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Northwell Names Top Physician To Lead Medical Oncology Programs

Northwell Health has appointed Richard D. Carvajal, MD, an internationally recognized clinician and researcher in melanoma and early phase drug development, as deputy physician-in-chief and director of medical oncology at the Northwell Health Cancer Institute. He also was named the R. J. Zuckerberg Chair in Medical Oncology. Dr. Carvajal’s expertise includes the development of novel therapies for patients with melanoma and other cancers, with the goals of controlling and curing these diseases.

Prior to joining Northwell, Dr. Carvajal led the Developmental Therapeutics Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and then served as director of Experimental Therapeutics and director of the Melanoma Service at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, as well as co-lead of the Precision Oncology and Systems Biology Program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.

At the Northwell Cancer Institute, Dr. Carvajal will oversee medical oncology across Northwell’s cancer network, the largest in New York State, collaborating with the cancer institute’s other two deputy physician-in-chiefs who specialize in surgical and radiation oncology. In this team structure, deputy physician-in-chiefs lead all cancer programs in their oncologic specialty, integrating and expanding the health system’s services with regional and hospital cancer leaders across New York City, Long Island and Westchester. He also will help lead efforts for Northwell’s Cancer Institute to achieve National Cancer Institute designation as a Consortium with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

“Dr. Carvajal is an innovator in clinical care, immunotherapy and leading-edge research in the field of melanoma and other cancers,” said Richard Barakat, MD, physician-in-chief and director of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute, and senior vice president of the health system’s service line. “We are very fortunate to have such an esteemed medical oncologist and cancer researcher join the Cancer Institute’s leadership team. Our colleagues are looking forward to closely working with Dr. Carvajal to help design new clinical trials and treatment options more quickly to help patients fighting not only melanoma but other complex cancers.”

At Northwell, Dr. Carvajal will see patients at the R. J. Zuckerberg Cancer Center in Lake Success and Northwell’s Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital. He also will participate in clinical research at Northwell’s Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, with which Northwell has a strategic affiliation. Dr. Carvajal will hold an academic title of professor of medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.

Dr. Carvajal received his medical degree from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and completed his fellowship in medical oncology/hematology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Carvajal’s research has been supported by the National Cancer Institute, the Food and Drug Administration, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, the Melanoma Research Alliance, the Melanoma Research Foundation and the Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program. He has authored or co- authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters. Dr. Carvajal serves on the editorial board of six cancer journals and is an ad hoc reviewer for nearly 65 prestigious oncology and medical journals. He has received several awards in recognition of his work, including the Louise and Allston Boyer Young Investigator Award and the Melanoma Research Foundation CURE OM Vision of Hope Award.

In addition, Dr. Carvajal has served as the co-chair of the International Rare Cancer Initiative Uveal Melanoma working group, a joint initiative between the National Cancer Institute, the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, and the Cancer Research UK to enhance international collaboration in the conduct of clinical trials for uveal melanoma (arising from the eye).

With more than 400 physicians, Northwell Health Cancer Institute treats more than 19,000 cancer patients annually, more than any other provider in New York State. For an oncology appointment, please call 855-858-8550.

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