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New cancer institute director, nursing instructor join UMMC faculty

Published on Thursday, February 16, 2017

Published on February 16, 2017

The Medical Center is proud to announce the following additions to its faculty and leadership staff.

John C. Ruckdeschel, M.D.


Dr. John C. Ruckdeschel, an international expert in lung cancer and previous director of two National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers, has joined the Medical Center faculty as a professor of medicine and director of the UMMC Cancer Institute.

After receiving his B.Sc. in biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, in 1967, Ruckdeschel earned his M.D. at Albany Medical College, New York, in 1971. He had postgraduate education at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore; Beth Israel Hospital, Boston; the National Cancer Institute's Baltimore Cancer Research Center, and at the Institute for Health Care Delivery Research, Salt Lake City.

Ruckdeschel joined the faculty at Albany Medical College, New York, in 1976 and worked his way up the ranks from assistant professor of medicine to professor of medicine. He also served as director of the Joint Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at AMC. He moved to Florida in 1991 and served as a professor of oncology and medicine at the University of South Florida College of Medicine and as director and chief executive officer of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. Under his direction, Moffitt attained NCI Comprehensive designation in nine years. In 2002, he became a professor of medicine and oncology and associate dean of cancer affairs at the Wayne State University College of Medicine, Michigan, and began serving as president and chief executive officer of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. He then became a professor of medicine at the University of Nevada School of Medicine and CEO and director of the Nevada Cancer Institute in 2009 before becoming medical director of the oncology clinical program at Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, in 2012 and joining the University of Utah as a professor of medicine in 2013.

A fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Chest Physicians, Ruckdeschel is an active member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

A member of the editorial boards of numerous scientific publications and a reviewer for a dozen others, Ruckdeschel has authored or coauthored more than 170 articles in peer-reviewed journals, more than 140 abstracts and numerous book chapters.

A Best Doctors in America selection, he has received several professional awards and has obtained robust grant support from major scientific organizations, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.


Chelsea Senitko, M.S.N.


Chelsea Senitko, a nurse practitioner on the Oncology Hospitalist Team at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Connecticut, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an instructor in nursing.

After receiving her B.S.N. in 2010 at UMMC, she had American Association of Colleges of Nursing residency training and began serving as an adult and pediatric hematology nurse in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at UMMC. She served as a nurse educator then as a charge nurse before earning her M.S.N. at UMMC in 2015. She gained Family Nurse Practitioner board certification by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She then joined Yale-New Haven Hospital in 2015.

She is an active member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Oncology Nursing Society.