Drs. Penson, McKiernan appointed department chairs


The month of September has seen two notable appointments in academic urology, with David F. Penson, MD, MPH, and James McKiernan, MD, both named to department chair positions.

The month of September has seen two notable appointments in academic urology, with David F. Penson, MD, MPH, and James McKiernan, MD, both named to department chair positions.

Last week, it was announced that Dr. Penson, the Paul V. Hamilton MD and Virginia E. Howd Professor of Urologic Oncology at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, would become chair of Vanderbilt’s department of urologic surgery, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Dr. Penson will succeed Joseph Smith, Jr., MD, who will remain on the Vanderbilt faculty.

In a press release, Dr. Smith hailed Dr. Penson’s appointment.

“I am aware of many of the top individuals throughout the country who had a keen interest in the position. However, we have four or five people within our department who meet or exceed the qualifications of any from the outside, and Dave Penson is undoubtedly a great choice,” Dr. Smith said.

In the same statement, Dr. Penson pledged to expand the department’s efforts.

“Looking to the future, you want to maintain this culture of excellence but you can’t rest on your laurels. We have to think about ways to expand our clinical enterprise. We have to be adopting new technologies, and testing them, and if they work being an example to others on how to put them into practice. We have to continue to push the research, both in the laboratory and also the outcomes,” Dr. Penson said.

Dr. Penson, who serves as director of the Center for Surgical Quality and Outcomes Research, recently received a $3.3 million, 5-year, institutional K12 training grant award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to conduct patient-centered outcomes research. He joined the Vanderbilt faculty from UCLA in 2009.

Separately, Dr. McKiernan, the George F. Cahill professor of urology at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, New York, has been named chair of urology and urologist-in-chief at that institution. As department chair, he will be nominated to become the John K. Lattimer Professor of Urology, according to a Columbia press release.

“Dr. McKiernan has been a highly effective leader in his role as interim chair and chief since last September, and we are confident that he will continue to lead the department and grow its research and clinical operations,” said Lee Goldman, MD, MPH, the university’s Harold and Margaret Hatch Professor and dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine at Columbia, in the statement.

Dr. McKiernan specializes in urologic oncology, particularly surgical therapy in high-risk patients with bladder and kidney cancers. His research focuses on novel drug and biomarker development, as well as comparative effectiveness, in urologic oncology. He is the principal investigator of the National Institutes of Health-funded clinical trials program of experimental therapeutics in bladder cancer at Columbia, which is investigating new agents for bladder preservation in patients whose cancer has recurred after standard therapy.


Next: Appointments announced at USC, University of Arizona Cancer Center, Mount Sinai

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In related news:

• The University of Southern California Institute of Urology announced the appointments of Gerhard Fuchs, MD, and Larissa V. Rodriguez, MD.

Dr. Fuchs, professor of clinical urology at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, has been named executive director of the USC Institute of Urology at Keck Medicine of USC-Beverly Hills and will also serve as director of the institute’s Men’s Health Center, director of education, and director of quality assurance/improvement. He was previously director of the minimally invasive urology program, vice chairman of the department of surgery, and director for the urology residency and fellowship programs at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He also was a clinical professor of urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Dr. Rodriguez has been appointed professor of urology at the Keck School of Medicine. She will also serve as vice chair of academics for the USC Institute of Urology, director of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery (FPMRS) at the Keck Medicine of USC-Beverly Hills clinic, and director of the FPMRS fellowship at the Keck School of Medicine. She joins USC from UCLA, where she served as co-director of the division of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery and professor of urology.

• The University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson appointed Andrew S. Kraft, MD, as the Sydney E. Salmon endowed chair and director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center and associate vice president for oncology programs for the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. A nationally recognized prostate cancer physician-scientist, Dr. Kraft will also serve as tenured professor of medicine in the department of medicine, division of hematology/oncology and senior associate dean for translational research in the College of Medicine.

Dr. Kraft joins the University of Arizona Cancer Center from the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.

• The Mount Sinai Health System, New York, named Ketan Badani, MD, vice chairman of urology and robotic operations director of the Comprehensive Kidney Cancer Program. He will also serve as director robotic surgery at Mount Sinai St. Luke's and Mount Sinai Roosevelt, according to a press release from the institution.

Dr. Badani joins Mount Sinai from New York Presbyterian/Columbia University.

Mount Sinai also named Reza Mehrazin, MD, John Sfakianos, MD, and Seema Sheth, MD, assistant professors of urology at Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai.

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