Robert Mannel, MD, Stephenson Cancer Center: “Advancements in the Cure”

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Director, Stephenson Cancer Center
Professor and Past Chair, Dept of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Vice Provost for Cancer Programs, University of Oklahoma
Health Sciences Center

Robert Mannel, MD, is Director of the Stephenson Cancer Center and Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Since his appointment as cancer center Director in 2007, Dr. Mannel has overseen the Stephenson Cancer Center’s emergence as a center recognized nationally for research, treatment, education and outreach activities. The Stephenson Cancer Center’s major achievements during Dr. Mannel’s tenure as Director include attaining Lead Academic Participating Site status within the National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) in 2014, achieving the prestigious NCI Designation status in 2018, and being named a US News and World Report Top 50 “Best Hospital for Cancer” in the nation for 2019-20.

Dr. Mannel currently serves as a Chair for NRG Oncology, one of four national non-profit organizations that make up the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). The NCTN, the world’s premier network for developing and conducting clinical trials to advance new cancer therapies, is composed of over 2,200 institutions nationwide. NRG Oncology is the largest group within the Network, placing more cancer patients on NCI clinical trials than any other organization.

A graduate of the University of Texas College of Medicine at Galveston, Dr. Mannel completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas. After his residency he pursued a Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship at the University of California, Irvine and joined the faculty at the OU Health Sciences Center in 1989. He served as Chairman of the OU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1997 to 2013, and he was instrumental in developing the Section of Gynecologic Oncology at the OU Health Sciences Center
into one of the top gynecologic cancer programs in the country.


Chair of the Day 

Byron Jackson is the Executive Director of Possibilities Inc., a non-profit focused on improving the relationship between people to create community change, which has been in existence since 1996.  The work at Possibilities focuses on helping communities to heal from traumas, oppression and differences.  The approach of Possibilities encourages individuals to first look within themselves before trying to change their external circumstances.

One program Possibilities has is the community platform.  The only platform of its kind in the state, it is a place where community members are taught how to create a podcast, which is then featured on the Possibilities platform.  This gives a voice to people who may have never have had the opportunity to be heard.  For example, there are podcasts hosted by blind individuals addressing the challenges faced by those with visual impairments, as well as the Vietnamese Boat People podcast.  There are over 25 different podcast created by community members.  In the first month of streaming there were 57 streams; by May of this year that number had increased to 35,000.

Byron was raised in Denver, Colorado, attended the University of Oklahoma, and attends St. John’s Episcopal Church in Norman, Oklahoma.  He has 4 children, 10 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.  His Wife, Teresa Collado, runs the Virtue Center in Norman and is a past president of the Norman Rotary Club.  His youngest daughter, Olivia, was an international exchange student in Taiwan for her senior year of high school and now trains outgoing exchange students.

Byron was diagnosed prostate cancer in 2019 has had prostate removed and has been in remission since then.

In his role at Possibilities Inc., Byron remains dedicated to fostering community connections and empowering individuals to share their stories. His leadership and personal experiences continue to inspire positive change and resilience within the community he serves.

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