Sanford H. Barsky, M.D., joins the University of Nevada School of Medicine as new chair of pathology department

Cancer specialist brings strong research background to medical school

RENO, Nev. — The University of Nevada School of Medicine announces the arrival of Sanford H. Barsky, M.D., as professor and the new chair of the Department of Pathology. Barsky is a well known, highly regarded and entrepreneurial cancer researcher who will also serve as chief of pathology of Nevada Cancer Institute (NVCI) in Las Vegas and an associate director of NVCI at the Reno campus.

Barsky, who has both a strong research and clinical background, will lead the effort to further develop the research and clinical missions of the Department of Pathology throughout Nevada in addition to maintaining its outstanding teaching missions. Barsky is a pioneer in digital pathology and will initiate a virtual slide microscopy diagnostic consultative service throughout the state. His arrival indicates an evolution toward achieving the traditional triple threat of academic pathology.

"I am looking forward to both the challenges and the opportunities at the University of Nevada and NVCI, helping to lead both the pathology and cancer research efforts so crucial to the health of Nevadans and all Americans as we prepare to enter the second decade of the 21st century and I am grateful to the efforts made in my recruitment by all concerned" said Barsky.

Barsky's arrival on September 1 ushers in a new era for both the School of Medicine and NVCI.

"The pathology department will add a crucial dimension of research and clinical excellence and our state will gain an internationally recognized cancer expert to improve disease diagnosis and accelerate the discovery of predictive biomarkers so crucial to the goal of personalized medicine," said Ole J. Thienhaus, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. "Combined with existing community resources, we will add pathology support to clinical operations throughout the state of Nevada, strengthening the identity of the School of Medicine as a statewide academic institution."

John C. Ruckdeschel, M.D., NVCI director and chief executive officer, stated: "Dr. Barsky will play a major role as a clinician and researcher at the Institute through his leadership in NVCI's digital and molecular pathology initiatives. We are all very excited about Dr. Barsky's arrival."

Barsky comes to Nevada from Columbus, Ohio where he served as The Donald A. Senhauser Endowed Chair of Pathology, chair of the pathology department and chief of pathology services at The Ohio State University College of Medicine since 2004.

His research interests focus on the molecular mechanisms of breast cancer and lung carcinoma metastasis. He is an international authority on inflammatory breast cancer, having given the keynote address last December at the First International Symposium of Inflammatory Breast Cancer held at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. As a foremost expert on the subject, he has participated in international and global health initiatives, symposiums and forums and lectured both nationally and internationally on this research for the past decade. In 2007, Barsky was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for "distinguished contributions to the field of tumor biology and metastasis, particularly for discoveries underlying the mechanisms of metastatic progression of human breast cancer."

Barsky has held numerous academic appointments, published more than 150 peer reviewed articles and more than 200 abstracts. He has given over 180 presentations and served as principal investigator on numerous National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, National Cancer Institute and private foundation research grants and projects. Barsky holds ten U.S. patents and five international patents with more applications pending.

He earned his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh, completed pathology residency training at Harvard Medical School and an additional research fellowship with the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health. He is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology.

Barsky has taught at George Washington University and the University of California Los Angeles Schools of Medicine and served as deputy coroner for the City of Los Angeles.

Nevada Cancer Institute (NVCI) is the official cancer institute for the State of Nevada. A nonprofit organization, NVCI is committed to reducing the burden of cancer by pursuing the development of a comprehensive cancer center, as defined by the National Cancer Institute.


Media Contacts

Julie Ardito, APR
Senior Director, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 784-6006

Tessa Bowen, MPA
Communications Manager, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 682-9254

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.