Faculty Educator of the Month: March 2011

Dr. Jorge E. Cortes

Dr. Jorge E. Cortes, Director of the Leukemia Fellowship Program, Deputy Department Chair, Chief of the sections of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia and Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, D. B. Lane Cancer Research Distinguished Professor for Leukemia Research, and Professor in the Department of Leukemia and faculty member at The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston (GSBS), has been named the March 2011 Faculty Educator of the Month.

Since 2006, Dr. Cortes has led the Leukemia Fellowship Program, in which graduate students receive training in the various aspects of leukemia treatment and research. Also, he has had experience in educating trainees at MD Anderson via instruction and research supervision of fellows in inpatient rotations and clinics. Fellows mentored by Dr. Cortes have written a large number of manuscripts on their research.

Dr. Cortes has also had substantial experience in educating young physicians in a one-on-one setting. Specifically, he has directly supervised 41 clinical residents and fellows. He also mentored the recipient of the 2006 American Society of Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award.

Outside of MD Anderson, Dr. Cortes has been in great demand as a speaker and presenter on a wide array of topics pertaining to leukemia. In particular, he has spoken, given presentations, and appeared as a featured guest at or chaired more than 575 international, national, state, and local conferences. Furthermore, he completed a lectureship on chronic granulocytic leukemia at the University of Puerto Rico in 2002.

Dr. Cortes has been honored several times for his research and educational contributions. For example, Agrupacion Mexicana Para el Estudio de la Hematologia (AMEH) established the Jorge Cortes Lecture in 2008. Additionally, he received the Otis W. and Pearl L. Walters Faculty Achievement Award in Clinical Research from MD Anderson and the Service to Mankind Award from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in 2007. Other awards include the Dr. John J. Kenny Award from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (2006), MD Anderson Faculty Scholar Award (2003), MD Anderson Faculty Excellence Award (2000), and Scholar in Clinical Research award from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (2000).

Dr. Cortes received his M.D. degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico Medical School in Mexico City in 1986. He then went on to complete a residency in Internal Medicine (1989) and fellowship in Hematology (1992) at the Salvador Zubirán National Nutrition Institute in Mexico City, where he was Medical Chief Resident in 1989-1990.

Dr. Cortes also completed a fellowship in Hematology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in 1992. He remained in Houston afterward, coming to MD Anderson for a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology (1993-1995).

After his postgraduate training was complete, Dr. Cortes returned to Mexico for a year, serving as Chairman of the Department of Hematology and Oncology and an Associate Professor in the Postgraduate Course of Hematology at National Autonomous University (1995-1996). He then came back to MD Anderson upon receiving a joint appointment as Assistant Professor of Medicine in the departments of Leukemia and Bioimmunotherapy.

Dr. Cortes was promoted to Associate Professor of Medicine in 1999 and to his current position of Professor in 2004. Also, he was named Deputy Chair of the Department of Leukemia and Chief of the Section of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia in 2002, a member of the GSBS graduate faculty in 2007, Associate Professor in the GSBS Department of Leukemia in 2008, and Chief of the Section of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in 2009. He also received the D. B. Lane Cancer Research Distinguished Professorship for Leukemia Research in 2009.

Dr. Cortes has participated in several groups and committees at MD Anderson. In particular, he is currently a member of the Department of Leukemia Protocol Compliance Monitoring Committee, Council of Committee Chairs, and Search Committee for VP of Clinical Research and is the Chair-Elect for the Executive Committee of the Medical Staff. Outside of MD Anderson, Dr. Cortes is a member of the American Society of Hematology Task Force on Practitioner Needs, Medical Advisory Board of the National CML Society, Executive Committee of the International CML Foundation, and the Board of Directors, Medical & Science Committee, and Mission Oversight Committee of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Furthermore, he is the President and Founder of Latin American Leukemia Net and Co-chair for the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research Chronic Leukemia Working Committee.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Cortes has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator for more then 45 funded research projects. In addition, he has been a key member of a research team examining the infection-preventive role of the gastrointestinal microbiome in patients with leukemia.

Since 2005, Dr. Cortes has been the Editor-in-Chief for the journal Current Hematology Reports. He is also a member of the editorial boards for Blood, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, and several other journals. Dr. Cortes has extensively chronicled his research over the years, authoring more than 500 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, 33 book chapters, and 4 books.