Published on Monday, July 9, 2018
Media Contact: Cynthia Wall
As construction continues outside Children’s Cancer Center, part of Batson Children’s Hospital, the staff inside are doing a bit of renovation of their own.
Dr. Anderson Collier, professor of pediatric hematology and oncology, was named CCC director this spring, part of several changes coming to the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology.
“We want to continue to provide state of the art, cutting edge therapy to all patients,” Collier said. “We want to make sure patients can come here to get whatever research, clinical trials they couldn’t get elsewhere.”
As director he leads Mississippi’s only pediatric cancer center and cancer and hematologic disorders clinics throughout the state.
“Dr. Collier is a great addition to UMMC’s efforts to offer exceptional cancer care and research for all Mississippians,” said Dr. John Ruckdeschel, Cancer Institute director and professor of hematology and oncology.
Other changes coming to the division include the following:
While he’s excited about the future, Collier, the third CCC director following Megason and Pullen, said “Most of the time I try not to think about it. I think about the shoes I have try to fill. Dr. Pullen is legend, not only here but around the country.”
“Our fellows probably get tired of me quoting old studies and study numbers. I tell them, ‘You do that because Dr. Pullen was the one who determined what you do. As you are sitting there listening to her, know that the stuff she teaches…she helped create that knowledge.”
At UMMC, he hopes to advance the thread established by the directors he follows and “create new knowledge” through clinical care, clinical trials and research.
Plans include the following:
“It’s a relatively stable population with little movement. There’s great potential in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia to do some advanced research in sickle cell disease,” he said.
Cancer treatment may put them at higher risk for later problems. For example, he said, girls who had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma are at higher risk of breast cancer so they may need to start mammograms earlier. “This is another area ripe for research,” he said.
“This is where the Cancer Institute and UMMC can and should excel. No one else can run trials we can run and no one else has pediatric and adult hematology and oncology in house under the same roof.”
Collier sits on the UMMC Cancer Institute’s Clinical Leadership Committee and is part of its efforts to maintain and improve services for pediatric and adult cancer patients.
A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Collier completed an internship and residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center. He has completed the Millsaps College Else School of Management Business Advantage Program since coming to UMMC in 2013.
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