World Leader in Cancer Research to Lecture at Westminster

Dr. Francis Ali-Osman. Shawn Rocco/Duke Health

A world leader in cancer research, Dr. Francis Ali-Osman, of the Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, NC, will deliver a special lecture on Neuroscience at the upcoming Hancock Symposium on September 13-14 on the campus of Westminster College, it was announced today.

Dr. Ali-Osman is a professor of surgery and pathology and an active member of the Institute’s medical research team. He is the Margaret Harris and David Silverman Professor of Neuro-Oncology Research and co-director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program at Duke. And, last week, President Obama announced his intent to appoint Dr. Ali-Osman to the National Cancer Advisory Board.

A leader in the field of experimental oncology, cancer therapeutics and pharmacology and cancer-drug resistance, Dr. Ali-Osman’s particular focus is on tumors of the central nervous system. His research seeks to understand the cellular and molecular processes that underlie malignancy and to determine the response of cancer patients to treatment. His work is used to develop novel, highly targeted “smart” anticancer drugs and to design more effective individualized treatment strategies.

This year’s Hancock Symposium is titled “Audacious Ingenuity: Pushing the Boundaries of Science.” It will explore how scientific inquiry, dedication and passion have shaped the world in which we live. All Symposium sessions are free and open to the public.

Presented annually by the College’s Churchill Institute of Global Engagement, the Hancock Symposium is one of Westminster College’s signature academic experiences, bringing in national and international leaders and experts to educate, inspire and challenge students on a global issue.

“To have a leader of Dr. Ali-Osman’s reputation speaking is an incredible opportunity for our Westminster students and faculty,” said Dr. Kurt Jefferson, Assistant Dean for Global Initiatives and Director of the Churchill Institute for Global Engagement. “He will provide important insights into surgery and pathology for our pre-medicine students and alumni physicians.”

Dr. Ali-Osman serves on the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute and the advisory boards of the American Brain Tumor Society and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

Previously, he has held faculty positions at the University of Washington in Seattle and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he chaired the Department of Experimental Pediatrics and held the Olive Stringer Distinguished Professorship. Dr. Ali-Osman holds a doctorate degree from the Free University of Berlin, Germany, where he graduated with the highest distinction.

More information on the Symposium can be found at


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