Internationally recognized breast cancer specialist Dr. Carlos L. Arteaga to head UT Southwestern’s Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Carlos L. Arteaga
Dr. Carlos L. Arteaga will be the new Director of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern.

DALLAS – Aug. 16, 2017 – Dr. Carlos L. Arteaga, internationally recognized for his work in laboratory-based translational research and advancing the care of breast cancer patients, has been selected as Director of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center, after an extensive nationwide search. His appointment begins September 1.

UT Southwestern’s Simmons Cancer Center – one of 49 in the country designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the only such designated center in North Texas ­– includes more than 275 faculty members, doctors, nurses, scientists, and other professionals in more than 30 departments and centers, ranging from basic science to clinical care. The Center focuses on more than a dozen major cancer programs that provide innovative treatments for complex care and receives more than $100 million annually for cancer research from the NCI and other NIH and peer-reviewed funding agencies, as well as the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).

“Dr. Arteaga brings a wealth of experience to this leadership role that will help further integrate UT Southwestern’s advances in multidisciplinary cancer care and clinical/translational investigation across departmental boundaries,” said Dr. J. Gregory Fitz, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and Dean of the UT Southwestern Medical School. “Such integration is fundamental to our commitment to our patients to advance the treatment and prevention of cancer through innovative therapies, leading-edge clinical trials, and the latest technology.”

Dr. Arteaga, a medical oncologist, also will serve as Associate Dean for the Oncology Program at UT Southwestern Medical School and will hold the Lisa K. Simmons Distinguished Chair in Comprehensive Oncology at UT Southwestern. Dr. Arteaga’s recruitment to UT Southwestern was facilitated by a $6 million grant from CPRIT. 

“I was attracted by the large cancer community served by UT Southwestern, the commitment of the institution to the growth of cancer medicine, as well as the superb quality of research at the institution, which has been a basic science powerhouse for decades,” said Dr. Arteaga. “My vision is for UT Southwestern to become one of the top institutions for conducting translational cancer medicine in the country, as well as to ease the burden of cancer at UT Southwestern’s Simmons’ catchment area through exceptional patient care, transdisciplinary research, discovery, education, partnership, and collaboration.”

Dr. Arteaga becomes the second Director of the Simmons Cancer Center.

The Simmons Cancer Center serves a racially, ethnically, geographically, and socioeconomically diverse population of nearly 7 million people in 12 North Texas counties, with lung, hepatocellular, kidney, and breast cancers constituting major challenges in the region.

‘Wealth of Experience’

Dr. Arteaga comes to UT Southwestern from the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Tennessee, where he has been on faculty since 1989 and serves as Director of the Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies and the Breast Cancer Program, Associate Director for Translational & Clinical Research, and Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and Cancer Biology. He also holds the Donna S. Hall Chair in Breast Cancer.

There, Dr. Arteaga led a robust research program that included a long-standing NCI Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) award in breast cancer research, along with research into drug-resistance in breast cancer and genotype-driven trials in cancer care.

“My research focuses on the role of oncogenes in breast cancer and using that information to develop therapeutic strategies, as well as the mechanism of resistance to targeted therapies and the generation of clinical trials that use that information,” he said.

In addition to having authored over 300 scientific publications, Dr. Arteaga’s honors include the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award, a 2007-2017 ACS Clinical Research Professor Award, the 2009 Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the 2011 Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, and the 2015 Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine from the American-Italian Cancer Foundation. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (1998) and the Association of American Physicians (2005) and was elected as a Fellow of the AACR Academy in 2015.

Dr. Arteaga earned his medical degree at Facultad de Ciencias Médicas at the Universidad de Guayaquil, in his home country of Ecuador, and completed his residency at Emory University in Atlanta and a fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Distinctive cancer care and research

In addition to being one of the nation’s 69 NCI Cancer Centers, the Simmons Cancer Center is

  • One of 15 sites included in the NCI Early Drug Development Opportunity Program (EDDOP), which allows access to NCI early phase clinical trials;
  • One of 30 sites named by the NCI as a National Clinical Trials Network Lead Academic Participating Site, with more than 250 actively enrolling clinical trials, including trials focusing on breast cancer, leukemia, lung cancer, lymphoma, melanoma, sarcoma, gastrointestinal cancer, prostate and kidney cancer, neuro-oncology, and radiation-oncology.
  • Home to two NCI Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) awards ­– in kidney cancer and lung cancer – the latter being the world’s largest thoracic oncology effort in the U.S., including the world’s largest collection of lung cancer cell lines totaling about 300.

The Simmons Cancer Center supports 10 disease-oriented teams, each of which focuses on a major cancer type and provides a comprehensive approach to the care of cancer patients for breast cancer, GI cancers, prostate cancer, gynecologic malignancies, head and neck cancers, hematologic malignancies, stem cell transplantation, lung cancer, melanoma/sarcoma, neurological cancers, and pediatric cancers.

On the research front, Simmons Cancer Center includes scientific programs that serve as vehicles for discovery, including programs focused on cancer cell networks, chemistry and cancer, a childhood cancer research program, development and cancer, experimental therapeutics of cancer, kidney cancer, and population science and cancer control. A formal research affiliation with the UT School of Public Health Dallas Regional Campus enhances the Simmons Cancer Center’s expertise in conducting public health research.

Associated facilities include the Annette Simmons Stereotactic Treatment Center; the Radiation Oncology Center, a 63,000-square-foot facility with seven treatment rooms that is the largest radiation facility in North Texas; and the UT Southwestern Moncrief Cancer Institute, a 60,000-square-foot facility located in the Fort Worth Medical District that provides early cancer detection and survivorship services in Tarrant and surrounding rural counties. Moncrief also houses the 20,000-plus-square-foot UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center – Fort Worth, which provides services including chemotherapy, cancer imaging, and access to clinical trials.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes, and includes 22 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 18 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 14 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. The faculty of more than 2,700 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide care in about 80 specialties to more than 100,000 hospitalized patients, 600,000 emergency room cases, and oversee approximately 2.2 million outpatient visits a year.


Media Contact: Cathy Frisinger

To automatically receive news releases from UT Southwestern via email,
subscribe at