Childhood cancer leader joins MD Anderson to lead Pediatrics

Internationally recognized pediatric oncologist brings expertise to Houston

Richard Gorlick, M.D., an internationally recognized expert in pediatric oncology and hematology, today joined The University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital as the division head and department chair of Pediatrics. His appointment came after a highly competitive nationwide search for an experienced and visionary leader who will accelerate MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer. 

A pediatric cancer survivor himself, Gorlick committed his life’s work to helping young patients and their families. For more than two decades, his research and clinical efforts have focused on sarcomas, tumors that grow in connective tissues including the bones, muscles, tendons and cartilage. Gorlick’s laboratory focuses on targeted therapies, new drugs for childhood cancers, and understanding the mechanisms behind the development and progression of osteosarcoma, the most common form of childhood bone cancer.  

“Dr. Gorlick is a leader of great stature who will further inspire our institutional commitment for pediatric oncology while serving our youngest and most vulnerable patients with a focus on excellence and compassion,” said Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “We are extremely pleased that the children, adolescents and young adults for whom we have the honor of caring and their families will benefit from Dr. Gorlick’s extensive clinical and research experience.”

Gorlick has published more than 240 peer-reviewed papers, reviews and book chapters. He has served as an active member, advisor and leader in a number of organizations, including the National Cancer Institute’s Pediatric Preclinical Testing Consortium, the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration Consortium and the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). With COG, Gorlick has held a number of roles, including his current position as chairman of the Bone Tumor Disease Committee. His early involvement in COG led to his laboratory establishing a bone-tumor bank, which is now a national resource and home to the world’s largest osteosarcoma tissue bank.

“I am immensely excited to serve as the division head of Pediatrics at MD Anderson where the tremendous institutional strengths in fields such as immunotherapy and genetic profiling can be applied to pediatric cancers in unique ways with the support of our medical oncology colleagues tackling related illnesses,” said Gorlick.

Prior to joining MD Anderson, Gorlick served as division chief of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and vice chairman of Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, and professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Pharmacology at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Gorlick earned his medical degree from the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, and completed his training at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center – Babies Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Gorlick began his sarcoma research laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering where he remained as a faculty member for eight years prior to joining Montefiore and Einstein.

“We are extraordinarily fortunate to recruit Dr. Gorlick to MD Anderson because of his many talents as an accomplished academic leader, scholar, educator and gifted clinician,” said Ethan Dmitrovsky, M.D., provost at MD Anderson. “He will advance the important work of our Pediatrics Division.”