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Ari VanderWalde

Ari VanderWalde MD, MPH, FACP

Director of Clinical Research, West Cancer Center and Research Institute; Medical Director for Precision Oncology, OneOncology, Memphis, Tennessee

Ari VanderWalde, MD, MPH, MBioeth, is the Director of Clinical Research at West Cancer Center and Research Institute in Memphis, Tennessee. An internationally recognized cancer researcher, Dr. VanderWalde holds a dual appointment with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center as Associate Vice Chancellor of Clinical Research and Associate Professor in Hematology/Oncology. His primary research is in melanoma and immunotherapy, more specifically on combinations of immunotherapy, mechanisms of resistance, and prediction of toxicities.

Dr. VanderWalde received his medical degree in 2005 from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine after graduating cum laude from Harvard University. He obtained a Masters degree in Biomedical Ethics from the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics and a Masters in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health. He completed internal medicine training (internship and residency) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a joint fellowship in hematology/oncology at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.

In addition to his role at West Cancer Center, from 2014-2020 Dr. VanderWalde was the Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Trials at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center where he served as the Chair of the Clinical Trials Governance Board, the Executive Director of the Office of Clinical Research, and as a member of the Vice Chancellor’s Research Cabinet.

Dr. VanderWalde previously served as United States medical lead and clinical research medical director with Amgen, directing US global development of talimogene laherparepvec, a novel viral-based immunotherapeutic that has since been approved by FDA and EMA for treatment of melanoma. He continues to participate extensively in drug development as Senior Medical Director for George Clinical, a branch of the George Institute, and as Medical Director for CTN2, the Clinical Trials Network of Tennessee.

Within West Cancer Center, Dr. VanderWalde serves as the Chair of the Protocol Review Committee, Chair of the Cutaneous Malignancy Tumor Board, co-chair of the Molecular Oncology Tumor Board, and was chair of the Research Subcommittee of the Cancer Center until 2018.  Within the research department, he manages the portfolio of over 100 clinical trials and serves as either primary investigator or sub-investigator on all interventional studies.

Dr. VanderWalde is an active member of a number of professional groups and external advisory boards. He serves as the Chair of the Cutaneous Malignancy Committee for the Precision Oncology Alliance and is an advisor for the Association for Community Cancer Centers and PracticeUpdate. He is his Institution’s Primary Investigator for SWOG, is a member of the SWOG Board of Governors, and is an awardee of the SWOG Leadership Academy. He has served as a member of the NCCN Cancer- and Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia panel.

Dr. VanderWalde has conducted multiple studies in immunotherapy, melanoma, and lung cancer, including serving as site-PI for front-line immunotherapy and chemotherapy trials. He has authored over 100 scientific publications and presentations. He is a recipient of grants from the American Association of Cancer Research, Stand Up to Cancer, and the Hope Foundation, among others.