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Kachnic named one of the ‘Women to Watch’ in health care

Jul. 13, 2017, 8:58 AM

Lisa Kachnic, M.D., Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Radiation Oncology and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), has been named one of the “Women to Watch” in health care by Nashville Medical News.

Lisa Kachnic, M.D.

Kachnic is among 10 women in the Class of 2017 recognized by the health care publication for their contributions in the health care arena. The group was honored during a recent breakfast hosted by Nashville Medical News.

“I am honored to be included in this year’s class of “Women to Watch” and have been delighted to meet the other remarkable women who were selected for this recognition,” Kachnic said.

The publication’s annual “Women to Watch” designation highlights women who are “leaders in their respective fields modeling ways to create a more efficient, effective health care system.”

In addition to her work at VUMC, Kachnic currently serves as president of the American Board of Radiology, the certifying organization for radiologists/radiation oncologists and medical physicists, and is in charge of the scientific program for the meetings of the American Society for Radiation Oncology. She also serves in leadership capacities within NRG Oncology and SWOG, two of four cooperative research groups for adults in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) National Clinical Trials Network.

In addition to her leadership role at VUMC, Kachnic is dedicated to treating patients at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC). She has specialized in gastrointestinal (GI) cancers and is working with the Vanderbilt Institute of Imaging Science to investigate how novel imaging technologies may allow radiation oncologists to better understand the real-time cancer response to radiotherapy, so her team may be able to further personalize radiation treatments.

“This is of paramount importance in optimizing cancer cure and minimizing radiation side effects,” Kachnic said.

She and her colleagues are also exploring the interplay between radiation and the body’s immune response. In controlled settings, radiation has been shown to enhance immune response and this finding is the impetus for research studies of new immunotherapy drugs used in combination or in sequence with radiation therapy.

“Through trans-disciplinary collaboration with many of Vanderbilt’s internationally recognized scientists, we may unravel how we may best utilize radiation with our current cancer treatments to optimally boost this immune response,” Kachnic said.

Kachnic came to Vanderbilt in 2015 from Massachusetts where she was chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and director of Multidisciplinary Research at Boston University School of Medicine. She also served on the Radiation Oncology faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Kachnic earned her undergraduate degree from Boston College and her medical degree from Tufts University. She completed her residency in radiation oncology at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital where she served as chief resident in her final year.

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