Franco M. Muggia, MD, a renowned expert in ovarian cancer therapeutics, died September 8, 2021, at the age of 85.
Muggia was born on January 2, 1936, in Torino, Italy. His family emigrated to Ecuador to escape Mussolini’s regime. Muggia came to the United States to complete high school, then attended Yale University and earned his medical degree from Cornell Medical College. He completed his internship training at Bellevue Hospital, his residency at Hartford Hospital, then did a hematology-oncology fellowship at Columbia University.
Muggia held a faculty position at Einstein College of Medicine, then joined the Medicine Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He also served as associate director of the NCI’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program. During his years at the NCI, he contributed to landmark studies of major chemotherapy drugs, including bleomycin and taxanes, as well as platinum compounds. While his research led to the approval of chemotherapeutic agents for many types of cancer, he later focused his research on treatments for ovarian cancer, including intraperitoneal therapy.
In 1979, Muggia became a professor at New York University School of Medicine. In 1986, he moved to the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, then returned to NYU in 1996, going on to serve as director of NYU’s cancer center from 1996-1997 and as head of the Division of Medical Oncology until 2009. He remained a senior faculty member at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center.
Muggia held several leadership positions in his field, leading the Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Chemotherapy Foundation. He also helped found the New York Gynecologic Oncology Group and the New York Phase 1 Trials Group. Muggia became a member of the AACR in 1970. He was an active member throughout his tenure, serving as an associate editor of Cancer Research from 1985 to 1989 and a mentor for the Scientist↔Survivor Program® at the AACR Annual Meeting in 2002.
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