MD Anderson names Christopher Flowers, M.D., Division Head of Cancer Medicine

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced that Christopher Flowers, M.D., an internationally recognized physician-scientist and leader in oncology, has been selected as Division Head of Cancer Medicine after a competitive national search. His appointment is effective Sept. 1.

The Division of Cancer Medicine is the largest academic division at MD Anderson, including 13 clinical academic departments, three research academic departments and numerous programs, laboratories and patient care centers involving more than 300 faculty and over 2,000 staff.

“Chris is highly regarded in the hematology and medical oncology communities, and his deep commitment to training and mentoring the next generation is inspiring,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “His leadership and passion for advancing our mission will undoubtedly shape the future of oncology. I applaud the work he has done as interim Division Head, and I have full confidence that he will continue to lead us toward remarkable strides in Making Cancer History®.”

Flowers joined MD Anderson as Chair of Lymphoma/Myeloma in Aug. 2019 and was named Division Head ad interim for Cancer Medicine in Sept. 2020. He is an internationally recognized expert in lymphoma clinical care, epidemiology and outcomes research, and he is an innovator who has a passion for facilitating new drug development.

He is an active clinician who leads research on cancer outcomes, cancer informatics, and early-stage clinical trials focusing on the clinical development of novel therapeutics for B-cell lymphomas. His broader research interests include patient-oriented research in lymphoma and computer microsimulation models aimed at developing strategies to individualize care for cancer patients and improve systems of care.

Flowers earned his M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine, where he also obtained an MSc in Medical Informatics to gain expertise in developing information systems to improve clinical research. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine from the University of Washington in Seattle, where he continued his research training as a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and earned a second MSc in Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy. During this time, he also completed his fellowship in Medical Oncology at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

He began his career at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, where he was on faculty in the Hematology and Oncology department with a joint appointment in Biomedical Informatics. During his tenure there, he served the Winship Cancer Institute as Director of the Emory Healthcare–Lymphoma Program for 13 years and as Scientific Director of Research Informatics for four years. 

"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead such a stellar group of clinicians, scientists and staff at MD Anderson,” Flowers said. “I am committed to advancing our efforts in research, patient care and education, with a focus on innovation and collaboration. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of cancer medicine, striving to improve outcomes and make a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by cancer."

Flowers previously has served in many leadership roles for national professional societies and was elected to membership in the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2016. Of note is his service in the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), in which he has served as Chair of the ASCO guidelines on management of febrile neutropenia and as Chair of the ASCO Health Disparities Committee. In 2018, he was named a Fellow of ASCO. In 2022, he was named an African American Healthcare Leader to Know by Becker’s Hospital Review, and was elected to the Association of American Physicians. 

His work has resulted in over 300 peer-reviewed publications. He has also received peer-reviewed funding from foundations, the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, The University of Texas System Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention program, the the National Institutes of Health including leading two U01 awards and two multi-institutional team science grants.

“Throughout our rigorous search process, we sought the individual with the best combination of academic, technical and leadership skills to lead our largest academic division” said Welela Tereffe, M.D., chief medical executive of MD Anderson. “Chris has served with distinction as interim Division Head, and I know he will continue doing an outstanding job as he formally steps into the role.”

Christopher Flowers, M.D.