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Cortez named Associate Director for Basic Science Research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that David Cortez, PhD, has been named Associate Director for Basic Science Research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.  Dave joined Vanderbilt University in 2002 and is the Richard Armstrong Professor of Biochemistry. He is an expert in the field of DNA damage response and repair and has made numerous seminal discoveries about the mechanisms that maintain genome integrity. A highly accomplished and creative scientist, he has numerous studies published in Cell, Science, Nature and other high-impact journals, and he is a member of the editorial boards for Cell Reports and Molecular and Cellular Biology. His leadership roles include being a co-leader of the Genome Maintenance Research Program since its inception in 2007 at Vanderbilt-Ingram and having served as Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University for eight years.

Dave replaces Scott Hiebert, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Hortense B. Ingram Chair of Cancer Research, who has served in the role since 2008. Scott will continue in his role as Associate Director for Shared Resources and another interim leadership role to be announced soon. 

In addition to Dave’s scientific expertise and breath, he brings tremendous leadership skills and vision that will catalyze discoveries of the highest value for translation to our patients.  Dave is a leader who mentors early career scientists, prompts colleagues to examine scientific problems from different perspectives and spurs collaborative endeavors.  I look forward to partnering with Dave to further advance the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center mission.

Please join me in congratulating Dave!



Jennifer Pietenpol
Director, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Executive Vice President for Research, VUMC
Benjamin F. Byrd, Jr. Professor of Oncology
Brock Family Directorship in Career Development
Professor of Biochemistry and Otolaryngology