March 29, 2022—(BRONX, NY)—The National Cancer Institute-designated Albert Einstein Cancer Center (AECC) has announced the appointment of three faculty members to key leadership positions, reflecting the center’s commitment to basic science, translational, and clinical research and its core principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“Over than past 15 months, we have built on the existing strength of our renowned research faculty and comprehensive cancer care to transform the cancer center into a truly unified clinical and research enterprise,” said Edward Chu, M.D., M.M.S., director of AECC, vice president for cancer medicine at Montefiore Medicine, interim chairman of the department of oncology, and the Carol and Roger Einiger Professor of Cancer Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “We are confident that these new faculty appointments will help us fulfill our goal to be a national model for other NCI cancer centers that serve people of color and groups that have been historically marginalized.”
New Deputy Director
Internationally renowned blood cancer researcher Ulrich Steidl, M.D., Ph.D., has been named deputy director of AECC, responsible for overseeing the full spectrum of basic cancer research. He will focus on ensuring the strategic scientific priorities of the cancer center and work with Dr. Chu in facilitating connections between clinicians and scientists across Einstein and Montefiore to address urgent questions and discover solutions that will improve the health in the Bronx community and beyond.
Dr. Steidl is co-director of AECC’s Blood Cancer Institute and has held important leadership positions in the cancer center for several years. He was co-director for the stem cells, differentiation, and cancer program from 2014 to 2021, and was named associate director for basic science in 2020. He also chairs the working group that oversees the recruitment of basic and translational researchers, more than two dozen of which joined the cancer center over the past 14 months.
Dr. Steidl is a highly respected investigator and mentor. In 2021, he received the prestigious Outstanding Investigator Award from the NCI and a seven-year, $7 million grant for his research. He is best known for his work on two related blood disorders, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). He was an early pioneer of the concept of precancerous stem cells and the analysis of human AML at the stem cell level. With colleagues, he was among the first to demonstrate that MDS arises from wayward bone-marrow stem cells, raising new hope for treatment. He also has conducted innovative preclinical work on promising therapies based on his discoveries.
Dr. Steidl is professor of cell biology and of medicine, interim director for the Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, and holds the Rose C. Falkenstein Chair in Cancer Research at Einstein.
Inaugural Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Adebola Adedimeji, Ph.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., M.S., has been appointed AECC’s first associate director for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). In his new role, Dr. Adedimeji will infuse DEI considerations into all aspects of the cancer center—from faculty recruitment and advancement and developing an inclusive environment that provides training, mentorship, and support, to ensuring that research is conducted in ways that promote health equity.
A social epidemiologist with additional training in business administration, Dr. Adedimeji’s research focuses on the social and structural factors that influence health with the goal of improving the wellbeing of historically marginalized and minoritized communities. His research interests involve the social and structural determinants of health, HIV prevention, cancer education and prevention, implementation science, and community-based health interventions. He is currently conducting research for HIV prevention and care in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and three other Central African nations.
Dr. Adedimeji is research associate professor, head of the division of health behavior research and implementation science, and director for DEI in the department of epidemiology and population health at Einstein.
Emphasizing Equity in Cancer Epidemiology
H. Dean Hosgood, Ph.D., has been named co-leader of AECC’s cancer epidemiology, prevention, and control research program. Along with co-leader Bruce Rapkin, Ph.D., Dr. Hosgood will focus on population health research in the Bronx, improving resources that connect researchers to community partners and advocates, and addressing the barriers to health equity.
Dr. Hosgood’s research focuses on how genetics and environmental exposures interact to cause cancer. He has worked extensively on investigating the causes of lung cancer of never-smokers, which is a genetically distinct disease from lung cancer caused by tobacco, as well as blood cancers, including multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He is currently leading a global consortium to investigate how indoor air pollutants—caused from the burning of coal or wood for heating and cooking—are associated with lung cancer mortality and result in an increased risk for other cancers.
Dr. Hosgood is associate professor of epidemiology and population health, director of global environmental health in Einstein’s Global Health Center, associate director of population and clinical sciences for Einstein’s Clinical Research Training Program, and co-director of Einstein’s Ph.D. in Clinical Investigation program.