Kwok-Kin Wong, MD, PhD
The Perlmutter Cancer Center at New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center has named clinician-scientist Kwok-Kin Wong, MD, PhD, as its new Chief of Hematology and Medical Oncology. His recruitment promises to transform the medical center’s research and clinical programs in lung cancer and to promote innovative collaborations with the pharmaceutical industry on promising scientific discoveries.
Major Discoveries in Lung Cancer
Dr. Wong will join the Perlmutter faculty in January 2017, following a distinguished, decades-long career at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Professor of Medicine and a practicing clinical oncologist, Dr. Wong’s research has provided new insight into the genetic and environmental causes of lung cancer, enabling testing of novel lung cancer therapies. He has received acclaim for clarifying the role of genes such as EGFR, ALK, and PIK3CA, which control normal cell growth and survival but when mutated become major drivers of abnormal, cancerous growth. By creating genetically engineered mice harboring these mutations, his lab has revealed its contribution to lung cancer development.
While at Dana-Farber, Dr. Wong fostered partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry that accelerated cancer drug discovery. He helped direct the pioneering Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science, a research center dedicated to translating current oncology research into tomorrow’s treatments. By generating more realistic mouse models that are informed by genomic studies of human lung cancer, he has created new platforms for testing new anticancer drugs. His most recent investigations have focused on understanding sensitivity and resistance to targeted therapies and immunotherapy, with the goal of developing curative combination regimens for lung cancer patients.
Dr. Wong earned both his medical degree and his PhD in the Integrated Program in Cellular, Molecular, and Biophysical Studies at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He was trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and in hematology-oncology at Dana-Farber. His laboratory has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute, as well as by the National Institute on Aging.
As Dr. Wong explained, “This is an exciting time in cancer research and treatment. Advances in genomic technology, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy have now directly improved cancer patient survival. It is imperative that we continue to work together to find new combination treatments for each genetically stratified cancer that work even better.”
He concluded, “I remain fervently committed to advancing cancer research and clinical care while, at the same time, developing partnerships between researchers and industry that are so critical to advancing our understanding and treatment of cancer and eliminating it in our lifetime.” ■