HOUSTON ― The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today named David Jaffray, Ph.D., as its first-ever chief technology and digital officer. Jaffray will begin his new duties overseeing MD Anderson’s Information Services division and Information Security department in late summer. He also will hold a faculty appointment as professor of Radiation Physics with a joint appointment in Imaging Physics.
Jaffray currently serves as executive vice president for Technology and Innovation at the University Health Network (UHN)/Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Ontario. He led UHN’s Information Technology transformation, architected the roadmap for digital transformation and initiated the procurement process for UHN’s Health Information System.
“David is a visionary thinker who will bring new energy to our extensive opportunities in data science, technology and digital platforms,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president, MD Anderson. “His background as a scientist and his proven skill as an innovator make him especially qualified for this role. We look forward to welcoming David to our team later this summer.”
In this role, new to MD Anderson, Jaffray will direct the strategic design, acquisition, management and implementation of an enterprise-wide technology infrastructure that will safeguard the integrity and availability of the institution’s systems and intellectual property assets. Reporting to the president, he will be responsible for leading efforts to plan, build and oversee the systems to digitally enable data governance, data management, and insight extraction for the institution’s four mission areas.
Working closely with leaders across the institution, Jaffray will collaborate with Strategy and Business Development to advance data integration, data governance and data security across the institution’s Houston campuses and its national network, as well as coordinate technology-enabled innovation. Additionally, he will work closely with Strategic Industry Ventures and the chief scientific officer in advancing meaningful partnerships with industry.
For more than two decades, Jaffray’s peer-reviewed and industry-sponsored research has focused on the development and application of image-guided radiation therapy, as well as other cancer innovations, resulting in more than 275 peer-reviewed publications. He participates in numerous scientific and research boards, and he has contributed to the National Institutes of Health and Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant review processes.
He has received many honors, including the Sylvia Sorkin-Greenfield Award (2001), the Farrington Daniels Award (2002) and the Sylvia Fedoruk Award (2003). In 2018, Jaffray received the prestigious Gold Medal from the American Society of Radiation Oncology.
Jaffray has an active interest in commercialization and led the development of a variety of commercial products, including software and hardware for safe, high quality cancer care and the development of small-animal irradiator systems for basic research. He holds multiple patents, several of which are licensed by industry. Jaffray has supervised more than 40 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and has received awards for teaching excellence.
Jaffray earned his Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Alberta, and his Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, after which he joined William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, as a staff physicist. In 2002, he became head of Medical Physics at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and faculty of the University of Toronto. He served in several leadership roles, including vice chair of Radiation Oncology, founding director of Preclinical and Computational Cores for the STTARR Innovation Centre, and director of the Techna Institute for the Advancement of Technology for Health, UHN. In 2015, he was named EVP for Technology and Innovation, UHN.
“I am very excited to be joining the team at MD Anderson,” said Jaffray. “This institution is known around the world for its outstanding care and dedicated focus on research. I look forward to doing everything I can to enable the teams to succeed in their compelling mission.”
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