LITTLE ROCK — A London doctor has been tapped to serve as the new director for a cancer center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.
UAMS officials announced Tuesday that Dr. Gareth Morgan would succeed Dr. Bart Barlogie as the leader for UAMS' Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy.
"Dr. Barlogie has chosen to step down as institute director, but he has not chosen to step down from his professional endeavors in the treatment and research and causes and better approaches to the disease for individuals with myeloma. He will continue his focus on patient care and research," UAMS Chancellor Dr. Dan Rahn said Tuesday.
Barlogie was the founder and director for the center that was established nearly 25 years ago to research and offer clinical care of multiple myeloma, a rare form of bone marrow cancer. More than 11,000 patients nationwide and from around the world have sought treatment at the myeloma institute.
Morgan will assume the duties of director on July 1.
"I'm really looking forward to arriving in Arkansas. It's a great opportunity for me. It's an opportunity for the institution, but most of all, it's an opportunity for the patients," he said.
Before taking the UAMS job, Morgan served as a professor of hematology and director of the Centre for Myeloma Research at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and The Institute of Cancer Research in London, a UAMS news release states.
"It took a lot to drag me out of London," Morgan said. "There's no doubt that Bart's done great things here with the staff. [UAMS Myeloma Institute] is definitely the world's premium myeloma center."
Morgan plans to bring some new staff on board when he gets started, but he said he wasn't sure when.
Meanwhile, UAMS officials said the myeloma institute has received about $20 million in state funding and philanthropic contributions.
In an announcement Tuesday, UAMS officials said the funding will help pay for new laboratory construction and research programs by the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy. They say the myeloma institute received about $5 million from the state's General Improvement Funds, which was matched 3-to-1 by philanthropic contributions.
The first matching gift was $5 million and was made by the Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund.
Information for this article was contributed by The Associated Press and by Lisa Burnett of Arkansas Online.