Dr. Waun Ki Hong obtained his medical degree from the Yonsei University School of Medicine, Korea. He completed his medical residency at the Boston Veterans Affairs Medical Center (BVAMC), followed by a fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He would later return to serve as Chief of Medical Oncology at BVAMC and was a faculty member at both the Boston University and Tufts University Schools of Medicine before joining the University of Texas’s MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1984.
In addition to his research and clinical work, Dr. Hong has played a major role in shaping cancer policy through his service on the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) Translational Research Working Group (TRWG); the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Oncologic Drug Advisory Committee (ODAC); as chair of the Prevention, Clinical and Therapeutic Subcommittee for the NCI External Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA); and as chair of the Subcommittee of Clinical Investigations for the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB). He also served as President of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and was on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). He has received numerous international awards for his research. He has authored more than 685 scientific publications and edited 11 books. He served as Editor-in-Chief for Holland Frei Cancer Medicine, 8th Edition and has served on the editorial boards of 17 scientific journals.
Dr. Hong has made three seminal contributions in the field of cancer medicine. First, he was the main architect and principal investigator of the landmark U.S. VA Cooperative laryngeal preservation trial using induction chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which changed the way the disease is managed and served as a model for organ preservation for many other cancers. Second, he established proof of principle that chemoprevention works in patients with head and neck cancer, thereby helping define a new discipline in cancer prevention. Third, he was the main architect and principal investigator for BATTLE (Biomarker-integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination), the first successful biopsy-driven trial in lung cancer, opening up a new paradigm of personalized cancer therapy for solid tumors.