A family practitioner who was a longtime associate dean for student affairs at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and a radiation oncologist who is executive director of the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University are recipients of the 2017 MCG Distinguished Alumni awards.
Dr. Mason Thompson, a 1973 graduate of the state’s public medical school and the newest president of the MCG Alumni Association, is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Loyalty. He returned to his alma mater in 1978 as an assistant, and eventually, associate professor of family medicine. He was appointed MCG’s assistant dean for student affairs in 1992 and served as the associate dean for student affairs from 1993-2000. He has also been the interim associate dean for minority affairs, chair of the MCG Admissions Committee and associate dean for admissions. He has been an active member of the MCG Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2006 and associate professor emeritus since 2007.
Thompson was a member of the Section on Medical Schools for the American Medical Association and the Group on Student Affairs for the Association of American Medical Colleges from 1992-2007. He was a member of the National Advisory Committee to the AAMC’s American Medical College Application Service from 2004-06.
His research has focused on the progression and development of family medicine practice, particularly in the areas of smoking cessation, non-familial hypercholesterolemia and anxiety.
Dr. Walter Curran, a 1982 graduate, is MCG’s Distinguished Alumnus for Professional Achievement. Curran has served as executive director at Winship, one of the nation’s top-ranked cancer centers, since 2009. He also is Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and Chair in Cancer Research there, Lawrence W. Davis Professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology for the Emory University School of Medicine, and associate vice president for cancer for Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center.
A national leader, he is co-chairman of the American Joint Commission on Cancer, founding chairman of the NRG Oncology Foundation, and founding chairman of the board for the RTOG Foundation, the successor to the National Cancer Institute-funded Radiation Therapy Oncology Group. He also serves on committees such as the Coalition of National Cancer and Cooperative Groups, American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.
Curran’s research revolves around the safe and effective use of radiation oncology to treat all types of cancer. His influence and passion have resulted in over 240 selected lectureships, seminar invitations and visiting professorships, including serving as keynote speaker for the International Lung Cancer Congress in 2012.