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Anirban Maitra

Pancreatic cancer expert comes to lead new research center


By Scott Merville

 Anirban Maitra, M.B.B.S.

Pre-eminent pancreatic cancer expert Anirban Maitra is the first co-director and scientific director of MD Anderson’s Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Maitra arrives from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, where he was a professor of pathology and oncology at the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center and an affiliate faculty member of the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine. He’ll serve as deputy division head for academic science in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and as a professor in Pathology and Translational Molecular Pathology.

Maitra brings to Houston his passion for improving patients’ survival by discovering and developing ways to detect and treat pancreatic cancer.

“We need to remember that what we do in the lab needs to end up in patients.  It’s not about an elegant experiment and an excellent scientific publication — it’s all about translation, translation, translation,” Maitra says.

The pancreatic cancer research center is funded by a $150 million grant from the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, the largest gift ever received by MD Anderson, in honor of the founder and late president of the United Arab Emirates and his sons. The grant also established the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy and made possible the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Building for Personalized Cancer Care, currently under construction.

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