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Nationally recognized prostate, renal and bladder cancer expert joins IU Simon Cancer Center


INDIANAPOLIS – Roberto Pili, M.D., a nationally recognized expert in prostate, renal and bladder cancers, has joined the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.

Dr. Pili is the Robert Wallace Miller Professor of Oncology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center. In his new position, Dr. Pili also will direct the genitourinary research program at the cancer center. In addition, Dr. Pili will serve as the medical director of the genitourinary clinical program at the IU Health Simon Cancer Center. The genitourinary program supports treatment for prostate, bladder, kidney, testicular and penile cancers.

Dr. Pili said that the genitourinary research program’s scientists will collaborate with researchers at the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research. The developing program will be co-led by Dr. Timothy Ratliff, the Robert Wallace Miller Director of the Purdue cancer center. On the clinical side, Dr. Pili said his goal is to focus on drug resistance in those genitourinary cancers, providing new options for those patients.

Dr. Pili said he was attracted to Indiana University “because of the national reputation that the university and the cancer center have and the collaboration with Purdue is a great opportunity. It’s unique that two cancer centers can put together resources to improve patient care.”

Both centers are National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers. The two are among an elite group of 68 cancer centers across the country that focus on the rapid translation of research discoveries to directly benefit people with cancer. The IU Simon Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated cancer center in Indiana that provides patient care.

Most recently, Dr. Pili was professor of oncology, chief of the genitourinary section, and leader of the genitourinary program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y.

Dr. Pili earned his medical degree from the Catholic University School of Medicine, Rome, Italy. He did his residency training in internal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center, completed a clinical research fellowship in medical oncology at Johns Hopkins University and a second fellowship at the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health. His laboratory research focuses on the development of novel therapeutic agents, including epigenetic agents such as histone deacetylase inhibitors and understanding their immunomodulatory effects. He also conducts phase I/II clinical trials of novel agents for the treatment of genitourinary malignancies. Dr. Pili is the recipient of research grants from the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Pili is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Association for Cancer Research. He serves as a reviewer for study sections of the NCI and the Department of Defense. Dr. Pili has authored or co-authored more than 130 journal publications, abstracts, and book chapters.

About the Miller Professorship

Robert Wallace Miller was the son of V. Richard and Jane Miller. The “Robbie Chair” was established by his parents who cherish the memory of their 11-year-old son who was stricken with undiagnosed rhabdomyosarcoma and died after a game of baseball. His only symptom was a runny nose. Robbie is also survived by his siblings, Rick Miller and Pam Dilley and their families.