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University of Minnesota Medical School names Dr. Clark Chen as the Head of the Department of Neurosurgery

Clark Chen, MD, Ph.D., will be appointed as the Lyle French Chair in Neurosurgery and the Head of the University of Minnesota Medical School Department of Neurosurgery, effective August 2017.

Chen currently serves as the Chief of Stereotactic and Radiosurgery, Vice-Chairman of Neurosurgery and Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). His expertise lies in brain tumor research, with a specialized interest in understanding how glioblastomas acquire resistance to radiation and chemotherapy. Regarding research, Chen has played a pivotal role in many studies and has served as the Principal Investigator of several surgery-based brain tumor trials. In addition, he is a major leader in the study of DNA repair and gene therapy in brain tumors. Clinically, he was at the forefront of developing and applying surgical tools, including the use of laser and ultrasound, as a treatment for brain tumor patients. Before UCSD, Dr. Chen led the brain tumor programs at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He has written more than 200 peer-reviewed papers on neuro-oncology.

Dr. Chen is also the recipient of many highly competitive research awards including the Damon Runyon Fellowship Award, the Sidney Kimmel Scholar Award, the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation Career Award in Medical Sciences, the Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award, the Doris Duke Foundation Clinical Scientist Award, and the Forbeck Scholar Award. In 2015, he received the Presidential Award of Achievement, a prestigious award given annually by the Taiwanese government to individuals of Taiwanese heritage who have made exceptional contributions to their profession.

Chen says that he is ultimately motivated by his patients and his family. "I am the first in my family to have received a college education, and I remind myself constantly, that I am the son of two extraordinary people who have devoted themselves to my success. I also remind myself of the many brain tumor patients who the current standard of therapy fails” said Chen. “The reason I chose my profession is to keep the promise that I made to my mother – to study all the things that she never had a chance to.”

"The University of Minnesota has a world-class scientific research and clinical community. It has a tremendous legacy in academic neurosurgery," said, Dr. Clark Chen. “I am excited and honored to take on a role that will allow me to build upon the excellent leadership and research of generations of neurosurgeons."

Photo: Dr. Clark Chen. Digital Image. UC San Diego Health. 13 January 2016. Web. 21 June 2017. <>

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