George Weiner, MD, director of University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, will step down from the leadership role on March 31.
Michael Henry, PhD, deputy director of University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor in the UI Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, will serve as interim director of the cancer center, effective April 1.
Weiner will serve as director emeritus and play a critical role in mentoring young investigators and serving as a national ambassador for Holden. He will also maintain his research, teaching, and clinical activities in his faculty role as a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and its hematology, oncology, and blood and marrow transplantation division.
“I am pleased that Dr. Henry will serve as interim director and carry on the tradition of excellence that Dr. Weiner established,” says Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA, UI vice president for medical affairs and the Tyrone D. Artz Dean in the Carver College of Medicine. “George has provided extraordinary leadership and stability for Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, and he has been a guiding force in advancing cancer research, education and training, and patient care across the state and throughout the nation.”
Weiner has led the cancer center for more than two decades, beginning with his appointment as interim director in 1998; he was named to the position on a permanent basis in August 1998. In July 2000, the cancer center achieved designated cancer center status from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)—a mark of distinction given to a select group of cancer centers nationwide. In September 2000, the center was named for the Holden family of Williamsburg, Iowa, in recognition for their $25 million gift to support cancer research, education, and treatment at Iowa. In December 2000, Holden earned comprehensive cancer center status from NCI, the institute’s highest designation. Weiner subsequently led Holden to renewals as an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in 2005, 2011, 2016, and 2021.
As director, Weiner has overseen growth in clinical cancer care, including the expansion of facilities, faculty, and staff; the formation of multidisciplinary oncology groups (MOGs) and disease-focused tumor boards; and the emergence of Holden as a national leader in cancer immunotherapy, cellular therapy, treatments based on free radical metabolism, and theranostics. Read more highlights from Weiner’s tenure as director.
Henry, who is a professor in the UI Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, has served as deputy director for research at Holden for more than a decade. In this role, he provides oversight for all research activities for the cancer center and is involved in the preparation and application for major grants, such as the NCI’s P30 Cancer Center Support Grant.