University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Clinical Research

Clinical Research Overview

In collaboration with UPMC CancerCenter and with support from UPCI Clinical Protocol and Data Management (CPDM) (formerly named UPCI Clinical Research Services [CRS]), UPCI investigators are leading innovative clinical trials that offer patients access to the latest cancer tests and treatments. Before clinical trials can become active, they must be approved through the UPCI Protocol Review Committee/Protocol Review and Monitoring System (PRC/PRMS). UPCI's Data and Safety Monitoring Committee (DSMC) provides oversight for and ensures the safety of participants in clinical trials.

To capitalize on our expertise and provide consistent oversight, CPDM uses a disease-specific centers model for conducting clinical trials at UPCI. Each Disease Center meets on a regular basis and possesses the specialized expertise required to review and prioritize trial concepts and monitor the relative scientific merit, feasibility, progress, and safety of trials in a specific focus area. As such, they prepare informational materials for separate consideration by the DSMC and PRC/PRMS, which have UPCI-wide responsibilities and authorities.

The following is a list of UPCI's clinical Disease Centers and Directors.

Disease Center Medical Director(s)
Brain Center Frank Lieberman, MD
Breast Center Shannon Puhalla, MD
Esophageal Center Weijing Sun, MD
Gastrointestinal (GI) Center Herbert Zeh, MD and Weijing Sun, MD
Genitourinary (GU) Center Leonard Appleman, MD, PhD
Gynecologic Center Alexander Olawaiye, MD
Head and Neck Center Dwight Heron, MD
Hematology/Bone Marrow
Transplant Center
UPMC CancerCenter - Mounzer Agha, MD
UPCI - Warren Shlomchik, MD
Lung Center Scientific Director – James Herman, MD
Medical Director – Liza Villaruz, MD
Melanoma Center John Kirkwood, MD
Phase I Center Edward Chu, MD
Phase II Center Weijing Sun, MD
Radiation Center Dwight Heron, MD
Sarcoma CenterMelissa Burgess, MD