Feb. 9-15, 2001
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Former presidents to oversee National Commission on Federal Election Reform
Leading prostate cancer physician named to direct U.Va.'s new research institute
Research computing being evaluated

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Notable - awards and achievements of faculty and staff
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[EDITOR'S NOTE: Subsequent to the publication of this issue, Dr. William J. Catalona did not assume the directorship of the Mellon Prostate Cancer Research Institute at U.Va.]

Leading prostate cancer physician named to direct U.Va.'s new research institute

By Marguerite Beck

Dr. William J. Catalona, one of the nation's foremost prostate cancer surgeons and researchers, has been named director of the Mellon Prostate Cancer Research Institute at the U.Va. Health System.

Catalona is known for having determined that a simple blood test that measures levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is the most accurate method for detecting prostate cancer, and for having helped develop the free PSA test as a means of improving the accuracy of prostate cancer screening. He also led national studies that gained FDA approval of the blood tests.

"Dr. Catalona's leadership of our center will allow us to develop one of the nation's premier programs devoted to the cure of prostate cancer," said Dr. Robert M. Carey, dean of the U.Va. School of Medicine. The Mellon Institute was recently established by a $20 million bequest from the estate of the late Paul Mellon, a noted philanthropist who died of prostate cancer in 1999.

Catalona also is recognized as an expert in performing the "nerve-sparing" radical prostatectomy that can preserve sexual potency. Currently, he is conducting research in the genetics of prostate cancer. His multi-institutional research group recently studied more than 200 brothers with prostate cancer, and found several new areas in the human genome that may contain prostate cancer susceptibility genes. Identification of prostate cancer genes may lead to new tests for prostate cancer, as well as possible new means for treating or preventing it.

A graduate of Yale Medical School, Catalona trained in surgery at the Yale New Haven Hospital, the University of California-San Francisco, and the National Cancer Institute and in urology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has been on the faculty of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., for 25 years, serving as chief of its urology division for 14 years.

The author of more than 300 articles in scientific journals, books and book chapters in medical texts, he also has a prostate cancer information Web site. Pending approval by the University's Board of Visitors, Catalona is expected to assume his new position in several months.


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