Dr. Sancy Leachman appointed inaugural recipient of John D. Gray Endowed Chair in Melanoma Research

November 14, 2016

Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D.Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D., was recently appointed the inaugural recipient of the John D. Gray Endowed Chair in Melanoma Research. Dr. Leachman, a gifted and experienced clinician, scientist and educator, has served as professor and chair of dermatology in the OHSU School of Medicine since July 2013. She is also director of the melanoma research program in the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

Dr. Leachman is widely known for her melanoma research and for her public advocacy about the risks of sun exposure and skin cancer. Her research examines the role of genetic predisposition and differential gene expression in the development of melanoma, with an emphasis on the familial melanoma syndrome. In 2014, she helped launch the War on Melanoma™ – a public health campaign and early detection program to reduce the incidence of melanoma in Oregon. This work involved the development of the Melanoma Community Registry and an innovative collaboration between OHSU and Sage Bionetworks on a smartphone app called MoleMapper.

The endowment was established by John D. Gray, an emeritus board member of the OHSU Foundation and a longtime supporter of OHSU. Brian Druker, M.D., director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and associate dean for oncology in the OHSU School of Medicine, nominated Dr. Leachman for the endowed chair position. OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A., confirmed the appointment in his then-role as acting dean. Endowed positions are a critical source of support for faculty members across the university working in a wide variety of research and clinical endeavors.

Dr. Leachman joined OHSU from the University of Utah Health Sciences Center where she was a professor of dermatology and director of the multidisciplinary Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Her clinical interests include skin cancers, especially melanoma, pigmentary disorders, and genetic disorders that involve the skin. Dr. Leachman is widely published, and her research program is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and others. Dr. Leachman received both her medical and doctorate degrees from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and she completed residency and fellowship training at Yale.

Provost Andresen, Dr. Leachman and Dean AndersonJoan Gray and Dr. Leachman

Pictured: (top) Dr. Leachman; (above from left) OHSU Provost Elena Andresen, Ph.D., Dr. Leachman and OHSU School of Medicine Dean Sharon Anderson, M.D., during the investiture ceremony for the John D. Gray Endowed Chair in Melanoma Research; Joan Gray, daughter of John D. Gray, and Dr. Leachman.