Lurie Cancer Center chooses new director

Ally Mutnick, Managing Editor

Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University named Dr. Leonidas Platanias its new director Wednesday, tapping a doctor who is known for his research on cancer-fighting proteins found in the bloodstream.

Platanias, who joined the Feinberg School of Medicine in 2002, has been serving as the interim director of the cancer center since January, according to a news release. He took over for former director Dr. Steve Rosen, who left to become the chief scientific officer at City of Hope, a research hospital based in Duarte, California.

“Leon has already contributed greatly to the Lurie Cancer Center,” Dr. Eric Neilson, Feinberg’s dean and vice president of medical affairs, said in the release. “As permanent director, he will continue in that vein, driving the center’s expansion and maintaining its reputation as a premiere venue for research, clinical care and collaboration.”

Platanias’ research focuses on molecular biology and biochemistry. He is well known for his work on cytokines, a protein in the blood that helps battle cancer.

He was previously the chief of hematology and oncology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Along with fellowships from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Chicago Hospitals, Platanias earned a medical degree in Greece from the University of Patras Medical School.

His resume also includes stints on review committees at the NIH, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

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