Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, the 16th president of the university, was elected in March 2015 and assumed office in September 2015. He was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, and held the Roberto C. Goizueta Distinguished Chair for Cancer Research. He also served as Deputy Director for the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. Dr. Khuri was also the Executive Associate Dean for Research of the Emory University School of Medicine.
Dr. Khuri was born in Boston, MA and brought up in Beirut, where he attended the American University of Beirut from 1981-82. He moved to the US in 1982, and earned his bachelor's degree from Yale University, in New Haven, CT, and his MD from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York, NY. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Boston City Hospital, Boston, MA, and his fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Tufts-New England Medical Center. He was on faculty at the U.T. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center from 1995-2002 prior to joining Emory University and the Winship Cancer Institute (Winship) in 2003.
An accomplished molecular oncologist and translational thought leader, Dr. Khuri's clinical expertise and research are focused on the development of molecular, prognostic, therapeutic, and chemopreventive approaches to improve the standard of care for patients with lung and aerodigestive cancers. He has conducted seminal research on oncolytic viral therapy, developed approaches to integrate molecularly targeted therapies by combining signal transduction inhibitors with chemotherapy, pioneered novel induction and window of opportunity trials, and led major cooperative group chemoprevention efforts for these cancers. His laboratory group investigates mechanisms of action of signal transduction inhibitors in lung and aerodigestive track cancers based on the selective activation of certain signaling networks.
Dr. Khuri’s ability to build teams with the singular vision of improving outcomes for cancer patients has helped develop Winship into a premier translational research engine. Dr. Khuri has led the recruitment of over 90 faculty including 60 clinical investigators to Emory University, helping oversee an increase in adult cancer patients placed on trial annually from 143 in 2002 to over 650 in 2014, and paving the way for NCI designation for the Winship. Along with Haian Fu, PhD, Khuri founded the Winship’s Cancer Drug Discovery, Development, and Delivery Program. Working closely with Drs. Fu, Shi-Yong Sun, and colleagues, Dr. Khuri has led a programmatic approach to pioneer novel therapeutic approaches to this disease. This work has led to a Lung P01 (FR Khuri, PI, H Fu, co-PI), head and neck cancer SPORE (Dong M. Shin, PI; Khuri, co-PI), U01 in Chemical Genomics (H Fu, PI, FR Khuri, co-PI), and multiple spin-off R01s, significantly expanding its impact. In May 2015, his team submitted a new, paradigm-shifting P01 entitled “Targeting LKB1-associated tumor vulnerability in lung cancer,” an application that uses state of the art genomics and systems biology approaches to interrogate several major survival nodes in lung cancer, developing targeted approaches to block multiple key nodes of critical lung cancer survival signaling networks.
Dr. Khuri has published over 300 peer reviewed articles, including papers in Nature Medicine, the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, Science Signaling, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. His work has been cited over 15,000 times and his h-factor is 64. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of Cancer, the oldest and one of the most prestigious journals in the field, having served on more than a dozen prior editorial boards of major journals. Dr. Khuri has also served as a permanent member of multiple peer review committees for the American Cancer Society, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the NCI, including currently serving as the Chair of the NIH’s Clinical Oncology Study Section. He is an active member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Dr. Khuri’s work has been recognized with several major awards, including the 2006 Nagi Sahyoun Award of the Middle East Medical Assembly for “research that has changed the way we think about and treat lung and head and neck cancer”, the 2010 Waun Ki Hong Distinguished Professorship by the University of Texas MD Anderson, and the 2013 Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award from the AACR for “his pioneering work in developing oncolytic viruses, signal transduction inhibitors, and biomarker based chemoprevention approaches to lung and aerodigestive cancers.” In 2013, Khuri was also recognized with the Arab American High Achievers (AAHA) Award by the Alif Society, the major Arab Cultural Foundation of Georgia. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2007), and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (2009) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2015). He has been listed among America’s Top Doctors by Castle Connolly for the last 8 years.
Ties to AUBFadlo Khuri is married to Lamya Tannous-Khuri, PhD, who also attended AUB from 1981-84, prior to obtaining a BS in Nutrition at the University of Connecticut. After obtaining a Masters in Nutrition at Columbia University, Dr. Tannous-Khuri obtained her PhD at Columbia in Nutrition in 1993. Together, the Khuris have 3 children, Layla (Yale College Class of 2016), Raja (Emory College Class of 2018), and Rayya, who is an IB student in tenth grade at the Atlanta International School.
Fadlo and Lamya Khuri’s AUB roots run deep. Both of Fadlo Khuri’s maternal great grandfathers graduated from AUB, Jirjis El-Khoury El-Makdisi obtaining his diploma from AUB in 1888, and Fadlo Hourani obtaining his diploma in 1894. His paternal grandfather, Najib N. Khuri, obtained his BA in Mathematics from AUB in 1910. His father, the late Raja N. Khuri graduated from college and medical school at AUB with high distinction, winning the Penrose Award, the University’s highest scholastic honor on both occasions (1955 and 1959), and his mother, Soumaya Khuri, graduated AUB with high distinction in Mathematics in 1959, before obtaining an AM from Harvard and a PhD from Yale University. Fadlo Khuri’s brother, Ramzi Khuri, is a graduate of Yale (BS, MS, summa cum laude, 1986), and Princeton University (PhD, 1991). Raja Khuri served as Professor and Chair of Physiology (1968-78), Dean of the Medical School (1978-87) at AUB, and his family and friends endowed the Deanship of Medicine in his honor. Soumaya Khuri served in the Department of Mathematics from 1974-1986, departing as a full professor.
Lamya Khuri’s grandfather, Dr. Izzat Tannous, graduated AUB undergraduate and medical school with distinction, and both her parents, Dr. Raja and Lydia Tannous, attended AUB, with Dr. Raja Tannous serving as founding chair of the department of Nutrition and Food Sciences in the School of Agriculture at AUB and twice as acting Dean of that school.