Center News Magazine: New Leaders in Memorial Sloan Kettering Thoracic Surgery and Oncology

By Celia Gittelson  |  Monday, September 30, 2013
Pictured: David Jones & Charles Rudin David Jones (left) and Charles Rudin will co-chair a multidisciplinary program in thoracic malignancies.

David R. Jones has joined Memorial Sloan Kettering as Chief of the Thoracic Service in the Department of Surgery, and Charles M. Rudin has joined Memorial Sloan Kettering as Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service, Division of Solid Tumor Oncology, in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Jones and Dr. Rudin will co-chair the Thoracic Disease Management Team. Dr. Jones has also been appointed Vice Chair for Quality and Safety in the Department of Surgery.

“Drs. Jones and Rudin are internationally recognized leaders in their respective fields,” says Memorial Hospital Physician-in-Chief José Baselga. “They will collaborate to lead a multidisciplinary program combining modern genomic characterization of thoracic cancers, the latest innovations in minimally invasive surgery, and advances in medical therapy to ensure that our patients receive the very best in cancer care. Their expertise as clinicians and their strong records of accomplishment in clinical and translational research make them ideal leaders of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Thoracic Surgical Service and Thoracic Oncology Service.”

David Jones

A thoracic surgeon, Dr. Jones comes to Memorial Sloan Kettering from the University of Virginia where he was Vice Chair of Surgery and Chief of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. A pioneer in lung cancer metastasis biology and biomarker development, he was the first to identify the loss of the metastasis suppressor gene BRMS-1 in lung cancer, and the first to use the COXEN biomarker predictor to determine the sensitivity of non-small cell lung cancer to molecularly targeted therapies. He has also led investigations of clinical biomarkers to predict local and distant recurrence of lung and esophageal cancer. He has completed several phase I clinical trials including the use of novel agents given to early-stage lung cancer patients before surgery, and he is now identifying biomarker “signatures” that best predict responses to this therapy.

Dr. Jones is a permanent member of the Tumor Progression and Metastasis Study Section of the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute and an active participant in the NCI’s Cancer Genome Atlas Project. He has authored more than 160 peer-reviewed papers, including landmark publications in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Oncogene, Cancer Research, and the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Charles Rudin

Dr. Rudin, formerly Director of Lung Cancer Therapeutics and Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, is a medical oncologist and a translational researcher. He is a leader in the study of lung cancer, other thoracic malignancies, and developmental therapy for advanced solid tumors.

Dr. Rudin has conducted novel preclinical studies using patient-derived tumor tissue for preclinical drug testing of new therapies in lung cancer. In addition, he has led the most comprehensive analysis of genomic alterations in small cell lung cancer.

His research has also included the study of epigenetic targeting, hedgehog signaling, and oncolytic viruses in the management of lung cancer, and this work has been influential in the study of other malignancies. Dr. Rudin has led seminal studies of hedgehog pathway inhibitors against advanced basal cell carcinoma, a rare type of skin cancer, and medulloblastoma, a brain cancer most commonly seen in children.

Dr. Jones succeeds Valerie W. Rusch, who has served as Chief of the Thoracic Service since 2000. Dr. Rusch will continue her active clinical practice and research activities at Memorial Sloan Kettering and will continue to lead the clinical research programs of the Department of Surgery as Vice Chair for Clinical Research.

Dr. Rudin succeeds Mark G. Kris who has served as Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service since 1990. Dr. Kris has been appointed Lead Physician, MSKCC-IBM Watson Collaboration.