Skip to main content

Internal Medicine Physicians Promoted to Key Roles at Huntsman Cancer Institute

Dr. Werner and Dr. Agarwal Appointed in New Roles at HCI

Last month, Dr. Cornelia Ulrich, Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Director of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, announced the recent promotions of two internal medicine physicians from the Division of Oncology to key leadership roles at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. 

Dr. Theresa Werner has been appointed as the new Deputy Director at HCI, while Dr. Neeraj Agarwal takes on the role of Senior Director for Clinical Research. 

Dr. Theresa Werner: New Deputy Director


We are delighted to announce the appointment of Theresa Werner, MD, Senior Director of Clinical Research, Huntsman Cancer Institute, and Professor, Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor, Division of Gynecology Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as the new Deputy Director of Huntsman Cancer Institute, effective January 1, 2024. Dr. Werner has served as the Sr. Director for Clinical Research for the past two years with great dedication and success.

Dr. Werner is known as a compassionate and dedicated oncology physician with a deep commitment to HCl's mission, the patient experience, and innovation in research and clinical care. Dr. Werner will continue with a modified clinical research portfolio, working closely with Dr. Agarwal, the new Sr. Director for Clinical Research to oversee our clinical research portfolio, particularly in the Area We Serve across the 5-state Mountain West. In addition, Dr. Werner will work on the Cancer Center Support Grant and will oversee the CCSG Shared Resources, together with the respective Senior Directors. 

Dr. Werner is a nationally recognized physician investigator for her work in clinical and translational research in adult medical oncology, with expertise in gynecologic malignancies. Dr. Werner is the Karen H. Huntsman Presidential Endowed Chair in Breast and Gynecologic Malignancies and a Clinical Investigator at HCI. She serves as the principal investigator for numerous clinical trials in gynecologic oncology, including phase one trials. Dr. Werner was a recipient of a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award in 2016, a competitive award designed to support clinical trials leadership in talented cancer providers who are early in their career. She serves on several national groups aimed at improving cancer care and bringing innovative clinical trials to patients through the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the NCI Gynecologic Cancer Steering Committee.

Dr. Werner is also nationally known for her work to enhance clinical trial operations and mentoring clinical trial leaders across the country through the Association of American Cancer Institutes. She is currently a member of the AACI Physician Clinical Leadership Initiative (PCLI) and former Steering Committee Chair for AACI Clinical Research Innovation (CRI) Program. She is on the leadership of physician forums for Associate Directors of Clinical Research and Clinical Trials Office Medical Directors within AACI. Dr. Werner also serves on other cancer centers’ External Advisory Boards to advise them on their clinical research programs. 

Dr. Neeraj Agarwal: New Senior Director for Clinical Research


We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Neeraj Agarwal, MD, as the new Senior Director for Clinical Research effective January 1, 2024.  Dr. Agarwal is currently the Sr. Director for Clinical Research Translation, Director of the Genitourinary Oncology program, the Director of the Center for Investigational Therapeutics (CIT), and a passionate physician. He has a deep commitment to HCI’s mission, the patient experience, and innovation in research and clinical care. His leadership portfolio will range from continued leadership of the CIT, oversight of the Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee (PRMC), Therapeutic Accelerator Hub Committee, and policies of the Clinical Trials Office. He will also share oversight and mentorship of junior faculty and serve on various HCI and University committees, with the goal of further increasing HCI’s national representation and visibility. 

Dr. Agarwal has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Perhaps most importantly, he is an exceptional leader and role model in the translation of laboratory findings to the clinic and on bringing new drugs to the bedside. Over the past five years, Dr. Agarwal led international teams across more than 30 countries to bring two new drugs for patients diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer to FDA approval. He led an additional registration trial, announcing positive results recently with a novel immunotherapy-based combination in patients with advanced prostate cancer. He is also a joint PI on a new R01 grant funded by the National Cancer Institute, investigating the effects of creatine supplements on muscle mass among prostate cancer patients. His tremendous accomplishments are the result of unique team spirit, dedication, and perseverance.

Dr. Agarwal regularly gets invited to give talks at several national and international venues. He serves as a panel member for the NCCN guideline- committees in genitourinary cancers, as a consultant to the oncology drug advisory committee (ODAC) to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has served as the leader of early therapeutics of the SWOG GU Scientific Leadership Committee for more than a decade. Dr. Agarwal has the honor of serving as the editor-in-chief for the ASCO Daily news since 2021, as a specialty editor for Cancer.Net, and he received the prestigious recognition of Fellow of ASCO (FASCO) in 2023. 

One of many pursuits Dr. Agarwal feels most passionate about is mentoring the next generation of physicians and investigators. He has been recognized with the Outstanding Faculty Mentorship award and the Guy A. Zimmerman, MD, Faculty Mentoring Award in 2023 on behalf of the Department of Internal Medicine.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Werner and Dr. Agarwal on their exciting new leadership roles at HCI.