Dr. Yusuf A. Hannun


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    “Through research, scientists better understand and define cancer biology and mechanisms of disease, and from there create more effective targeted treatments and prevention for specific cancers.”
    — Yusuf A. Hannun, MD

    Meet Yusuf A. Hannun, MD

    As the new Director of Stony Brook Cancer Center, Dr. Hannun has one overarching goal: To develop a cancer center that makes a difference in the study and practice of cancer medicine — both at Stony Brook and around the world. Here in Suffolk County, with Stony Brook already delivering some of the most advanced and comprehensive cancer care in the region, Dr. Hannun plans to build on existing strengths to create a world-class cancer program. By expanding clinical programs, more fully integrating research with clinical care, spearheading facility expansion, transforming the Center into a basic and translational research hub, and recruiting new physicians and investigators, Dr. Hannun is equipped to take Stony Brook Cancer Center to the next level.

    As these elements become integrated into the Cancer Center, the next step is to attain National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation, something Dr. Hannun achieved in his former position as Deputy Director of the Hollings Cancer Center in South Carolina. This would make Stony Brook one of 66 NCI-designated cancer centers in the country and the only one in Suffolk County.

    Dr. Hannun is committed to continuing research in the area of cancer cell signaling as well as staying involved in clinical education as a Professor of Medicine — not only because of his commitment to the field but also because as a leader, he believes hands-on involvement translates into more effective outcomes.


    • Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
      Hematology/Oncology; additional postgraduate training in Biochemistry
    • American University of Beirut Medical Center, Lebanon
      Internal Medicine
    • American University of Beirut, Lebanon
      MD with distinction, 1981
    • Focus on the lipid mediators of cancer cell signaling
    • Leader on three NCI R01 awards
    • National Institutes of Health Merit Award
    • Principal Investigator on a program project grant involving the investigation of physiological and pathological roles played by a class of lipids known as sphingolids
    • Co-investigator on a lipid signaling core grant
    • Contributed to more than 460 scholarly publications
    • Mentored 40 post-doctoral fellows and 20 PhD students
    • Elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians
    • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
    • Recipient of Avanti Award for Lipid Research from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology