Inaugural incumbent: From left, Ausiello, Baselga and Slavin
A named chair is one of the highest honors a physician may receive in his or her lifetime. On Nov. 19, the MGH, the MGH Cancer Center and the Department of Medicine celebrated the establishment of the Bruce A. Chabner Chair in Hematology Oncology, named in honor of Bruce A. Chabner, MD, director of Clinical Research for the Cancer Center. The chair is one of the first fully funded chairs to be officially based at the MGH.
An internationally renowned oncologist, Chabner has been a pioneer in the cancer field for more than 40 years. In 1995, after spending 26 years at the National Cancer Institute – including 13 years as director of the Division of Cancer Research – Chabner had joined the MGH Cancer Center as clinical director and chief of Hematology/Oncology. His leadership as a clinician, scientist, educator and mentor has helped ensure that the center offers the best in cancer care to each and every patient.
A reception held at the Four Seasons Hotel offered colleagues, friends and family a chance to honor both Chabner and José Baselga, MD, PhD, chief of Hematology/Oncology, the chair’s inaugural incumbent. Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president, welcomed guests.
“These chairs are very significant in a number of ways,” said Slavin. “They are intended for the most prominent members of our faculty and are truly an honor to hold – but their benefits are far more than honorific. They enable the endowed chair to pursue clinical and academic activities with much greater flexibility and vigor than would otherwise be possible.”
David P. Ryan, MD, clinical director of the Cancer Center, offered a heartfelt introduction of Chabner, sharing anecdotes of his kindness and underscoring his profound commitment to the MGH mission. He also described Chabner as an incredible mentor.
Chabner spoke next. “I am so honored and humbled by the occasion and deeply thankful to the many people who have made this chair possible,” he said. He discussed his journey as an oncologist and the evolution of the Cancer Center and went on to explain how proud he is that Baselga is the first physician appointed to the chair.
After being introduced by Daniel Haber, MD, PhD, director of the Cancer Center, Baselga – who joined the MGH this past summer – lauded Chabner for his leadership at the Cancer Center and the center itself for the quality of care it offers.
Chabner and Baselga were then presented awards by Slavin and Dennis Ausiello, MD, chief of the Department of Medicine, after which Ausiello gave closing remarks.
“I look forward to the years of service that I know both will continue to provide here,” said Ausiello. “I especially look forward to how much our patients will benefit enormously from that service.”