Division Leadership

Clinical Research Division


Nancy Davidson, MD

Nancy E. Davidson, MD
Director, Clinical Research Division
Senior Vice President, Fred Hutch
President and Executive Director, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Dr. Davidson is the Director and a Member of the Clinical Research Division and Senior Vice President at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She is also the President and Executive Director of the Fred Hutch’s patient-care arm, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), and a Professor and Head of the Division of Medical Oncology of the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine. In these roles, Dr. Davidson will continue to strengthen the vital connections between the partners that make up the Fred Hutch/UW Cancer Consortium, including Fred Hutch, UW School of Medicine, UW School of Public Health, Seattle Children’s Hospital and the SCCA.

Dr. Davidson is a world-recognized leader in the fields of breast cancer biology and treatment, having conducted laboratory research on the role of hormones in breast cancer growth. As a member and chair of the Breast Committee for the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, she has directed large-scale, practice-changing clinical trials of new therapies. She has helped guide the development of new standards of care that exploit increasing understanding of breast cancer biology, authoring widely read commentaries and reviews to provide invaluable perspective regarding key research findings.

Davidson’s team was the first to describe how the activity of one of the estrogen receptor genes is regulated by “epigenetic” factors that affect how the DNA code of genes is read and eventually translated into proteins. She also significantly contributed to our understanding of how estrogen deprivation and certain other new therapies can trigger breast cancer cells to kill themselves through specialized cell death processes (AKA: apoptosis).

Dr. Davidson was the Director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, from 2009 until taking her Seattle positions in December of 2016. Prior to joining the Pitt faculty, she served as the Breast Cancer Research Professor of Oncology and founding director of the Breast Cancer Program at Johns Hopkins. She is a member of the scientific advisory boards for many foundations and cancer centers, past president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and current president of the American Association for Cancer Research. Her many awards include the seventh Rosalind E. Franklin Award for Women in Science from the National Cancer Institute (2008), election to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine (2011) and Association of American Physicians (2010), and recognition as a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher (2014-2015).

Leslie Sandberg, MBA

Leslie Sandberg, MBA
Senior Operations Director for the Clinical Research Division

Leslie Sandberg oversees all fiscal, budgeting, human resources, space planning and related shared resource planning in support of Clinical Research Division faculty, administration and operations.  She also serves on Fred Hutch’s Diversity Council and works as a conduit between the division, Center administration and other entities that support our overall scientific mission.  

Sandberg holds an M.B.A., with emphasis in organizational development and finance from Saint Mary’s College and a B.A. in gerontology and urban planning from the University of Arkansas. She is active in community engagement and serves as a voluntary board member to several non-profit groups who focus on improving health care delivery and access for underserved communities.