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The Center for Clinical and Translational Science is delighted to welcome Pankit Vachhani, MD, as the new medical director for the CCTS Clinical Research Unit (CRU), effective April 1, 2022.

Dr. Vachhani is a physician scientist and assistant professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology in the UAB Department of Medicine. Vachhani is a clinician investigator and trialist who leads a multi-institutional clinical trial investigating a novel drug for leukemia treatment. An Associate Scientist in the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, he is also principal investigator and sub-investigator on various industry and co-operative group trials. His areas of interest include myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and he serves as a panelist on the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines.

Much of Vachhani’s research is conducted using the CRU, so he brings tactical experience to the role. “I am eager to engage investigative teams from across our enterprise and to expand our reach to support studies from every department and division. The CRU has so positively impacted my research efforts that I am quite enthusiastic to share this capacity more widely,” said Vachhani.

The CCTS Clinical Research Unit encompasses a 15,450-square-foot outpatient interaction area with trained nursing staff and patient rooms that can support a wide range of clinical research, including Phase I clinical trials. The unit equips investigators with essential tools and resources, while providing highly efficient and flexible support that is sustainable through a comprehensive cost-recovery system.

As we welcome Dr. Vachhani, we also take a moment to recognize the incredible leadership of L. Burt Nabors, MD, who served as the director of the CRU for over a decade. Dr. Nabors is committed to providing a supportive research environment, ensuring good clinical practice at every turn. We thank him for his diligence and celebrate his new endeavor as Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Neurosurgery in addition to his leadership roles in the Department of Neurology.

Robert P. Kimberly, MD
Director, Center for Clinical and Translational Science

Orlando Gutierrez, MD
Deputy Director, Center for Clinical and Translational Science