The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) awarded its highest honor, the Gold Medal, to Winship Executive Director Walter J. Curran, Jr., MD, during the 2019 annual ASTRO meeting taking place in Chicago Sept. 14 - 18. The Gold Medal is given to revered ASTRO members who have made outstanding contributions to the field of radiation oncology in research, clinical care, teaching, and service. Curran was presented with the Gold Medal in a ceremony that recognized his long and distinguished career as a cancer researcher, physician, and leader.
During the ceremony, Curran was recognized for having trained and mentored hundreds of oncologists, for his dedication to patients, and for his more than 30 years of involvement in and leadership of the national clinical cooperative group Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), which is now NRG Oncology, the largest of the five National Cancer Institute-funded cooperative groups. Curran is group chairman and principal investigator of NRG Oncology.
"ASTRO is an extraordinary organization, and I am deeply honored by this award. This award also recognizes my outstanding colleagues in cancer research and education in support of our patients," said Curran.
Curran was the first radiation oncologist to serve as director of a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center and he is a standing member of NCI's Clinical Trials Advisory Committee. Curran holds the Lawrence W. Davis Chair of Radiation Oncology and is chair of Emory's Department of Radiation Oncology.
Curran is an international expert in the management of patients with locally advanced lung cancer and malignant brain tumors and has led several landmark clinical and translational trials in both areas. He is responsible for defining a universally adopted staging system for patients with malignant glioma.
Curran is a Fellow and served on the board of directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). He was named a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and Chair in Cancer Research in 2013.