Women Leaders in Oncology (WLO) has named Pamela Kunz, MD, the 2021 Woman Oncologist of the Year. Kunz is Associate Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology), Director of the Center for Gastrointestinal Cancers at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center, Chief of GI Medical Oncology and Vice Chief, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Medical Oncology. The award honors a senior professional who is a respected individual in her field and who has modeled excellence in leadership. It also recognizes a woman who exhibits strong business acumen and the ability to share her skills with others. Kunz was presented the award virtually October 1, 2021, during the annual Leadership Empowerment and Development (LEAD) conference.
“This is a special honor, because it highlights the important work women are doing in oncology concerning scientific discovery, patient care and leadership,” said Kunz. “This award also recognizes my work in creating a more respectful, inclusive and collaborative work environment in oncology – it is a clear statement that these efforts matter.”
Kunz was selected from a field of 51 women nominated by WLO conference attendees. Beyond her record of accomplishment in gastrointestinal oncology, Kunz is an international leader in the clinical care of patients with neuroendocrine tumors and is advancing the field through clinical trials and translational science that are defining the next generation of therapies for patients with this rare diagnosis. In addition, she is also a leading voice for promoting gender equity in the medical workforce.
“Dr. Kunz is committed to advancing women in the field of cancer medicine and promoting gender equity in leadership roles,” said Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, Chief of Medical Oncology at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital and Associate Cancer Center Director for Translational Research at Yale Cancer Center. “This well-deserved award recognizes Dr. Kunz’s outstanding contributions, mentorship, and leadership—Yale Cancer Center is fortunate to have her as a faculty leader.”
“What a wonderful appreciation for the advances Dr. Kunz has made for women in medicine,” said Barbara Burtness, MD, Interim Associate Cancer Center Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Yale Cancer Center. “Dr. Kunz inspires us with her courage and clear-eyed commitment to fairness, and we are so proud that her voice is heard across the country.”
Kunz serves on the Board of Directors for the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society and is Vice Chair of the National Cancer Institute Neuroendocrine Tumor Task Force. Previously, Kunz served as Chief Resident in Internal Medicine and completed a Clinical and Research Fellowship in Medical Oncology at Stanford University. She received her undergraduate and medical degree from Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School.
WLO recognizes and empowers women who have dedicated their careers to advancing oncology research. The organization celebrates important contributions, provide ongoing support, and facilitate networking opportunities with other women leaders.