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<p>INDIANAPOLIS — Stephen Williams, M.D., the founding director of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, has been honored with a Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor an Indiana governor can bestow.</p>

IU Simon Cancer Center Director Honored by Indiana Governor

Dr. Williams, who is stepping down from the role he has held since the cancer center was formed in 1992, was formally recognized Jan. 12 for his distinguished service to the state. Mitch Roob, Indiana secretary of commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., presented the award to Dr. Williams during a reception attended by family, friends and colleagues.

“Dr. Williams has truly made an impact that goes beyond the borders of our state,” said D. Craig Brater, M.D., dean of the IU School of Medicine. “Thanks to his leadership, Dr. Williams has built a cancer center that has evolved into one recognized by our country’s premiere cancer agency, the National Cancer Institute.

“Hoosiers from all of Indiana’s 92 counties have sought treatment there as have others from all 50 states and many countries. They seek treatment at the IU Simon Cancer Center because its researchers have developed the standard of care for many cancers and because its physicians – like Dr. Williams himself – are dedicated and compassionate individuals. We are indebted to Dr. Williams because he has been a driving force in changing cancer care in Indiana.”

The IU Simon Cancer Center was first recognized in 1999 with an NCI designation, which was renewed in 2004 and 2008. The center remains Indiana’s only NCI-designated center that provides patient care and one of only 64 in the nation.

Dr. Williams, the H.H. Gregg Professor of Oncology at the IU School of Medicine, is a clinical researcher with national recognition for his expertise in the use of cisplatinum in the treatment of ovarian cancer. He is recognized in America’s Top Doctors for Cancer, and during his tenure, the cancer center has consistently ranked among the top clinical programs in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.

A native Hoosier, Dr. Williams graduated from the IU School of Medicine in 1971 and completed his residency and oncology fellowship at IU. He was the first oncologist appointed at the Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center in Indianapolis in 1978 and only the second medical oncologist to serve on the Indiana University School of Medicine faculty. He was named associate dean for cancer research at the IU School of Medicine in 2007.

(Note to editors: Dr. Williams and his wife Kay reside in Zionsville, Ind.)