Message from the Director

We have an outstanding legacy at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB. Our clinicians are known for their delivery of high-quality, cutting-edge treatment options for their patients, and our scientists work diligently to uncover groundbreaking fundamental and clinical discoveries—all in the service of our vision to eliminate cancer as a public health concern.

The O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of the eight sites first established as cancer centers in 1971 by the National Cancer Act and has been continuously funded since 1972. We are also one of only 49 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute, which signifies our scientific leadership, resources, and the extensive fundamental, clinical and translational expertise of our scientists, clinicians and clinician-scientists.

We are recognized for our work in translational research that brings research from the lab to the patient bedside and back to the lab. One of our objectives is to facilitate breakthrough discoveries through drug development. In doing so, we want not only to expand our clinical trial enterprise but also increase participation in these trials, especially individuals from diverse populations.

We are extremely committed to our work in cancer health disparities. We are perhaps one of the few cancer centers in the nation that effectively engage underserved populations.

It is important to note that the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center has been there from the beginning of the “war on cancer.” And I want it to be there at the end, when cancer is no longer a public health concern. I hope that you will partner with me to take the Cancer Center to the next level.


Michael J. Birrer, M.D., Ph.D.
Evalina B. Spencer Chair in Oncology

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