The Florida Academic Cancer Center Alliance co-directors provide executive-level coordination for the alliance, fostering trans-state research collaborations to promote excellence in cancer research for Florida’s residents.

University of florida HEALTH CANCER CENTER

Jonathan D. Licht, M.D

Director, The University Of Florida Health Cancer Center; The Marshall E. Rinker, Sr. Foundation And David B. And Leighan R. Rinker Chair

Dr. Licht is the director of the UF Health Cancer Center, holding the Marshall E. Rinker, Sr. Foundation and David B. and Leighan R. Rinker Chair.

NCI funded for 30 years, Dr. Licht is also Principal Investigator of a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Specialized Center of Research. He is an Associate Editor of Oncogene and serves on the editorial boards of Cancer Discovery, Cancer Cell, Cancer Research and Clinical Cancer Research. Dr. Licht is chair of the Taskforce for Hematological Malignancies of AACR, and is co-chair of the Medical/Scientific Board of the LLS. Dr. Licht has published over 200 articles, reviews and book chapters and has mentored over 40 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and 20 faculty members. In 2021 he was the winner of the American Society of Hematology Basic Sciences Mentor Award.


John Cleveland, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President, Center Director

John Cleveland, Ph.D., is the executive vice president and center director at Moffitt Cancer Center, one of 53 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country and the only one based in Florida. 

Dr. Cleveland is responsible for elevating Moffitt’s research enterprise and reputation for world-class bench-to-bedside science. He will set the strategy and vision for research, overseeing 100 research labs and approximately 175 renowned faculty at Moffitt. He is the principal investigator of Moffitt’s Cancer Center Support Grant, which brings in approximately $3 million in NCI funding by delivering transdisciplinary science and driving impact locally, regionally and beyond. 

His research interests include cancer cell checkpoints, cancer cell metabolism, cancer prevention and therapeutics, and the regulation and role of apoptosis and autophagy in the development and maintenance of cancer.

Cleveland is an exceptional scientist and leader, bringing 40 years of experience to this role. He joined Moffitt in 2014 as associate center director of Basic Science. Prior to Moffitt, Cleveland was professor and chair of the Department of Cancer Biology at The Scripps Research Institute. He also held various leadership roles with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He began his career working with the NCI, the federal agency charged with leading the National Cancer Program.

Cleveland is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society of Hematology. He is a Moffitt Distinguished Scholar and holds the Cortner-Couch Endowed Chair for Cancer Research from the University of South Florida School of Medicine. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Maine and his doctorate in immunology and microbiology from Wayne State University School of Medicine.


Stephen D. Nimer, M.D.

Director, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Executive Dean for Research, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Professor of Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering

Dr. Nimer has been conducting extensive clinical and basic science research into the treatment, and genetic basis of adult leukemia and bone marrow failure states, defining the regulatory mechanisms that control the production of blood cells and exploring ways to improve the treatment of blood-based cancers.

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