Timothy M. Fan, Professor of Veterinary Oncology, has been appointed as program leader of the Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL) research program in Cancer Discovery Platforms Across the Engineering-Biology Continuum. Fan will co-lead this research program with Brendan Harley, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

“Tim has been engaged with and supportive of the CCIL since our beginning, serving on our initial cancer community steering group,” Rohit Bhargava, CCIL Director said. “His expertise in novel cancer therapeutics and commitment to improving treatments and cancer survivability, both in our pets and humans, makes him an ideal leader for our research program. He is an essential collaborator and encouraging colleague to many within the CCIL.”

Fan has spent over two decades making significant contributions towards the clinical practice of oncology and in cancer research. In 2000, he completed his clinical oncology training through a Medical Oncology Fellowship at the Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and has since progressed as a pioneer in veterinary cancer therapies. He previously served as the CCIL’s Assistant Director of Shared Resources, contributing to the development of the Tumor Engineering and Phenotyping (TEP) shared resource. The TEP shared resource is slated to occupy a renovated shared services facility thanks to a $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

“I’m really excited about working with Tim,” Brendan Harley said. “His expertise in and vision for using comparative oncology models to study progression and treatment of cancer are a huge opportunity for our research program.”

Partnering with Paul Hergenrother, CCIL’s Deputy Director, Fan successfully advanced the first procaspase-3 activating compound (PAC-1) to clinical trials treating glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. He is a founding member of the Anticancer Discovery from Pets to People research theme at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. Fan’s research has also focused on developing improved therapies for osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that most commonly affects the pediatric community.

“Dr. Fan is the elusive “triple threat” as an academician, scientist, and veterinarian. His research is having a significant impact on the quality of life of animals and humans, providing an outstanding example of translational research,” Peter Constable, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, said.

Fan is the current president of the Veterinary Cancer Society and a former member on the Bone Tumor Steering Committee for the Children’s Oncology Group Consortium. He also serves on the Faculty Advisory Committees for the Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center and Multimodal Biomedical Imaging Center.

— Written by Jordan Goebig, Communications Coordinator