Dr. Andrew S. Kraft, a nationally recognized prostate cancer physician-scientist and cancer center administrator, has been named the Sydney E. Salmon endowed chair and director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center and associate vice president for oncology programs for the UA Health Sciences Center. In addition to his cancer center leadership role, Kraft joins the University as a tenured professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine's Division of Hematology/Oncology and senior associate dean for translational research in the College of Medicine.
Kraft is scheduled to begin his new leadership role in September. He replaces Anne E. Cress, who has served as interim director of the UA Cancer Center since July 2013.
Recruited to the Medical University of South Carolina in 2004, Kraft led the Hollings Cancer Center's efforts to become a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. Under Kraft’s leadership, Hollings attained NCI cancer center status in 2009, a distinction shared by only 67 other cancer centers in the United States.
An accomplished prostate cancer researcher and developer of novel cancer drugs, Kraft is the principal investigator for numerous clinical trials aimed at finding new treatments and cures for cancer. His research has continuously been funded since 1985 by the National Cancer Institute. He also has received support from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation. He has more than 130 publications in peer-reviewed journals.
At MUSC, Kraft served as associate dean for oncology affairs, was a University Distinguished Professor of medicine and biochemistry and molecular biology, and held the William H. Folk, MD, Chair in Experimental Oncology. A practicing clinical oncologist with a clinical research focus on sarcoma and genitourinary cancers, he is board-certified in internal medicine and oncology.
"We are pleased to welcome a physician-scientist of Dr. Kraft's caliber to lead our NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center," said Dr. Joe G.N. "Skip" Garcia, UA senior vice president for health sciences and interim dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. "Dr. Kraft's strengths include developing and implementing clinical trials, recruiting outstanding faculty and successfully shepherding the construction of cancer center facilities – all important needs for UACC."
"I especially want to thank Dr. Anne Cress for her superb leadership during this past year," Garcia added. "She graciously and unselfishly assumed the responsibility of interim director of the UA Cancer Center while maintaining her role in the College of Medicine administration and as principal investigator of several large research grants of her own."
Kraft will have overall responsibility for the UA Cancer Center's $35-million research portfolio and oversight of oncology clinical operations in Tucson, in partnership with the UA Health Network. He also will oversee the development and implementation of the clinical and clinical research operations at the new UA Cancer Center facility in Phoenix in collaboration with Dignity Health/St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. This new facility is slated for completion in summer 2015.
During his tenure at Hollings Cancer Center, Kraft recruited 60 outstanding translational and basic cancer research and clinical faculty members. He oversaw development of the cancer center and in four years achieved full NCI cancer center designation. He also developed new space and research resources, including Drug Discovery and Bioengineering buildings, garnering $18 million in federal funding for the former.
Accomplished in developing novel scientific and clinical programs to attack and cure cancer, Kraft fostered collaboration by establishing committees of fellow scientists and physicians to develop unique research approaches to cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. He is an accomplished fundraiser, responsible for $49 million in philanthropy over five years. He also successfully gained federal support to expand the Hollings Cancer Center Disparities Program.
Prior to his appointment at MUSC, Kraft was chief of the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Prior to that, he was associate director of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, completed an internship and residency at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, and was first a research associate and then a clinical staff fellow at the National Cancer Institute.
Kraft is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians and the American Society of Clinical Investigation. He also is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Biologic Chemists. During his career, he has mentored 37 post-doctoral fellows.