Posted: December 2018
Fred R. Hirsch, MD, resigned from his position of IASLC CEO at the end of October and has joined Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City as the executive director for the Clinical Lung Cancer Institute and Endowed Professor at the Icahn Medical School, Mount Sinai, where he will be facilitating basic and translational lung cancer research and clinical studies.
Dr. Hirsch has a sincere passion for the IASLC and its multidisciplinary mission that will not lessen after his transition. “I myself received an IASLC Fellowship when I was younger that was crucial to my career,” he said. “I will personally continue to be an active IASLC member and advocate for this wonderful organization; hopefully, I can contribute to its future in a different capacity.”
Since joining the IASLC 41 years ago, Dr. Hirsch has been an engaged member who has served the organization in a number of capacities. He served as chair of the Prevention, Screening, and Early Detection Committee, as well as the Pathology Committee. Dr. Hirsch also was associate editor of the IASLC journal, the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO). He served on the Board of Directors for the IASLC from 2005-2013 and was editor of the IASLC newsletter from 2000-2013. In 2007, Dr. Hirsch received the Mary J. Matthews Pathology/Translational Research Award for lifetime achievements in pathology and translational research of thoracic malignancies. Dr. Hirsch created and led numerous IASLC workshops and scientific meetings, particularly in Europe and Latin America—furthering the IASLC’s mission of providing global education to thoracic oncology specialists.
Since becoming CEO in 2013, Dr. Hirsch helped to transition JTO to a new publisher and has watched the impact factor skyrocket, going from 6.4 to 10.336. The organization itself has also witnessed marked growth, having added approximately 4,000 new members—bringing the total membership to approximately 7,500 worldwide—and 18 new staff.
According to Dr. Hirsch, the landscape of lung cancer care has significantly changed in every aspect during his tenure as CEO, which has contributed to this growth.
“Educational need grows with development in the field, which of course adds additional demands for the organization and its staff ,” he said. “We at the IASLC know that it is important to meet this need, worldwide, as demonstrated by our first educational meeting in Africa this past year.”
While serving as the CEO, Dr. Hirsch continued to pursue his research interests as a professor of medicine and pathology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. His research has helped identify and validate prognostic markers for lung cancer outcomes and predictive markers for personalized lung cancer therapies, contributing to his co-authorship of several IASLC atlases and informing the IASLC Blueprint PD-L1 harmonization project.
“Because of the rapid and robust progress in lung cancer research, it’s very important to continue to increase collaboration and synergy with other organizations in the field,” Dr. Hirsch noted. “Because of the IASLC’s ability to provide valuable worldwide education, I would like to see the IASLC become the main reference organization for more advocacy groups and patients.”
The IASLC Lung Cancer News (ILCN) leadership and staff are especially grateful to Dr. Hirsch for his dedication to the publication, which he initiated. According to Corey Langer, the ILCN Editor, “Dr Hirsch has been an invaluable role model for his peers and colleagues. In many ways, he has left an indelible mark on this organization.” ✦