Lisa Kachnic, MD, Joins Columbia University as Chair of Radiation Oncology
Lisa Kachnic, MD, one of the nation’s leading radiation oncologists and a pioneer of new approaches to optimize the effectiveness of radiation therapy, has been named chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and chief of the radiation oncology service at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, effective September 1, 2019. She will also serve as associate director for Cancer Network Strategy in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Kachnic is currently professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She previously served on the radiation oncology faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University School of Medicine. She is a fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).
“We are committed to world-class research and care for patients with cancer. Dr. Kachnic’s experience as a clinician and investigator makes her an outstanding choice for this leadership role, and we welcome her to Columbia,” said Dr. Lee Goldman, dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine at Columbia University and chief executive of Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Kachnic to NewYork-Presbyterian,” said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian. “Dr. Kachnic is a respected international leader in the field of radiation oncology who is dedicated to her patients. Her research and clinical expertise have improved the way radiation therapy is used in cancer treatment, and she continues to advance the field. We look forward to her leadership at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.”
A past president and current governor of the American Board of Radiology, Dr. Kachnic is internationally known for her clinical trial leadership positions in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and its cooperative group research bases. She is widely recognized for gastrointestinal research that has transformed the standard of care for several cancers by integrating novel radiation delivery techniques. She is vice chair of the radiation oncology committee and co-chair of the ano-rectal subcommittee for the SWOG Cancer Research Network research base, where she serves as the multi-modality executive officer. Dr. Kachnic is also the chair of the NRG Oncology (National Surgical Adjuvant Breast & Bowel Project, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and the Gynecological Oncology Group) NCI Community Oncology Research Program’s (NCORP) Cancer Control and Prevention Division, and is actively involved in NRG Oncology’s GI strategic committee.
“Dr. Kachnic’s combined focus on clinical excellence, technological innovation, and patient-centered research embody the cancer center’s goals of delivering the most effective therapies while preserving quality of life for our patients,” said Dr. Anil K. Rustgi, director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, chief of the cancer service at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and professor of medicine and associate dean of oncology in the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
“Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian are clinical and research powerhouses that are making a substantial investment in their cancer programs,” said Dr. Kachnic. “It is an honor to be joining this great academic medical center and to have an opportunity to help shape the future of personalized cancer treatment and, ultimately, improve the lives of our patients.”
Dr. Kachnic’s decision to join Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian are personal as well as professional. She grew up in nearby Yonkers, where her parents, sibling, and extended family still reside.
In addition to her strong research portfolio and national leadership profile, Dr. Kachnic is also recognized by her peers for her history of mentoring both colleagues and junior faculty. Dr. Kachnic is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and chairs the scientific committee for ASTRO’s annual meeting. These efforts have allowed Dr. Kachnic to do what she loves best — mentor the future leaders in cancer care and research. “At Columbia and NewYork-Presbyterian, I’m looking forward to developing our next generation of cancer leaders and building a radiation oncology department that’s among the best in the country,” she said.
Dr. Kachnic earned an undergraduate degree from Boston College and a medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. She completed a residency in radiation oncology at Harvard University, her last year as chief resident. She will be joined in New York City by her husband, Stephen Englert, an NCAA Division I baseball coach.