Faculty Educator of the Month: June 2009

Dr. Patrick Hwu

Patrick Hwu, M.D., chair and professor in the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, associate director of the Center for Cancer Immunology Research and professor at The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston (GSBS), has been named the June 2009 Faculty Educator of the Month.

In his time at MD Anderson and the GSBS, Dr. Hwu has been a lecturer or speaker for a large number of courses and training programs. For example, since 2005, he has given numerous talks on cancer vaccines in the Melanoma Medical Oncology Fellowship Lecture Series. Furthermore, he has been a session instructor for several different courses at MD Anderson and other Texas Medical Center institutions. Dr. Hwu also was a co-facilitator for the MD Anderson Faculty Leadership Academy in 2004. He is committed to the training of translational laboratory investigators and physician scientists, serving on the Executive Committee for the MD Anderson Medical Oncology Fellowship Program. In addition, he is the director for the newly formed Melanoma Fellowship Program that will start in 2009.

Dr. Hwu also has been a speaker for a long list of training programs throughout MD Anderson over the past five years. These programs include the Medical Oncology Fellowship Program, Grand Rounds, The Heart of Leadership Program, the Center for Cancer Immunology Research Distinguished Lecturer Series, the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Seminar Series and various laboratory meetings and retreats.

In addition, Dr. Hwu has had a great deal of experience in working with trainees on a personal basis. He has been a research mentor for one undergraduate student, five postdoctoral research fellows, five clinical residents and fellows and five medical students. Also, he has been a mentor and academic advisor for two graduate students.

Dr. Hwu also has been a sought-after organizer, presenter or speaker for a long list of meetings and conferences around the world. Furthermore, he has completed lectureships and visiting professorships at institutions throughout the country and one in the People’s Republic of China.

Dr. Hwu was recently awarded the 2009 Mentor of the Year Award by the Division of Cancer Medicine Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program. In addition, under Dr. Hwu’s leadership, the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology received the 2005-2006 Teaching Department of the Year Award from the Medical Oncology-Hematology Fellows. Also, Dr. Hwu is an inductee in The American Society for Clinical Investigation (2008), was named Best Boss of the Year at MD Anderson in 2007, received the George and Barbara Bush Endowment for Innovative Cancer Research in 2004 and received a Performance Award from the National Cancer Institutes Surgery Branch in 2002.

Dr. Hwu received his M.D. degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (magna cum laude) in 1987. He went on to serve as house officer in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital (1987-1989) and completed a fellowship and was a clinical associate in medical oncology and internal medicine at the National Institutes of Health (1989-1993).

After his fellowship, Dr. Hwu stayed at the National Institutes of Health, serving as a senior scientist. In 2003, he came to MD Anderson as chair and professor in the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology. In 2004, he was named professor at the GSBS and associate director of the Center for Cancer Immunology Research. In 2008, Dr. Hwu was named Moshe Talpaz Endowed Chair in Immunology. Additionally, he held the Robert R. Herring Professorship in Clinical Research from 2004 to 2007.

Currently, Dr. Hwu is the chair for the Promotion and Tenure Committee and serves on six mid-tenure track review committees. He also serves on the Division of Cancer Medicine Physician Scientist Oversight Committee, the Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Division of Cancer Medicine ASCO Young Investigator Award Oversight Task Force, the Faculty Mentoring and Advisory Committee and the Multidisciplinary Research Advisory Committee.

During his time at MD Anderson, Dr. Hwu has been the principal investigator or a collaborator for numerous grant-funded research projects and protocols and has served as a grant reviewer on several study sections. He also owns six patents.

Currently, Dr. Hwu is the associate editor for the Journal of Immunotherapy, serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Translational Medicine and is an ad hoc reviewer for six other journals. In addition, he has authored more than 85 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, 10 invited articles, one editorial and six book chapters.