Ivy Brain Tumor Center Appoints Shwetal Mehta, Ph.D., as Chief Operating Officer

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The Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Institute, a nonprofit translational research program that offers state-of-the-art clinical trials for patients with aggressive brain tumors, announced that it has named Shwetal Mehta, Ph.D., as the organization’s chief operating officer.

Dr. Shwetal Mehta is a nationally recognized molecular neuro-oncologist with expertise in glial progenitor cells.

"I am confident that through Dr. Mehta’s leadership we will change the way business is done in brain cancer drug development,” said Dr. Nader Sanai.

The Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Institute, a nonprofit translational research program that offers state-of-the-art clinical trials for patients with aggressive brain tumors, announced that it has named Shwetal Mehta, Ph.D., as the organization’s chief operating officer. Dr. Mehta, a nationally recognized molecular neuro-oncologist with expertise in glial progenitor cells, has distinguished herself as a rising star in brain tumor biology. 

“The Ivy Brain Tumor Center conducted a national search for a chief operating officer and found no shortage of competitive candidates from both industry and academia. We were fortunate to arrive at a talented group of finalists, so it gives me great pleasure to announce that the search committee’s unanimous decision is someone who has been with the Center since the very beginning. I am confident that through Dr. Mehta’s leadership we will change the way business is done in brain cancer drug development,” said Dr. Nader Sanai, director of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center.

Dr. Mehta was recruited to Barrow Neurological Institute from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2013 as a principal investigator. She was appointed as the Deputy Director of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center when it was established in 2018 through a historic $50 million grant from the Ivy Foundation in collaboration with the Barrow Neurological Foundation.

As a recognized leader in translational neuroscience for brain tumors, Dr. Mehta has helped develop an array of early-phase pharmacodynamic- and pharmacokinetic-driven clinical trials for patients with malignant brain tumors. Her skill in leading a multidisciplinary team has been instrumental in establishing the Ivy Center’s CLIA-certified laboratories and enabling the program’s unprecedented growth. In assuming the title of chief operating officer, Dr. Mehta’s new responsibilities will expand beyond the laboratory and intersect with all operational elements. 

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as the Ivy Brain Tumor Center’s chief operating officer and continue working alongside the brilliant and dedicated individuals that make up our program. I know that together we can achieve the Center's mission to increase life expectancy and contribute to a cure for malignant brain tumors,” said Dr. Shwetal Mehta.

Dr. Mehta received her Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in India. She then earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology from The University of Texas at Austin in 2003. She completed her postdoctoral work in the Stiles Laboratory at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. 

Pushing beyond many cultural and societal norms to get to where she is today, Dr. Mehta has developed a passion for mentoring young women in science and has made it her mission to ensure women receive equal opportunities in the field. On International Day of Women and Girls in Science, she led a dynamic Facebook Live roundtable to educate the field of brain tumor research on the challenges women face in STEM careers.

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Ivy Brain Tumor Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ is a non-profit translational research program that employs a bold, early-phase clinical trials strategy to identify new treatments for aggressive brain tumors, including glioblastoma. The Ivy Center’s Phase 0 clinical trials program is the largest of its kind in the world and enables personalized care in a fraction of the time and cost associated with traditional drug development. Unlike conventional clinical trials focusing on single drugs, its accelerated trials program tests therapeutic combinations matched to individual patients.

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Melinda Langdon
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