International expert in liver and pancreatic cancer will lead institution’s surgical programs
DUARTE, Calif. — Yuman Fong, M.D. , an internationally recognized expert in hepatobiliary cancer and in the use of genetically modified viruses to combat malignant disease, has been named chair of the Department of Surgery at City of Hope. Fong comes to City of Hope from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where he held for the last 14 years the Murray F. Brennan Chair in Surgery and Professorship in surgery at Cornell Medical College.
A specialist in cancers of the liver, bile duct, gallbladder and pancreas, Fong has pioneered many surgical, laparoscopic, robotic and ablative therapies for these cancers, which are diagnosed in more than a million people worldwide each year. Nationally and internationally, he has been involved in studies aimed at understanding, treating and preventing these cancers, and in developing widely applicable and minimally invasive technologies for their treatment.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome a surgeon and scientist of Dr. Fong’s caliber to City of Hope,” said Alexandra Levine, M.D., M.A.C.P., chief medical officer and the Dr. Norman & Melinda Payson Professor in Medicine at City of Hope. “He has been a pioneer both in the operating room and in the laboratory, crafting new surgical techniques and instruments and creating entirely new modalities of therapy. Especially notable is his track record of launching human clinical trials of genetically modified viruses with the potential to fight cancer.”
“At the same time, Dr. Fong is known for infusing his vigor and sense of purpose to his students, many of whom have gone on to become chairs of surgery at institutions throughout the country,” Levine said. “Dr. Fong’s superb abilities as a physician and surgeon, his commitment to educating our surgeons of the future, his remarkable creativity and his drive as a researcher all make him an excellent match for our institution’s mission and values, and an ideal leader for our Department of Surgery.”
Fong has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed basic scientific articles, 350 clinically oriented peer-reviewed publications, 65 book chapters, and 11 textbooks. His articles have appeared in Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Annals of Surgery and other notable professional journals. He has received grant support continuously over the past 17 years, most from the National Institutes of Health as a principal investigator, and has been awarded five patents related to his work.
“City of Hope is an institution known nationwide for its outstanding research, patient-focused care and superior outcomes,” Fong said. “I’m looking forward to joining the team of expert surgeons and scientists at City of Hope and, working with them, to advancing care for patients with liver, bile duct, gallbladder and pancreatic cancers. Together, we can make a difference for people with these diseases.”
Fong has served on the editorial boards of 14 journals and has received numerous honors and awards, including the Franklin Martin Faculty Fellowship from the American College of Surgery, and the Shipley Award from the Southern Surgical Association. He just finished a two year term as chair of the recombinant DNA advisory committee of the National Institutes of Health.
He earned his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1984 and completed surgical training at New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Brown University in medieval literature.
Fong is scheduled to assume his new duties on the City of Hope campus in Duarte on April 1.
City of Hope is a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the nation. City of Hope’s main hospital is located in Duarte, Calif., just northeast of Los Angeles, with clinics in Antelope Valley and South Pasadena. It is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S.News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation and genetics.