Dr. Arthur E. 'Art' Frankel Named the Arlene and Mayer Mitchell Chair in Medical Oncology


Posted on August 17, 2017 by Carol McPhail
Carol McPhail


Dr. Arthur E. “Art” Frankel, right, has been named the inaugural holder of the Arlene and Mayer Mitchell Chair in Medical Oncology. Frankel is joined by Arlene Mitchell and Dr. Michael A. Finan, director of MCI. data-lightbox='featured'
Dr. Arthur E. “Art” Frankel, right, has been named the inaugural holder of the Arlene and Mayer Mitchell Chair in Medical Oncology. Frankel is joined by Arlene Mitchell and Dr. Michael A. Finan, director of MCI.

Dr. Arthur E. “Art” Frankel has been named the inaugural holder of the Arlene and Mayer Mitchell Endowed Chair in Medical Oncology. Frankel, who joined USA Mitchell Cancer Institute in July as chief of Medical Oncology, was honored at a ceremony Tuesday, Aug. 15, celebrating his appointment and the establishment of the endowed chair.

“Having someone like Dr. Frankel in the Mobile community is transforming for cancer care,” said Dr. Michael A. Finan, director of MCI.

An endowed chair is the highest academic award bestowed upon a faculty member by a university. It serves as an honor to the holder of the appointment and an enduring tribute to the donor who establishes it. “This endowment will fund active cancer research for eternity,” Finan said.

Frankel led cancer research and clinical programs for three decades across the South. Most recently, he served at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he oversaw Phase 1 clinical trials. He has been executive director of the Cancer Research Institute at Scott & White Hospital / Texas A&M School of Medicine and has served at Wake Forest University, the Medical University of South Carolina, the Florida Hospital Cancer and Leukemia Research Center, and Duke University.

Frankel predicted growth and praised MCI’s dedicated physicians and researchers, saying that he expects to create a fellowship program at MCI. “We will try to entice students to join us in the fight against cancer,” he said.

Frankel is a co-inventor on 12 issued patents and has authored or co-authored more than 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals. His research interests include melanoma, for which he is nationally renowned.

Addressing a crowd that included family and friends, Arlene Mitchell quoted Arnold Palmer. “The road to success is always under construction,” she said, adding. “I know we will continue to grow and develop new therapies.”

Referring to her late husband, Mayer, she said, “I know he would be thrilled.”

The establishment of the Arlene and Mayer Mitchell Chair in Medical Oncology is the latest example of Arlene Mitchell's extraordinary commitment to the university and her community, said University of South Alabama President Tony Waldrop. Mitchell is a member of the USA Board of Trustees, as was Mayer Mitchell. The Mitchell Cancer Institute is named after the Mitchell family.

“It’s highly unusual for a family to adopt a university,” Waldrop said. “It has transformed this university in so many different ways.”

The couple was named among the University’s first Distinguished Service Award winners for their “exceptional and continuing service.”

“Personal touches distinguish Arlene,” said Kenneth O. Simon, chair pro tempore of the USA Board of Trustees. “We look at Arlene as the conscience of our board.”


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