University of Vermont

University Communications

UVM and Fletcher Allen Appoint National Clinical Research Leader to Head Cancer Program

Release Date: 12-14-2010

Author: Carole L. Whitaker
Phone: 802/656-1108 Fax: 656-8577

The University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care have announced that Claire F. Verschraegen, M.S., M.D., F.A.C.P., has been appointed professor and chief of hematology-oncology and interim director of the Vermont Cancer Center, with oversight for cancer care and research at Vermont's academic medical center.

A board-certified oncologist, Verschraegen specializes in rare cancers, such as mesothelioma, metastatic melanomas, sarcomas, and gynecologic malignancies, as well as the study of new anticancer drugs and treatments for solid tumors.

"Dr. Verschraegen will bring a new dimension to our cancer program," said Melinda Estes, M.D., president and CEO, Fletcher Allen Health Care. "Her leadership in the field of oncology will serve us, and our patients, well in the years ahead. I look forward to working with her."

Verschraegen joins Vermont's academic medical center from the University of New Mexico (UNM) Cancer Center, where she is a tenured professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology, and director of Translational Therapeutics and Clinical Research. She also oversees the Clinical Protocol and Data Management Core at the UNM Cancer Center, which received National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation in 2005. She also serves as the principal investigator for the New Mexico Minority-based Community Clinical Oncology Program, which offers participation to NCI-sponsored clinical trials to all New Mexicans, who receive cancer care at affiliated private oncology practices throughout the state.

"Dr. Verschraegen is recognized nationally as an accomplished clinician, investigator and mentor," said Frederick C. Morin III, M.D., dean of the UVM College of Medicine. "Her work has been continuously funded during the past 15 years, including support for Phase I, II and III clinical trials, and she has been appointed by the National Cancer Institute to serve on a number of their important committees. Her experience and track record of success will be of great value to the cancer research program at our institutions."

Verschraegen earned her medical degree at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium and trained at the Institute Bordet. She completed a medical oncology fellowship at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas and joined the faculty there. She was recruited to the Cancer Research and Treatment Center at the University of New Mexico in 2002.

Verschraegen and her husband will relocate to Vermont in spring 2011.