Charles Dimitroff has been named Executive Associate Dean for Research, and Director of the Translational Glycobiology Institute at FIU (TGIF), and Professor of Translational Medicine at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.
Dimitroff is a global leader in the study of sugars, a field known as glycobiology. His research focuses on understanding how sugars or ‘glycans’ regulate immune and cancer cell functions with the goal of developing new approaches to boost the immune system to fight diseases and to treat cancer progression. As a principal investigator, he has operated one of the most visible translational glycobiology programs in the world, with seminal contributions in identifying the nature and impact of glycans on inflammation and cancer.
Dimitroff received his Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology/Cancer Therapeutics at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, where he studied mechanisms of glycan-dependent adhesion of cancer cells and related therapeutic strategies to thwart metastasis development. He then trained as a Research Fellow in the Department of Dermatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital BWH/ Harvard Medical School investigating the glycobiology of hematopoietic stem cell homing to bone. He joined the faculty at the Harvard Medical School in 2003, and there he made groundbreaking observations on the role of glyco-enzymes called fucosyltransferases (more commonly found on skin immune cells) in prostate cancer metastasis to bone, and how distinct glycans cause melanoma metastasis and whether these features help predict melanoma metastasis. He has also focused on investigating how glycan signatures on human B cells help coordinate effective humoral immune responses and vaccinations or, when dysregulated, lymphoma development.
Dimitroff will serve as the Executive Associate Dean for Research at HWCOM charged with building successful biomedical research programs and providing a first-rate research experience for HWCOM doctoral and post-doctoral trainees. Furthermore, with his new appointment as a tenured Professor, Dimitroff’s laboratory will be grounded within the Department of Translational Medicine. Specifically, his laboratory will be located in the Translational Glycobiology Institute at FIU (TGIF), in which he will serve as its Founding Director. At the TGIF, he will foster collaborative glycoscience activities in medicine while training the next generation of basic and clinical research scientists in the glycosciences.