Dr. Kevin Cullen to Retire as Director of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2023
January 17, 2023
Kevin Cullen, MD Kevin J. Cullen, MD, Director of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) Kevin J. Cullen, MD, the longtime director of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) and the Program in Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), has announced that he will transition from these leadership positions in 2023.
Dr. Cullen, the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Distinguished Professor of Oncology at UMSOM, will remain at the helm of the cancer center at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) while a national search is underway for his successor. Once a new director is in place, Dr. Cullen plans to continue treating patients at UMGCCC, teaching at the medical school and working on special projects at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and outside the university.
“We should all be proud of what the Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center has become. Through our innovative research and expert clinical care, we have helped untold thousands of patients here in Maryland and around the world,” Dr. Cullen said. “I am incredibly optimistic that the contributions of the center will accelerate in the years to come.”
Dr. Cullen, 65, said his decision to step down was timed to give the new director two years to organize and prepare UMGCCC’s next core grant application to renew its National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation in 2025. “Now is the time to pass the baton to someone who can build on the strength and success we have achieved together these last two decades.”
Dr. Cullen has overseen four applications for NCI designation at UMGCCC and a fifth as interim director of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital.
Under Dr. Cullen’s leadership, UMGCCC was first named an NCI-designated cancer center in 2008 and gained comprehensive status the NCI’s highest designation in 2016. The NCI renewed the center’s comprehensive designation in 2021. Dr. Cullen has also dramatically expanded the center’s clinical and research programs since he was hired to lead the cancer center in late 2003.
UMGCCC patient volume has increased more than 50 percent since 2004, with the center seeing 3,000 new patients in 2021, and outpatient visits more than doubling to 52,000 visits. Research funding has nearly tripled, with the center receiving more than $87 million in direct grants in 2022 compared to $31 million in 2005. The number of clinical trials has more than doubled, to 350, with a substantial increase in the number of patients enrolled. About 56 percent of patients participating in clinical trials are minorities one of the highest rates among NCI-designated cancer centers.
Bert W. O’Malley, MD, President and CEO of UMMC, said, “Dr. Cullen has made it his life’s mission to build a comprehensive cancer center devoted to providing cutting-edge therapies and individualized care for every cancer patient who walks through our doors.”
“It would be difficult, if not impossible, to put into words what Dr. Cullen has meant to this institution and to the entire University of Maryland Medical System over the past 20 years,” said UMSOM Dean Mark T. Gladwin, MD, Vice President for Medical Affairs, UMB, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. “His focus and passion have served as the major drivers in designating the UMGCCC as one of the nation’s top cancer programs, which has led to thousands of saved lives.”
“Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Cullen has been a dedicated champion in the fight against cancer from prevention and detection to treatments of all types,” said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS).
UMMC plans to build a nine-story patient care tower the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine that will become UMGCCC’s new home, with construction set to begin in 2023. The structure will feature a distinctive metal and glass façade built onto the front of the hospital’s existing downtown campus at 22 S. Greene Street in Baltimore, transforming the face of the academic medical center and creating a new main entrance.
Dr. Cullen helped lead the fundraising effort for the new tower, which will enable UMGCCC to provide the most technologically advanced, integrated care to cancer patients throughout Maryland and the region well into the future. “I am very excited about the enhanced capabilities of our new clinical home, and I know that it will enhance our ability to deliver the expert and compassionate care for which we are known for many years to come,” he said.