Campus News

Rutgers Cancer Center Director Named Dean of the UK College of Medicine

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 4, 2016) — University of Kentucky Provost Tim Tracy and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf announced Monday that Dr. Robert DiPaola, director of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Vice Chancellor for Cancer Programs, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, has been named dean of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.

Dr. DiPaola is expected to assume the dean's position in the early spring, pending approval from the UK Board of Trustees.

DiPaola was selected following a national search, which was co-chaired by Linda Van Eldik, director of UK's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, and John Walz, dean of the College of Engineering.

“We are thrilled to welcome someone of Dr. DiPaola’s caliber, who is nationally renowned for excellence in clinical, research and leadership settings, to the UK family,” Tracy said. "His accomplishments in translational research and his exemplary leadership experience make him the ideal person to build upon the College of Medicine’s legacy of academic excellence.”

Dr. DiPaola has extensive experience in translational research, clinical operations, education and leadership. At Rutgers, he was responsible for all research, clinical and administrative activities of a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and led the successful renewal of NCI designation in 2011. Under his leadership, external research funding increased to more than $100 million annually.

He also has held multiple local and national leadership positions including leader of the Prostate Cancer Center at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (1996-2008); chief of Medical Oncology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (2006-2015); national chairman of the GU Committee of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group; and a member of multiple National Cancer Institute review and steering committees. He has served as director of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey since 2008.

“Dr. Robert DiPaola is a national leader in all the areas where we excel or where we are growing,” Karpf said. “He understands the critical nexus between scientific research and community impact and he has been at the forefront in leading a cancer center toward national prominence. He is an outstanding choice to lead our growing academic and research efforts in the College of Medicine, where he will find an excellent cohort of clinicians, researchers, staff and students eager to expand our efforts on behalf of the Commonwealth."

“I am excited and energized by a great opportunity to work with such a distinguished team of leaders to further enhance and engage the academic strengths in research, education and clinical care, including opportunities for more personalized or precision medicine to best benefit community health and wellness,” said DiPaola.

He earned a bachelor's of science degree and his medical degree at the University of Utah; completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Duke University Medical Center; and completed a Fellowship in Hematology-Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.

In addition, Dr. DiPaola has maintained continuous funding to support a laboratory focused on Drug Resistance in Cancer Therapy, working on preclinical studies that support translational clinical trials and investigations into prostate cancer drug resistance. His research efforts including phase I, II and III clinical trials have had impact on national standards of care.

His accomplishments in the area of translational research are underscored by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense and private foundations, as well as his publications in prominent journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Cell, Clinical Cancer Research and the Journal of Clinical Oncology.


Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, or 859-323-6363