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About our director

Director Dr. Robert Winn headshot

Dr. Robert A. Winn

Director and Lipman Chair in Oncology, VCU Massey Cancer Center
Senior associate dean for cancer innovation and professor of pulmonary disease and critical care medicine, VCU School of Medicine

As director of VCU Massey Cancer Center, Robert A. Winn, M.D., oversees a cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute that provides advanced cancer care, conducts groundbreaking research to discover new therapies for cancer, offers high-quality education and training and engages with the community to make advancements in cancer treatment and prevention equally available to all. He is leading the nation in establishing a 21st-century model of equity for cancer science and care, in which the community is informing and partnering with Massey on its research to best address the cancer burden and disparities of those the cancer center serves, with a local focus but global impact.

Winn is committed to community-engaged research centered on eliminating health inequities. He is a principal investigator on several community-based projects funded by the NIH and National Cancer Institute, including the All of Us Research Program, a NIH precision medicine initiative. He has received national and international acclaim for his efforts to empower underserved patient populations, improve health care delivery and ensure equal access to cancer care.

In addition to directing the activities of Massey’s 250-plus research members – scientists and physicians from 39 departments in nine colleges and schools at VCU – Winn is a pulmonologist and manages a research laboratory at VCU. His current basic science research, which has been supported by multiple National Institutes of Health and Veterans Affairs Merit awards, focuses on the molecular mechanisms and novel therapeutic approaches for human models of lung cancer. He has authored or co-authored more than 60 manuscripts published in peer-reviewed academic journals.

Winn’s previous faculty appointments include serving as director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center from 2015 to 2019 and as associate vice chancellor of health affairs for community-based practice at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Science System from 2013 to 2019. Prior to joining UIC, he spent 13 years at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and School of Medicine in a variety of leadership roles and clinical faculty appointments, including associate dean of admissions and vice chair of career development/diversity inclusion. Moreover, Winn has nearly 20 years’ commitment to Veterans Affairs health services and held appointments at the Denver VA and Jesse Brown VA in Chicago, where he established the first multidisciplinary pulmonary nodule clinic.

The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Winn was awarded the National Cancer Institute Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities CURE Program Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a member of the National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and of several other professional societies.

Winn holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.