NYU Langone replaces cancer center director after predecessor's firing

NYU Langone Health has named Alec Kimmelman, MD, PhD, director of its Perlmutter Cancer Center after terminating the former director over social media use. 

The New York City-based academic health system announced Dr. Kimmelman's appointment Nov. 27 and said it is effective immediately, according to a news release shared with Becker's

Dr. Kimmelman, a researcher and radiation oncologist, joined NYU Langone in 2016. He serves as chair of the department of radiation oncology, a role he will retain in addition to the director job. Dr. Kimmelman also serves on the center's executive management committee, co-leads its cancer cell biology program and since 2021 has served as senior adviser to the dean and CEO at NYU Langone for cancer strategy and operations.

Dr. Kimmelman's appointment comes weeks after NYU Langone suspended and then terminated Benjamin Neel, MD, PhD, who led the cancer center since 2015. Dr. Neel's firing was centered around his public social media posts related to the Israel-Hamas war, which the health system said violated its code of conduct and social media policy. 

Dr. Neel claims he was fired for reposting tweets to X, formerly known as Twitter, that "criticized people who supported the violence toward and death of Israelis." He has since filed a lawsuit against NYU Langone to seek damages. 

Perlmutter Cancer Center is one of 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the U.S.

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