Chair of Pharmacology Joseph Schlessinger will be the first director of Yale’s new Cancer Biology Institute located on West Campus, the Yale Cancer Center announced today.

Schlessinger, who will retain his position as pharmacology department chair, will split his time as director between West Campus in West Haven and the School of Medicine in New Haven, effective immediately, according to a Yale Cancer Center press release.

The Cancer Biology Institute will focus on cancer biology research in an attempt to uncover molecular causes of cancer and develop drug treatments to contain or get rid of them. The institute plans to hire 150 researchers, who will collaborate with scientists at the Genome Center on West Campus to identify cancer-causing genes.

Schlessinger, who has been at Yale since 2001, has experience with biotechnological approaches to cancer research, having helped found three biotechnology companies and patented drugs that have been successful in clinical trials.

The Cancer Biology Institute will join four other multidisciplinary institutes currently located on West Campus.