LEXINGTON, Mass., March 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Curis, Inc. (Nasdaq:CRIS), an oncology-focused company seeking to develop next generation targeted drug candidates for cancer treatment, today announced the appointment of Kenneth Pienta, M.D. to its Board of Directors. Dr. Pienta currently serves as the Donald S. Coffey Professor of Urology, Professor of Oncology, and Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "We believe that Ken will add further scientific depth to the Curis Board and will continue to make important contributions to Curis due to his deep experience in oncology patient care as well as his unique understanding of precision therapeutic approaches to cancer treatment," said Chief Executive Officer Dan Passeri. "We have benefited from Ken's deep experience in his role as the head of our clinical and scientific advisory board and an advisor in other strategic matters, and we are delighted to welcome him to our board." "I am pleased to join the Curis board and look forward to working with the board and management team as we collectively seek to advance Curis towards becoming a leading oncology development company," said Dr. Pienta. Prior to his appointment at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Pienta served as the Associate Vice President for Research, Health Sciences, for the University of Michigan and as the Director of Precision Medicine for the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology from 2008 to 2013. From 1995 to 2013, Dr. Pienta served as the Director of the Prostate Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) at The University of Michigan. In this role, Dr. Pienta created a proven, peer-reviewed track record in organizing and administering a translational research program that successfully incorporated bench research, drug candidate development and clinical application. Dr. Pienta has international expertise in the development of novel chemotherapeutic programs for cancer and has championed the concept that translational research is often best accomplished by multi-disciplinary teams of scientists and clinicians.