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Dr. Geoffrey R. Weiss named head of UTHSCSA Division of Medical Oncology (4-11-99)

Renowned oncologist Dr. Geoffrey R. Weiss has been named to head the Division of Medical Oncology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, according to Health Science Center President John P. Howe, III, M.D.

He also serves as Chief, Medical Service, at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Division. Dr. Weiss, who is listed in "Best Doctors in America," is an award-winning cancer researcher who is internationally known for his investigative work and clinical trials on new anti-cancer agents. He has published more than 300 research articles, abstracts and other scholarly works.

Dr. Weiss joined the faculty at the Health Science Center in 1982. A graduate of St. Louis University School of Medicine, Dr. Weiss was intern, resident and subsequently chief medical resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa. Dr. Weiss was also clinical fellow in medical oncology at the prestigious Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School in Boston. He is the recipient of a Clinical Oncology Career Development Award from the American Cancer Society and is Board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology.

Dr. Weiss also serves as Associate Director of Clinical Research at the San Antonio Cancer Institute, a partnership between the UT Health Science Center and the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) and one of only two National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the state.

"We are very pleased with this outstanding appointment," said Dr. James J. Young, Dean of the Medical School. "Dr. Weiss is an outstanding researcher with an international reputation. His extensive clinical experience and research expertise will allow him to provide outstanding leadership to the department, to the medical school, to the state, and most importantly, to the people who suffer from this disease."

Dr. Weiss as Principal Investigator for the Southwest Oncology Group has maintained the highest level of performance of all institutional participants.

Dr. Charles A. Coltman, Jr., director of the San Antonio Cancer Institute and CEO of the Cancer Therapy & Research Center, said that Dr. Weiss's appointment is a much deserved recognition of one of the finest oncologists in the nation."

Dr. Weiss has played a key role in the use of biologicals in the treatment of cancer. He was one of six investigators of interleukin-2 and LAK (lymphokine˝activated killer) cells supported by the National Cancer Institute. He has been instrumental in the national Cytokine Working Group. This is a red-letter day for both the CTRC and the Health Science Center," Dr. Coltman said.

One of Dr. Weiss's mentors and colleagues, Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, a renowned oncologist who heads the Institute for Drug Development, also praised Dr. Weiss. "Dr. Weiss is one of the finest physicians I have ever known. He is a doctor's doctor. Dr. Weiss provides compassionate care for patients and their families with great wisdom.

"Dr. Weiss has been responsible for moving the field of biologic therapy (e.g., interferon, interleukin-2) forward in a very significant way. His work has resulted in significant improvements in survival for patients with kidney cancer."

Distinguished oncology researcher Robert J. Mayer, M.D., Vice Chair for Education, Department of Adult Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said the Health Science Center has made a very wise choice in appointing Dr. Weiss to head the Division of Medical Oncology.

"Since his fellowship days at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Weiss has epitomized compassionate patient care, a scholarly approach to clinical practice, and a sensitive manner with patients and peers. He is a credit to your faculty," said Dr. Mayer, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

The Medical Oncology Division is part of the Department of Medicine at the Health Science Center. Its work includes research, patient care and physician education.

Among Dr. Weiss's responsibilities is the building of a strong multi-disciplinary cancer research and treatment program responsive to the needs of the San Antonio community, the state, and the nation.

Dr. Howe said that Dr. Weiss's appointment would usher in a new era of progress in cancer research. "His outstanding credentials are a perfect match for the other outstanding oncologists at the Health Science Center, CTRC and the San Antonio Cancer Institute," Dr. Howe said. "This community has made a significant impact on both cancer research and patient care and Dr. Weiss will help us continue that upward trajectory. I couldn't be more pleased," Howe added.

Contact: Dr. Charles G. Rodriguez 567-2028