Paul Okunieff, MD, Professor and Chair of the UF Department of Radiation Oncology, is pleased to announce the promotion of four key faculty members, effective July 1, 2023.
Maria Mamalui, PhD (right) has been promoted to the rank of Clinical Associate Professor. Dr. Mamalui has been a member of the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute (UFHPTI) physics faculty since 2010, representing 12 years of contributions to treatment planning, QA programs, and clinical workflow improvement protocols.
In particular, Dr. Mamalui pioneered the program’s intraocular tumors commissioning and implementation. She also leads the clinical program, which includes simulation, planning, and delivery of proton radiation for the treatment of intraocular tumors. Her experience in this area makes UFHPTI one of only a few proton therapy centers in the world offering dedicated ocular beamlines.
“Dr. Mamalui is a key member of a team that targets tumors on the retina, saving the eye and the vision in case of an otherwise lethal melanoma,” said Dr. Okunieff.
Raymond B. Mailhot Vega, MD, MPH (right) has been promoted to the rank of Clinical Associate Professor. Since 2018, Dr. Mailhot Vega, a UFHPTI physician, has worked to enhance the University of Florida’s reputation nationally and internationally by personalizing radiotherapy for pediatric, hematologic, and breast cancer patients; addressing healthcare disparities to improve patient outcomes; and increasing radiation oncology workforce diversity.
“Importantly, Dr. Mailhot Vega’s work to improve international practices in pediatric radiation oncology through education, while at the same time determining those methods that best address outcome disparities among the world’s most vulnerable children, greatly enhancing UF’s reputation across Latin America,” Dr. Okunieff remarked. “There is no doubt that his research will continue to have a global impact in the fight against cancer.”
Anamaria R. Yeung, MD (right) has been promoted to Clinical Professor. A UF clinician, educator, and researcher since 2009 and the department’s Residency Program Director since 2020, Dr. Yeung has worked diligently to enhance the university’s national reputation through her clinical expertise and leadership in resident education as well as her thoracic, gynecologic, and head and neck cancer research.
“Dr. Yeung’s elevation to Clinical Professor ensures the continuation of our department’s and our institution’s leadership in patient care, research, and resident education,” said Dr. Okunieff. “She will no doubt drive our efforts to become, in the truest sense, a ‘master educator’, producing resident graduates that change standards of cancer care.”
Kathryn E. Hitchcock, MD, PhD (right) has been promoted to Clinical Associate Professor. A faculty member since 2017, Dr. Hitchcock’s clinical care has focused on head and neck and gastrointestinal cancers and she was critical to the successful implementation of the department’s new MR-Linac program. Dr. Hitchcock has also spearheaded a rapidly growing radiopharmaceutical program as well as many clinical trials.
“The radiopharmaceutical program pioneered by Dr. Hitchcock embodies a new and complex therapy that is quite unique and draws patient referrals from the entire southeastern United States,” Dr. Okunieff pointed out. “Her novel approach to clinical instruction, her dedication to exceptional patient care – even during the height of the pandemic – and her unwavering support of UF and the UF Health Cancer Center have done much to advance our leadership as a premier academic and NCI-designated cancer center.”