Speaker Announced for 2019 PharmD and Graduate Programs Commencement


April 30, 2019

Professional headshot photograph of Dr. William DouglasWilliam Douglas Figg, Sr., PharmD, MBA, works as a senior investigator for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

He is also deputy branch chief of the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch (GMB), head of the Molecular Pharmacology Section and head of the Clinical Pharmacology Program. In addition, he is the co-director of the Office of Translational Resources and associate director of the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research.

An expert on utilizing pharmacological principles in anticancer drug and biomarker development, Dr. Figg has integrated pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics research in these drug development efforts to evaluate the impact of genetic variants on drug metabolism, response and toxicity. His research focuses on the development of novel therapies, using prostate cancer as the target disease and angiogenesis as the target pathway.

He serves on several committees within the NCI, which he joined in 1992. A few of those committees include: the Scientific Review Committee, the Medical Oncology Fellowship Steering Committee, the Drug Development Collaborative Committee, the Technology Review Group and the Drug Screening Steering Committee. In addition, he is a member of the NIH’s Pharmacogenetics Committee. He is also on the editorial board of 19 peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Dr. Figg has been licensed to practice pharmacy since 1988 and became board certified in pharmacotherapy in 1991. He holds adjunct appointments at several schools of pharmacy including Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama; Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia; the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida; the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona; and the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland. Dr. Figg is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Oncology, New York, New York.

Dr. Figg is a fellow in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and a fellow in the American College of Clinical Pharmacology. He was named the Allen J. Brands Clinical Pharmacist of the Year in 2001 and the Clinical Pharmacist of the Year by the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States in 2003. In 2005, he received the Leon Goldberg Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. In addition, he received the 2008 Russell R. Miller Award from the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the 2008 ASHP Award for Sustained Contribution to the Scientific Literature. In 2009, he received the AMSUS Andrew Craigie Award for Outstanding Advancement of the Profession of Pharmacy. In 2015, he gave the ACCP’s Therapeutic Frontier Lecture and in 2017 he received the American Pharmacists Association’s Tyler Prize. Dr. Figg is the first and only tenured investigator within the NIH that has a PharmD degree.

Dr. Figg has more than 700 peer-reviewed publications, his work has been cited more than 40,000 times in the scientific literature, he has patented over 80 novel anticancer agents and devices and given more than 150 invited scientific presentations/lectures throughout the world.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown College, Georgetown, Kentucky, a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Samford University, and his Doctorate in Pharmacy from Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. He also earned a dual Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia University and London Business School, London, England. He completed a clinical internship at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama, and his fellowship training at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.