The success of the Medical College of Georgia Cancer Center depends heavily on who its founding director is, and that question was answered recently with the appointment of Kapil N. Bhalla.
Dr. Bhalla, a 53-year-old family man and oncologist, is scientific director of the hematologic malignancy program at the Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa.
He's an internationally renowned investigator and clinician who will join MCG onAug. 1. His primary task will be to oversee cancer research in MCG's new $54 million research center.
He certainly seems to be the right man to keep the school on track toward winning the prestigious designation as a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center - part of an elite group of cooperative nationwide centers that are proficient in laboratory, clinical, prevention and population research.
Dr. Bhalla wastes no time. He's already started recruiting. In five years, he expects to have a full component of 25 to 30 principal investigators - basic scientists, physician scientists and clinical scholars. "That's on top of some very outstanding scientists who are already" at MCG, he added.
"I am extremely pleased that Dr. Bhalla has agreed to join the Medical College of Georgia," said MCG President Dr. Daniel W. Rahn. "His expertise as an established cancer scientist and physician will significantly strengthen MCG's cancer programs."
Dr. Bhalla also will be a huge plus for the Augusta area's medical community. Welcome aboard, Doctor. May your tenure be long and fruitful.