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Vincent T. DeVita, MD

Vincent T. DeVita, Jr., MD

Vincent T. DeVita, Jr., M.D., Professor of Medicine, and Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT., served as the Director of Yale Cancer Center from 1993 to July 2003. Dr. DeVita was appointed the Amy and Joseph Perella Professor of Medicine on February 6 2004.  Following Dr. DeVita's tenure, the chair will be renamed the Vincent T. DeVita Professor of Medicine.

Dr. DeVita spent the early part of his career at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health.  In 1980 he was appointed by the President of the United States as Director of NCI and the National Cancer Program.  While at the NCI Dr. DeVita was also Professor of Medicine at the George Washington School of Medicine.  In 1988 Dr. DeVita joined Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as Physician-in-Chief, and incumbent of the Benno C. Schmidt Chair of Clinical Oncology.  He served as Professor of Medicine at Cornell University School of Medicine until he returned to Yale in 1993.

Dr. DeVita has earned international recognition for his accomplishments.  While at NCI, he was instrumental in developing combination chemotherapy programs that ultimately led to an effective regimen of curative chemotherapy of Hodgkin's disease and diffuse large cell lymphomas.  Along with colleagues at NCI, he developed the four-drug combination, known by the acronym MOPP, which increased the cure-rate for patients with advanced Hodgkin's disease from nearly zero to over 70 percent. This was the first demonstration of the ability of chemotherapy to cure an advanced cancer in a major organ system in adults. Dr. DeVita and his colleagues played a major role in the development of similar treatments for other lymphomas and cancers of the ovary and breast.

Dr. DeVita serves on the editorial boards of numerous scientific journals and is the author or co-author of more than 450 scientific articles.  He is one of the three editors of Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, a comprehensive textbook in the field of cancer medicine; Biologic Therapy of Cancer, Progress in Oncology, and a textbook on AIDS, as well as The Cancer Journal: The Journal of Principles and Practice of Oncology. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief, Nature Clinical Practice Oncology.

In 1972, Dr. DeVita received the Albert and Mary Lasker Medical Research Award for his work on the cure of Hodgkin's disease.  In 1980, he was awarded the Griffuel Prize by the Association for the Development of Research on Cancer, again for his important contributions to cancer chemotherapy, particularly his development of curative multiple drug therapy for Hodgkin's disease and diffuse large-cell lymphoma.  In 1985, Dr. DeVita was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and was presented the Pierluigi Nervi Award for Cancer Research in Italy, the Medal of Honor from the American Cancer Society, and the Barbara Bohen Pfeifer Award from the American-Italian Foundation for Cancer Research.  Awards for 1986 include the Tenth Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award (American Association for Cancer Research, Inc.) and the Stanley G. Kay Memorial Award (D.C. American Cancer Society).  In 1988, Dr. DeVita received the first Alessio Pezcoller Award in Trento, Italy, and The Surgeon General's Exemplary Service Medal.  In 1990, he was awarded the Armand Hammer Cancer Prize.  In 1995, he was named a City of Medicine Awards winner for his work in cancer clinical research.  The Commendatore of the Italian Republic order of merit was bestowed by the President of Italy in 1998.  Dr. DeVita received two awards in 1999; the Mary Waterman Award from the Breast Cancer Alliance and the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Award from the Leukemia Society of America.  He was the recipient of the Saul Rosenberg Research Award from the Lymphoma Research Foundation of America in 2000.  In the year 2002, Dr. DeVita was elected to the European Academy of Sciences for his outstanding and lasting contribution to cancer research and medical education. He received the 2007 ASCO Statesman Award.  Dr. DeVita was selected to receive the 2007 FREDDIE Award, a Public Service Award from the International Health & Medical Media Awards.

Dr. DeVita was appointed by Senator Dianne Feinstein in 2000 to chair the National Cancer Legislative Advisory Committee (NCLAC), a Senate advisory committee working hand-in-hand with the National Dialogue on Cancer (NDC) spearheaded by former President Bush, which made recommendations for revising and modernizing the National Cancer Act of 1971.

Born in Bronx, New York, March 7, 1935, to Isabelle LoNano and Vincent DeVita, both born in the United States, Dr. DeVita earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the College of William and Mary in 1957.  He was awarded his M.D. degree with distinction from the George Washington University School of Medicine in 1961.

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