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Director's Message

Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D.

Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D.

Director of the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and Associate Dean of Oncology Programs

The Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of the nation’s premier institutions for innovative basic science and translational cancer research, as well as up to date treatment of the highest quality. Our 2021 re-designation by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center – one of only a few across the entire country – and top 20 ranking by U.S. News & World Report testify to that. 

However, in some ways, we are just getting started. The mission of the Simmons Cancer Center is to ease the burden of cancer through ground-breaking discovery, transdisciplinary research, impactful community engagement, education, and exceptional patient care.

You can see our determination and vision manifested in Simmons Cancer Center’s strategic plan, which is grounded on seven pillars organized around three overarching themes that guide our various activities: (1) bidirectional translational cancer science between the domains of the laboratory, clinic, and community; (2) transdisciplinary research programs; and (3) transformation of the cancer burden in North Texas and beyond.

The unique attributes of Simmons Cancer Center’s catchment area, a 13-county Metroplex in North Texas – its size, projected growth, and highly diverse population – distinctively position Simmons to embrace the challenge of pursuing these themes, as do our rapidly evolving strengths in clinical and population sciences, our expanding outreach and research programs, and our significant institutional commitment to growing our physical and intellectual resources.

More specifically we are taking the following actions that will adhere to these themes and advance the science and understanding of cancer, bring discoveries to our patients and the community, and train the next generation of cancer specialists. We are:

  • Supporting five research programs – Cellular Networks in Cancer, Chemistry and Cancer, Development and Cancer, Experimental Therapeutics, and Population Science and Cancer Control – in their efforts to discover new approaches to cancer and translate those discoveries into optimized cancer treatments and prevention approaches
  • Supporting shared resources that enable Simmons Cancer Center members’ research efforts and assist in research project design and analysis
  • Following a comprehensive, well-planned strategy that identifies and advances key programmatic priorities
  • Building on affiliations with health system partners to provide our catchment area with access to state-of-the-art cancer care and clinical trials
  • Engaging the community our catchment area to provide optimal access to cancer education and information; prioritize outreach with a focus on cancer health disparities; and promote best practices for cancer prevention and control
  • Creating educational and training opportunities that empower a new generation of cancer scientists, physician-scientists, clinical trialists, and other health care providers to make a positive impact on cancer research, care, control, and prevention
  • Continue to champion diversity, equity and inclusion among our faculty, staff, workforce, leadership, and trainees

These are ambitious and challenging objectives but they make it an exceptionally good time to be at Simmons Cancer Center pursuing discoveries, conducting research, treating patients, and receiving training to be among the next leaders in cancer discovery and progress.

We invite you to learn more about the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and our mission. We believe the future of cancer research and care today is at the Simmons Cancer Center.


Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D.