Permanent executive director named for Cancer Therapy & Research Center

SAN ANTONIO (March 15, 2010) – Five months after being named interim executive director of the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Ian Murchie Thompson Jr., M.D., has accepted an offer to make the position permanent. Health Science Center President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, announced today that Dr. Thompson’s role as executive director takes effect immediately.

“Dr. Thompson has demonstrated outstanding leadership and strategic vision,” Dr. Henrich said. “He has fully energized everyone around him to embrace the CTRC’s tremendous potential and to enhance it.”

Glenn A. Halff, M.D., interim dean of the School of Medicine, noted the specific areas where Dr. Thompson has made his mark since becoming the CTRC’s interim leader Oct. 23, 2009. “He has devoted his energy to recruiting new and talented faculty, addressing budget issues and working to enhance the appeal of the CTRC’s superb and unique clinical programs.”

The chairman of CTRC’s Board of Governors, Jim Callaway, said that making Dr. Thompson’s leadership role permanent is the right move at the right time. “It didn’t take long for me to realize we have the best person right here to lead the CTRC,” Calloway said. “I support this vote of confidence in Dr. Thompson and I’m pleased that the university has made a commitment to his leadership.”

In an email to CTRC faculty and staff, Dr. Thompson called it an honor and a pleasure to inform them of his decision to accept the position as permanent executive director. “I am energized every day by the commitment and dedication displayed by each of you as you compassionately care for our patients, the main reason we are all here.”

Dr. Thompson wrote that for now, he will continue to maintain his responsibility for leading the Department of Urology as chairman and directing the genitourinary cancer clinic at the Medical Arts & Research Center (MARC), where he has a busy clinical and surgical practice. The MARC is the practice home of UT Medicine San Antonio, comprised of the Health Science Center’s School of Medicine faculty.

Looking ahead, Dr. Thompson discussed his priorities as executive director. First on the list: the task of renewing the National Cancer Institute’s P30 grant in 2011 that makes CTRC an NCI-designated cancer center. Other priorities include creating more integrated multidisciplinary clinics, continuing the integration of the CTRC’s research and clinical expertise, and expanding community outreach to create opportunities for partnerships and philanthropic development.

Dr. Thompson told his colleagues, “Over the months and years to come, I know that you will look with pride on those of our current team who have new discoveries and achievements, the addition of new faculty and staff as our new programs come on-line and grow, and the small yet incredibly rewarding experiences as individual patients ‘Choose Life Over Cancer’ as they leave our facility with renewed hope for a cancer-free future.”

He thanked members of the leadership team for their support and counsel over the past few months, naming interim deputy director Thomas J. Slaga, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology; interim director of the Institute for Drug Development Susan Mooberry, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology with cross appointments in medicine and biochemistry; and CTRC chief administrative officer David Raney.

The Cancer Therapy & Research Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the nation’s leading academic research and treatment centers, serving more than 4.4 million people in the high-growth corridor of Central and South Texas including Austin, San Antonio, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley. CTRC is one of the elite cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center, and is one of the only three in Texas. A world leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, the CTRC Institute for Drug Development is internationally recognized for conducting one of the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug programs in the world, and participates in the clinical and/or preclinical development of many of the cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit

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