Tag Archives: Cancer

Leading advocate for cancer patients selected as School of Medicine Alumni Award recipient

Dr. Arif Kamal

Arif Kamal, (M.D. ’05) was recognized as the 2023 UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Award winner during the university’s Alumni Awards ceremony on March 10 at the Plexpod Westport Commons in Kansas City.

The American Cancer Society hired Kamal, the school’s 2019 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award winner, as its first chief patient officer last December to implement the society’s patient support vision and strategic plan to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families.

Kamal oversees the organization’s cancer support, patient navigation, educational programs, patient lodging solutions, transportation services, contact center and digital patient support offerings. He also handles all aspects of organizational functions that touch cancer patients across 5,000 communities around the globe.

Prior to joining the American Cancer Society, Kamal served for more than 12 years as an oncologist, researcher and innovative leader at Duke University and the Duke Cancer Institute. He is an associate professor of Medicine and Population Health at the Duke University School of Medicine, and recently served as physician quality and outcomes officer at the Duke Cancer Institute.

Kamal is a nationally recognized expert in oncology quality assessment and palliative care. He co-founded Prepped Health, a company that develops innovative technology solutions to educate and engage patients facing a serious illness, such as cancer, and their caregivers. He has several leadership positions within prestigious national professional organizations, has won numerous awards and is a prolific author.

After receiving his medical degree from the UMKC’s six-year combined B.A./M.D. program, he completed his residency and a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic and Duke University. He holds a master’s degree in health science in clinical research from Duke University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst.

Kamal lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with his wife and two young children.

The UMKC Alumni Awards ceremony is one of the university’s largest events to support student scholarships. In the last decade, the Alumni Awards event has garnered more than $1 million in scholarships and immediate aid for UMKC students.



Scot Ebbinghaus honored with 2022 Take Wing Award

2022 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award recipient Scot Ebbinhaus, M.D., ’89.

The School of Medicine honored Scot Ebbinghaus, M.D., ’89, a medical oncologist and health care pioneer, with the 2022 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award during a ceremony and lecture on May 13.

Ebbinghaus has a distinguished research career in immuno-oncology therapeutics. He currently serves as vice president and therapeutic area head of late-stage oncology clinical research for Merck Research Laboratories in North Wales, Pennsylvania.

He is directly responsible for the strategy and execution of multiple clinical trials that led to the development of pembrolizumab, a drug described as a game changer and one of the most important tools in the treatment of certain types of cancer.

Following his graduation from the School of Medicine, Ebbinghaus completed his internal medicine residency and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He served as an associate professor of medicine at the University of Arizona before joining Merc.

In his Take Wing lecture, Ebbinghaus discussed the development of pembrolizumab, a therapeutic that has received 44 FDA approvals for use in multiple solid tumor types. His work laid the groundwork for the drug’s approvals and its production to scale with millions of doses having been delivered to patients throughout the world.

His research and work with the cancer treatment has been the topic of multiple New England Journal of Medicine publications and American Society of Clinical Oncology plenary sessions