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UPMC Hillman Cancer Center names veteran cancer specialist Ferris director

| Friday, June 16, 2017, 10:24 a.m.
Dr. Robert Ferris
Dr. Robert Ferris

UPMC announced Friday it has appointed a specialist in head and neck cancer as the new director of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

The health system promoted Dr. Robert Ferris, who has worked at Hillman for 15 years, to the post following a nationwide search, according to a news release.

Ferris will start July 1, replacing former director Dr. Nancy Davidson, who left last year for the Fred Hutch/University of Washington Cancer Consortium. Dr. Edward Chu is the interim director.

Ferris is Hillman's chief of the Division of Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery in the departments of Otolaryngology and Immunology, according to the release. His work has focused on boosting the body's immune response to fight cancer. He serves on several national cancer boards and has contributed to more than 280 peer-reviewed papers, along with editing three books, the release states.

He received his medical degree and a doctorate in immunology from Johns Hopkins Medicine, in Baltimore, where he completed his residency in otolaryngology, a specialty that focuses on the ear, nose and throat.

“I am very excited to take on this new role in an institution that has been a proven leader in cancer research and treatment, with more than 400 clinical trials offering hope and cutting-edge therapies to our patients in the communities where they live,” Ferris said in the release.

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