History of the Cancer Center
Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been at the forefront of groundbreaking cancer research and treatment for decades. This history includes the work of Nobel laureates Earl Sutherland and Stanley Cohen, whose research in cell communication, growth and disseminationare the foundation of many of today's breakthroughs in cancer treatment. It also included the cornerstone support of the Henry and Joyce families and the A.B. Hancock Jr. families, who had established a clinical care and research center and a laboratory focused on cancer prevention.
Left to right: Dr. Roscoe R. (Ike) Robinson; Dr. Harold L. Moses; Mrs. A.B. (Waddell) Hancock Jr.; Frances Williams Preston; E. Bronson Ingram; Edward G. Nelson; Peggy Joyce; and Dr. B.F. Byrd Jr.
Building on this rich legacy, the Vanderbilt Cancer Center was formally established in 1993, under the leadership of Dr. Hal Moses, to bring together all cancer-related research, treatment, education and outreach at Vanderbilt.This early leadership team, including founders such as Drs David Johnson and Lawrence Marnett, had a clear vision and a strong commitment to excellence.
The Centers creationwas also made possible through the important support of the T.J. Martell Foundation, which established its Nashville division and the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories at Vanderbilt that same year.
The immediate objective was to jointhe ranks ofthe premier institutions designated by the National Cancer Institute as Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Only two years later, the first major step toward that objective was accomplished, with an initial designation as a "clinical cancer center." The Vanderbilt Cancer Centerwas the youngest center to go from creation to designation by the NCI, the worlds foremost authority on cancer.
Another significant milestone occurred in 1999, when Nashville's Ingram family made a transformational gift in honor of the late E. Bronson Ingram, philanthropist, businessman and civic leader. Formally named the E. Bronson Ingram Cancer Center at Vanderbilt University, the center quickly became known as the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in recognition of this important partnership to eliminate the pain and suffering caused by cancer in Tennessee, in the United States and around the world.
In 2001, the Center earnedtheNCI's highest distinction as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, and itremains one of only45 such centersin the United States. The Centerachieveda successful renewal of that designation in 2004, becoming one of thefew cancer centers deemed"outstanding" - the verybestcategoryin NCIgrant scoring-duringthis rigorous, competitive peer-review process.
In 2005, Dr. Moses became director emeritus and remains an active senior faculty member and advisor. He also is director of the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories.
Based on the strong foundation established by that original leadership team and the talents of the investigators, physicians and staff who have followed, the Centercontinues to excel in securing research funding, making important translational discoveries and demonstrating excellencein research, clinical care, education and outreach.
In 2007, Jennifer A. Pietenpol, Ph.D., Vanderbilt Professor of Biochemistry, Cancer Biology and Otolaryngology, became Interim Director of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and was named Director in January 2008. Later that year, the President appointed Pietenpol to serve a six-year term on the National Cancer Advisory Board of the National Institutes of Healths National Cancer Institute.
In 2007, the Center was invited to join the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a non-profit alliance of 26 leading centers working together to improve thequality and effectiveness of cancer treatment for all patients.
In July 2010, the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center launched the Personalized Cancer Medicine Initiative, becoming the first cancer center in the Southeast to offer cancer patients routine genotyping of their tumors at the DNA level. The Center continues to be a national leader in precisionmedicine, providing tumor genotyping for several forms of cancer.
In 2013, theVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center celebrated 20 years of milestones and advancements in research and clinical careand helping patients and caregivers reach their personal milestones.