May 21, 2015
ASCO congratulates Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, who was elected as the 16th President of the American University of Beirut (AUB), in Beirut, Lebanon, effective September 1, 2015. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Khuri was Executive Associate Dean for Research, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, and the Roberto C. Goizueta Distinguished Chair for Cancer Research at Emory University School of Medicine, and served as Deputy Director for the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. He will retain his Professorship at Emory University, but will move to Beirut to lead AUB in late August 2015.
Dr. Khuri has been an ASCO member since 1996 and is currently a member of the Cancer Prevention Committee. He has served on the Conquer Cancer Foundation Grants Selection Committee, the Journal of Clinical Oncology Editorial Board, and the Scientific Program Committee, among other volunteer activities.
In the interview that follows, Dr. Khuri shares his goals in this new role, and colleagues commend his research discoveries and personal commitment to advancing the field of oncology. Read more about Dr. Khuri’s professional achievements in a press release from the American University of Beirut. Follow him on Twitter @DrFadloKhuri.
AC: You have a strong connection to AUB both professionally and personally. How did you feel when you learned that you had been selected as the next President of this institution?
Dr. Khuri: I was deeply honored and excited to be elected to serve such a world-renowned and impactful institution, one which has transformed the lives of so many citizens of the Near East and indeed the world. AUB has educated four generations of my family, and the opportunity to lead it in its 150th year is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a dream come true.
AC: As you prepare to take on this role, do you have any thoughts on your experience in oncology thus far?
Dr. Khuri: It is a privilege to be a molecular oncologist in this remarkable era where we can impact our patients’ lives and the scientific fields we focus on far more meaningfully than we could 26 years ago when I started my training. Even in that light, much work remains to be done, but the future of cancer research, teaching, and care is full of wonderful opportunities for individuals who are fortunate enough to be in this field.
AC: What projects will you be focused on during the first years of your presidency?
Dr. Khuri: My three major areas of focus during my first three years as AUB’s President will be to:
- Build and enhance a culture of transparency, accountability and excellence
- Expand access to the American University of Beirut’s teaching scholarship and service to a broader segment of society, including enhancing diversity
- Secure the resources available to generate the best teaching, scholarship, and service at AUB while inculcating a culture of servant leadership
AC: In the long term, what effect do you hope to have on cancer care in Lebanon through your leadership at AUB?
Dr. Khuri: The American University of Beirut has the finest medical school in the Arab world (as recently pointed out by the vaunted QS ratings for international universities in 2015) and conducts world-class research and patient care in several areas, including cancer. I will help expand the collaborations between top Arab cancer care and research centers, help the Cancer Center Director and the Dean of Medicine at AUB to accelerate recruitment to the Naef K. Basile Cancer Center, on whose Board I have served for the last decade, and increase cross-talk between basic and clinical scientists with the faculty from our superb Schools of Health Sciences, Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Agriculture and Food Sciences. In addition, I hope to develop a leadership academy with leaders from our outstanding Olayan School of Business that can help to train the next generation of cancer leaders in the region.
AC: Do you have any advice for young oncologists who one day hope to be leaders within their own institutions?
Dr. Khuri: My best advice is to pick a field that you are passionate about, focus your research, teaching, and patient care in this area, and learn from your patients, colleagues and mentors. That has been my fortunate path.
Colleagues Recognize Dr. Khuri
“Fadlo Khuri is a man of science, research and integrity, achievements and advancement, leadership and excellence role modeling. He is also a dear friend of many of us, including past and current ASCO leadership. Fadlo is widely published and he is Editor-in-Chief of Cancer. He has served on several ASCO committees and is a regular speaker at the ASCO Annual Meeting and at head, neck, and lung cancer conferences. In addition, Fadlo has been instrumental for the success of Best of ASCO® Lebanon over the last consecutive 10 years. He comes with high hopes to advance AUB missions during the present times of trouble in the Middle East!”
— Nagi S. El Saghir, MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine/Hematology-Oncology, Director of the Breast Center of Excellence at the Naef K. Basile Cancer Institute, American University of Beirut
“Fadlo Khuri, MD, is an outstanding medical oncologist with research interests in lung and head and neck cancers. He has contributed much to our understanding of potential means to prevent lung and head and neck cancers. His studies have defined the role of the mTOR and Pik3ca pathways in lung cancer. He has been the principal investigator on a number of National Cancer Institute grants, including a program project grant in lung cancer. He has done a remarkable job in leading the Division of Medical Oncology at the Emory Winship Cancer Center in Atlanta. He has been the Editor of the journal Cancer. He has been a marvelous physician for many patients at Winship and MD Anderson. All of these folks will deeply miss Fadlo. But he is undertaking an extremely important position as President of American University in Beirut at a critical time. The American University of Beirut is fortunate to have Fadlo as their new President, and I am sure he will bring the University to new heights.”
— Paul A. Bunn, Jr., MD, FASCO, James Dudley Chair in Cancer Research, Head of the Division of Medical Oncology, University of Colorado Cancer Center