Memorial Sloan Kettering Announces Appointment of New Physician-in-Chief

Pictured: José Baselga

New Physician-in-Chief José Baselga

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center announced today that José Baselga has been named Physician-in-Chief of Memorial Hospital. Currently, Dr. Baselga is Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Associate Director of the MGH Cancer Center.

“Memorial Sloan Kettering is embarking on a new period of growth and development across our range of clinical programs, and in José Baselga we are fortunate to have recruited a leader with the vision, skill, and experience to work with me during this exciting time,” says Memorial Sloan Kettering President and CEO Craig B. Thompson. “Dr. Baselga is a dedicated clinician and a distinguished researcher. I know he will collaborate energetically and enthusiastically with his colleagues throughout this great institution to accelerate cancer discovery and help bring new and more-effective treatments to the clinic, while ensuring the highest and most humane standards in patient care.”

More than 123,000 patients are seen annually at Memorial Sloan Kettering. As Physician-in-Chief, Dr. Baselga will direct the clinical component of Memorial Sloan Kettering, leading a staff of approximately 834 attending physicians. His responsibilities will include the management of patient care delivery in Memorial Hospital as well as at Memorial Sloan Kettering’s clinics and regional sites. He will also focus on clinical strategic planning and will oversee clinical and translational research.

Dr. Baselga is an internationally recognized physician-scientist with a special interest in translational and early clinical research as well as the identification of novel mechanisms of resistance to current cancer therapies. His laboratory investigations have focused primarily on breast cancer, in particular in the area of growth factor receptors as targets for breast cancer therapy.

He has also been involved in the preclinical and clinical development of several molecularly targeted agents including trastuzumab (Herceptin®) and lapatinib (Tykerb®), and insulin-like growth factor receptor inhibitors.

More recently, he led the early clinical development and the pivotal clinical studies that resulted in approval by the US Food and Drug Administration of two drugs for the treatment of breast cancer – pertuzumab (Perjeta) for the treatment of patients with HER2-positive metastatic disease, and everolimus (Afinitor®) for the treatment of advanced hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer. His current work focuses on the development of PI3K inhibitors in patients with tumors that have PI3K mutations.

“One of today’s major challenges in clinical oncology is translating as rapidly as possible findings made in the laboratory into effective therapies for patients,” says Dr. Baselga. “Memorial Sloan Kettering is uniquely positioned to do this – and at a time when the opportunities in cancer research and treatment have never been greater. I am delighted, and feel privileged, to be rejoining the Memorial Sloan Kettering family.”

Dr. Baselga completed a medical oncology fellowship at Memorial Hospital and remained as a faculty member on the Breast/Gynecological Oncology Service from 1994 through 1996, when he returned to Spain. He received his MD and PhD degrees from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, in Spain, and did residencies at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona and the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn.

Dr. Baselga is a past president of the European Society for Medical Oncology, has served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and is the author or co-author of more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and publications. He is also a founding editor-in-chief (with Lewis C. Cantley) of the AACR’s new journal, Cancer Discovery.

He has received numerous awards and honors, among them ASCO’s Young Investigator and Career Development Awards and the Rosenthal Family Award from the AACR.

He succeeds Robert E. Wittes who announced in August 2011 his intention to step down at the end of this year after serving for a decade as Physician-in-Chief.


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Jose is an outstanding physician scientist always focused on defining new standard to improve personalized therapy.
In this new position he will certainly contribute tot he further growth of MSKCC. Congratulations!

In 1984, after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was treated with lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy, state- of-the-art treatment, even then. Congratulations on this important appointment! I am proud to be among the many survivors treated at MSKCC.

We all know Jose's excellence. Congratulations!. It's the best MSKCC bet in the last years!. I wish you the best

Congratulations to Jose for this remarkable milestone. Being trained at MSKCC about about two decades back, Jose will be now part of a transforming leadership team and take an already outstanding place in Cancer Research and Treatment to the next level.

Les nostres mes sinceres felicitacions, junt amb l'agraïment de totes les dones de Grup Àgata, per tota la seva feina, envers aquelles que hem passat i passem per la experiència de patir un càncer de mama
Gràcies professor, amb el desitg de molts éxits, que sempre repercuteixen en les persones!!!
Grup Àgata

I've have been trying to get an appiontment for almost 3 weeks at this Hospital but one of their referral Personal has been giving the worst time of my life and won't schedule the appiontment. Everytime I meet a so call requirement she adds on new ones. I've been Hospitalized at another hospital to Prove to her I have cancer. I had my medical records from my doctors that clearlystate I have cancer and have been treated with chemotherapy and had Bilateral Mastectonmies.If that don't prove my Cancer status I don't what will. During this last hospital stay that she required of me to have a bunch of test. I found out my cancer has spread throughtout my body and still she won't give me an appointment. she now is requiring more from me. Her telling me how she will be reviewing my case. Only for me to find out she's not even a Nurse.She's Demanding to know what my treatment Plan is going to be and asking me to go else where and get more testing. In the mean time my life is passing me by. Finally today I spoke with her supervisior Nurse named Ellen Tollan whom immediately came to her side to explained to me a Registered Nurse how the Hospital allows this person with no education to make life and death decisions for patients. Now almost three weeks later hanging on for Dear life. I'm praying this Nurse will get me this appointment as soon as possible. I'm hoping the Hospital administrator see my comment and response to this situation. This staff member should not be allowed to hold Patients lives in her hands. Even my Doctor callled and could not get me an appointment. This is a bad situation being made worst by some one no more than a person hired to answer the phone and her actions are being justified by a Nurse. My name is Linda Rivera-Mintz and she is named Elisa.
Linda Rivera-Mintz

Thank you for your comment. When scheduling appointments for new patients, we require certain documentation to get you to the right specialist. We appreciate your help in gathering the appropriate documents.

Congrats to Jose I hope You handle this situation as soon as possible. Your staff has my Phone number and you will hear from me tomorrow Morning. Sorry for the Bad start.

unacceptable try to contract Dr. Schulman at Memorial Sloan in Commack, n.y

Thank You Barbara. Now I have been scheduled fro Oct 23. That's a long time when you've been told your cancer has spread all over your heart and lungs and some of your organs. I'm despersate to fight for my life and I'm hoping they get me in sooner. A Patient respresentative is working on trying to get in trying to get me in sooner. Thank you for your response. I want to be one of the surivior stories. I believe this Doctors at this Hospital and this patient respresentative can help me. I will keep you Posted.

Congratulations Dr Baselga. I 'm looking for some protocols about neuroblastoma in children and I know that Sloan has different from European paediatric oncology. My surprise was a "catalan" is the new Chief. So, congratulations " i molta sort ".

Me alegro mucho Jose, que sigas escalando posiciones, pues tienes un reconocimiento de muchos que te venimos siguiendo en publicaciones y varias veces por un saludo personal. En Peru estamos muy contentos, por ti Felicitaciones!!

Linda, am surprised you had so much trouble getting your appointment at Memorial. I hope they can help you as much as they have helped me, my sister and my aunt. I am grateful to have a great oncologist Dr. Lendvai and I hope your doctor is as knowledgeable and caring as my doctor. Good luck and don't give up.


Welcome back to New York Dr. Baselga. It's a pleasure having you in town again..

Memorial could not have made a better choice.

The treatment, care and professionalism I received at Sloan was incredible. I found the caring begins from the person that holds the door for you when you enter to the amazing Doctor who saved my life. Thank you Dr. Abu Rustum and staff.

Congratulations Jose and MSKCC.
Welcome back to New York and good luck.

Dear Doctor Baselga, I apologise for the annoyance. But anyway here I am: Can you please do something about the radiotherapy for oncological patients at Hospital Quiron in Barcelona, Spain? Good girls go to heaven, but I would like to stay a little longer now that my hair is back under my wig and I have a new nickname Jolie. We are queuing unnecessarily, 5 days a week, because a spare part is expected from the Netherlands and the Duke of Alba prevents me from falling asleep. "Silent Night": Lorazepam and Louis Armstrong "Nobody knows the trouble I see" is the best karaoke in my case. Heaven is at your premises on the 2nd floor and Hell is at the -3 just above the garage. Can you please send for the Marathon Man? I am myself luckily at the final sprint, tomorrow my 22nd out of 28. Waiting time has been unacceptable. I am talking about longer than one hour and a phone call from the hospital would have been great. One day after the other. Just ugly and numb toes and nails remind me of this annus horribilis. Haute couture in my armpit. Sweet chemo at the cosy boxes with your candy and my bread and chocolate and gallons of water. I see some light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for your patience. I am obviously burnt out. Kind regards from Barcelona, Spain. My father and my sister-in-law are two successful patients of yours. Marisol Palou Martínez

Is it possible to meet Baselga when visiting New York this Summer and have a look at the Onvology Ward of the MSKCC? Jan, medical oncologist from The Netherlands. Please contact by the above mentioned emailadress

Congratulations Dr. Baselga. The Prestigious Memorial is a great platform to help others in something so valuable like keeping their own lives.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson