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Ellison Institute launches Global Fellows Program: Welcomes Author, Journalist, and Cancer Research Advocate Clifton Leaf as First Fellow

LOS ANGELES – November 12, 2021 – The Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine (Ellison Institute) is launching a Global Fellows program, aligning with well-rounded thought leaders who provide strategic insight. Global Fellows will foster new partnerships, facilitate think tanks, and strategize for future initiatives and goals for the Ellison Institute.

The Ellison Institute’s first Fellow is Clifton Leaf, an Adjunct Professor of Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, a member of the Board of Fellows at Stanford Medicine, and former Editor-in-Chief of FORTUNE.

“Too often in healthcare, the day-to-day incentives—whether they be for researchers, clinicians, payers, regulators, or even patients—are misaligned with the end goal,” says Leaf. “We might all agree, for instance, that collaboration and sharing data across disciplines or institutions are worthy aims—and perhaps offer the best chance for solving the most complex of medical mysteries—but incentives built into the system can make both very challenging today.

“That’s why I’m so excited to join the Ellison Institute as a Global Fellow. The Ellison Institute is committed to rewriting these incentives so that genuine cross-disciplinary research is encouraged at every step of the way. I’ve been fortunate enough to know the Institute’s leader, Dr. David Agus, for close to two decades, and know him to be not only a world-class researcher and physician but also a revolutionary and relentless problem-solver. And Dave and his colleagues have instilled that same ethos in this wonderful new center. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it.”

“In an article in 2004, Cliff asked ‘why aren’t we winning the war on cancer?’ He followed this with a book titled The Truth in Small Doses, and both raised profound questions related to the need for patient focus, innovation, and urgency in cancer research. As a journalist, editor, and author Cliff is a cancer survivor and advocate who asks important questions that have made a difference in the lives of cancer patients,” stated Anna Barker, PhD, Ellison Institute Chief Strategy Officer and former principal deputy director of the National Cancer Institute.

David Agus, MD, Founding Director and CEO of the Ellison Institute adds, “Speaking and explaining science is as important as doing science in today’s world. Cliff has a remarkable track record in writing on science and medicine and enabling change based on his communications. I am excited to work with him to continue his legacy of advancing cancer research and care for patients globally.”

Leaf was the 19th Editor-in-Chief of FORTUNE, where he directed the editorial content and strategy across all of FORTUNE’s platforms. Previously, he served as Deputy Editor of FORTUNE for three years, overseeing the print magazine, and prior to that was a guest editor for the New York Times op-ed page and Sunday Review.

Leaf spent more than a decade studying and writing about systemic barriers in the realm of cancer research, an effort that ultimately became his seminal book, The Truth in Small Doses: Why We’re Losing the War on Cancer—and How to Win It. The book was named one of “The Best Books About Cancer” by Newsweek and earned Leaf a Lifetime Achievement Award for cancer reporting from the European School of Oncology. A winner of the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, the NIHCM’s Health Care Journalism Award, and a two-time finalist for the National Magazine Award, he has received numerous leadership honors for his efforts in the cancer fight, including the Ribbon of Hope from the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. A keynote speaker at more than three dozen scientific conferences around the world, Leaf has presented testimony to the President’s CancerPanel three times and delivered “Grand Rounds” at the National Cancer Institute. He is the first and only journalist tohave received that honor.

About the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine

The Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine was founded to leverage technology, spark innovation, and drive interdisciplinary, evidence-based research to reimagine and redefine cancer treatment, enhance health, and transform lives. Under the leadership of Dr. David B. Agus, the Ellison Institute was designed to tackle the difficult questions in health care and research to push the boundaries of medicine forward. The objective of the Ellison Institute is the rigorous and rapid translation of novel technologies into practice for use in clinical, diagnostic, and laboratory settings. The Institute is comprised of dedicated clinicians, experts, and thought leaders from disparate backgrounds who have come together to make a meaningful, positive impact on the lives of patients. The Ellison Institute Research Foundation is a complementary organization focused on translational research, education, and public health policy. For more information, please visit www.eitm.org and www.eirf.org


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