Ramon E. Parsons, MD, PhD, a highly acclaimed researcher in cancer genetics, has joined Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as the Ward-Coleman Chair in Cancer, and Chair of the Department of Oncological Sciences.
Dr. Parsons succeeds Stuart Aaronson, MD, Jack and Jane B. Aron Professor, whose significant discoveries in molecular oncology include identifying the first normal function of an oncogene, and its role in growth factor signaling. Dr. Aaronson has been appointed Founding Chair Emeritus of the Department of Oncological Sciences, and will continue to lead his highly funded laboratory at Mount Sinai.
“With an innovative and enthusiastic leader like Dr. Parsons at the helm, Mount Sinai will push the limits of cancer research to discover improved diagnostics and novel treatments,” says Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs of The Mount Sinai Medical Center.
The author of more than 90 original peer-reviewed articles and an editor on several journals, including Cancer Research, Dr. Parsons’ research is organ-based. He is credited with defining the tumor suppressor gene PTEN that is mutated in cancer and serves as a critical therapeutic target in breast, brain, prostate, and endometrial cancers.
“We are entering a new era in cancer research in which genetics and genomics are playing a central role,” says Dr. Parsons. “Mount Sinai is at the forefront of this movement. I look forward to leading such an accomplished group of researchers, and recruiting additional world-class scientists to the department of Oncological Sciences.”
Dr. Parsons is the recipient of multiple honors, including the American Association for Cancer Research’s (AACR) Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, and the National Institutes of Health Research Service Award. He is a member of the AACR, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians. He is a past and current recipient of grant support for several projects, most relating to further research into the PTEN gene.
Formerly a Professor of Breast Cancer Research, Medicine, Pathology, and Cell Biology in the Institute for Cancer Genetics and in The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Parsons also led the HICCC’s Breast Cancer Program. He began his career at Columbia as Assistant Professor of Pathology in 1995, and had served as the Leader of the Breast Cancer Program beginning in 2005.
Prior to his tenure at Columbia University, Dr. Parsons was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and received his MD and PhD degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
This article was first published in Inside Mount Sinai.