Newswise — Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) announced the appointment of Howard Colman, MD, PhD, as the new co-leader of the Experimental Therapeutics Program.

“I am thrilled Dr. Colman will take on this important new role at HCI,” says Neli Ulrich, PhD, MS, Executive Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at HCI. “He has already demonstrated exceptional creativity and leadership as part of our Computational Oncology Research Initiative (CORI) and other transdisciplinary strategic activities. Without doubt he will contribute very valuably to HCI’s vision of delivering a cancer-free frontier.”

Colman is a physician-scientist at HCI, where he holds Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Professorship, and serves as a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Utah. Colman serves as Director of CORI and Leader of the Center for Neurologic Cancers at HCI. His clinical research is focused on the development and evaluation of new treatments for primary and metastatic brain tumors. His laboratory interests are identification of molecular markers of classification, prognosis, and treatment response in primary brain tumors, and the role of tumor stem cells in the initiation and as therapeutic targets in brain tumors.

Colman is an internationally recognized physician-scientist in neuro-oncology and oncology clinical trials. He has served in the leadership of numerous Phase I, II, and III clinical trials, with a particular interest in biomarker-based early-phase trials and Bayesian adaptive and novel clinical trial designs. Since 2018, Colman has served as Leader of the Neurologic Cancers Center with an enthusiastic commitment to distinctively bridge the translational research, clinical care and innovation, and community engagement missions at HCI. He also has a strong interest in the application of novel technologies and data science in clinical oncology. He is currently the HCI principal investigator for the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology cooperative group and on the steering committee for the HCI U10 cooperative groups grant, a member of the board of directors for Alliance, a member of the Alliance Neuro-Oncology Committee, and U.S. Lead Investigator for the international GBM AGILE study. He has served on multiple national and international committees tasked with establishing standards for the diagnosis and molecular classification and testing of primary brain tumors, including for the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Society for Neuro-Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research, the College of American Pathologists, and the American Joint Committee on Cancer. Dr. Colman has published more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as numerous book chapters and abstracts. He serves as associate editor for the journal Neuro-Oncology and is an editorial board member for Neuro-Oncology Practice and JCO Precision Oncology

Colman earned a BSc in neural sciences at Brown University, then completed his MD and PhD in neuroscience, followed by a residency in neurology, at Washington University in St. Louis. He completed a fellowship in neuro-oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he remained on the faculty until joining HCI and the University of Utah in 2010.

Colman will serve as co-leader of HCI’s Experimental Therapeutics program alongside Martin McMahon, PhD, HCI cancer researcher and professor of dermatology at the University of Utah. He will begin his new position effective August 1, 2021.


Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah is the official cancer center of Utah. The cancer campus includes a state-of-the-art cancer specialty hospital as well as two buildings dedicated to cancer research. HCI treats patients with all forms of cancer and is recognized among the best cancer hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report. As the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West, HCI serves the largest geographic region in the country, drawing patients from Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at HCI than at any other cancer center in the world, including genes responsible for hereditary breast, ovarian, colon, head, and neck cancers, along with melanoma. HCI manages the Utah Population Database, the largest genetic database in the world, with information on more than 11 million people linked to genealogies, health records, and vital statistics. HCI was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman

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