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Jagasia to succeed Neuss as VICC Chief Medical Officer

Jun. 12, 2018, 9:10 AM

After successfully leading Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) through years of growth in patient volumes and enhanced care options, Michael Neuss, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the VICC Clinical Enterprise, is retiring as CMO. Neuss will be succeeded by Madan Jagasia, MBBS, MSCI, MMHC, who has been named to the George and Beverly Rawlings Directorship and is section chief, Hematology and Stem Cell Transplant and director of the Outpatient Stem Cell Clinic.

Michael Neuss, MD

The leadership change is effective July 1. Neuss, professor of Clinical Medicine, will maintain a clinical practice at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), where he will continue to care for patients with cancer, especially those diagnosed with lung cancer.

“We are grateful to Mike Neuss for his years of successful leadership of the VICC Clinical Enterprise,” said Jennifer Pietenpol, PhD, Executive Vice President for Research at VUMC and director of VICC. “Mike brought a wealth of experience from his time as one of the founders of a large private oncology practice and shared his wisdom about how to grow a patient-centered cancer enterprise. We are pleased that he will continue to share his expertise in clinical excellence through his care for VICC cancer patients.”

Prior to joining VICC in 2011, Neuss spent 25 years with Oncology Hematology Care in Cincinnati, Ohio. He served as vice president for most of that time, helping to grow the private oncology practice to one of the largest in Southern Ohio.

Madan Jagasia, MBBS, MSCI, MMHC

During his time as VICC CMO, Neuss presided over an era of rapid growth. VICC is among an elite group of 49 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and its clinicians see more than 6,000 new cancer patients each year. VICC is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a nonprofit alliance of the world’s leading cancer centers dedicated to improving cancer care for patients everywhere.

Neuss was the physician leader for VICC’s participation in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Oncology Care Model initiative. The Oncology Care Model is an innovative payment and care delivery model designed around practice transformations to improve care and lower costs through episode- and performance-based payments that reward high-quality, coordinated patient care.

He is internationally recognized for his expertise in clinical care management. He has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and has served in several ASCO leadership roles, including chair of the Quality Oncology Practice Steering Committee, Quality of Care Committee, and founding leader of the QOPI project, as well as membership on the Elections Committee, Clinical Practice Committee and Comparative Effectiveness Task Force. In addition, he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and was director of the Commission on Cancer from 2014-2017.

“One of the hardest things about moving away from my administrative responsibilities is that I won’t get to interact with administrative colleagues as regularly as I have since coming to Vanderbilt,” Neuss said. “This is such a dedicated, tireless, bright and effective group of individuals. But caring for patients is a joy and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to continue to do this, particularly at a time when our treatments for cancer are becoming more effective, and we are able to more carefully focus on improving the patient experience.

“The progress of the past few years has been amazing, and under the leadership of Jennifer Pietenpol, the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center will continue to play an important role in the development of better treatments leading to these improved outcomes,” Neuss said.

Jagasia is already a well-known leader at VICC, where he specializes in treating patients with hematologic malignancies. He received his MBBS degree from King Edward Memorial College, Mumbai, India, then served as a fellow in Hematology and Oncology at VUMC and joined the faculty in 2001. He received his Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation and Master of Management in Health Care from Vanderbilt University.

He is currently section chief of Hematology and Stem Cell Transplant, co-leader of the VICC Translational Research and Interventional Oncology (TRIO) program and heads the Bone Marrow Transplant clinical trials team.

“I am honored and humbled to be given this opportunity. Cancer therapy is at an exciting juncture with therapeutic advances that could not be imagined in the past. As a leading cancer center, we have a unique opportunity of fostering scientific advances while being focused on providing compassionate, comprehensive and efficient care in a patient-centered manner,” Jagasia said.

Jagasia focuses on translational clinical research of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), with an emphasis on graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), an immune response in which the newly-transplanted cells sometimes attack the patient’s body. He is internationally recognized for his expertise in GVHD, and has served as a member of the steering committee of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Criteria for Chronic GVHD and co-chair of the working group for Diagnosis and Scoring of Chronic GVHD. The VICC program has been a core center of the Bone Marrow Transplant Clinical Trial Network since 2014.

He established the Long-term Transplant Clinic (LTTC) at VUMC to offer patients multidisciplinary care for GVHD and to create a clinical research platform. The LTTC program was one of the founding centers of the Chronic GVHD Consortium, a federally funded program.

In addition, Jagasia has been instrumental in further developing the VICC Outpatient Stem Cell Transplant unit since 2003, including creating the standard of care protocols for administering high-dose chemotherapy and transfusions. He spearheaded the expansion of the Outpatient Transplant Program in 2010 and the expanded Outpatient Stem Cell Clinic which opened in 2012. This has allowed many patients to undergo their transplant in an outpatient setting and maintain some normalcy while undergoing intensive treatment.

Jagasia also initiated the photopheresis program, which currently serves solid organ transplant patients as well as those receiving stem cell transplants. During photopheresis, the patient’s blood is treated with a photoactive chemical, then removed and circulated through ultraviolet radiation before being transfused back to the patient to stimulate the body’s immune system. More recently he has helped develop the immune-effector cell program, which has enabled VICC to become a leading center for this new therapy.

Jagasia serves as principal investigator for several clinical research trials funded by the NIH as well as pharmaceutical enterprises and has published more than 155 research papers in numerous journals and has contributed several chapters to medical textbooks. In addition, he serves as a reviewer for multiple journals including Blood, Bone Marrow Transplantation, and Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

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