Newswise — BUFFALO, N.Y. — After a national search involving the review of many applications and numerous interviews and discussions with qualified candidates, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) Board of Directors has named Candace S. Johnson, PhD, as the Institute’s 15th President and CEO. Dr. Johnson will also be the first female leader for this 117-year-old comprehensive cancer center.

“Over the last few months we have met some highly qualified cancer leaders from around the country who were interested in pursuing this job. Through this process of discovery, the search committee took note of the incredible job Dr. Johnson has been doing in leading this organization since Dr. Donald Trump retired last fall,” says Michael Joseph, Chair of the RPCI Board of Directors. “There wasn’t a member of the board, community leader, RPCI employee or cancer center friend who hasn’t realized that our future leader was right in front of us. Dr. Johnson is a respected scientist and leader.”

Dr. Johnson has led the scientific strategies and achievements of Roswell Park for 13 years. During that time, she has helped secure the National Cancer Institute’s coveted Cancer Center Support Grant for the Institute twice, and has built the foundation for successfully re-competing for this prestigious allocation in five years.

Acting as interim President and CEO since last October, Dr. Johnson immediately began meeting with RPCI corporate and Roswell Park Alliance Foundation board members, community leaders, internal leadership and healthcare decision makers throughout the Western New York region. She has also surrounded herself with a group of clinical and scientific leaders who are helping to develop strategic direction around the ever-changing dynamics facing healthcare delivery systems.

“Roswell Park Cancer Institute is one of the founding organizations of Buffalo. The community and state leaders who established this cancer center and built this region’s center of excellence deserve to have their legacy continue. I am committed to creating an organization and Institute culture that allows our region to take pride in having a leading cancer center in its midst – one that continues to generate discoveries that diminish the burden that cancer places on our loved ones and friends throughout the world,” says Dr. Johnson. “I very much appreciate the confidence the board has in me in leading this internationally respected Institute.”

Prior to becoming President and CEO of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Dr. Johnson was the Deputy Director and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the Wallace Family Chair for Translational Research and Professor of Oncology. Since November 2014, she has also served as Cancer Center Director for the Institute.Before coming to Roswell Park, she served as Deputy Director of Basic Research at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Johnson earned her doctoral degree in Immunology from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She completed research and postdoctoral fellowships in Immunology and Cell Biology at the Michigan Cancer Foundation in Detroit, Mich.


The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, RPCI is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email [email protected]. Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.