As the Cincinnati Cancer Center (CCC) prepares to implement its five-year strategic plan, the team has recruited a respected administrative leader from a top National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center to help guide the Cincinnati-based effort: Vijaya Gandhi, PhD.
Gandhi has spent the past 17 years at the University of Pittsburgh, most recently as the associate director of administration and strategic planning for the university’s cancer institute. In this role, she was responsible for operations, administration, management and strategic planning for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute’s 450-member research facility.
She also spent five years as associate director of research services, where she had operational oversight of research services and shared facilities in the cancer center. Trained as a biochemist, she spent the first 10 years of her career as a research scientist at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, Texas.
Gandhi will serve as associate director for administration and strategic planning for both the UC Cancer Institute and Cincinnati Cancer Center. Her first charge at the CCC will be to refine a priority list and develop an action timeline from the strategic plan. In addition to CCC specific goals, she will work closely with George Atweh, MD, director of the UC Cancer Institute, to streamline processes and mechanisms for increasing National Institutes of Health funding for key cancer research initiatives.
She says the timing of this professional move is "absolutely perfect.”
"I was so impressed with the CCC Governing Board’s enthusiasm and commitment to move this initiative forward. A successful cancer center is a team effort, but a motivated leadership team is what will propel the effort forward. It’s exciting to be part of that building and growing process from the very beginning,” says Gandhi, who officially began her new role in Cincinnati on May 14.
"I’ve seen the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute reach its pinnacle and hit a holding pattern of success. I want to be part of the action—Cincinnati has a good deal of momentum.”
Thomas Boat, MD, CCC Governing Board member and UC vice president for Health Affairs and College of Medicine dean, says Gandhi’s extended experience as both a scientist and administrator has resulted in a unique skill set that fits perfectly with the CCC’s goals.
"Vijaya has a first-hand understanding of the practical challenges of conducting meaningful biomedical research as well as building the administrative infrastructure required to support those programs. We are honored that she has decided to join our team and the entire governing board is confident she will enable us to achieve CCC goals,” says Boat.
Gandhi holds doctoral and master’s degrees in biochemistry from Nagpur University in India and a master’s of business administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
The University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute is one of four UC and UC Health collaborative centers of excellence for research, patient care and education. The UC Cancer Institute and Cincinnati Children’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute together form the Cincinnati Cancer Center, a joint cancer initiative aimed at advancing cancer care faster through innovative research.