Dr. Laura Hutchins, a hematologist oncologist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, has been appointed interim director for the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute effective immediately.
Hutchins succeeds Dr. Peter Emanuel, who recently resigned in May after leading the institute since 2007. UAMS said it will form a committee to conduct a national search for a permanent director.
Emanuel was among several top UAMS executives to have resigned since January, after the state’s only teaching hospital announced it was looking for ways to cut its projected deficit. Employees who have resigned or announced their plans to leave include Dr. Pope Moseley, who was executive vice chancellor and dean of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ College of Medicine; Chief Financial Officer Dan Riley; and Vice Chancellor for Campus Operations Mark Kenneday.
Hutchins is a professor in the College of Medicine Division of Hematology/Oncology where she was division director from 1998 until September 2013. She also has served as director clinical research at the Cancer Institute since 1998 and has held the Virginia Clinton Kelley Endowed Chair for Clinical Breast Cancer Research since 2007, according to a UAMS news release.
On the faculty since 1983, Hutchins is board certified in internal medicine, hematology, oncology, and hospice and palliative medicine. She has been a co-investigator on numerous National Institutes of Health grants and has been funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, Winthrop P. Rockefeller Foundation, Arkansas Breast Cancer Research Program and American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Hutchins was appointed by the governor to the Arkansas Breast Cancer Research Program Oversight Committee from 2001-2004. From 2004-2012, she was appointed to serve on the state Breast Cancer Control Advisory Board, serving as chairman from 2007-2008. She has published more than 200 journal articles, book chapters and abstracts.