Aug. 30, 2023

Nooka named associate director for clinical research at Winship

Photo of Nooka named associate director for clinical research at Winship

Winship hematologist-oncologist Ajay K. Nooka, MD, MPH, has been named Winship’s associate director for clinical research, effective Sept. 1.

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University hematologist-oncologist Ajay K. Nooka, MD, MPH, has been named Winship’s associate director for clinical research, effective Sept. 1. In this role, Nooka will provide strategic oversight for all clinical research conducted at Winship, with a focus on supporting high-quality, safe and ethical research and ensuring that patients have equitable access to Winship’s innovative clinical trials.

"Dr. Nooka is an exceptional physician and clinical researcher, and Winship is fortunate to have someone with his expertise and vision in this important role," says Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD, Winship's executive director. "As associate director for clinical research, he will enhance Winship’s ability to lead transformational clinical trials and bring greater hope to the people seeking our care."

Nooka will succeed Edmund K. Waller, MD, PhD, who has served as interim associate director for clinical research since February 2022. “We are grateful to Dr. Waller for expertly serving in the interim role and overseeing the achievement of significant milestones, including Winship’s renewal as a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center,” says Ramalingam. "His leadership and hard work were instrumental in supporting our success."

Winship’s involvement and leadership in clinical trials sets it apart from other health care organizations and contributes to its recognition as the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the state of Georgia. For patients, Winship’s innovative research translates into better ways of detecting, diagnosing and treating cancer. Patients also have full access to teams of experts using approaches to cancer care not available outside of a top cancer research center. Winship has more than 680 clinical trials enrolling patients in pursuit of improved treatment approaches to nearly every type of cancer.

As associate director for clinical research, Nooka will be supported by a robust clinical research infrastructure, including the Winship Clinical Trials Office and Winship’s Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee.

“Winship is well-positioned to be the epicenter of innovative clinical research. We have extraordinary teams of scientists and clinicians working with a unified goal to accelerate discoveries. I am humbled by the opportunity to facilitate clinical research by bringing access to newer therapies to reduce the cancer burden for the population we serve,” says Nooka.

Nooka  is a professor of hematology and medical oncology and director of the Myeloma Program at Emory University School of Medicine. He is a member of Winship’s Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program and serves as scientific director of the Winship Data and Technology Applications Shared Resource.

As the principal investigator for more than 40 clinical trials in multiple myeloma, Nooka contributed to the approval of new drugs and treatment strategies that are leading to better outcomes. His research interests include genomic and clinical data integration and interpretation; evaluating new therapeutic strategies to improve outcomes; and cancer epidemiology.

Nooka serves on national and international committees and working groups for organizations including the American Society of Hematology, American Society for Transplant and Cellular Therapies, ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, International Myeloma Foundation and Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. He is a section editor for the journal Cancer and associate editor for the journal Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia.

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