Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Alumni Association

Kelly M. McMasters, M.D., Ph.D.

Kelly M. McMasters, MD, PhD, is the Sam and Lolita Weakley Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.  He graduated with honors from Colgate University with a degree in Biology.  He then completed the MD/PhD program at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, with a PhD from Rutgers University in Cell and Developmental Biology in 1989.  After general surgery residency at the University of Louisville, he went on to a surgical oncology fellowship at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he received training in basic, translational, and clinical research.  He became Assistant Professor of Surgical Oncology at the University of Louisville in July 1996.  In 2005, he was appointed Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

Dr. McMasters is the author and principal investigator of the Sunbelt Melanoma Trial, an ambitious 3000+ patient multi-center study of sentinel lymph node biopsy and adjuvant therapy for melanoma that incorporates molecular staging.  He also initiated the University of Louisville Breast Cancer Sentinel Lymph Node Study, a 4000+ patient multi-institutional study that has made a significant contribution toward widespread acceptance of this minimally invasive procedure for the staging of breast cancer.  His basic and translational research interest has been in developing gene therapy approaches for the treatment of cancer.  He has had funding from the American Cancer Society, the NIH, and other organizations to pursue studies of adenoviral vector-mediated E2F-1 gene therapy. 

He has authored over 200 publications, presented his research to numerous national and international organizations, and has membership in many professional societies, including the American Surgical Association, American College of Surgeons, Society of University Surgeons, Association for Academic Surgery, American Society of Breast Surgeons, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, among others.  He serves on the executive council of the Society of Surgical Oncology and is on the editorial board of Annals of Surgical Oncology.