Skapek becomes Chief of Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology

By Kristen Holland Shear

Dr. Steven Skapek has joined UT Southwestern as Director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. Dr. Skapek succeeds Dr. George Buchanan, who recently stepped down from the post he has held since 1980.

In addition to leading the division of pediatric hematology-oncology, Dr. Skapek also holds an appointment in the UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and leads the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s.

Dr. Stephen Skapek
Dr. Stephen Skapek

Dr. George Lister, Chairman of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern, said that “Steve brings a wealth of talent by virtue of his experience in mentoring fellows and his interest in pediatric oncology, an area we are very interested in developing. His experience in research encompasses a broad range from basic studies in the laboratory to the design of clinical trials. Steve was highly praised for his personal and professional qualities as we searched for a leader to succeed George Buchanan.”

Dr. Skapek comes to UT Southwestern and Children’s from the University of Chicago, where since 2007 he has expanded his research program, garnered extensive extramural support, mentored a number of budding young investigators, and helped develop the institution’s formal training program in pediatric hematology-oncology. He previously worked at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the University of Tennessee.

His research interests encompass two major areas: Regulation of angiogenesis and its effect on tumor growth and development of the eye; and regulation of skeletal muscle molecular basis and control of rhabdomyosarcoma.He also serves as a steering committee member of the Children’s Oncology Group Soft Tissue Sarcoma Committee and is a member of the American Association of Cancer Research, the American Society for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

A graduate of Duke University School of Medicine, Dr. Skapek completed his pediatric residency in the U.S. Air Force at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio followed by fellowships at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Buchanan, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Barrett Family Center for Pediatric Oncology, remains a senior faculty member at UT Southwestern and Children’s Medical Center Dallas.

Dr. Buchanan holds the Children’s Cancer Fund Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Oncology and Hematology.

Dr. Lister holds the Robert L. Moore Chair in Pediatrics.

Dr. Skapek holds the Children’s Cancer Fund Distinguished Professorship in Pediatric Oncology Research.