After reaching milestone, Loehrer plans to step down as director of IU Simon Cancer Center

August 22, 2019

Patrick J. Loehrer, MD, who has led the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center for the past decade as director, announced that he plans to step down from his role once a successor is named.

The decision follows the recent news that the IU Simon Cancer Center has achieved the coveted designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The designation signifies research excellence and is the highest recognition awarded by the NCI.

“This [designation] fulfills a deeply personal goal and a long-term objective for all of our members,” Loehrer wrote in a message to cancer center members. “It also affirms to the world what we already know: We are one of the best cancer centers in the country.”  

With this major milestone reached, Loehrer indicated it is time for a transition. By sharing this decision now, he hopes to allow ample time for a thoughtful search.

“I am grateful to Pat for his service to IU School of Medicine and for his commitment to continue as director of the IU Simon Cancer Center throughout the search process,” said IU School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA. “I am certain the strong cancer programs built by Pat and his colleagues will enable us to attract a highly qualified candidate for this important role.”

Loehrer completed his fellowship in oncology at IU School of Medicine and joined the faculty in 1983. He played a vital role in the establishment of the IU Simon Cancer Center, was named acting director in 2009 and officially became its second director in 2010.

He is widely respected for his international leadership related to thymoma, and his collaborative approach to research led to the development of both the Hoosier Cancer Research Network and the Big 10 Cancer Research Consortium. He has also been a driving force behind the AMPATH Oncology Institute, which built a cancer prevention and treatment system in western Kenya that continues to flourish.

For his many contributions, the American Society of Clinical Oncology named him the inaugural Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader in 2017. That same year, he was named a Distinguished Professor by Indiana University.

“Serving as director of the IU Simon Cancer Center has been one of the greatest privileges of my professional life,” Loehrer said, noting that the cancer center’s work will not slow while a search is underway. “My job, our job, is not finished.”