The Abeloff Era: Building a Tradition of Excellence
Throughout his career, Dr. Martin D. Abeloff had been deeply committed to translational research, the transfer of research findings from the laboratory to the clinic. Abeloff's personal research interests were in the study of treatment for breast cancer and lung cancer. He was responsible for the development of the solid tumor clinical research programs in the Oncology Center in the early 1970s and played a leadership role in the development of broad-based research programs in solid tumors, hematologic malignancies and in cancer prevention and control.
Abeloff received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He received his Internal Medicine training at the University of Chicago and the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and his sub-specialty training in Oncology and Hematology at the National Cancer Institute, Tufts New England Medical Center and the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center. Abeloff joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1972. He served as director of the Cancer Center from 1992 to 2007. He held an American Cancer Society Clinical Professorship since 1991.
In addition to holding many leadership positions at Johns Hopkins, Abeloff played a significant leadership role on the national level. He served as President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 1991-92 and as Chairman of the Oncology Drug Advisory Committee of the FDA. He was former Chairman of the Board of Scientific Counselors to the NCI's Intramural Division of Clinical Sciences at the National Cancer Institute and a member of its executive committee. He also held many editorial responsibilities, including associate editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, editor of Current Opinion in Oncology, and was one of four editors of a comprehensive textbook in oncology, Clinical Oncology.
During Abeloff's 15-year tenure as Cancer Center director, there was significant growth in research programs, faculty and facilities. Under his leadership, the Cancer Center received the largest single gift to Johns Hopkins and renamed the Center after philanthropist and fashion industry giant Sidney Kimmel. Marty also oversaw the building of three new facilities that expanded the cancer complex at Johns Hopkins to include nearly 1 million square feet of space dedicated to cancer care and research.
At age 63, Abeloff died from leukemia in September 2007.