Dr. Merchant is a proven leader in pediatric radiotherapy and will be instrumental in helping St. Jude define the next generation of treatments.
—James R. Downing, MD
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has named Thomas E. Merchant, DO, PhD, as Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Merchant will hold the Baddia J. Rashid Endowed Chair in Radiation Oncology.
“Dr. Merchant is a proven leader in pediatric radiotherapy and will be instrumental in helping St. Jude define the next generation of treatments that hold the best hope for improved outcomes and better long-term quality of life for children with brain and solid tumors,” said James R. Downing, MD, St. Jude President and Chief Executive Officer.
Since joining St. Jude in 1996, Dr. Merchant helped pioneer new radiotherapy treatments that serve as standards in the field. His work with conformal radiation therapy for central nervous system tumors is the basis for guidelines used in most of the national cooperative group pediatric brain tumor trials. He has led the development of treatment guidelines for intensity-modulated radiation therapy and proton therapy in all types of pediatric brain and solid tumors.
Dr. Merchant also played a key role in creating the St. Jude Red Frog Events Proton Therapy Center, the world’s first proton therapy center designed for and dedicated solely to the treatment of children.
Dr. Merchant will be Chair of a department that was previously a division of St. Jude Radiological Sciences. As operations have grown in complexity, resources, and space, St. Jude divided its radiological sciences area into two departments—Radiation Oncology and Diagnostic Imaging. Larry Kun, MD, St. Jude Clinical Director and Executive Vice President, will head Diagnostic Imaging until a Chair is appointed. ■