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David Ashley Selected as Director of Duke's Brain Tumor Center

Danielle Ternyila
Published Online:3:05 PM, Tue March 13, 2018

David M. Ashley, MBBS, FRACP, PhD
David M. Ashley, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, has been named director of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University. His position began March 1, 2018, and he succeeded Darell Bigner, MD, PhD.

Ashley joined Duke in 2017 as a professor of neurosurgery and the director of pediatric neuro-oncology in the Department of Neurosurgery. He says he respects the enormous impact that the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center has made on clinical care and research worldwide for patients with brain tumors.

“In choosing to accept a position at the Brain Tumor Center at Duke in 2017, I had made a deliberate and considered move from the other side of the world to embed myself in an environment where I believe together we can make a substantial contribution to improving outcomes for patients who suffer from brain tumors,” Ashley said in a statement.

“As director of this outstanding team, I intend to build capacity by leveraging the very substantial experience and platforms that already exist at Duke, through new strategic investments and by identifying new opportunities,” he added.

Prior to joining Duke, Ashley lived in Australia and served as chair of the Department of Medicine at Deakin University, program director of Cancer Services University Hospital Barwon Health, and as executive director of the Western Alliance Academic Health Science Centre. He also spent time serving as an associate professor and director at the largest children’s cancer center in Australia, the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

In addition, Ashley acted as director of the Victorian Cancer Agency Consultative Council and as director of Clinical Trials Australia. Since 2010 he has also been a member of the Academy of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.

With credentials in both pediatric and adult oncology, Ashley has had many peer-reviewed articles published, and has led many important Australian national and international preclinical and clinical studies.

Ashley focuses primarily on tumor immunology and the genomics and epigenetics of brain tumors, his studies leading changes in the care of both children and adults with brain tumors. This has led to new standards of practice for the delivery of systemic therapy.

Bigner will continue to lead research on the modified poliovirus in gliomas and other solid tumors in his new role as director emeritus.

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