Walter J. Curran, MD

CurranWalter Curran Jr., MD, is professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology in Emory School of Medicine, which has grown to international prominence, and Chief Medical Officer of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute. Dr. Curran joined Emory in January 2008 from Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, where he served as professor and chair of the department of radiation oncology and clinical director for the Kimmel Cancer Center, also at Jefferson.


Radiation Oncology (Board certified since 1986)

Areas of Expertise

  • Brain tumors
  • Lung cancer
  • Clinical Trials testing novel radiation and drug-radiation interactions

Groundbreaking Research and Clinical Trials

Curran is the national group chairman and principal investigator of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, a National Cancer Institute-funded, international, multi-institutional cooperative group dedicated to advancing patient treatment and care through cooperative clinical trials and research.

Curran has been a principal investigator on numerous grants, including eight National Cancer Institute peer-reviewed grants.

Dr. Curran is considered an international expert in the management of patients with brain tumors and lung cancer. He led a group which defined the most common technique of classifying brain tumor patients (the RTOG recursive partitioning technique) and he led the largest clinical trial demonstrating the optimal technique of combining chemotherapy with radiation for lung cancer patients. He has conducted many innovative clinical trials evaluating the integration of new classes of anti-cancer agents with radiation therapy.

Dr. Curran was recently awarded the inaugural Lawrence W. Davis Chair of Radiation Oncology in Emory University School of Medicine. The Lawrence W. Davis Chair of Radiation Oncology was established in 2004. During his 17-year tenure as chair of Emory's department, Davis has led radiation oncology in establishment of a residency program, a new Division of Cancer Biology to enhance research in the department and has grown the faculty to 26 members, including 16 radiation oncologists.

The Road to Emory: Education

  • Medical School: Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine, Augusta, GA 1982
  • Internship: Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA 1983
  • Residency: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 1986


  • Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, Chairman

Major or Recent Publications

Dr. Curran has authored or co-authored more than 300 abstracts and scholarly papers, as well as several dozen presentations, reviews and book chapters. He is chair or co-chair of approximately 19 clinical protocols and a reviewer for 12 national and international journals.


Dr. Curran remains an avid runner and an age-competitive middle distance racer. He has four children and has devoted personal time to several 19th century property renovations.