Holcombe Named UVM Cancer Center Director & Hematology/Oncology Division Chief

April 12, 2021 by Ed Neuert

Randall F. Holcombe, M.D., M.B.A., has been appointed director of the UVM Cancer Center (UVMCC) and chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology in the Department of Medicine. Holcombe will officially begin his tenure August 1, 2021.

Randall F. Holcombe, M.D., M.B.A. (Courtesy photo)

The Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont (UVM), in collaboration with the UVM Health Network (UVMHN) and the UVM Medical Center, has announced that Randall F. Holcombe, M.D., M.B.A., has been appointed director of the UVM Cancer Center (UVMCC) and chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology in the Department of Medicine. Holcombe is expected to hold the newly established J. Walter Juckett Chair in Cancer Research. He joins UVM and UVMHN from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated University of Hawai'i Cancer Center, where he has held the post of director since 2016. He succeeds Richard Galbraith, M.D., Ph.D., and Chris Holmes, M.D., Ph.D., who became interim co-directors of UVMCC in 2020, with Holmes also serving as interim chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology since 2017. Holcombe will officially begin his tenure August 1, 2021.

“Dr. Holcombe brings an exceptional breadth of experience as a clinical oncologist, educator, scientist and leader in cancer research and care," said Larner College of Medicine Dean Richard L. Page, M.D. "In his dual roles, we anticipate he will have a major impact on our College, Health Network and region in all facets of cancer care, education, and investigation.”

"The Department of Medicine looks forward to Dr. Holcombe joining us and contributing his expertise to continue the advancement of all four of our missions: clinical care, education, research, and service," said Polly Parsons, M.D., the E.L. Amidon Chair of Medicine at the Larner College of Medicine.

Holcombe holds a B.A. from Duke University and earned his medical degree from the New Jersey Medical School and an M.B.A. from the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York system, in Manhattan. His post-doctoral clinical and research training was completed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

He has held leadership roles in NCI- and non-NCI-designated cancer centers since 1989, serving as associate director of clinical and translational research at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and chief, Division of Hematology-Oncology, at the University of California, Irvine from 1997 through 2010 and as deputy director of The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai from 2010 through 2016. At Mount Sinai, Holcombe also served as director of clinical cancer affairs and chief medical officer for cancer for the Mount Sinai Health System and assisted with successful application for initial NCI designation for The Tisch Cancer Institute.

At the University of Hawai'i Cancer Center, Holcombe led the institution through a successful NCI re-designation and Cancer Center Support Grant renewal in 2017/2018.  Under his leadership, the Center expanded basic, clinical, and population-based research focused on the etiologies of cancer and on interventions to address cancer health disparities in the multiethnic populations of Hawai'i and the Pacific.

Holcombe has over 30 years' experience in translational research and the conduct of oncology clinical trials and has served as principal investigator for over 150 cancer trials, as well as several National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research project grants. His current research activities are focused on health care delivery science to define and develop new approaches for the delivery of quality cancer care and clinical investigations for patients with gastrointestinal cancers. Holcombe has had multiple national roles within the Association of American Cancer Institutes, where he is a member of the Board of Directors. He has been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Oncology Practice and has served on numerous NIH study sections.

“I am excited about the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead for the University of Vermont Cancer Center, the Division of Hematology/Oncology, and the clinical cancer programs within the UVM Medical Center and Health Network,” said Holcombe. 

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About the University of Vermont Cancer Center (UVMCC)
The UVMCC is an academic clinical and research cancer center—the only such resource in Vermont—committed to innovative cancer research, life-saving prevention and treatment programs, education, and scientific collaboration. With over 200 clinician-investigators and researchers engaged in a full-range of basic, translational, clinical, behavioral and outcomes research, the UVMCC plays an important role in advancing cancer prevention, detection, treatment and survivorship across Vermont and upstate New York and beyond. The Center represents research partnerships across the University of Vermont’s many schools and colleges as well as nearly all clinical departments at the University of Vermont Medical Center, expediting discovery and bringing advanced care to patients and improving quality of life for patients and their families.


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