From the Director

Burkard named director of UI Health Care Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center

After a national search, Mark Burkard, MD, PhD, has been selected to serve as director of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.  

Mark Burkard, portraitMark Burkard, MD, PhD, has been named director of University of Iowa Health Care Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. He will begin his new role on Oct. 1.

Burkard will also serve as professor in the Department of Internal Medicine in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Blood and Marrow Transplantation in the Carver College of Medicine.  

Burkard currently serves as the Mary and Rob Gooze Chair in Metastatic Breast Cancer and professor in the Division of Hematology, Medical Oncology, and Palliative Care in the University of Wisconsin (UW)–Madison’s Department of Internal Medicine.  

Burkard–a medical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of breast cancer and in precision oncology–also serves as the associate director of Genomics and Precision Medicine within the UW Carbone Cancer Center and director of the UW-Madison Medical Scientist Training Program. 

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Burkard to UI Health Care to lead our nationally recognized cancer center,” says Denise Jamieson, MD, MPH, UI vice president for medical affairs and the Tyrone D. Artz Dean of the Carver College of Medicine. “Burkard’s work has set new standards in oncology care, and I believe his visionary approach and leadership will continue to raise the bar for our cancer center. This is underscored by his dedication to providing high-quality, individualized patient care, advancing cancer research, training the next generation of physician scientists, and his efforts to bring precision medicine to communities across Wisconsin.” 

Burkard’s research is focused on understanding the drivers of genomic changes in breast cancer and developing precision treatments–such as targeted drugs, chemotherapy, and immunotherapies.  

He has received many awards and recognitions for exceptional patient care, teaching, research, and professionalism. He is also a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. 

Burkard earned his MD and PhD degrees at the University of Rochester, in Rochester, New York. He completed residency training in internal medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Cornell Campus in New York City and a fellowship in medical oncology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.  

“I am excited to join the University of Iowa and work with exceptional Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center faculty, staff, and trainees to optimize cancer prevention and care delivery for the people of Iowa,” Burkard says.  

Jamieson expressed her gratitude to Michael Henry, PhD, who has served as the cancer center’s interim director since April 2023 and will continue as a faculty member with UI Health Care.  

Jamieson also thanked members of the search committee—chaired by Patricia Winokur, MD, executive dean of the Carver College of Medicine, and John Buatti, MD, professor of radiation oncology—for their work in conducting a national search for the position. 

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is Iowa's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center and has held that designation since 2000. The NCI designation indicates the cancer center’s high level of scientific excellence and ability to conduct extensive research in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. 

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