inside view

C a N C E R C E N T E R D i R E C T O R s

On John Durant, M.D. Founding Director, 1968-1982

I began working for

Dr. Durant in September

1969, just 14 months after

he arrived at UAB from

Temple University, and

I was his fifth assistant during that time.

he was recruited to build the Cancer

Center during a difficult time in our state.

It’s hard to understand the challenges

he overcame to have the Cancer Center

become one of the first eight National

Cancer Institute-designated comprehen-

sive centers, but I was there to witness it

firsthand. he had the most difficult task

of all because he didn’t have a blueprint to

follow. Dr. Durant was a visionary. While

I was always in “the current day,” Dr.

Durant was 20 years in the future.

On Albert LoBuglio, M.D. Director, 1983-2004

Dr. LoBuglio had a very

practical, common-sense,

hands-on style. he can do

more with a yellow pad

and no. 2 pencil than any

individual on earth. During his tenure as

director, he did not have a computer on his

desk. The staff would jokingly refer to the

pencil and paper as his “hard drive” and his

brain as his “software.” he put the Cancer

Center on the map as being one of the pre-

mier centers in the country for translational

research. Once, during a faculty meeting,

someone stated that a potential cost would

be about $23.75 million to the 17th power.

Dr. LoBuglio raised his eyebrows and

began writing numbers in the air with his

fingers and announced the total. Others

challenged him, saying he could not have

done that in his head, so they pulled out

their calculators and ran the numbers.

Amazingly, they had to admit that he was

correct. everyone in the room was dumb-

founded—except, of course, for me and Dr.


On Edward Partridge, M.D. Director, 2007-Present

Dr. Partridge is a true

Southern gentleman and

consummate leader who

has spent the last 20 years

of his life building the

community infrastructure to make sure

that every individual in our region, no

matter their socioeconomic status, has

access to quality medical care and screen-

ing. I can’t even imagine what he had to

deal with and endure in accomplishing

some of these partnerships. Dr. Partridge’s

door is always open. he is one of the kind-

est, most generous individuals I have ever

known. When you have his attention, you

have his undivided attention. he is also

one of the most selfless leaders I have ever

known, and his passion for helping oth-

ers is amazing. Although he has been the

permanent director for only four years, the

progress that he has made in bringing the

Cancer Center to the next level is really

quite remarkable.

In its entire 40-year history, the UAB

Comprehensive Cancer Center has had only

three permanent directors, an accomplishment

no other center can claim. In February 2011,

the center unveiled a commemorative portrait of

the directors to recognize their leadership and

achievements in the field of cancer. Working

alongside each director from the beginning has

been Joan Kemp, director of operations

for the Cancer Center.

UAB Comprehensive Cancer

Center asked Mrs. Kemp to

share her thoughts on each

of the three men.

r. Hayes was a strong believer in the work of the Cancer

Center, and this endowed chair will ensure that his name and

legacy will live on in perpetuity.

“I have so much confidence in the mission

of the [UAB Comprehensive] Cancer Center,

knowing that when I make a donation, it will

stay here. It is a rare opportunity to invest

in excellence — not something that’s just

striving for excellence. The Cancer Center is

already there.” — Jim Hayes, 2004

Help us make a difference in the fight against

these deadly cancers. By investing in our future,

you’re investing in the future of the people of

Alabama—and beyond.

For more information, or to make a gift, contact:

Jeannie E. Horton, Director of Development

(205) 934-6326

28 u A b C o m P r e H e N S I V e C A N C e r C e N T e r