The Data Chief
The Data Chief
Jul 22, 2020
Moffitt Cancer Center's Dr. Dana Rollison on Accelerating Scientific Discovery with Data
Play • 50 min

Joining Cindi today is Dr. Dana Rollison, Vice President, Chief Data Officer, and Associate Center Director of Data Science at Moffitt Cancer Center. Dana has been with Moffitt for over 16 years in varying capacities since earning her PhD in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University in 2004. In this episode, she and Cindi discuss her work at Moffitt, how data is accelerating scientific discovery, and what leveraging data from the lab to the clinic looks like in practice.

Key Discussion Points:

  • What makes Moffitt Cancer Center unique? Moffitt is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the state of Florida, and its level of data and analytics maturity leads in healthcare, a field that traditionally lags.
  • Moffitt's Total Cancer Care protocol seeks to enroll every one of the center's patients in a research study to find new prevention and treatment strategies through collection of unique data sets. 
  • Trust matters. Dana's win/win approach to data collection earns trust from patients with privacy concerns. This helps her gather the most complete and useful set of information for doctors and researchers to arm themselves in the battle against cancer.
  • Data has a place in every department. Leveraging data to work in the best, practical interests of all departments and partners provides better integration for everything from clinical effectiveness to operational logistics.

More About Dana:

She was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2010, and became a Senior Member in 2017. Her independent research focuses on the application of data science techniques to enhance cancer surveillance and etiologic studies of cutaneous viral infections, environmental exposures, and immune function. 

Building upon her experience with linking Cancer Registry data to other administrative, research, and clinical data, Dr. Rollison began serving as Moffitt’s Vice President, Chief Data Officer (CDO) in 2010, setting an executive vision for Moffitt’s enterprise-wide data warehouse and analytics strategy to support team science, clinical pathways, accountable care analytics, data sharing partnerships and the practice of personalized medicine. As CDO, she oversees three Departments within Health Data Services, including the Cancer Registry, Data Quality, and Business Intelligence, and Health Informatics. Current initiatives within Health Data Services include the use of artificial intelligence for mining text within the electronic health record, platform-agnostic curation of molecular data, and migration of enterprise analytics to the cloud. 

Recognizing the need to grow intellectual capital in parallel with technical infrastructure, Dr. Rollison expanded her leadership portfolio in 2017 by becoming Moffitt’s first Associate Center Director (ACD) of Data Science and Division Chief for Quantitative Science, overseeing the academic departments of Integrated Mathematical Oncology and Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, as well as two data-related Shared Resources. To better facilitate the development of novel quantitative methods and foster team science, Dr. Rollison pioneered the creation of a new academic track, the Integrated Scientist track, and established a new, third Department of Machine Learning, focused on advancing cancer research through the analysis of complex data sets, including imaging and the IoT. 

Leveraging her dual role as CDO and ACD, Dr. Rollison seeks to optimize Moffitt’s extensive data assets across clinical and research areas of the organization, thus accelerating scientific discovery and translational research across the cancer continuum, and ultimately advancing the prevention and cure of cancer.


The Data Chief is presented by our friends at ThoughtSpot. Searching through your company’s data for insights doesn’t have to be complicated. With ThoughtSpot, anyone in your organization can easily answer their own data questions, find the facts, and make better, faster decisions. Learn more at


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