Dr. Alberts recently gave a wide-ranging interview with Eric T. Rosenthal of Oncology Times, where he discussed his role in the search, his continuing research projects, the Cancer Center's plans to expand into the Phoenix area, his thoughts on health and fitness, and his theory that no director should ever stay in office for more than a decade.
“You can begin to lose your edge after 10 years," Dr. Alberts told Rosenthal, "and it’s best for a center to get new blood, new energy, new ideas, and a new direction.”
Dr. Alberts, 72, joined the University of Arizona College of Medicine in 1975 and became director of the Cancer Center in 2005. He has authored or co-authored roughly 500 peer reviewed publications, more than 100 book chapters and 60 invited articles, and has served as editor and co-editor of six books.
The interview was posted to the Oncology Times website on July 10, and will appear in the Aug. 10 print publication.
Click "Read More" to see more highlights from the interview:
“Of course I’ll do whatever the new director wants me to do. I’m not about to pass in the wind but I don’t want to be in the way either.”
Since Dr. Alberts announced that he'd be stepping down earlier this year, the UA began its search for what they called a "dynamic and entrepreneurial director." Currently, the 13-member committee (including six UACC members) are evaluating 20 potential candidates. Dr. Alberts will continue to serve until a new director is named — something he hopes will happen by July 1, 2013.
He goes on to describe why this is such an exciting time to get involved with the UACC, with the Phoenix Campus on the verge of opening up a new set of possibilities.
"There’s a big hole in the southwest United States for comprehensive cancer centers," he said. "Arizona has the largest city in the country with four million people without a fully established cancer center, and we’ll have a whole city block in Phoenix to get us started with a 250,000 square-foot clinical facility."
Dr. Alberts also discussed his personal connection to the disease — a major reason why he entered the field.
“Unfortunately I come from a cancer family,” he said. “My father had colon cancer at 36, my mother died of breast cancer at 72, and my grandmother died of breast cancer at 85."
He and his wife, Heather, a breast cancer survivor, have made nutrition and fitness a cornerstone of family life. Heather founded the Better Than Ever Program (which was designed to encourage participants to make exercise a regular part of life as part of an effort to prevent cancer), and their two children have instilled a healthy mindset into their five grandchildren.
Read the full interview by clicking the link below.
• Dave Alberts on the Search for his Successor to Head Arizona Cancer Center (Oncology Times, July 10, 2012)