Lawrence Marks appointed chair of radiation oncology at UNC School of Medicine

Dr. Lawrence Marks has been appointed chair of the department of radiation oncology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, effective March 31. He succeeds Dr. Carolyn I. Sartor, professor of radiation oncology.

March 27, 2008

Lawrence Marks appointed chair of radiation oncology at UNC School of Medicine

Dr. Lawrence Marks has been appointed chair of the department of radiation oncology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, effective March 31. He succeeds Dr. Carolyn I. Sartor, professor of radiation oncology.

Regarded as one of the country’s top breast cancer specialists, Marks comes to UNC from Duke University, where he had been a member of the radiation oncology faculty since 1989.

“Larry Marks is a nationally renowned radiation oncologist who brings to UNC strong research accomplishments, with particular interests in clinical trials in breast and lung cancer, as well as in enhancing our understanding of the mechanisms behind radiation-related lung injury,” said Dr. William L. Roper, dean of the UNC School of Medicine and chief executive officer of UNC Health Care.

“Dr. Marks is well respected for his clinical skills in treating patients with breast and lung cancer,” Roper said. “He has been a collaborator with UNC faculty members over the years in research projects, and we welcome his new leadership for this outstanding department.”

Marks said he was excited to be joining the UNC faculty for several reasons, including the new North Carolina Cancer Hospital, which is currently under construction, and the newly established University Cancer Research Fund.

“This is an exciting time to be at UNC,” Marks said. “The new facility is a wonderful opportunity to provide a patient-friendly, state-of-the-art cancer care experience. And with the state’s deep commitment to the University Cancer Research Fund, there is a mandate here to expand UNC’s already excellent cancer research program.”

Marks’ clinical and research interests include three-dimensional and conformal radiation treatment planning, breast cancer and lung cancer.

“We use computer tools to try to make our treatments better by making them more accurate, and by better protecting non-target normal tissues,” Marks explained. “I am particularly interested in radiation effects on lung function. At Duke I headed a clinical study looking at the local and whole organ effects of therapeutic radiation. I plan to continue this line of research at UNC.”

Marks was already well known to his colleagues at UNC long before he applied for and was offered the chair’s position. In 2001, he was the lead author of a lung cancer study that included UNC’s Dr. Mark Socinski and Dr. Julian Rosenman as co-authors.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Marks earned his medical degree at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1985 and the completed his residency training in radiation oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston from 1986 to 1989.

At Duke, Marks compiled an impressive record as both an award-winning teacher and a highly productive researcher. In 2004, he was awarded Duke’s Master Clinician Teacher Award. In 2003 he was a finalist for the national Parker J. Palmer “Courage to Teach” Award, given by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. In 2001 the residents in radiation oncology at Duke honored Marks with their Teacher of the Year Award. He is also the author of more than 140 research articles in refereed publications.

Marks has been recognized for his clinical excellence as well with a listing in Castle Connolly’s “America’s Top Doctors” directory. In addition, both Redbook and Good Housekeeping magazines identified him as one of the country’s top doctors for breast cancer.

Note: A photo of Marks is available at: http://www.unchealthcare.org/site/newsroom/images/markslarry.jpg

Media contact: Dianne Shaw, 919-966-7834 or dgs@med.unc.edu

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