Photo of Frank M. Torti, M.D., M.P.H., FACP

Frank M. Torti, M.D., M.P.H., FACP

Board of Trustees Professor and Professor of Medicine
Department of Medicine
Academic Office Location:
Office of Health Affairs
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-1920
Phone: 860-679-2594
Fax: 860-679-1255

Dr. Torti has served as Acting Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration, Executive Vice President and Dean of the University of Connecticut Heath Center, and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Director of the Comprehensive Cancer at Wake Forest Health Center. He has served on the Board of Directors of Tufts Health Plan – a nonprofit insurance provider with over one million members and annual revenue of over $5 billion. His experience in healthcare spans executive leadership of institutions with billions of dollars in revenue, a distinguished career as a physician/scientist with deep expertise in oncology, and leadership of one of the most important food and drug regulatory bodies in the world.

 

Dr. Torti received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Johns Hopkins University, his M.D. from Harvard Medical School (cum laude), and his M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health.  He was an intern and resident at the Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, a Harvard teaching hospital, and a fellow in medical oncology at Stanford University.

 

Leadership in Healthcare:

EVP and Dean, University of Connecticut Health Center.  From 2012-2015, Dr. Torti served as Executive Vice President of the University of Connecticut Health Center and Dean of the School of Medicine.  In this position he led a fully integrated Health Center with an annual budget approaching $1 billion that included a university hospital, physician practice and medical school. He oversaw the Health Center’s construction projects that totaled $880 million. He developed operational efficiencies that saved over $50 million and provided a $7.1 million positive variance to the Board of Trustees budget. He achieved these economies while increasing clinical quality measures and patient access and satisfaction to levels never before achieved at the Health Center.

 

Chief Scientist and Acting Commissioner, US Food and Drug Administration.  Dr. Torti was recruited to the FDA in 2008 as Principal Deputy Commissioner (second ranking official) and the FDA’s first Chief Scientist, a new position mandated in the FDA Amendments Act of 2007. As Chief Scientist, a number of FDA offices and centers reported directly to him, including the National Center for Toxicological Research, the Offices of Fellowship and Training, Critical Path Programs, Genomics and Personalized Medicine, Pediatric Therapeutics, Orphan Drugs, Women’s Health and Combination Products. While Chief Scientist, Dr. Torti developed and implemented the FDA commissioner’s fellowship program, developed the overarching vision and priorities and implementation plan for FDA science, created a plan for recruitment, retention and career development in the Office of Oncology Drug Products (for which he received a Department of Health and Human Services “Commissioner’s Commendation”), established the first FDA science writers symposium, developed a program of peer-reviewed “science first” research awards, developed an HHS-wide economic adulteration task force, and coordinated the scientific integration of the FDA’s informatics transformation with the aim of providing more rapid review of drugs and devices.

 

In January 2009, Dr. Torti was appointed Acting Commissioner of the FDA, a 14,000 member organization with employees stationed across the globe. He managed complex multi-state food-borne illness outbreaks, and initiated a scientific taskforce on scientific tools for rapid detection of pathogens that coordinated efforts of the Department of Homeland Security, DARPA, CDC, FDA, USDA, NIST, and NIH. He also developed strong collaborations with NIH and NCI leadership to tackle complex scientific issues surrounding the toxicology and human epidemiology of estrogen disruptors. Dr. Torti developed a strong consensus around the preeminence of science at the FDA, and used his influence to support integration of drug, biologic and device regulation as well as facilitate more rapid drug approval. While at the FDA, Dr. Torti worked with the CMS director and CMS Medical Director to develop physician reimbursement for clinical trial participants enrolled in Medicare.

 

Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chair Dept. of Cancer Biology, and VP Strategic Programs, Wake Forest University Medical Center.  From 1993-2012 Dr. Torti held positions as both Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and Chair of the Department of Cancer Biology.  In 2009 he assumed the additional role of Vice President for Strategic Programs.  In these roles, Dr. Torti led and provided oversight for the financial and strategic initiatives of all inpatient and outpatient cancer clinical programs as well as scientific programs within the cancer center. Under his leadership US News and World Reports rated Wake Forest Cancer Center as one of the top 25 cancer centers nationally and first among the cancer centers in North Carolina.

 

Stanford University Leadership.  Dr. Torti was a tenured faculty member in the oncology division of Stanford Medical Center until 1993. During this period, he served as Executive Officer of the Northern California Oncology Group and Associate Director of the Northern California Cancer Program, where he provided leadership in clinical trial design and implementation for that NCI-funded regional network. 

 

Clinical, Scientific and Educational Achievements:

A well-known clinical investigator in urologic oncology, he has designed and executed clinical trials that have become standards of care in genitourinary oncology worldwide.  He has been routinely selected by his peers for recognition in national magazines of “America’s top doctors” and “top cancer doctors.” He has served on the NIH Council for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and was appointed to the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trial Advisory Committee (CTAC) and Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA). He founded the Cancer Biology Training Consortium (CABTRAC), a national society of cancer biology chairs and program directors that now involves 70 US academic medical centers. He also served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Congressional Taskforce on Research and Innovation, which first conceptualized the “cancer moonshot”.

 

In addition to his knowledge of drug development from a regulatory perspective, Dr. Torti has deep experience in clinical drug development. He led a research team at Wake Forest that developed a rationally synthesized small molecule approach to cancer treatment and also led a team that took a novel antiangiogenic biologic from early preclinical development to clinical phase II trials. He has been principal investigator on over fifty phase I and II trials.

 

Dr. Torti has also been recognized nationally and for fundamental observations on iron homeostasis and cancer, as well as for unravelling the complex the relationships among oxidants, cytokines and iron. He has published over 290 peer-reviewed scientific articles in highly respected journals including Science, Proc. Nat. Acad. of Sci., Lancet, Cancer Res., New Eng. Jour. Med., Ann. Int. Med., Cell. He has been continuously funded by the NIH with RO1 grants for his basic science research for over 30 years and held a MERIT award from the NIH, an honor bestowed on only 3% of all NIH grantees.

Education
DegreeInstitutionMajor
B.A.Johns Hopkins UniversityBiology
M.A.Johns Hopkins UniversityThe Writing Seminars
M.P.H.Harvard University School of Public HealthPublic Health
M.D.Harvard University Medical ScoolMedicine

Post-Graduate Training
TrainingInstitutionSpecialty
InternshipBeth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolMedicine
ResidencyBeth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolMedicine
FellowshipBeth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolOncology

Awards
Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Established Investigator in Basic Sciences AwardWake Forest University
Research Excellence Award, 2001-2006 Wake Forest University Health Sciences
NIH MERIT Award, 2001-2011 NIH
Clinical Investigator Award,1988-1993Veterans Administration
Selected for Best Doctors in America yearly from 1985 to present (selection based on peer surveys) Best Doctors in America
Name & DescriptionCategoryRoleTypeScopeStart YearEnd Year
External Board of Scientific Advisors, Wistar Institute Cancer CenterAdvisory CommitteeChairExternalLocal2012
National Coalition for Cancer Research (NCCR)OtherBoard memberExternalNational20122015
Scientific Advisory Board, State of North Carolina Drug Discovery Center of InnovationAdvisory CommitteeBoard memberExternalUniversity2012
University of California, Irvine-Chao Family Cancer CenterAdvisory CommitteeBoard memberExternalUniversity2011
Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI)OtherBoard MemberExternalNational20112016
NCI Clinical Trials and Translational Research Advisory Committee (CTAC)Advisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational20112016
Indiana University, Cancer Biology Training ProgramAdvisory CommitteeBoard memberExternalUniversity2011
External Board of Scientific Advisors, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Cancer Cell Biology Training ProgramAdvisory CommitteeBoard memberExternalUniversity2011
Appointed by the NCI director to the NCI Board of Scientific AdvisorsAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational20102015
Cancer Research Center of Hawai’i, Advisory CommitteeBoard memberExternalState2010
University of Colorado Cancer CenterAdvisory CommitteeBoard memberExternalUniversity2010
Duke UniversityAdvisory CommitteeBoard memberExternalUniversity2010
NCI Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA)Advisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational20102015
Basic Science Chairs Committee, Education CommitteeMemberExternalUniversity2009
Wake Forest University Physicians Executive CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalUniversity2009
CTSA Oversight CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeChairExternalUniversity2009
Dean’s Imaging Oversight CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeChairExternalUniversity20072008
Appointed by HSS Secretary Leavitt and NIH Director Zerhouni to the NIH Council for the Center on Alternative and Complementary MedicineAdvisory CommitteeMemeberExternalNational20062008
National Center for Complementary and Alternative MedicineAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational20062008
Academic Appeals CommitteeEducation CommitteeMemberExternalUniversity20032006
Cancer Prognosis and PredictionStudy SectionChairExternalNational20032004
Research Advisory CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalUniversity20022006
Overcoming barriers to early phase clinical trials (special panel)Study SectionPanel memberExternalNational2002
Genitourinary Oncology, Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB)Professional/Scientific OrganizationCommittee memberExternalNational2000
GU Section, Current Opinion in OncologyEditorial BoardEditorExternalNational19992008
Core Committee for problem-based medical curriculumEducation CommitteeMemberExternalUniversity19971999
Faculty Executive CouncilEducation CommitteeMemberExternalUniversity1993
Oncology Product Line CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalUniversity1993
Appointed by North Carolina Governor Hunt to chair the Committee on Cancer Care, Governor’s Committee on Cancer Coordination and Control for North CarolinaAdvisory CommitteeChairExternalState19932003
DOD Ad hoc Member, Breast Cancer Study Section, Molecular OncologyAdvisory CommitteeAd hoc MemberExternalNational1993
National Bladder and Prostatic Cancer FoundationProfessional/Scientific OrganizationVice President and founding memberExternalNational19932000
American Society of Clinical OncologyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationProgram Committee MemberExternalNational1992
United States Program Chairman, The 4th International Conference on Treatment of Urinary Tract Tumors with AnthracyclinesProfessional/Scientific OrganizationProgram ChairmanExternalInternational1990
Oncology, Veterans AdministrationStudy SectionChairmanExternalNational19901992
American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant Committee, StanfordAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalUniversity19901993
Oncology, Veterans Administration Study SectionMemberExternalNational19891990
American Institute for Cancer ResearchStudy SectionMemberExternalNational19892008
General Clinical Research Center Advisory Board, Stanford UniversityAdvisory CommitteeBoard memberExternalUniversity19881993
National Advisory Board for Molecular Biology, Veterans AdministrationAdvisory CommitteeBoard MemberExternalNational19881993
Plenary Educational Session on Bladder Cancer, The American Society of Clinical OncologyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational1987
Session on Urologic Cancer, American Society of Clinical OncologyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationChairmanExternalNational1985
Cancer Treatment ReviewsEditorial BoardDeputy EditorExternalNational19841993
Session on Urologic Cancer, American Society of Clinical OncologyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationChairmanExternalNational1983
Plenary Educational Session on Prostate Cancer, American Society of Clinical OncologyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational1982
United States Program Chairman, The 2nd International Conference on Treatment of Urinary Tract Tumors with AnthracyclinesProfessional/Scientific OrganizationProgram ChairmanExternalInternational1982
American Association for Cancer ResearchProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
American College of Physicians Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
American Federation for Clinical Research Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
American Society of Clinical OncologyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
American Society of Cell Biology Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
American Society of Hematology Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
American Urological Association Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
Association of American Cancer Institutes Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
International BioIron SocietyProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalInternational
International Society of Interferon Research Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalInternational
Society for Biological Therapy Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
North Carolina Medical Society Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalState
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center Board of TrusteesAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalUniversity
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center Cabinet (one of 8 members). The Cabinet is the Medical Center’s overarching decision-making group. Advisory CommitteeMemberExternalUniversity
External Board of Scientific Advisors, University of Iowa Advisory CommitteeMemberExternalUniversity
External Board of Scientific Advisors, Stanford University, Cancer Biology Training Program Advisory CommitteeBoard memberExternalState

Journal Articles

Books

  • Torti, FM Urologic Cancer: Chemotherapeutic Principles and Management. 1983 Jan;

Book Chapters

  • Bifunctional nanomaterials for the imaging and treatment of cancer.
    Burke A, Carroll D, Torti FM, and Torti SV. The Oxford Handbook of Nanoscience and Technology – Frontiers and Advances in three volumes, Volume III, Applications 2010 Jan;474-497
  • Defining the priority of using 18F-FDG PET for recurrent cervical cancer.
    Yen, Tzu-Chen; See, Lai-Chu; Chang, Ting-Chang; Huang, Kuan-Gen; Ng, Koon-Kwan; Tang, Simon G; Chang, Yu-Chen; Hsueh, Swei; Tsai, Chien-Sheng; Hong, Ji-Hong; Lin, Cheng-Tao; Chao, Angel; Ma, Shih-Ya; Lin, Wuu-Jyh; Fu, Ying-Kai; Fan, Chi-Chen; Lai, Chyong-Huey Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine 2004 Oct;45(10):1632-9
  • Cancer Therapy Alternatives
    Patton SE, Torti FM. Basic Science for Surgeons: A Review 2004 Jan;625-641
  • Iron Chelators in Cancer Chemotherapy, Vol. 4, Number 15
    Buss, J., Green, B., Turner, J., Torti, F.M., and Torti, SV. Metals in Disease and Therapy, CTMC Reviews 2004 Jan;1623-1635
  • Iron Chelation in Cancer Therapy.
    Torti SV, Planalp RP, Brechbiel MW, Park G, Torti FM. Molecular Biology of Hematopoiesis 6 1999 Jan;381-389
  • (1) Bladder, (2) Kidney, (3) Testis.
    Small EJ, Torti FM, Yagoda A. Everyone’s Guide to Cancer Therapy 1997 Jan;334-343, 505-511, 684-694
  • Cytokines, iron homeostasis, and cancer.
    Torti, F.M., and Torti, S.V. Diet and Cancer; Markers, Prevention and Treatment 1994 Jan;159-168
  • Bladder.
    Miller RS, Torti FM, Shipley WU. Chemoradiation: An Integrated Approach to Cancer Treatment 1993 Jan;384-399
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for bladder cancer.
    Freiha FS, Torti FM. Problems in Urology: Transitional Cell Malignancy, Vol. 6, #3 1992 Jan;506-517
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor: Structure and function.
    Tsuji Y, Torti FM. Cytokines in Health and Disease: The Physiology and Pathophysiology 1992 Jan;131-150
  • Bladder cancer.
    Lo RK, Torti FM. Current Therapy in Internal Medicine 1991 Jan;990-994
  • Chemotherapy of hormone-refractory prostatic carcinoma.
    Lum B and Torti, FM. Controversies of Prostate Cancer Management 1990 Jan;506-543
  • Stage D1 adenocarcinoma of the prostate: alternatives in treatment.
    Torti FM. Controversies in the Management of Prostate Cancer: Part 5 1990 Jan;
  • Adverse Effects of Treatment: Cardiac Toxicity.
    Torti FM, Lum BL. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology 1989 Jan;2153-2162
  • Chemotherapy for advanced germ cell tumors of the testis, The Stanford Experience.
    Lo RK, Freiha FS, Torti FM. Systemic Therapy for Genitourinary Cancer 1989 Jan;338-341
  • CMV for metastatic urothelial tumors.
    Lo RK, Freiha FS, Torti FM. Systemic Therapy for Genitourinary Cancer 1989 Jan;59-63
  • Approaches to chemotherapy of prostate cancer.
    Torti FM. Advances in Oncology 1988 Jan;18-24
  • Bladder Cancer.
    Lo RK, Torti FM. Current Therapy in Hematology-Oncology-3 1987 Jan;228-232
  • The cardiac toxicity of anthracyclines.
    Torti FM. Fundamentals of Cancer Chemotherapy 1987 Jan;374-378
  • Management of disseminated testicular cancer.
    Torti FM, Lum LL. Principles and Management of Testicular Cancer 1986 Jan;258-294
  • Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma: Natural history and response to chemotherapy.
    Torti FM. Testicular Cancer and Other Tumors of the Genitourinary Tract 1985 Jan;287-301
  • Chemotherapy in prostate cancer.
    Torti FM, Lum BL. Genitourinary Cancer: Volume 5 of Series:Contemporary Issues in Clinical Oncology 1985 Jan;125-161
  • Weekly Adriamycin.
    Torti FM. Insights into Cancer Therapeutics 1985 Jan;3-11
  • The acute toxicity of epirubicin.
    Torti, FM. Advances in Anthracycline Chemotherapy: Epirubicin 1984 Jan;175-182
  • Weekly doxorubicin - efficacy and cardiotoxicity.
    Torti FM, Billingham ME. Adriamycin: Its Expanding Role in Cancer Treatment, Proceedings of the International Symposium on Adriamycin 1984 Jan;371-377
  • Baseline standards of care and patterns of care studies in cancer control research.
    Jackson P, Greenfield S, Torti FM. Advances in Cancer Control: Research and Development 1983 Jan;113-116
  • The evaluation of cardiotoxicity of new anthracycline schedules.
    Torti FM, Bristow MR, Billingham ME. Anthracyclines and Cancer Therapy 1983 Jan;64-69
  • Rational and design of a trial to evaluate the cardiotoxicity of weekly Adriamycin using the endomyocardial biopsy as an end point.
    Torti FM, Lum B, Bristow MR, Stockdale FE, Kohler M, Billingham ME, Carter SK. Anthracycline Antibiotics in Cancer Therapy 1982 Jan;358-362
  • The cardiac toxicity of anthracyclines.
    Torti FM. Principles of Cancer Chemotherapy 1982 Jan;374-378

Abstracts

  • Ferritin inhibits cleavage of high molecular weight kininogen by elastase and mast cell tryptase.
    Coffman, L.G., Brown, J., Johnson, D., Parthasarathy, N., D'Agostino, Jr. R., Muller-Esterl, W., Torti, F., and Torti, S. American Journal of Hematology 2006 Jan;82(6):504-604
  • Perturbations of H-ferritin in mice results in alterations in brain iron homeostasis
    Thompson K, Menzies S, Wood T, Boyer PJ, Beard JL, Torti S, Torti F, Connor JR 2001 Jan;15A579.3
  • Analytical and pharmacokinetic studies in mice with tachpyr.
    Hale, J., Bigelow, J., Mathews, L., McCormack, J.J., Torti, S., Torti, F., Brechbiel, M., and Planalp, R. Proc. Amer. Assoc. Cancer Res 2000 Jan;41705
  • Oxathiolene oxides: a novel class of potential chemopreventive agents.
    Pietsch, E.C., Hurley, A.l., Leone-Kabler, S., Welker, M.E., Townsend, A.J., Torti, F.M., and Torti,S.V. Proc. Amer. Assoc. Cancer Res. 2000 Jan;41411
  • Pathways of iron chelator action.
    Torti, S.V., Abeysinghe, RD., Greene, 8., Willingham, M.C., Sausville, E.A., Narayanan, V., Planalp, R.P., Brechbiel, M.W. and Torti, F.M. FASEB J. 2000 Jan;14A752
  • Tachpyridine (Tachpyr), a novel iron chelator and a potential anti-cancer agent in the treatment of tumors with mutated p53.
    Abeysinghe, RD., Greene, B., Willingham, M.C., Sausville, E.A., Narayanan, V.l., Planalp, R.P., Brechbiel, M.W., Torti, F.M., and Torti, S.V. Proc. Amer. Assoc. Cancer Res. 2000 Jan;41771
  • A novel iron chelator with potential anti-tumor activity leads to cell death by apoptosis.
    Jennings-Gee, J.E., Willingham, M.C., Planalp, RP., Brechbiel, M.W., Torti, F.M., and Torti, S.V. Proc. Amer. Assoc. Cancer Res. 1999 Jan;40120
  • Oltipraz-mediated induction of ferritin expression.
    Pietsch, E.C., Morrow, C., Torti, F.M., and Torti, S.V. Proc. Amer. Assoc. Cancer Res. 1999 Jan;40258
  • Metalchelation in bladder cancer therapy.
    Torti, S.V., Planalp, RP., Sakamoto, Y., Brechbiel, M.W., Rogers, RD., and Torti, F.M. Acta Hematologica 1998 Jan;100(suppl. 1):55
  • The ferritin H gene is amplified in human breast cancer carrying an 11 q13 amplification, as demonstrated by fluorescence in situ hybridization.
    Abruzzese, E., Rao, P.N., Petenati, M.J., Kute, T., Torti, F.M. and Torti, s.v. Acta Hematologica 1998 Jan;100 (suppl. 1):55
  • Transcriptional regulation of H ferritin by a distal antioxidant response element.
    Whitman, S.P., Tsuji, Y.T., Torti, S.V, and Torti, F.M. Proc. Amer. Assoc. Cancer Res. 1998 Jan;39247
  • The ferritin H gene is amplified in human breast cancers carrying an 11q13 amplification.
    Abruzzese E., Rao, P.N., Pettenati M.J., Kute T., Torti S.V., and Torti F.M. Proc. Arner. Assoc. Cancer Res. 1997 Jan;3817
  • Utilization of fluorescense in situ hybridization to study the ferritin H gene in metaphase and interphase cells
    Abruzzese E, Rao PN, Hayworth R, Pettenati MJ, Torti SV, Torti FM Blood 1995 Jan;86(10):723a

Conference Papers

  • Surgical resection of residual tumor mass following chemotherapy for advanced transitional cell carcinoma. Ed. by L Giuliani, L. Santi, F. Boccardo, D. Pescatore
    Miller RS, Freiha FS, Torti FM. 1993 Jan;370-381
  • Preliminary observations of epirubicin cardiac toxicity: methodologic considerations in the evaluation of doxorubicin and its analogs by endomyocardial biopsy.
    Torti FM, Bristow MR, Howes AE, Aston D, Kohler M, Mitchell EP, Meyers FJ, Billingham ME. 1984 Jan;

Monographs

Reviews

  • Ferroptosis: A Regulated Cell Death Nexus Linking Metabolism, Redox Biology, and Disease.
    Stockwell, Brent R; Friedmann Angeli, José Pedro; Bayir, Hülya; Bush, Ashley I; Conrad, Marcus; Dixon, Scott J; Fulda, Simone; Gascón, Sergio; Hatzios, Stavroula K; Kagan, Valerian E; Noel, Kay; Jiang, Xuejun; Linkermann, Andreas; Murphy, Maureen E; Overholtzer, Michael; Oyagi, Atsushi; Pagnussat, Gabriela C; Park, Jason; Ran, Qitao; Rosenfeld, Craig S; Salnikow, Konstantin; Tang, Daolin; Torti, Frank M; Torti, Suzy V; Toyokuni, Shinya; Woerpel, K A; Zhang, Donna D Cell 2017 Oct;171(2):273-285