David G. Kirsch, MD, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology and in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology. Kirsch serves as the vice chair for Basic and Translational Research in the Department of Radiation Oncology. He is also the leader of the Duke Cancer Institute’s Radiation Oncology and Imaging Research Program.
An internationally-recognized expert in sarcoma, Kirsch is a compassionate clinician, who utilizes radiation therapy to care for patients with bone and soft tissue sarcomas. In his laboratory, Kirsch applies state-of-the-art tools in mouse genetics, imaging, and cell biology, to study sarcoma and radiation biology in order to develop new cancer therapies in the pre-clinical setting. Kirsch has developed primary mouse model systems of sarcoma and generated a number of novel genetically engineered mice, which are utilized by a number of laboratories around the world. He has used these models to tackle the most challenging and controversial questions in radiation biology; thereby, making seminal contributions to the field.
Kirsch serves as a counselor for the Radiation Research Society, participates on the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) 8th Edition Soft Tissue Sarcoma Expert Panel, and is the chair of the Developmental Therapeutics Committee for the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC).
Kirsch attended Duke University as an undergraduate student, graduating in 1993. He received his MD and PhD degrees from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2000. He completed his residency in Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and post-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kirsch joined Duke to start his independent laboratory in 2007 and was promoted to full professor in 2015. In April, he was elected to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In March the National Cancer Institute awarded Kirsch with an Outstanding Investigator Award.
Four School of Medicine faculty were awarded distinguished professorships at a Wednesday, May 4, dinner. Distinguished professorships recognize both exceptional achievement and the potential for future achievement. They are awarded to our most distinguished faculty who have demonstrated extraordinary scholarship in advancing science and improving human health.