumors. He brings expertise in cancer metastasis, cancer stem cells and epithelial-mesenchymal transition that complements existing work within the Legorreta Cancer Center, as well as leadership experience in positioning research for application in patients.”