News Release: Research, Winship Cancer Institute, Woodruff Health Sciences

Sep. 15,  2009

Walter J. Curran, MD, Appointed Emory Winship Cancer Institute Executive Director

Brian Leyland-Jones steps down to pursue research interests

News Article ImageWalter J. Curran, MD. Download high-resolution image (2.75 MB).

Walter J. Curran, MD, has been named executive director of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute, succeeding Brian Leyland-Jones, MD, PhD, who stepped down to pursue research interests.

Curran, a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar, has served as the Lawrence W. Davis Professor and Chairman of Emory's Department of Radiation Oncology and as chief medical officer of Emory Winship. Curran joined Emory in January 2008, from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, where he served as professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and clinical director for Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center. He currently serves as Group Chairman and Principal Investigator of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), a National Cancer Institute-funded cooperative group, a position he has held since 1997.Leyland-Jones joined Emory as director of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute in January 2007.

"I am very proud of Winship's recent National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Designation," says Leyland-Jones. "Now that we have accomplished this significant goal, I look forward to concentrating on my long time research interests in personalized translational medicine as an Emory School of Medicine faculty member." Leyland-Jones will be a professor of hematology and medical oncology at EWCI.

Emory Winship announced its NCI designation earlier this year, joining an elite cadre of 65 cancer centers around the country. Emory Winship is the first facility in Georgia to earn this designation.

"Emory Winship is a leader in the fight against cancer on multiple fronts - research, education, prevention and patient care," says Fred Sanfilippo, MD, PhD, executive vice president for health affairs at Emory University. "We appreciate Dr. Leyland-Jones' many contributions and will continue this positive trajectory in cancer treatment and research at the Woodruff Health Sciences Center under Dr. Curran's leadership."  

"We have made great strides as a center," says Curran, "and Emory Winship will continue to emphasize outstanding multidisciplinary care and research. Our greatest strength lies in how our entire team works together on behalf of our patients."   

"We appreciate Dr. Leyland-Jones' good work and look forward to continued success in working with Dr. Curran," says Bill Todd, president and CEO of the Georgia Cancer Coalition. "Dr. Curran's focus on team-based care combined with groundbreaking science will benefit patients in Atlanta, throughout Georgia and beyond."

Curran has been a principal investigator on several National Cancer Institute grants and is considered an international expert in the management of patients with locally advanced lung cancer and malignant brain tumors. He has led several landmark clinical and translational trials in both areas and is responsible for defining a universally adopted staging system for patients with malignant glioma. He has authored or co-authored more than four hundred abstracts and scholarly papers, as well as numerous presentations, reviews and book chapters.  He has been chairman or co-chairman of more than 40 clinical trials and a reviewer for twelve national/international journals.  He serves as the Founding Secretary/Treasurer of the Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups and a Board Member of the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (Ga CORE).  

Curran is a Fellow in the American College of Radiology and has been awarded honorary memberships in the European Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology and the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology. In 2006, he was named the leading radiation oncologist/cancer researcher in a peer survey by the journal Medical Imaging. Under Curran's leadership Emory's Radiation Oncology Department has been recently selected as a "Top Five Radiation Therapy Centers to Watch in 2009" by Imaging Technology News. This review recognizes the most forward-thinking, U.S.-based cancer treatment centers, which have adopted advanced technology to optimize treatment and make a difference in patient care.   

Curran graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College, received his MD degree from the Medical College of Georgia and is a Board Certified Radiation Oncologist. Curran completed his residency in the Department of Radiation Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and his internship in internal medicine at Presbyterian University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

File Options

  • Print Icon Print