NEWS | May 24, 2019

Primo Lara named deputy chair of leading cancer research network


UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Primo “Lucky” Lara has been named deputy chair of SWOG, a cancer research network of more than 1,000 cancer centers around the world.

Primo Lara, Jr. Primo Lara, Jr.

In his new role at SWOG, Lara will be second in command, reporting to Group Chair Charles D. Blanke. He will oversee all SWOG National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) trials and help direct the science, policy, operations and strategic planning responsibilities for the group. Lara may serve in the position for two 6-year terms, or 12 years.

Lara brings a wealth of leadership experience to the role. As head of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, he oversees a team of more than 300 scientists with an estimated $90 million in annual research funding. The center sees an estimated 10,000 adult and pediatric patients each year.

Lara began his career at UC Davis as a hematology-oncology fellow and joined the faculty in 1999. A developmental therapeutics researcher, Lara served as the cancer center’s associate director for translational research and has led several phase I to phase III trials.

Karen Kelly, the cancer center’s associate director for clinical research and a lung cancer specialist, serves as the chair of the Lung Committee of SWOG, which she has held since 2016.