Renowned GI Physician-Scientists Lead Cancer Care and Research Programs at NewYork-Presbyterian
Manuel Hidalgo, MD, PhD, has joined NewYork-Presbyterian/
Dr. Hidalgo succeeds David M. Nanus, MD, who has led the division since 2004, first as Co-Chief with Barbara Hempstead, MD, until 2012, then as Division Chief. Dr. Nanus will remain on Weill Cornell Medicine’s faculty and serve as Director of NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine’s Healthcare Services’ Cancer Program, which will unify oncology programs at NewYork-Presbyterian’s regional hospitals. He will also continue to serve on the Meyer Cancer Center leadership team.
“There is a real opportunity for us to come together and build a team that will take our institutions to the next level in cancer care and innovation.”
— Dr. Manuel Hidalgo
Prior to joining Weill Cornell, Dr. Hidalgo served as the Theodore W. and Evelyn G. Berenson Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Clinical Director of the Rosenberg Clinical Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, as well as Deputy Associate Director for Clinical Sciences at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in Boston. He has also served as Director of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at the Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University and Director of the Clinical Research Program and Vice Director of Translational Research at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid.
Dr. Hidalgo obtained his medical degree from the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and a doctorate in infectious diseases and cancer from the University Autónoma of Madrid, Spain. He completed residency training in medical oncology at the Hospital 12 de Octubre in Madrid and a fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.
A Premier Investigator in Pancreatic Cancer
For more than two decades, Dr. Hidalgo has pursued laboratory and clinical research with a major focus on drug development in pancreatic cancer. He has developed, tested, and helmed the early clinical development of more than 50 new anticancer agents for pancreatic and other solid tumor cancers. Three of those agents, including nab-paclitaxel, are now approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of pancreatic and other GI cancers. His team also pioneered the development of mouse avatars to pre-test cancer treatments and he continues to use mouse models to develop personalized medicine opportunities.
“Our most significant contribution has been the pioneering of patient derived xenograft (PDX) models for drug screening, biomarker development, and personalized medicine in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma,” says Dr. Hidalgo. “We initiated the development of patient derived xenograft models of pancreas cancer as a platform for translational studies in this disease. Using well-characterized PDX models we identified nab-paclitaxel activity in pancreas cancer, a work that paved the way for clinical studies that eventually led to the approval of the drug. We also have identified demcizumab and palbociclib that are now in early clinical development as well. Our immediate goal is to develop precision medicine strategies, incorporating immune treatment approaches both in preclinical models and in clinical studies of pancreatic cancer.”
Dr. Hidalgo’s research is funded by the National Cancer Institute and the European Research Council. He has published more than 220 articles in top-tier journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, and Cancer Discovery, where he also serves as a scientific editor.
Under Dr. Hidalgo’s direction and working with the Joint Clinical Trials Office at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology will enhance its already robust clinical trials portfolio. Says Dr. Hidalgo, “Our priority is ensuring that our clinical trials portfolio is modern, comprehensive, and diverse so patients with advanced cancers have the opportunity to receive the latest therapies.”
Dr. Hidalgo seeks to foster new opportunities for scientific discovery and clinical care through collaborations with both the Caryl and Israel Englander Institute for Precision Medicine and the Meyer Cancer Center. “I want the division to capitalize on all of the great projects and scientific innovations that are being developed in the lab at the Meyer Cancer Center and move them to the clinic,” says Dr. Hidalgo. “We want to be able to provide basic scientists with critical feedback they can then use to orient and refine their research.”
Going forward, Dr. Hidalgo will lead the effort to have NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell become a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. “The unified mission of Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian to offer the best, most cutting-edge cancer treatments, and the shared goal of curing this disease is very exciting to me,” says Dr. Hidalgo. “There is a real opportunity for us to come together and build a team that will take our institutions to the next level in cancer care and innovation. We are looking for excellence — in training, research, and care — as we aim to have a lasting impact, offering hope to cancer patients across the city.”