Ludimila Cavalcante, MD, a medical oncologist specializing in early drug development, joined Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University March 1 as medical director of early developmental therapeutics, and as assistant professor in Emory University School of Medicine's Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology. Cavalcante will drive the clinical aspects of operations and patient care related to phase I clinical trials. She will work with R. Donald Harvey, PharmD, director of the Phase I Unit, to increase the trial portfolio with particular emphasis on investigator-initiated trial work from Winship members.
"We're excited to welcome Dr. Cavalcante to Winship and Emory in the early phase clinical trials program," said Harvey. "Her experience, knowledge and drive will help elevate our work and bring more novel compounds and combinations to the patients we serve."
Cavalcante comes to Winship after her most recent role as medical director of clinical development at Actuate Therapeutics, where she helped drive the clinical development of a small molecule from first-in-human stage to randomized phase 2 stage in solid tumors, malignant hematology and pediatric oncology. Before that, she served as the lead medical oncologist of the sarcoma program at the Miami Cancer Institute of Baptist Health South Florida, and the physician lead of their Precision Medicine Unit, where she significantly expanded their early phase oncology program and reduced activation times of phase I studies by more than half.
Cavalcante's research focuses on oncology drug development and translation of preclinical compounds to first-in-human studies, immune-oncology compounds and targeted therapies. She is a published author in peer-reviewed medical journals, and has presented at national and international scientific meetings.
"Dr. Cavalcante's leadership will accelerate the growth of our phase I clinical trials program," said Winship Executive Director Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD, FASCO, "leveraging the state-of-the art Phase I Unit and the exceptional group of investigators at Winship." He added, "Her experience in both the academic and industry settings are a major asset for clinical translation of Winship discoveries."
Cavalcante earned her medical degree at Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. She completed residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Fla. She completed a fellowship in medical oncology at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in Madison, Wis., and a fellowship in developmental therapeutics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Ill.