Press Release

May 30, 2021
1 min read

Mayo Clinic appoints executive director of cancer programs


Press Release

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Cheryl Willman, MD, has been named executive director of Mayo Clinic cancer programs.

Willman also will serve as director of Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center.

She will lead the expansion and strategic development of Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center sites in Minnesota, Florida and Arizona, as well as Mayo Clinic cancer programs in Abu Dhabi and London.

Cheryl Willman, MD
Cheryl Willman

"I could not be more honored by this opportunity to work with Mayo Clinic's exceptional leadership team — and its outstanding cancer physicians, scientists and staff — to lead Mayo cancer initiatives to the greatest of heights with tremendous national and global impact,” Willman said in a press release.

“Through the development of innovative platforms, partnerships and deep community engagement, we will work to assure that Mayo’s renowned expertise in cancer care delivery is made available to more diverse populations and communities,” Willman added. “This is an ethical imperative. Through the expansion and integration of outstanding discovery science and its translation to clinical and community settings, we will ensure that all have opportunity to benefit from advances in cancer research.”

Willman previously served as director and CEO of University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center. She held those positions for 20 years.

Her research focuses on use of genomic, computational and next-generation genome sequencing technologies to identify novel cancer-causing mutations.

She co-led NCI’s Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET) Project, which focused on genomic sequencing of high-risk leukemias.

“Dr. Willman has an outstanding track record of innovation and success as the architect and leader of a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center serving the needs of the diverse population of New Mexico,” Gianrico Farrugia, MD, president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, said in the release. "Her accomplishments, experience and outstanding reputation in the national cancer community make her the right choice to lead Mayo Clinic cancer programs and Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center.”