Ernest T. Hawk, M.D., M.P.H.

Ernest T. Hawk, M.D., M.P.H. 


Ernest T. Hawk, M.D., M.P.H.
Vice President for Cancer Prevention & Population Sciences

T. Boone Pickens Distinguished Chair for Early Prevention of Cancer


Ernest T. Hawk, M.D., M.P.H., is responsible to Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs, and to MD Anderson President John Mendelsohn, M.D., for the oversight and budgeting of all departments within the division. As division head of Cancer Prevention & Population Sciences, he also serves as a cancer prevention media expert for the institution.

The five departments, three centers, one program and one institute within the Division are:

  • Department of Behavioral Science (Ellen R. Gritz, Ph.D., chair),
    - Behavioral Research and Treatment Center (Paul M. Cinciripini, Ph.D., director)
  • Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention (Powel Brown, M.D., Ph.D., chair)
    - Cancer Prevention Clinic (Therese Bevers, M.D., director)
  • Department of Epidemiology (Xifeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D., chair)
    - Cancer Prevention Education Program (Shine Chang, Ph.D., director)
  • Department of Health Disparities Research (David W. Wetter, Ph.D., chair)
  • Department of Health Services Research (Sharon Giordano, M.D., M.P.H., chair)
  • The Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment (Ernest T. Hawk, M.D., M.P.H., director)

Dr. Hawk is the former director of the Office of Centers, Training and Resources at the NCI and prior to that was the Chief and Medical Officer of the GI and Other Cancers Research Group. His research interests are focused on preclinical and clinical chemoprevention and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and COX-2 inhibitors as cancer prevention agents. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious NCI Research Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Prevention.

Dr. Hawk currently serves as senior editor for Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention and deputy editor for Cancer Prevention Research.

The Division works to:

  1. Identify lifestyle factors, genetic predisposition and molecular events contributing to the development of cancer
  2. Explore new approaches to the assessment and management (early detection, genetic counseling and intervention) of cancer risk
  3. Develop, implement and evaluate interventions that reduce carcinogenic risk and progression and/or the adverse psychological and physical impact of cancer
  4. Create educational and behavioral support systems
  5. Develop, implement and evaluate community programs to reduce cancer risk
  6. Train health care professionals in the science, delivery and application of prevention services
  7. Research the causes of disparities and inequalities in cancer prevention, incidence, treatment and outcomes, working to translate this knowledge into action that reduces disparities and improves population health

For more information or to discuss issues related to any of Dr. Hawk’s areas of responsibility, you may contact him by calling 713-792-3900. You also may arrange a meeting through his executive assistant, Cheri McClellan, by calling 713-745-0176 or via e-mail to