News Release: Research , School of Medicine , Winship Cancer Institute

Oct. 27,  2010

Rollins Foundation Establishes R. Randall Rollins Chair in Oncology at Emory School of Medicine

H. Jean Khoury, MD, is selected as first chair holder

News Article ImageH. Jean Khoury, MD, professor of hematology and medical oncology, and director of the Division of Hematology in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology

The O. Wayne Rollins Foundation has established the R. Randall Rollins Chair in Oncology in Emory University School of Medicine, with a gift of $2 million. H. Jean Khoury, MD, professor of hematology and medical oncology, and director of the Division of Hematology in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, has been chosen as the first holder of the Rollins Chair, in partnership with the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

The Rollins family has been a generous benefactor to Emory for generations. Early major gifts to Emory's Candler School of Theology, to the O. Wayne Rollins Research Building and to the Rollins School of Public Health exemplify the family's commitment to serving humanity. The purpose of the chair is to support a faculty member with a focus in patient care and cancer research.

“This gift illustrates yet again the Rollins family’s generosity and commitment to the advancement of medicine and medical education,” says Thomas J. Lawley, MD, dean of the Emory School of Medicine. “We are extremely grateful, and we know that Dr. Khoury’s appointment will yield great progress in research and patient care.”

Khoury’s research interest focuses on the development of novel targeted agents for the treatment of patients with leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. He also directs a research program studying dynamic genetic profile changes in cancer cells collected from patients with hematological malignancies throughout the course of their disease. These data will be used to help physicians better tailor anti-cancer treatment modalities such as pathway-targeted therapies—immunotherapy using bone marrow transplantation to prevent relapse following standard chemotherapy.

An academic chair is the most prestigious of named academic positions. Such chairs recognize extraordinary achievements and leadership and help recruit and retain top-level clinicians, teachers and researchers who have done work of marked importance, often on a national or international level. These chairs enable Emory to expand studies of innovative treatments and promising medical techniques by leading clinicians and scientists.

Walter J. Curran Jr., MD, executive director of the Winship Cancer Institute states, "Recognition of the efforts of outstanding investigators at the Winship Cancer Institute and at Emory University through the conferral of endowed chairs is indeed an exceptional honor. The Rollins family gift is gratefully acknowledged as it enhances the national profile of both the investigator and the institution.

"We are grateful indeed to the Rollins family for this important gift, one that will help further galvanize efforts to advance research in hematologic malignancies at Emory."

Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, chair of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology and deputy director of the Winship Cancer Institute, adds: "Dr. Khoury's outstanding care of patients with hematologic malignancies and his dedication to developing novel therapies for these diseases make him most worthy of the great honor that the Rollins family has bestowed upon him."

O. Wayne Rollins was a self-made business leader and innovator. With his brother, John, Rollins participated in numerous successful business ventures including radio and television stations, cable television, oil field services, truck leasing, boat manufacturing, real estate and—most famously—the 1964 purchase of Orkin, Inc., the first documented leveraged buyout in U.S. business history. Following his death in 1991, his sons, Randall and Gary Rollins, have continued to build the Rollins companies.

Created in 1967, the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation continues the mission of four generations of the Rollins family, which is to support medical research and public health issues at colleges and universities.

The Rollins Foundation’s gift is part of Campaign Emory, a $1.6 billion fund-raising endeavor that combines private support and the university’s people, places and programs to make a powerful contribution to the world. Investments through Campaign Emory fuel efforts to address fundamental challenges: improving health, gaining ground in science and technology, resolving conflict, harnessing the power of the arts, and educating the heart and mind.

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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.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Blog: http://emoryhealthblog.com
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci
Web: http://emoryhealthsciences.org

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