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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 6, 2003
Contact: Karen Warmkessel kwarmkessel@umm.edu 410-328-8919
Ellen Beth Levitt eblevitt@umm.edu 410-328-8919

HEAD AND NECK CANCER SPECIALIST NAMED DIRECTOR OF UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND GREENEBAUM CANCER CENTER

Dr. Kevin J. Cullen comes to Maryland from Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University

Kevin J. Cullen, M.D.

Kevin J. Cullen, M.D., a highly regarded leader in cancer research and treatment at the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University, has been chosen as director of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore. Dr. Cullen, who specializes in head and neck cancer, will be a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and will head its Program in Oncology. He will begin his new job in January 2004.

A graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Cullen completed his internship and residency at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and received additional training at the National Cancer Institute. He served as interim director of the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University from October 2000 to September 2002 and is a professor of medicine, oncology and otolaryngology at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He has been affiliated with Georgetown University since 1988.

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"We are very pleased to have recruited a medical oncologist of Dr. Cullen's stature and reputation to take the helm of our cancer center," says John W. Ashworth III, Chief Executive Officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center. "He is an outstanding choice for the job - a superb clinician and researcher and proven leader who is committed to strengthening our position as one of the finest cancer centers in the region."

Donald E. Wilson, M.D., M.A.C.P, Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and Dean, School of Medicine, says, "Kevin Cullen is an exceptionally talented physician and scientist who will expand our multidisciplinary team approach to cancer care. His expertise in treating head and neck cancers and research on why some cancers are resistant to chemotherapy will be an important addition to our work here."

As interim director of the Lombardi Cancer Center, Dr. Cullen recruited more than 20 new faculty members and oversaw the renewal of the cancer center's designation as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute.

Under his leadership, the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center plans to significantly expand its clinical and research programs, renovate patient care areas and open a new ambulatory center. "The university and hospital have made a very strong commitment to further develop the cancer center and promote its growth," says Dr. Cullen. “There is already a very strong scientific and clinical base there, and I intend to build on those strengths."

Dr. Cullen plans to expand and enlarge the multidisciplinary teams that are already the backbone of the cancer center’s clinical operation and to make cutting-edge cancer treatment services available to a broader range of patients. He also will recruit more researchers and promote strong collaboration between clinicians and scientists.

"That's really what a cancer center is about. It’s very patient-oriented. The mission of a cancer center is to translate basic science results into better ways to treat patients," he says.

Edmond F. Notebaert, President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Maryland Medical System, says, "Our goal is to offer our patients the finest care and most effective and innovative treatments, and recruiting such top-notch specialists and physician leaders as Dr. Cullen enables us to fulfill our mission."

"We believe that Dr. Cullen is the right person to lead our cancer center to even greater advances in patient care and research, and we are very pleased that he will be joining us," adds Mr. Notebaert.

In looking at the challenges ahead, Dr. Cullen notes that the Baltimore-Washington area ranks high in the incidence of cancer and cancer deaths in the nation, which underscores the need for more research as well as for better screening. But, he says, Maryland is fortunate because the legislature has earmarked Cigarette Restitution Fund Program monies for cancer research, awareness and screening.

"There is tremendous opportunity for the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center to continue to capitalize on those resources to make significant progress in all of those areas," Dr. Cullen says.

Dr. Cullen specializes in treating cancers of the head and neck. At Georgetown University, he directed the largest head and neck cancer program in the Washington, D.C., area. His research interests include cellular factors that promote the growth of cancer and molecular mechanisms that make some cancers resistant to treatment with chemotherapy.

He is the author of numerous journal publications and book chapters and has served on review panels for the National Cancer Institute, the Veterans Administration Research Program and others.

His honors include a special achievement award from the National Cancer Institute. He was named one of Washington's best physicians by Washingtonian magazine last year.

The University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center is recognized for its multidisciplinary approach, with teams of specialists who work together to evaluate and treat patients. It offers bone marrow and stem cell transplantation to treat cancers such as leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma, as well as many other innovative drug and radiation therapies.

The University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center has specialized programs for lung, prostate, breast, blood and brain cancers, and is currently conducting more than 200 clinical studies.

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