November 16, 2016 | by Letisia Marquez
City of Hope’s Ravi Salgia, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research, has received yet another accolade that recognizes his decades-long dedication to treating lung cancer patients and researching new therapies.
Named after the Greek god of medicine and healing, Salgia received the 2016 Asclepius Award from the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation on Nov. 12 at the organization’s “Simply the Best” Dinner and Gala in San Francisco. The foundation is dedicated to fighting lung cancer and turning it into a manageable, curable disease by 2023.
“The Asclepius Award honors Dr. Salgia’s excellence in medicine, and his unrelenting focus on helping patients with lung cancer,” said Bonnie J. Addario, the foundation’s founder and a Stage 3B lung cancer survivor. “He is a strong ally in our quest to find new precision medicine therapies for lung cancer patients worldwide.”
Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women; about one out of four cancer deaths are from lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
Salgia joined City of Hope in January 2016, where he’s led the expansion of clinical programs at City of Hope’s Duarte campus and in its community practices throughout Southern California.
Salgia also works closely with faculty to support both basic research and clinical studies aimed at discovering new cancer treatments.
Beyond his role as the Arthur & Rosalie Kaplan Endowed Chair in Medical Oncology, he also serves as associate director for clinical sciences in the institution’s comprehensive cancer center.
“I am honored and humbled to receive recognition from an organization that is so closely aligned to my passion -- finding more effective therapies for lung cancer,” Salgia said. “Together, we can make a difference in the fight against this devastating disease.”
Prior to joining City of Hope, Salgia served in various high-profile roles at the University of Chicago Medical Center and Pritzker School of Medicine, including director of the center’s Thoracic Oncology Program, vice chair of medicine and associate director of translational sciences for its comprehensive cancer center.
During his 12 years at University of Chicago, Salgia identified several novel targets in oncology and led a strong clinical and research group. His laboratory conducted research on how the receptor tyrosine kinases, which is abundant in lung cancer cells, affects cell growth, and may have potential use in treatment.
Salgia’s most recent work has focused on genomic profiling of lung cancers and the development of biomarkers for early diagnosis, as well as prognosis and therapeutic monitoring of thoracic cancers, which occur in the lung and chest area. Salgia is also utilizing various strategies to understand tumor heterogeneity, including the role of cell signaling pathways, mitochondria, immunology and mathematical modeling.
Salgia has published more than 200 journal articles, contributed to 34 books related to thoracic diseases and served as an editor and associate editor for six journals. He has given lectures and organized or chaired seminal conferences throughout the world.
Salgia received his medical degree and Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He completed a fellowship in medical oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School, and remained there as a faculty member for a decade, before moving to the University of Chicago where he continued his clinical and research accomplishments.