Jeff Michalski named interim head of Department of Radiation Oncology

Jeff M. Michalski, M.D., professor of radiation oncology, has been named interim head of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, effective April 1.


Michalski is replacing Simon Powell, M.D., Ph.D., who has taken a position as head of radiation oncology at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. A search committee has been formed to seek a permanent replacement for Powell.

Michalski’s appointment was announced by Larry J. Shapiro, M.D., executive vice chancellor and dean of the School of Medicine.

“Jeff Michalski, a long-serving member of the faculty, is an outstanding clinician, teacher and clinical investigator,” Shapiro says. “He will be an excellent leader. I’d also like to recognize Simon Powell, who spearheaded a faculty expansion in the biology, physics and clinical divisions and the creation of a new bioinformatics and outcome research division during his tenure as department head.”

As interim head, Michalski intends to advance these and other initiatives that Powell started such as a prototype proton beam facility, the first of its kind in the world. The facility is slated to open in 2009.

Michalski specializes in genitourinary and pediatric oncology. He also conducts clinical research on the use of radiation therapy for the treatment of prostate and other cancers.

Earlier this month, he and researchers at nine medical centers published a paper in The New England Journal of Medicine that detailed the impact of prostate cancer treatment on the quality of life of patients and their spouses.

In recent years, he also led efforts to adopt two new technologies that add an extra degree of precision to prostate cancer radiation treatments. One of the technologies aids physicians during placement of radioactive seeds within the prostate, and the other aids in targeting external-beam radiation. Both technologies will increase radiation treatment accuracy to better eradicate tumors and avoid injury to nearby tissues.

Michalski joined the School of Medicine faculty as instructor of radiology in 1991. He was named director of the clinical division in radiation oncology in 2002 and professor of radiation oncology in 2006.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982 and a medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1986. Following a residency in radiation oncology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, he completed a residency and fellowship in radiation oncology at the School of Medicine in 1991. Additionally, he earned a master’s in business administration from the Washington University Olin School of Business in 2001.

He currently serves as vice chair of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, leads its Advanced Technology Integration committee and is a member of the Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer Panel of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. He is a member of the Siteman Cancer Center.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Siteman Cancer Center is the only federally-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center within a 240-mile radius of St. Louis. Siteman Cancer Center is composed of the combined cancer research and treatment programs of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. Siteman has satellite locations in West County and St. Peters, in addition to its full-service facility at Washington University Medical Center on South Kingshighway.