Drebin Appointed Chair of Surgery at MSKCC

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JEFFREY DREBIN was named chair of surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, a position he will assume early next year. He is the chair of the Department of Surgery at Penn Medicine and the 14th John Rhea Barton Professor of Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine.

At MSKCC, Drebin will replace Peter Scardino, who is stepping down after ten years as chair of the Department of Surgery.

In an email to The Cancer Letter, Scardino said he plans to “continue to practice and conduct research in prostate cancer as a member of the Urology Service in the Department here at MSK for many years, and, I hope, continue to participate in the development of new diagnostic and treatment approaches for the disease and help explain why PSA is still an invaluable marker that, used correctly, will continue to help reduce the mortality rate from prostate cancer.”

In an email to the faculty, Penn officials wrote:

While we are extremely proud of Dr. Drebin being selected for this prestigious position at MSKCC, there is no question that his presence here will be sorely missed. Jeff has conveyed to each of us the difficulty he had in making this decision, but ultimately the opportunity to focus his career on cancer became the right choice for him.

Dr. Drebin has been an outstanding leader and mentor at Penn Medicine. He came to Penn in 2004 as Chief of the Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery and was named Chair of the Department in 2009. Since that time, Jeff has built a nationally leading department with responsibility for a diverse range of programs and services spanning 11 divisions, including advanced patient care, basic and clinical research and the surgical education program. The Department is consistently recognized for its outstanding performance led by excellent faculty, and to Jeff’s personal credit – for its strong group of residents and junior faculty who will become tomorrow’s leaders in academic medicine.

Dr. Drebin’s research has put him in the vanguard of the latest therapies for cancer with innovative research projects investigating new ways to treat pancreatic cancer. Further, his research has contributed significantly to the understanding of the genetic origins of cancer. He is currently the co-Principal Investigator on a clinical and translational “dream team” award from the Stand Up to Cancer Foundation for innovative studies in pancreatic cancer which joins Penn faculty with investigators at MSKCC to advance knowledge and improve patient care.

We will, of course, begin a national search for a new chair of surgery shortly with the knowledge that Jeff has set a very high bar indeed for his successor. Jeff is an outstanding leader, clinician, scientist and a valued colleague, and we will plan appropriate celebrations of his many accomplishments at Penn Medicine. Please join us in offering him heartiest congratulations on his new position.