Thomas J. Lynch, Jr, MD
Even at a young age, Thomas J. Lynch, Jr, MD’s ideas about his future career focused on taking care of patients who had a serious disease. Although, at the time, 10-year old Thomas didn’t realize the “serious disease” that his father, a hematologist, treated was called “cancer,” his father’s devotion to his patients influenced his son’s choice.
Lynch has seen some impressive advancements over the course of his life’s work. For example, Lynch, who specializes in treating patients with lung cancer, recalls the early days of treatment. “We were treating patients with platinum-based chemotherapy,” said Lynch. “Yes, we were helping them, but it is nowhere near what we can do now with targeted therapies and immuno-oncology type drugs. The opportunities are extraordinary.” Lynch and colleagues pioneered the use of molecular testing for EGFR mutations in lung cancer.
Lynch brings medical, management, and leadership experience at different healthcare institutions, including more than 23 years at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), to his position. He recalls his involvement with the MGH/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute fellowship program, where he had the opportunity to work with first-year fellows.
“That was some of the most impactful work I got to do in my career. I was privileged to shape the careers of these young oncologists,” said Lynch. “I tried to convey to them that no other career will challenge you more, will push you more, will motivate you more to make a difference for patients with cancer.”
Lynch has served as chairman and chief executive officer of Massachusetts General Physicians Organization and a member of the Massachusetts General Hospital Board since 2015. From 2009 to 2015, he was director of Yale Cancer Center and was the Richard and Jonathan Sackler Professor of Internal Medicine, Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine. He has also served as the physician in chief of the Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale-New Haven, since 2009. Prior to 2009, Lynch was professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of Hematology/Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital.