Preet Chaudhary has been named chief of the Jane Anne Nohl Division of Hematology and Center for the Study of Blood Diseases at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital, effective Jan. 1, 2010.
An internationally renowned physician-scientist, Chaudhary will serve as professor of medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and as co-leader of the leukemia and lymphoma program and associate director for translational research at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“Dr. Chaudhary has a very diverse background in translational research and clinical care, which has prepared him well to lead at this pivotal time of growth in the division of hematology and at our academic medical center,” said Carmen A. Puliafito, dean of the Keck School of Medicine.
Peter A. Jones, director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, said, “Dr. Chaudhary is an outstanding physician scientist who will play a major role in the cancer center. He has an active basic science laboratory, as well as profound clinical skills, making him an exceptional addition to our institution.”
Chaudhary comes to USC from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, where he is professor of medicine, director for translational research, leader of the hematologic malignancies program and co-leader of the cancer stem cell program. He was recruited to USC after an extensive search led by Stuart Siegel, chief of the division of hematology-oncology at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.
“USC has a combination of factors which make it a very exciting place to be right now. The dynamic and experienced leadership team is doing everything right to make it a powerhouse in patient care, education and research,” Chaudhary said. “The Nohl gift and recent acquisition of the hospitals have given us the financial resources and hospital infrastructure to combine with highly talented faculty and a rich scientific environment — all of which position us to take hematology to the next level at USC.”
As chief, Chaudhary has several priorities, including developing the division of hematology into a regional leader and center of excellence in the next three to five years and a national leader in the next decade.
He also hopes to employ strategic recruitment in key areas and build on existing strengths of current members of the division. Chaudhary is also planning for expansion of the hematology practice at the USC Norris Cancer Hospital.
The division was strengthened by a $60 million gift from the estate of Jane Anne Nohl in late 2007. USC Norris and the division of hematology were chosen as a beneficiary based on the outstanding care a close friend received from Donald Feinstein, hematologist and professor emeritus of medicine at the Keck School.
“Dr. Chaudhary is a nationally recognized physician-scientist whose vision will help to develop an outstanding scientific and clinical hematologic malignancy program — particularly in leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes and lymphoma — and to maintain and expand its outstanding reputation in thrombotic and hemorrhagic disorders,” Feinstein said.
Chaudhary has research interests in several areas of cancer, including AIDS-associated cancers, cancer drug resistance, biology of normal and leukemic hematopoietic stem cells, programmed cell death and cellular signaling. He is also interested in molecularly targeted and biological therapies for leukemias, lymphomas, multiple myeloma and solid tumors, as well as novel strategies to improve the outcome of stem cell transplantation.
He holds six U.S. patents in the areas of hematopoietic stem cell purification, multi-drug resistance to cancer chemotherapy and cellular signaling.
His research has been continuously funded by multiple National Institutes of Health grants since 2000, and he currently serves as the principal investigator of two R01 grants, two R21 grants and one grant each from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
Chaudhary has published in some of the nation’s top scientific journals. He has been the recipient of numerous honors, fellowships and awards from national and international research organizations and has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, an honor society of the foremost physician-scientists in the country.
After graduating from Maulana Azad Medical College in India, Chaudhary obtained his Ph.D. under the guidance of Igor Roninson at the University of Illinois at Chicago, performing pioneering research in the isolation and characterization of bone marrow stem cells and mechanisms of multi-drug resistance to cancer chemotherapy.
He did his residency training in internal medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago and fellowship training in hematology and oncology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington in Seattle.