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Dr. Tracy Richmond McKnight takes the helm as TRDRP director

Following a national search, Dr. Tracy Richmond McKnight has been appointed Director of the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), effective March 1, 2019.

Dr. McKnight brings a strong scientific background and extensive knowledge of TRDRP to this role.  She received her doctorate in Biomedical Engineering from UC Davis and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Spelman College and Polytechnic University.  She served for 15 years on the faculty of UCSF where she led a successful independent research program in neuroimaging of brain cancer.  Highlighting her commitment to developing a diverse research pipeline, she was the recipient of an inaugural UC-HBCU Initiative award that supported the founding of the UCSF-Tuskegee Partnership in Bioengineering.

For the past two years, Dr. McKnight served as the Director of Translational Research with a private biotechnology company focused on developing targeted therapies for orphan and genetic diseases.  In this role, she further expand her leadership and management skills within private industry and gained direct knowledge of the regulatory process leading to FDA approval of a range of therapeutic agents.

Prior to that, she served as a Program Officer for Cancer and Neuroscience with the TRDRP where she played a leadership role in the development of new research initiatives in the areas of nicotine dependence and tobacco-related cancers, collaborated with the California partner programs in the Departments of Education and Public Health to advance statewide anti-smoking policies and activities, and informed the California legislature and other stakeholders on the program’s key research findings. 

Dr. McKnight resides in Oakland, California and may be reached at   

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