James  C. Cusack Jr., MD

James C. Cusack Jr., MD

2013 Honoree

Director, Division of Surgical Oncology Laboratories; Director, Mass General Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Program

James Cusack, MD, has been on the front lines of the Mass General Cancer Center’s battle against cancer for more than a decade. He is the surgeon routinely sought out to treat the most complicated cases of recurrent pelvic cancer, which involve operations that require extraordinarily specialized expertise.

Dr. Cusack has also taken on the challenge of developing the Mass General program of hyperthermic intra-peritoneal chemotherapy for disseminated peritoneal malignancies. He brings to each endeavor the utmost perseverance, dedication and skill — strengths that are absolutely necessary to offer hope to patients afflicted with these complex diseases.

As the director of the Division of Surgical Oncology Laboratories at Mass General and associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Cusack is the prototypical triple-threat. An NIH-funded basic scientist, he studies the molecular mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance within cancer cells. He is also a dedicated teacher who is revered by his surgical residents, medical oncology fellows and post-doctoral trainees.

In addition to these important roles, Dr. Cusack is committed to improving surgical techniques and cancer care in the developing world, and has practiced medicine in Liberia, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan. In August 2013, Dr. Cusack will spend two weeks in Butaro, Rwanda working in the new Partners in Health hospital located there.

For all his achievements as a researcher, clinician and educator, more importantly Dr. Cusack is universally admired by patients and staff for his humanity and kindness.

- Keith D. Lillemoe, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief and Chair of Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital

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