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Messages from the Executive Vice President

April 17, 2014


New Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

I am delighted to announce that Dr. Molly Brewer, who has led UConn Health’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology since 2006, has been named Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, following a national search.

Dr. Brewer is a nationally recognized expert with clinical and research interests in women’s cancer prevention. At UConn Health, she leads a multidisciplinary women’s cancer prevention team and is collaborating with colleagues within the University to develop new technologies to detect ovarian cancer. Under her leadership, the Division of Gynecologic Oncology added a new gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Angela Kueck, as well as new services for women, including robotic surgery.

Dr. Brewer began her career in veterinary medicine and received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University, College of Veterinary Medicine. She then received her medical degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) in Syracuse and completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health Science in Portland. She was a Galloway Fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and completed a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston where she stayed on the faculty for five years. In addition, she received a master’s degree from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Statistics and Clinical Research Design. She is consistently named on America’s Top Doctors and other prestigious lists.

In her new role, Dr. Brewer will continue to see patients and will oversee the general Ob/Gyn practice; as well as specialty services in Maternal Fetal Medicine and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Brewer and thanking Dr. Winston Campbell for his excellent service as Interim Chairman.

New Director of Cancer Prevention and Control

I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Cheryl Oncken, M.D., M.P.H., as Director of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center. In her new role she will coordinate and further develop the cancer prevention and control program in the areas of cancer prevention, screening, and survivorship. She will coordinate a pilot program with the Storrs campus to facilitate cross campus collaboration in research specific to cancer prevention and control.

Dr. Oncken, a Professor of Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, has been at UConn Health since 1994. She is currently the Program Director of the Lowell P. Weicker Jr. Clinical Research Center, and has served in this capacity for the past five years. Dr. Oncken is an internationally recognized researcher in tobacco research, particularly in women. She has examined the potential benefits of medication use for smoking cessation and reduction, in pregnancy, including effects on maternal and child health. She was recently invited by the New England Journal of Medicine to write an editorial on this topic. Dr. Oncken also has evaluated innovative treatments such as exercise for smoking cessation, and was a lead investigator on trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of varenicline (Chantix) for smoking cessation prior to FDA approval. She serves on numerous NIH panels as well as the World Health Organization’s Committee on the treatment of tobacco use in pregnant and postpartum women. She has had continuous NIH funding for the last 16 years and is an Associate Editor of Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Dr. Oncken has received the John Hawley Award for Public Health Research, and the Donaghue Investigator Award, which recognizes outstanding clinical researchers in the State of Connecticut.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Oncken to her new role, which will be a major component of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Frank M. Torti
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, UConn School of Medicine