Cancer Center at BIDMC Names New Chief of Hematology & Hematologic Malignancies and New Chief of Medical Oncology

Teresa Herbert (BIDMC Communications) 617-667-7305,

MARCH 08, 2019

David F. McDermott, MD, (left) and David Avigan, MD, (right)
BOSTON – David Avigan, MD, has been named Chief of the newly created Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies and David F. McDermott, MD, has been named Chief of the newly created Division of Medical Oncology, both part of the Leon V. & Marilyn L. Rosenberg Clinical Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).  

“As the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center embarks on an ambitious program in immunotherapy and ultra-precision medicine, these two extraordinary clinicians, researchers and teachers will propel the Clinical Cancer Center into the future,” said Mark Zeidel, MD, Chair of the Department of Medicine.

Together, Avigan and McDermott will continue to serve as Co-Directors of the Immunotherapy Institute, part of the Cancer Center at BIDMC, along with Deputy Director, Jacalyn Rosenblatt, MD, where they work to harness the potential of immunotherapy as it revolutionizes the way cancer and ultimately other diseases are treated and diagnosed.

“We know that Dr. Avigan’s and Dr. McDermott’s leadership will be central to advancing the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s pursuit of ultra-precision medicine as we work toward the Standard of Cure,” said Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD, Director of the Cancer Center and Cancer Research Institute.

David Avigan, MD, Chief of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies

David Avigan, MD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has most recently served as Section Chief of the Hematological Malignancies, Cell Therapy and Bone Marrow Transplant Program at BIDMC. Avigan is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work in developing novel immune therapies based on personalized vaccines and their advancement into clinical trials and the clinic.  

“This is an age of innovation and discovery in our quest for better treatments – and ultimately cures – for cancer,” said Avigan. “I am honored and humbled to be selected to lead the newly formed Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies as our extraordinary clinicians and researchers work to design therapies that improve quality of life for patients with blood cancers and disorders.” 

Avigan earned his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and a fellowship program with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Avigan is board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology.

David F. McDermott, MD, Chief of Medical Oncology

David F. McDermott, MD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, is Director of the Cutaneous and Immuno-Oncology Programs at BIDMC, Leader of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Kidney Cancer Program and Principal Investigator of the National Cancer Institute Kidney Cancer SPORE grant. He is a renowned clinical oncologist and clinical researcher whose pioneering work focuses on finding novel therapies to enhance the immune response to cancer. He has made significant contributions to the application of checkpoint inhibitors for renal cell carcinoma and melanoma and has focused on developing “targeted” immunotherapies for patients with solid tumors. 

“BIDMC is a true leader in the field of medical oncology, and it has been my honor to work alongside so many talented physician-researchers for more than twenty years,” said McDermott. “I am excited to build on our strong foundation to further transform cancer research and patient care.”   

McDermott earned his medical degree from the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He completed residency and fellowship programs with Tufts Medical Center. McDermott is board certified in Medical Oncology.

About Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School and consistently ranks as a national leader among independent hospitals in National Institutes of Health funding.

BIDMC is in the community with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth, Anna Jaques Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Lawrence General Hospital, Signature Healthcare, Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare, Community Care Alliance and Atrius Health. BIDMC is also clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and Hebrew Rehabilitation Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Jackson Laboratory. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit

BIDMC is part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a new health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,000 physicians and 35,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.