Our History

The Emory University School of Medicine was established in 1854 and has grown into a national center for teaching and clinical care delivery. In 1979, Emory University leadership initiated a strategic plan to address the future development of the Woodruff Medical Center which would include the formation of a comprehensive program in oncology care. From this plan, the School of Medicine designated the Winship Cancer Center as a department in the School.

In 2000, center director Jonathan Simons, MD, changed the name of the center to the Winship Cancer Institute (Winship), to incorporate all cancer care, education, and research at Emory University and its clinical affiliates. With this change, the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology was moved from the Department of Medicine into Winship. Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, was then recruited from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to lead the new Division and expand its faculty by cultivating clinical and translational expertise. Drs. Khuri and Simons jointly recruited faculty members whose primary appointments were in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology.

In February 2008, the School of Medicine established Hematology and Medical Oncology as a Department, with Dr. Khuri as Department Chair. At the time of the announcement, then-director Dr. Brian Leyland-Jones said "The newly created Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology is vital to Winship's development as a true comprehensive cancer center. And Dr. Khuri is the natural choice to serve in this important position." He continued by saying, "Establishing this department essentially clears the way for faculty to maximize collaborations and build the vertical and horizontal strength required of a comprehensive cancer center."

Sagar Lonial, MD, replaced Dr. Khuri as Chair of the department in January 2016. Comprised of physicians, clinical researchers, basic scientists, and nursing professionals, the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology has seen a steady increase in patient care and research activity since its inception. The growing number of oncology patients is being served by department faculty members at Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, the Georgia Cancer Center of Excellence at Grady Hospital, and the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Lonial oversees clinical, basic, and translational research as well as the delivery of oncology clinical services at each of these facilities.

Emory University's Woodruff Health Sciences Center is one of the nation's pre-eminent academic health centers, devoted to making people healthy through research, teaching, and patient care. It includes the Emory University School of Medicine, the Rollins School of Public Health, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Its clinical arm is Emory Healthcare, Georgia's largest and most comprehensive health care system, consisting of Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory St. Joseph's Hospital, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Wesley Woods Center, The Emory Clinic, the Emory Children's Center, EHCA, LLC, Emory-Adventist Hospital, and other affiliates.

View historical timeline for Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.