Jeffrey A. Drebin, MD, PhD, has been named the new Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). Dr. Drebin brings to MSK decades of experience as a world-class surgical oncologist specializing in pancreaticobiliary, upper gastrointestinal and liver surgery. He joins MSK from the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) where he was most recently the John Rhea Barton Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery. Dr. Drebin formally assumes his new role as Peter Scardino, MD, steps down as Chairman after ten years of visionary leadership.
“Dr. Drebin is the ideal choice to lead MSK’s outstanding Department of Surgery,” said José Baselga, MD, PhD, MSK’s Physician-in-Chief. “His invaluable experience and dedication to cancer research will enable MSK to treat more patients with the highest quality of surgical care. As an accomplished leader, physician, researcher and mentor, he will extend our vision for patient care, academic growth and research excellence.”
An internationally recognized surgeon-scientist, Dr. Drebin’s recent research and clinical activity focuses on the use of novel approaches to better understand pancreatic cancer cells and develop new, personalized treatments. His PhD work involved the development of the first monoclonal antibodies targeting the HER2/neu oncogene. A pioneer in developing targeted therapies for cancer and in cancer surgery, he has held numerous leadership positions with multiple organizations throughout his distinguished career. He served as the Immediate Past-President of the Society of Surgical Oncology, Past-President of the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery and Past-President of the Society of Clinical Surgery. In 2016, he was elected Recorder of the American Surgical Association. He has previously served as a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, on the Executive Committee of the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group and as Chair of the Pancreas Cancer Disease Site Sub-Committee of the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. In 2013, he was elected to the Institutes of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, now known as the National Academy of Medicine.
“I am honored to succeed Dr. Scardino in this esteemed role,” said Dr. Drebin. “MSK represents the best in comprehensive cancer care. I am thrilled to join this team of physicians dedicated to providing their patients with the best treatment options through collaboration, commitment to MSK’s mission and advancing the latest treatment techniques.”
Dr. Drebin received his MD and PhD degrees from Harvard and completed his surgical residency in General Surgery and a Fellowship in Surgical Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Upon completing his clinical training, he was recruited to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis as Assistant Professor of Surgery where he remained until 2004, moving up the ranks to Professor of Surgery and of Molecular Biology & Pharmacology. Following that he was recruited to UPenn as the Chief of the Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery and Vice-Chair for Research, receiving the William M. Measey Professorship in Surgical Research. He was appointed to the role of Chairman of the Department of Surgery at UPenn in 2009.
Dr. Drebin succeeds Dr. Scardino, a celebrated pioneer in the field of prostate cancer. Dr. Scardino created a robust and state-of-the-art program in surgical oncology. He will continue to guide MSK with his clinical expertise and serve patients as a member of the Urology service.