For the Press

Society of Surgical Oncology Elects James S. Economou, MD as its President

Author: Curt Mattson
Mar 01, 2011

UCLA Vice Chancellor for Research assumes leadership of growing surgical society

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL—March 2011—James S. Economou, MD, Los Angeles, Calif., was elected 2011–2012 President of the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO), succeeding Mitchell C. Posner, MD, Chicago, Ill. The Society has also elected Dr. Monica Morrow, New York, N.Y., as its President-Elect, and V. Suzanne Klimberg, MD, Little Rock, Ark. as Vice President. These elections—and those of Treasurer and new Council members—were ratified at the Society’s Annual Cancer Symposium held March 2–5, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas.


Dr. James Economou is Vice Chancellor for Research, the Beaumont Professor of Surgery and Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology and Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics. He has published over 100 book chapters, manuscripts, and reviews.

Dr. Economou has served a previous term on the SSO Executive Council, has chaired the Fellowship and Research Grant Committee, and served on the Scientific Program Committee.

He earned his BA, MD, and PhD at The Johns Hopkins University. Following graduation, he completed a residency at the University of California, San Francisco.


Dr. Monica Morrow is Chief, Breast Service, Department of Surgery, and the Anne Burnett Windfohr Chair of Clinical Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, N.Y. She is also Professor of Surgery at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. She is the editor of three breast cancer textbooks and has published more than 250 book chapters, manuscripts, and editorials.

She has served as SSO Vice-President, Secretary, Chair of the Membership Committee, and serves on the Annals of Surgical Oncology Editorial Board. She has served two previous terms on the Executive Council, and was a member of the Issues and Government Affairs Committee.

Dr. Morrow earned her MD degree at Jefferson Medical College and completed her residency at Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, followed by a Surgical Oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.


Dr. Suzanne Klimberg is the Muriel Balsam Kohn Chair in Breast Surgical Oncology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Professor of Surgery and Pathology, Director of Diseases of the Breast Fellowship, and Director of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Program. She has also produced over 200 publications.

Dr. Klimberg is a past Secretary/Treasurer of the Society, past member of the Corporate Relations Committee, has served on the editorial board as a Breast Section Editor and is now Deputy Editor for the Society’s journal, Annals of Surgical Oncology, and also chairs SSO’s new Maintenance of Certification Committee.

She earned her medical degree at the University of Florida College of Medicine, where she subsequently did her residency. She held fellowships at the University of Florida in Clinical Oncology and at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Diseases of the Breast.


Dr. Daniel Coit currently serves as the Co-Leader of the Melanoma Disease Management Team at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York, N.Y. Previously he was Chief of the Gastric & Mixed Tumor Service there. With research and clinical interest in melanoma and gastric cancer, he has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, and book chapters. Dr. Coit was nominated twice as outstanding teacher at MSKCC by surgical fellows.

He was Chair of SSO’s Training Committee, currently chairs the SSO Finance Committee, and has served on the Corporate Relations Committee and editorial board for the Society’s journal, Annals of Surgical Oncology. He has served on the Surgical Oncology Advisory Committee to the American Board of Surgery and Chairs the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Melanoma Committee.

Dr. Coit earned his medical degree at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and did his residency at New England Deaconess Hospital. His fellowship was served at MSKCC.


Dr. Russell Berman is the Director of the General Surgery Residency Program at New York University School of Medicine/NYU Langone Medical Center and a faculty member in Surgical Oncology. He has co-authored the NYU Professionalism Curriculum for General Surgery Training, now used by over 60 General Surgery Training Programs in the U.S.

He has served the Society of Surgical Oncology on the Membership Committee, Strategic Planning Task Force, and is currently Chair of the Training Committee. He is on the Editorial Board of the National Cancer Institute's PDQ Comprehensive Cancer Database and is Section Editor for Surgery of the Skin, Soft Tissue, and Reticuloendothelium for UpToDate.

Dr. Berman received his MD degree from the New York University School of Medicine. He held residencies in General Surgery at Bellevue Hospital Center and at the NYU Medical Center. His Surgical Oncology fellowship was at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and his Oncology Research fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.


Dr. James Cusack is Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School and Director, Division of Surgical Oncology Laboratories at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has authored over 60 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, and book chapters.

Dr. Cusack has chaired the SSO Scientific Program Committee and has served on the Fellowship and Research Grants Committee, the Continuing Medical Education Committee, the SSO Planning Task Force, and the Clinical Affairs Committee. He serves as Editor of the Translational Research and Biomarkers Section of the SSO journal, Annals of Surgical Oncology.

He received his medical degree from Emory University Medical School and trained in surgery at Tufts New England Medical Center. He did a Surgery Research fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a Surgical Oncology fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.


Dr. Funda Meric-Bernstam is Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology, Division of Surgery, and Medical Director of the Institute of Personalized Cancer Therapy at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

She has chaired the SSO Website Committee and is the SSO representative to the Breast Cancer Symposium Steering Committee.

Dr. Meric-Bernstam earned her MD from Yale University School of Medicine and completed a residency in General Surgery at the University of Michigan Medical Center. During her residency, she joined the National Institutes of Health as a postdoctoral fellow. After her residency she did a Surgical Oncology fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.


Founded in 1940 as “The James Ewing Society,” the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) is a 2,500-member organization for surgeons and health care providers. The mission of the SSO is to improve patient care by advancing the science and practice of surgical oncology worldwide. The Society’s focus on all solid tumor disease sites is reflected in its comprehensive Annual Cancer Symposium, monthly scientific journal (Annals of Surgical Oncology), special projects, and committee structure.

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