Philadelphia, PA – September 15, 2009 – Walter J. Curran, Jr., M.D., RTOG Group Chair, has been named the Executive Director of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute and Associate Vice President for Cancer, Woodruff Health Sciences Center.  Dr. Curran, who will continue as the RTOG Group Chair, will become the only radiation oncologist in the country to serve as the director of an NCI-designated cancer center.

“In the 20 months that Dr. Curran has been at Emory, he turned the cancer center a major accruer to RTOG clinical trials,” states Mitchell Machtay, M.D., RTOG Deputy Group Chair and professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Ireland Cancer Center of the University Hospitals Case Medical Center.  “His leadership and commitment to cancer research will serve Emory well and continue to enhance RTOG’s research mission.  As the only radiation oncologist director at an NCI-designated cancer center, this appointment speaks to Dr. Curran’s deep, career-long commitment not just to the specialty of radiation oncology but to advancing all of the missions of cancer research and education.”

Dr. Curran has been the group chair and principal investigator of the RTOG since 1997.  Prior to that he served as the group’s deputy group chair and chair of its Brain Tumor Committee.  Dr. Curran is a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar, and is the chair of Emory’s Department of Radiation Oncology and the medical director of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute. He joined Emory in November 2007 from Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, where he served as professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and clinical director for the Kimmel Cancer Center.

Dr. Curran graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College, received his MD degree from the Medical College of Georgia, and is a Board Certified Radiation Oncologist. Dr. Curran completed his residency in the Department of Radiation Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and his internship in internal medicine at Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia.
The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) is located in the ACR Center for Clinical Research in Philadelphia, PA. RTOG is a multi-institutional international clinical cooperative group funded primarily by National Cancer Institute grants U10CA21661, U10CA37422, and U24CA114734.  RTOG has 40 years of experience in conducting clinical trials and is comprised of over 300 major research institutions in the United States, Canada, and internationally. The group currently is currently accruing to 40 studies that involve radiation therapy alone or in conjunction with surgery and/or chemotherapeutic drugs or which investigate quality of life issues and their effects on the cancer patient.
The American College of Radiology (ACR) is a national professional organization serving more than 32,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of radiology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

Source: ACR Press Release