UI professor named president of cancer association


George Weiner believes that it’s one thing to say cancer centers have made a difference, but it’s another thing to prove it.

Weiner, a University of Iowa professor of internal medicine and director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, plans on proving he’s made a difference in the world of cancer research through his new position as president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes.

“I’ve been involved with the organization for many years,” Weiner said. “It’s an organization that promotes the activities that support cancer research and state of the art cancer care. These are all things that I very much believe in. I thought if I could help the organization, that would be something I would very much like to do.”

He has been involved on the board of the cancer association since 2004.

Soon after his involvement, he was elected vice president, which was a two-year term that he had to complete before being able to serve as the president for another two years.

“[I think] part of the reason it’s a two-year program is because it’s a lot of work,” Weiner said.

Although it is a lot of work with traveling and other such responsibilities, Weiner said he is happy to volunteer his time.

“It’s a volunteer position,” he said. “There’s no pay involved in this. The idea is I’m a member of the society, and the society is going good work that is helping many of us.”

Although he will now be more heavily involved in the cancer association, Weiner will keep his day job as the director of the cancer center. 

“The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is very proud of Dr. Weiner’s new role as President of the American Association of Cancer Institutes,” said Daniel Vaena, an assistant director for clinical research at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Dr. Weiner’s vision for [cancer group], and his new position, will further strengthen the collaborations that exist between the [cancer center] and other cancer centers in moving forward with the agenda for the fight against cancer.”

The collaboration between the center and the association will hopefully help further cancer research.

“Those who work in the cancer center believe that the cancer center has a lot to offer that can’t be found in other settings,” Weiner said. “We’re able to take research advances and bring them to the patients very quickly.”

Weiner’s passion for cancer research has earned him a lot of respect from members of the cancer center and the cancer group.

“He really has a lot of respect from fellow cancer center directors,” said Michael Henry, the associate director of cancer research at the center. “He has a very intimate knowledge of what cancer centers are and the role that they play in our society.”

Similarly, members of the cancer group are able to recognize Weiner’s passion.

“Dr. Weiner has loads of experience as a cancer center leader and he also have devoted a lot of time to [the group],” said Chris Zurawsky, the director of communications and public affairs for the cancer association. “Those [attributes] may be among the reasons that members selected him as the association’s president.”

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