Walter J. Curran, Jr., MD, FACR, FASCO



Dr. Curran is the group chairman and principal investigator of NRG Oncology, formerly the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, a National Cancer Institute-funded cooperative group dedicated to advancing patient treatment and care through clinical trials and research.

Titles and Roles

Executive Director
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Associate Vice President, Cancer
Woodruff Health Sciences Center
Lawrence W. Davis Chair of Radiation Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Radiation Oncologist
Lung Cancer
Brain and Spine Tumors
Research Program
Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics


Walter J. Curran, Jr., MD, FACR, is the Executive Director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the state of Georgia. He also serves as the Lawrence W. Davis Professor and Chairman in Emory's Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Curran has been a principal investigator on many National Cancer Institute (NCI) grants and is considered an international expert in the management of patients with locally advanced lung cancer and malignant brain tumors. He currently serves as a group chairman and a principal investigator of NRG Oncology, the largest of the five National Cancer Institute-funded clinical trials network group.

Dr. Curran is the first radiation oncologist to serve as Director of a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. He is the only individual currently serving as director of an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center and as group chairman of an NCI-supported cancer cooperative group. He was also named a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and Chair in Cancer Research in 2013. Dr. Curran is a Fellow and Gold Medal Recipient (2016) in the American College of Radiology. He is a Fellow and serves as a board member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and as a standing member of NCI's Clinical Trials Advisory Committee. He serves as a member of the external scientific advisory committees of two NCI designated comprehensive cancer centers (Simmons CC at UT Southwestern and Siteman CC at Washington University) and two developing cancer centers (University of Florida and Stevenson CC at University of Oklahoma). He was ranked among the top 10 principal investigators in terms of overall NCI funding in 2013 and among the leading twenty investigators in terms of overall NIH funding as principal investigator in 2013.

Before joining Emory, Dr. Curran was Professor and Chairman of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and Clinical Director of Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center.


Dr. Curran graduated with honors from Dartmouth College, received his MD degree from the Medical College of Georgia, and is a Board Certified Radiation Oncologist. Curran completed his residency in the Department of Radiation Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and his internship in internal medicine at Presbyterian University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia.


Dr. Curran has led several landmark clinical and translational trials in the areas of lung cancer and malignant brain tumors, and is responsible for defining a universally adopted staging system for patients with malignant glioma.

  • Below is a listing of current federal grants for the above principal investigator.



Dr. Curran has authored or co-authored more than seven hundred abstracts and scholarly papers, as well as numerous presentations, reviews and book chapters. He has been chairman or co-chairman of more than 40 clinical trials and a reviewer for twelve national/international journals. He also serves as the founding secretary/treasurer of the Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups and a board member of the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (Georgia CORE).

  • PublicationsPublication Date


Dr. Curran has been awarded honorary memberships in the European Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology and the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology. The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research listed Dr. Curran among the top twenty principal investigators in terms of overall National Institutes of Health funding in 2012 and 2013, first in the state of Georgia, and first among cancer center directors.

He has received career achievement awards from the American Head and Neck Society, the American College of Radiation Oncology, the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children, the American College of Radiology and his alma mater, the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. He is the recipient of the Gold Medal from the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

In 2019, he was named to the MilliPub Club, which recognizes current Emory faculty who have published one or more individual papers throughout their careers that have garnered more than 1,000 citations.

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