After an extensive national search, Rachna T. Shroff, MD, MS, FASCO, has been chosen as the new chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. She has served as the interim division chief since February 2022.
Dr. Shroff succeeds Julie E. Bauman, MD, MPH, who had served as chief of the division from September 2016 until January 2022 when she left to assume the directorship of the GW Cancer Center at George Washington University in Washington, DC.
“I am extremely delighted that Dr. Shroff will continue to lead our Hematology and Oncology Division,” said James K. Liao, MD, FACP, FACC, a professor of medicine, chair of the Department of Medicine, and the Robert S. and Irene Flinn Endowed Chair in Medicine at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson. “She brings passion and expertise in clinical oncology to the position and will be a terrific leader and role model for our faculty and trainees. Her unique vision for discovery and growth promises to forge new opportunities for research and clinical trials as well as patient-centered care for the Division and the University of Arizona Cancer Center.”
Dr. Shroff responded, “I am honored and humbled to be appointed chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at College of Medicine – Tucson. I look forward to partnering with Dr. Liao, from the Department of Medicine, and UArizona Cancer Center leadership to enact our vision to be a premier cancer program with national recognition. Our division is committed to excellent clinical care and to developing novel therapies for cancer patients through cutting-edge research. Together, we will accelerate the UACC and COM-T missions in this area. I can’t wait to hit the ground running to grow this incredible division and to see it rise to its full potential.”
Dr. Shroff, a Tucson native, is a renowned clinical and translational research investigator whose focus is on developing novel therapies for pancreatic and hepatobiliary cancers. As a result of her expertise in these areas, she holds multiple positions nationally, including serving as Hepatobiliary Subcommittee co-chair for the Southwest Oncology Group, known commonly as SWOG, and as chair for GI ASCO 2024, a meeting on gastrointestinal cancers sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology that will be held in San Francisco in January.
In June at the ASCO Annual Meeting, Dr. Shroff was named a Fellow of the society as well as the Woman Disruptor of the Year by the website Healio and its sister publication HemOnc Today for the innovative work she has done throughout her career. In September, she was picked as one of 100 Influential Women in Oncology by OncoDaily. And in 2022, she was among three women nationally to receive a Women in Oncology Award at the 7th annual Practical Recommendations in Immuno and Molecular Oncology, or PRIMO, meeting.
At the UArizona Cancer Center, Dr. Shroff, a professor of medicine, serves as the associate director of clinical investigations and co-leader of the Gastrointestinal Clinical Research Team as well as medical director of the Oncology Service Line and associate dean of Clinical and Translational Research for the College of Medicine – Tucson.
Dr. Shroff did her undergraduate studies in biochemistry at Brown University, earned her medical degree at Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University and got a master’s degree in patient-based biological research from Houston’s University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Her internal medicine residency training was at the University of Washington – St. Louis/Barnes-Jewish Hospital. She came to UArizona from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where she was on faculty from 2010-18 after completing her medical oncology fellowship there.
Dr. Shroff has led numerous clinical trials focusing on pancreaticobiliary tumors and is the national PI for SWOG 1815 which investigated a triplet chemotherapy regimen as a potential new standard of care for biliary cancers. This is based on a phase 2 study she led that is now published in JAMA Oncology. With numerous peer-reviewed publications to her credit in this area, Dr. Shroff has been invited to speak at national and international meetings on topics related to targeted therapies for pancreatic and biliary cancers. Similarly, she is a regular video host of panel discussions on this topic for OncLive, the official website for the Oncology Specialty Group, which publishes OncologyLive, Oncology Fellows and Oncology Nursing News.
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