Press Release

October 25, 2020
1 min read

Huntsman Cancer Institute makes leadership appointments


Press Release

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

Two longtime members of Huntsman Cancer Institute at University of Utah have been appointed to new leadership roles.

Brad Cairns, PhD, has been appointed chief academic officer.

Brad Cairns, PhD
Brad Cairns

Cairns — who previously served as senior director of basic science at the cancer institute — will lead initiatives intended to support professional development and increase career satisfaction among faculty.

He will work with cancer institute leadership to support and coordinate hiring and retention in the areas of clinical care, research, outreach and education.

Cairns will continue to serve as professor in and chair of the department of oncological sciences at the university. He also will continue to lead his cancer research laboratory.

“I am thrilled that, as Huntsman Cancer Institute’s inaugural chief academic officer, Dr. Cairns will provide leadership centered on faculty advancement. I know he will continue to make major contributions and foster an environment that helps our talented faculty flourish, with individuals and teams making a major impact toward our vision of a cancer-free frontier,” Mary Beckerle, PhD, the cancer institute’s CEO, said in a press release.

Alana Welm, PhD, has been appointed senior director of basic science.

Alana Welm, PhD
Alana Welm

Welm will oversee two basic science cancer center programs under the umbrella of the cancer institute’s Cancer Center Support Grant, as well as research resources used by several faculty members.

She will continue to lead her cancer research laboratory, which focuses on breast cancer metastasis.

"We all appreciate Dr. Welm as a highly regarded member of the Huntsman Cancer Institute community who played an instrumental role in our successful Cancer Center Support Grant renewal last year,” Neli Ulrich, PhD, executive director of the comprehensive cancer center at Huntsman Cancer Institute, said in the release. “Without doubt, she will be a true asset and highly valued contributor to our leadership team as we strive to achieve a cancer-free frontier in numerous dimensions.”