EVMS has welcomed home an alumna into the top spot of its surgical oncology division. Marybeth Hughes, MD (MD ’97, Surgery Residency ’02), who has an extensive background in clinical trials and translational research, will serve as Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology in EVMS Surgery.

EVMS has welcomed home an alumna into the top spot of its surgical oncology division. Marybeth Hughes, MD (MD ’97, Surgery Residency ’02), has an extensive background in clinical trials and translational research, with a special focus on elevating the care of cancer patients. She will serve as Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology in EVMS Surgery.

Dr. Hughes comes to EVMS after serving in the Surgical Oncology Thoracic and Gastrointestinal Oncology Branch Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, where she also was Director for the Surgical Oncology Research Fellowship Program.

Her passion is clear.

“I hate cancer,” Dr. Hughes says. “It affects so many people — one in three adults — I want to eradicate it.”

She plans to focus her work at EVMS on strengthening the bio repository, working collaboratively with EVMS faculty already conducting cancer research and raising the clinical profile.

“I hope to bring the most innovative cancer care to Hampton Roads,” Dr. Hughes says. “To do that, it’s going to take big partnerships with Sentara, Virginia Oncology Associates and dedicated work in multidisciplinary teams.”

Dr. Hughes has served as principal investigator and associate investigator for various clinical trials at the NIH on cancer related protocols. Her work has been published in numerous journals and books on surgical oncology topics most notably related to neuroendocrine tumors, melanoma liver metastases, pancreatic cancer, adenocarcinoma of the appendix, colorectal cancers, renal cell carcinoma and breast cancer.

She is a national and international presenter on surgical oncology topics and teaches and mentors medical students, residents and fellows in surgical oncology. While at the NIH, Dr. Hughes re-developed the curriculum, for the Surgical Oncology Research Fellowship Program and taught Advanced Trauma Life Support for the Department of Defense.

"Our department is thrilled to have Dr. Hughes join the EVMS family and we are fortunate to be able to recruit someone of her caliber,” says L.D. Britt, MD, MPH, the Edward J. Brickhouse Chair in Surgery, the Henry Ford Professor of Surgery and Professor and Chair of Surgery. “With the pending and well-deserved retirement of Dr. Roger Perry, we anticipate a smooth transition as the baton is being handed off to continue our relay race to achieve the highest quality and most reliable care for all patients."

Dr. Hughes is certified by the American Board of Surgery, is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, is an Advanced Trauma Life Support Instructor and is certified as a DaVinci Robotic Console Surgeon. She often serves as a reviewer for several well-known journals including the Journal of Surgical Oncology, the World Journal of Surgery and The American Journal of the Medical Sciences.

Dr. Hughes is an alumna of the EVMS MD Class of 1997 and completed her surgical residency at EVMS in 2002. She went on to do a surgical fellowship at the NCI before joining its faculty in 2004. Her husband, Mark Hughes, MD, graduated from EVMS in 1998 and currently serves as an emergency medicine physician with Tidewater Emergency Medical Care, LTD.

Dr. Hughes credits EVMS with her career trajectory.

"We are very fortunate at EVMS because the education is extremely strong, well-rounded, and it allows you to compete on any level," she says. "EVMS prepares you so that you are the full package — strong technical and clinical knowledge with a compassionate patient focus."