Waldemar Debinski, MD, PhD, was honored as the inaugural Tom and Laura Hearn Professor for the Brain Tumor Center of Excellence during an event at Old Town Club on Dec. 11, 2019.
Debinski is director of the Brain Tumor Center of Excellence and leader of the Neuro-oncology Program at Wake Forest Baptist Health’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.
As one of a select few neuro-oncology researchers in the world, he has focused his work over the last 25 years on brain tumor research. His discoveries have led to numerous translational applications such as drug conjugates, tumor vaccines and T-cell immunotherapy. He also serves as an outstanding mentor and role model for junior faculty and a spiritual inspiration to many seasoned professors.
The professorship honors the philanthropy, vision and leadership of former Wake Forest University President Thomas K. Hearn Jr., PhD, and his wife, Laura. He was treated for a brain tumor at the Comprehensive Cancer Center and died in 2008 from complications of the disease.
Before and since his death, the Hearns rallied friends, family and the community to support the Brain Tumor Center of Excellence, and the professorship is in recognition of their work.