JABSOM Alum Makes Strides in Cancer Research, Leadership

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As Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Director of Radiation Oncology Clinical Research for the Houston Area Locations at MD Anderson, Dr. Stephen Chun (JABSOM MD 2010) continues to put JABSOM on the national map.

Dr. Chun is now taking another step toward being a leader in oncology. He was among 16 selected to participate in the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Leadership Development Program and the first in the history of the Division of Radiation Oncology at MD Anderson to be selected for this program.

The program is designed to develop future leaders within ASCO, so Dr. Chun will learn valuable leadership skills, gain exposure to ASCO's roles and mission, and learn about the Society's place in developing the future of cancer care.

While Dr. Chun will be honing his leadership skills, the JABSOM alum's research is also making a significant impact. He was the lead author on "Long-Term Prospective Outcomes of Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy for Locally Advanced Lung Cancer," published in JAMA Oncology this week. His research revealed fewer side effects for patients with unresectable, locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer when precise intensity-modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) was used compared to 3D-conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT).

These achievements come on the heels of Dr. Chun's R50 funding from the National Cancer Institute which supports his efforts to expand the radiation oncology trial program in the MD Anderson integrated academic satellite network and his leadership roles with the NCI-sponsored cooperative trial groups. As part of these efforts, he will be leading the rollout of the new NRG Oncology Podcast as co-host, which is the first podcast ever established by an NCI-sponsored cooperative group in July 2024.

At JABSOM, Dr. Chun learned from medical school deans and Cancer Center directors. He cites those opportunities as contributing to his success today.

"Because of the close-knit community at JABSOM, I was able to form close relationships with faculty who helped me launch a career in academic medicine almost two decades ago. I am immensely grateful to people like Michele Carbone, Ralph Shohet, and Jerris Hedges, who continue to mentor me to this day. I believe that this egalitarian culture at JABSOM is a legacy that Ed Cadman would have been most proud of. Not every medical school has opportunities for students to directly interface with the academic heavyweights of their institution, and I encourage JABSOM students to take full advantage of this."