Dr. Maheswari Senthil, professor of surgery and chief of Surgical Oncology at University of California-Irvine School of Medicine, was recently named the John Wayne Cancer Foundation Endowed Chair in Surgical Oncology. Senthil was honored at a special investiture ceremony in Irvine in October.

“I am honored to hold the John Wayne Cancer Foundation Endowed Chair in Surgical Oncology,” Senthil said. “This partnership will help move the field forward and continue our ‘Discover. Teach. Heal.’ mission.”

.The John Wayne Cancer Foundation, founded by his family in honor of the iconic actor, who died from stomach cancer in 1979 and battled lung cancer 15 years before that, brings courage, strength and grit to the fight against cancer. JWCF funds novel and innovative programs that improve cancer patients’ outcomes and save lives through research, education, awareness and support.

A nationally recognized surgical oncologist and physician-scientist, Senthil is an expert in the management of patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis and advanced malignancies. She also is thefounder of the complex general surgical oncology fellowship at UCI School of Medicine, the first of its kind within the University of California system. In her role as chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology, Senthil has received numerous awards for her commitment and dedication to educational excellence and has contributed to surgical research on a global scale.

Among her many accolades, Senthil was the recipient of the 2021 John E. Connolly, MD, Teaching Professor of the Year award. That same year, she published a study in the Journal of Surgery titled, “Promoting surgical research in the global south.” She also headed up an investigator-initiated clinical trial called STOPGAP – a Phase II study of sequential systemic and intraperitoneal chemotherapy for gastric peritoneal carcinomatosis, and was awarded the UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge Pilot Project Award. Additionally, Senthil is the Lancet Commission Global Cancer Surgery PAHO region champion.

“The John Wayne Cancer Foundation, my family and I are extremely proud to partner with UCI to change the course of cancer treatment for patients and their loved ones for generations to come,” said Ethan Wayne, John Wayne Cancer Foundation director. “Together, through research and lifesaving clinical trials, and by training future surgical oncologists like Dr. Senthil and her extraordinary fellows, we are poised to make a difference in the fight against cancer.”

The investiture ceremony also highlighted the inaugural John Wayne Cancer Foundation Endowed Fellow, Dr. Kia Mashayekhi, MD. Prior to beginning his training with UCI, Mashayekhi completed a fellowship in advanced gastrointestinal, minimally invasive surgery and bariatric surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas.

UCI Dean Michael Stamos, Dr. Maheswari Senthil, Ethan Wayne and Dr. Ninh Nguyen at the investiture ceremony

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