Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Director, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Oscar de la Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research
Executive Dean for Research, Miller School of Medicine
Secondary Appointment of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Professor of Chemical, Environmental & Materials Engineering
BiographyStephen D. Nimer, M.D., is the director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is also the executive dean for research and a professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Nimer's career spans more than 30 years in clinical care, research, administration and leadership.
Before joining the Miller School of Medicine in 2012, Dr. Nimer held several positions at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for almost 20 years. There, he served as the Alfred P. Sloan Chair in Cancer Research, head of the division of hematologic oncology, vice chairman for faculty development and chief of the Hematology Service. Under Dr. Nimer's leadership, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, which serves more than six million people in its catchment area and sits at the “gateway” to the Caribbean and Latin America, became an NCI-designated center in July 2019. It is the only NCI-designated cancer center in South Florida and the second youngest among all NCI-designated cancer centers. In 2022, U.S. News & World Report recognized Sylvester as a top-ranked cancer hospital in the nation. As a member of the University of Miami’s Diversity Task Forces and the American Society of Hematology, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion subcommittee since 2021, Dr. Nimer underscores the value of Sylvester, which offers a location with unparalleled diversity — a veritable microcosm of what U.S. demographics are projected to be in 50+ years. Dr. Nimer leads Sylvester’s research and experience with diverse community partnerships to create model approaches that address challenges and generate opportunities—all to prepare the cancer center for the future. Dr. Nimer shares this unique perspective through his service on external advisory boards for several NCI-designated cancer centers.Through key engagements and on-site advocacy, Dr. Nimer ensures cancer research remains at the forefront of efforts at the state and federal levels in contributing to meaningful cancer-related policies, innovative community care models and funding priorities. Since 2018 he has been a member of the Association of American Cancer Institutes, Nominating Committee and in 2020, he became a member of the Science Policy and Government Affairs Committee (SPGAC) of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Throughout his career, Dr. Nimer has cared for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), multiple myeloma and lymphoma and has decades of service to non-profits in their efforts to advance patient science and clinical care. He has chaired foundations including the MDS Foundation, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the AAMDSIF. Moreover, he is the chairman of the Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation and Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation (MDSF), two organizations that award funding for early and senior career investigators, where Dr. Nimer performs oversight including grant reviews and convening board meetings.
Outside of his committee and foundation duties, Dr. Nimer has been continuously funded by the NIH for three decades and has served as PI on Leukemia and Lymphoma Society multi-project Specialized Center of Research awards. In his lab, Dr. Nimer focuses on understanding the genes involved in the development and progression of MDS and AML to identify novel therapeutic approaches to make hematologic cancers more responsive to treatment. Dr. Nimer holds two patents for the treatment of leukemia.
A physician-scientist in the field of hematology-oncology and cancer research, Dr. Nimer has authored more than 300 scientific publications and holds numerous awards including the Oscar de La Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, the Irma T. Hirschl Career Scientist Award and he received the E. Donnall Thomas Award in 2015 from the Bone Marrow Foundation. In April 2021, the Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine of Florida inducted Dr. Nimer to recognize his outstanding contributions to the scientific community. Similarly, the American Society of Clinical Investigators and the Association of American Physicians elected him to highlight his influential role in shaping the field of oncology. Dr. Nimer is also a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, further demonstrating his dedication to patient care and clinical excellence.
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Research InterestsMy laboratory has been studying the transcriptional regulation of hematopoiesis, with the aim of understanding how the normal processes of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation are regulated and how these processes become aberrant in acute leukemia.
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