Founding Chair of Oncologic Sciences Named

- New USF/Moffitt Cancer Center partnership agreement signed -

Lynn Moscinski, MD

Tampa, FL (May 5, 2008) – Pathologist Lynn Moscinski, MD, has been named chair of the new Department of Oncologic Sciences at USF Health, a department that provides the academic home for faculty physicians and scientists who work at Moffitt Cancer Center. Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, dean of the College of Medicine and vice president for USF Health, made the appointment with William S. Dalton, MD, PhD, President, CEO and Center Director for Moffitt.

The new appointment came as Moffitt and USF signed a new partnership agreement for their affiliation. Moffitt’s home campus is located at USF in Tampa.

Dr. Moscinski is a 20-year faculty member and division chief of Hematopathology and Laboratory Medicine. She takes over July 1 for Cliff Schold, MD, who headed the former Department of Interdisciplinary Oncology (DIO) and retired this year.

“This is an exciting and wide open chapter in USF’s relationship with Moffitt Cancer Center,” Dr. Klasko said. “We have a new partnership agreement. We have planning for new ventures together. And now we have a new chair and a new department that will be the core of our missions of learning and discovery as it relates to cancer.

“I’d like to thank Dr. Schold for his service as chair of the DIO, and welcome Dr. Moscinski as the founding chair of Oncologics Science.”

“Dr. Moscinski has a longstanding relationship with USF and Moffitt, and will be an outstanding chair of the DOS, representing the academic interests of the Department faculty,” Dr. Dalton said.

L to R: USF President Judy Genshaft, USF Health’s Dr. Stephen Klasko, Dr. Lynn Moscinski, chair of new Oncologic Sciences Department, and Moffitt’s Dr. William Dalton at the signing of new Moffitt/USF partnership agreement.

“As the head of the newly developed Department of Oncologic Sciences, Dr. Moscinski will play a key role in academic faculty development and in fostering educational and research collaborations between the Moffitt Cancer Center and the University,” said Santo Nicosia, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology.

“Her firm leadership and previous experience as a senior core faculty of the Department of Pathology, past president of the College of Medicine Faculty Council and advisor to the Dean on LCME accreditation will serve well in the challenging tasks ahead. Outstanding and sustained performances as committed educator, diagnostician, clinical researcher and administrator provide Lynn with the level of credibility required by a multifaceted department and faculty,” Dr. Nicosia said.

“On behalf of the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, I congratulate her and look enthusiastically ahead to mutually beneficial collaboration.”

Dr. Moscinski will work with faculty and students to strengthen the educational partnerships between Moffitt and the university, including fellowships, residency and graduate education programs. “The Department of Oncologic Sciences will build upon the continued academic affiliation of Moffitt with USF in ways that are mutually productive for both,” she said. “I truly believe the faculty at Moffitt, through their ties to the university and its medical school, have a significant academic role to play in fostering cancer-related education and research.”

And, “there are real opportunities here to translate what happens in cancer science to other areas like Alzheimer’s disease research and vice versa,” Dr. Moscinski said. “There may be molecular pathways that apply to more than one disease process.”

Dr. Moscinski holds an MD degree from Medical College of Wisconsin, and completed a residency in pathology at the University of Colorado. She joined USF as an assistant professor of pathology in 1988, after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Immunology and a fellowship in hematopathology at the University of Pennsylvania. She soon took on leadership roles at the fledgling and fast-growing Moffitt Cancer Center, now an NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. She previously directed Clinical Chemistry, Molecular Pathology, and Hematopathology at Moffitt, and was division chief of the Pathology Program from 2001 to 2005. She served as the DIO’s associate chair for academic affairs since 2006.

As chair of the DIO Promotion and Tenure Committee, she was instrumental in helping develop a mid-tenure review process for faculty. As chair of the new DOS, Dr. Moscinski plans to develop mentoring programs for junior faculty that leverage the leadership development of senior faculty.

Dr. Moscinski’s research and clinical interests have focused on bone marrow cancers. She has studied how the cancerous cells interact with other bone marrow cells, with the aim of creating new therapies to overcome drug resistance and interrupt tumor growth.

One of Dr. Moscinski’s great loves is teaching – she teaches medical students, graduate students residents and fellows, with several nominations for teacher of the year.

“I try to encourage students to think through a complicated diagnosis rather than automatically look things up in the literature,” Dr. Moscinski said. “At first they look at you with blank stares, but I love how they rise to the challenge and after a few weeks they’re quizzing me… My goal is for all of them to leave smarter than the teacher.”

Kaaron Benson, MD, associate professor of oncologic sciences and associate member of Moffitt, said students rave about Dr. Moscinski in their evaluations. “She’s a terrific teacher,” said Benson, a long-time colleague of Dr. Moscinski’s. “She’s very well organized, speaks clearly and watches her audience to make sure they understand. She’s quick to challenge students to gauge how well they grasp the material… She is also able to find humor in challenging situations.”

Describing herself as someone who likes to “think outside the box,” Dr. Moscinski values the perspectives of other disciplines in coming up with solutions. For instance, she has drawn on pharmaceutical company and business approaches to help create a more effective pathology practice — “like how to make sure we obtain the highest quality diagnosis in the shortest period of time.”

Dr. Moscinski belongs to the Tampa Bay Tango Club, where she dances the Argentinean tango, and also practices ballroom dancing at Librero’s on Davis Islands. “Dancing is great exercise and stress relief, and I love the melodrama and feeling of being connected to your partner,” she said.

Her other hobby is mountain climbing, and she doesn’t let the absence of mountains in Florida stand in her way. She has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and hiked to the base camp of Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain. “Most of my friends find it amusing that I live in Florida, since I’m not a golfer or beach person, and definitely prefer cooler weather!” she said.

- About USF Health -
USF Health (www.health.usf.edu) is dedicated to creating a model of health care based on understanding the full spectrum of health. It includes the University of South Florida’s colleges of medicine, nursing, and public health; the schools of biomedical sciences as well as physical therapy & rehabilitation sciences; and the USF Physicians Group. With $308 million in research funding last year, USF is one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities and one of Florida’s top three research universities.

- About H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute -
Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center (www.moffitt.org) is the only Florida-based cancer center with the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer as well as for ear, nose and throat. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.

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