Reappointment of James M. Metz, MD, as Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology

February 2, 2021

To:Penn Medicine Faculty, Students, and Staff

From:J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, EVP/Dean
Kevin B. Mahoney, CEO, UPHS

We are pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. James M. Metz for a second six-year term as Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. The reappointment follows a review that included a survey of departmental faculty about their experiences and perspectives, followed by an Internal Committee review, which was led by Dr. Michael S. Parmacek, chair of the Department of Medicine.

With eight disease sites, 15 regional facilities, and more than 50 faculty members, the Department of Radiation Oncology is one of Penn Medicine’s most expansive and impressive clinical departments. Under Dr. Metz’s impactful leadership, the Department is nationally recognized for its clinical excellence, cutting-edge research programs, and outstanding educational programs. Over the past six years, the core full-time faculty has grown substantially to meet clinical demand. At the same time, the Department’s research and educational missions have been strengthened with key faculty recruitments in biologic science, physics, technology, and translational science. The review highlighted Dr. Metz’s effective and inclusive leadership. He is widely regarded as a strong, entrepreneurial leader who has grown programs and created a regional Radiation Oncology Network. The review confirmed that faculty and staff are proud to be members of the Department and especially proud of the clinical care they deliver and their contribution to Penn Medicine.

The Department’s clinical programs are world-renowned for deployment of novel technologies, including the nation’s largest proton therapy program. These technologies distinguish the Department of Radiation Oncology from all competing regional programs and place the Department nationally at the very top tier of Radiation Oncology programs. Over the past six years, clinical volume across the Department has nearly doubled. The development of multiple new clinical modalities has catalyzed basic, translational and clinical research. Patient outcomes and quality assurance programs are also exemplary.

Departmental faculty are also nationally recognized for their research breakthroughs. Radiation Oncology has a broad portfolio of research efforts spanning basic science investigation in areas related to radiation therapy, translational science that brings new treatments through development to clinical application, as well as clinical research focused on radiation treatment, clinical outcomes, and clinical effectiveness. The Department is among the top 3 NIH funded Radiation Oncology departments in the country. Overall, extramural research funding has nearly doubled to $11.4M over the past six years.

In the education domain, the Department is recognized for its outstanding UME, GME, CME and Medical Physics training programs. It has one of the highest ranked and most competitive Radiation Oncology residency training programs in the country, and its visiting clerkship program is a model for attracting URM medical students to the field. In addition, the Department has created a series of innovative training programs focused in technologies including protons for faculty members at other national and international cancer centers. The Department is also home to the highly regarded Masters of Science in Medical Physics program and is responsible for two UME courses.

We thank Dr. Parmacek and members of the Review Committee for their thorough work. The review provided important recommendations for sustaining and accelerating the Department’s considerable momentum. We look forward to working with Dr. Metz to further enhance this dynamic department. Please join us in congratulating him on his reappointment.