Robert B. Diasio, M.D.

Robert Biasio, photo

Robert B. Diasio, M.D.

Director, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Rochester, MN

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Robert Diasio's Bio

Dr. Diasio became the Director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center on September 1, 2006. At Mayo Clinic he also holds the position of William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor, as well as Consultant and Professor of Molecular Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and Oncology. Dr. Diasio received his undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester and subsequently the M.D. degree from Yale University School of Medicine in 1971. Following training in internal medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY, Dr. Diasio was a Fellow on the Medicine Branch at the National Cancer Institute in Medical Oncology and later in Clinical Pharmacology. From 1976 until 1984, Dr. Diasio served initially as an Assistant Professor and then subsequently as an Associate Professor in both the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology at the Medical College of Virginia. In 1984, he moved to Birmingham, AL, where he was appointed Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, as well as Newman H. Waters Chair and Director of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. In 1989, he was appointed Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and in 1997 Associate Director for Basic Sciences of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

Dr. Diasio is the author of more than two hundred manuscripts and invited reviews. He has authored chapters in several major medical textbooks including the 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th editions of the Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 9th edition of Goodman & Gilman’s Textbook of Pharmacology - The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, and the 6th and 7th editions of Holland and Frei Cancer Medicine. He has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international meetings on cancer pharmacology/oncology and was the principal organizer and chair of the 2005 AACR-NCI-EORTC Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics Meeting. Dr. Diasio has been the recipient of continuous R01 funding from the National Cancer Institute since 1978, and is the recipient of the highly competitive NCI MERIT award. He has served in the past on several editorial boards, including Cancer Medicine, Cancer Research, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, and Clinical Colorectal Cancer. He has also been an associate editor of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Dr. Diasio has been a member of the NIH Experimental Therapeutics I Study Section and the NCI Cancer Center Support Grant Study Section (Subcommittee A), which he chaired for two years. In 2008, he was appointed to the Board of Scientific Advisors of the NCI, which advises the NCI Director on all aspects of the extramural programs, including present and future scientific directions. In 2009, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Association of American Cancer Institutes. He is an active member of several academic societies, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. In 1989, he was elected as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and in 1998 he was elected to the Association of American Physicians – two of the nation's oldest and most respected medical honor societies. In 2009, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His clinical interest continues to be in the area of gastrointestinal oncology, with particular interest in the predictive and prognostic role of genomic biomarkers. His basic research interest has focused mainly on the area of cancer pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics. Dr. Diasio has made important contributions in initially characterizing the pharmacogenetic syndrome of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) deficiency and subsequently developing genomic tests to predict DPD deficiency.

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