Oregon Health & Science University has named Charles R. Thomas Jr., M.D., to the post of professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine where he will oversee the school's investment in its new radiation patient treatment and research facility.
"Charles Thomas will move radiation oncology at OHSU to world-class status in its teaching and research missions and further enhance the quality care we provide our patients," said Joseph E. Robertson Jr., M.D., M.B.A., dean of the OHSU School of Medicine.
When the new radiation treatment space opens to patients in winter 2007, state-of-the-art technology will help Thomas and his team provide oncology patients the best multidisciplinary care available in the soon-to-be-completed patient care facility on OHSU's Marquam Hill Campus.
"OHSU radiation medicine department already enjoys a tradition of excellence in patient care. One of my main goals is to build up this tradition as we transition the department to a research focus," Thomas said. "Excellence in patient care and research go hand in hand."
Thomas, who comes from the University of Texas Health Science Center, said the high caliber of OHSU housestaff and medical students will help the department address the crisis in the national shortage of academic radiation medicine physician-investigators, biologists and physicists.
In a push to move the department into the top quarter of academic radiation medicine programs in the United States, Thomas already has added a new Division of Cancer and Radiation Biology and a multi-faceted image-guided radiation therapy program. He also plans to add a new medical informatics and clinical epidemiology program to support the department's commitment to improving quality-of-life and cost-effectiveness in clinical radiation therapy.
Thomas also is working to more fully integrate the department into the scientific activities of the OHSU Cancer Institute and the OHSU OGI School of Science and Engineering. Grover C. Bagby, M.D., director of the OHSU Cancer Institute, said, "The future of oncology in Oregon has been strengthened enormously by the addition of Dr. Thomas."
"Because a critical mass of investigators in the OHSU Cancer Institute is focusing on responses to radiation and DNA damage, the opportunities for innovative research in radiation biology and treatment are enormous," Bagby said. "Thomas is the ideal leader to bring the clinical and research arms together."
Prior to joining OHSU, Thomas, a Dartmouth College graduate, was professor and vice-chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology within the School of Medicine at University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.
Thomas received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine, then completed his postgraduate training in internal medicine, medical oncology and radiation oncology at the Baylor College of Medicine, Rush University and the University of Washington, respectively.
He served on the faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina before joining the Texas faculty in 2000.
Visit www.ohsu.edu/radonc for more information about radiation medicine at OHSU.