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Devanand Sarkar named Massey's associate director for education and training

Sarkar is a scientist examining the molecular mechanism of cancer formation to develop targeted anti-cancer therapies

Devanand Sarkar, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.

Massey researcher Devanand Sarkar, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., has been appointed as the associate director for education and training at VCU Massey Cancer Center. Sarkar holds the Harrison Foundation Distinguished Professorship in Cancer Research at Massey and is a member of Massey’s Cancer Molecular Genetics research program. He is also an associate professor in the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics at the VCU School of Medicine and associate scientific director, Cancer Therapeutics, at the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine. Additionally, he co-directs the Cancer and Molecular Medicine Ph.D. program of the VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research.

As the inaugural associate director for education and training at Massey, Sarkar will serve on the cancer center’s Executive Committee and will oversee and coordinate its professional education and training activities. He will also chair the new Cancer Education Steering Committee, which is aimed at developing and implementing high-impact educational programs at all training levels. Massey’s cancer training and career development opportunities are offered for a broad spectrum of career stages ranging from high school and graduate students to scientists, clinicians and health care professionals.

“We are pleased to appoint Dr. Sarkar to lead Massey’s professional education and training efforts,” said Gordon D. Ginder, M.D., director of VCU Massey Cancer Center. “His important scientific contributions and excellence in teaching make him the right fit for this position.”

“I am honored to take on this important role at Massey Cancer Center,” Sarkar said. “This leadership opportunity offers me the chance to help shape the minds and develop the careers of our future cancer researchers and clinicians.”

Sarkar studies the molecular mechanism of carcinogenesis (the formation of cancer), primarily in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). His laboratory has identified several oncogenes, such as AEG-1, SND1 and LSF, and tumor suppressor genes, such as IGFBP7, in regulating HCC development and progression. He and his research team have developed strategies targeting or using these molecules as potential therapies for HCC.

Publishing more than 200 original and review research articles in numerous peer-reviewed scientific journals, Sarkar has received funding to support his research from the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the Dana Foundation and the Goldhirsh Foundation. He serves as the associate editor of the American Journal of Cancer Research and on the editorial board for PLoS (Public Library of Science) One. He is an ad-hoc member of many local, national and international study sections, including at the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute and the Department of Defense. He is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the International Liver Cancer Association. In addition, he is a recipient of several honors and awards, including postdoctoral fellowship, young investigator and endowed scholar awards.

Sarkar has been at Virginia Commonwealth University since 2008. Previously, he was an associate research scientist at Columbia University in the Departments of Pathology and Urology and an adjunct assistant professor at the New York Institute of Technology.

Sarkar received a M.B.B.S. degree in medicine from Dhaka Medical College in Bangladesh and a Ph.D. in endocrinology and metabolism from Nagoya University in Japan. He completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Columbia University.

Written by: Jenny Owen

Posted on: January 25, 2017