“When I saw patients in the outpatient clinic, I had already decided on a career in laboratory cancer research,” says Chi. “But at that time, I was unsure of whether I would focus on brain tumors. It was after talking to patients emotionally battling with having brain cancer that I made the decision.”
Co-director of the Brain Tumor Center, NYU Langone Hospital, Chi is a neuro-oncologist and a clinician/scientist who conducts clinical trials and laboratory research to improve the survival and quality of life of patients dealing with the most common to the most rare types of tumors. Some of his most recent work focuses on the impact of mutations on gliomas – the most deadly tumors that arise from glial cells in the brain.
“I was humbled and inspired by their courage, resolve and love,” says Chi of the patients who fight day in and day out to survive and overcome the disease.
His work has been made possible, in part, through the support he received early in his career when he received a post-doctoral fellowship research grant from the American Brain Tumor Association. Since that time, he says the ABTA has served as a valuable professional resource through its alumni research network.
“More recently, I believe we’ve had a synergistic relationship as I’ve served on grant review committees and participated in patient-centered ABTA events such as the NYC BT5K and the 2018 Patient and Family Conference,” he adds.
“I have been active and engaged with the American Brain Tumor Association because I truly appreciated the support they gave me early in my career and I believe in their academic and patient mission.”
Donations to the ABTA are important so that patients and their families have as many resources as possible, he says. The relative rarity of the disease, compared with other more common cancers, results in less funding and awareness. “The ABTA can be a critical factor in supporting the careers of both young and established brain tumor researchers.”
In his spare time, Chi likes to spend time with his wife and two daughters, ages 3 and 2. They like to go to the zoo, visit museums and aquariums, or just explore the city or have a movie night. When not with his family, he enjoys watching ice hockey (which he played growing up), working out, hiking and going to comedy shows.
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