Scripps Leadership

Dr. Carl J. Rossi, Jr.

Medical Director, Scripps Proton Therapy Center

Dr. Carl J. Rossi, Jr. has joined Scripps Clinic Medical Group (SCMG) as medical director of the Scripps Proton Therapy Center, a $220 million cancer treatment and research facility being built in the Carroll Canyon area of Mira Mesa that is expected to open in spring 2013.

Before joining Scripps, Rossi spent the past 20 years as chief of genito-urinary and lymphoma radiation oncology services at Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) in Loma Linda, Calif. At LLUMC, Rossi treated more than 9,000 prostate cancer patients with proton therapy - more than any other physician in the world for that tumor site.

For the past 19 years, Rossi also served as facility director of Loma Linda University Radiation Medicine in Ridgecrest, Calif. He has been an associate professor of radiation oncology at LLUMC for the past decade.

SCMG will oversee medical services at Scripps Proton Therapy Center, and Scripps Health will provide its clinical management services. The facility is being developed by Advanced Particle Therapy (APT), LLC, of San Diego. APT has arranged the financing to build the center and purchase the proton therapy equipment from Varian Medical Systems. Additionally, APT will manage and maintain the building and equipment.

As medical director of Scripps Proton Therapy Center, Rossi will be responsible for the facility's technical and clinical operations. This includes recruiting the center's clinical staff, establishing training guidelines, integrating patient care quality initiatives and developing clinical trials to optimize therapies for various diagnoses. Rossi also will help foster collaboration with other cancer care providers and researchers in San Diego and with other proton centers nationwide.

Rossi completed his undergraduate education at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif., where he majored in biology. He received his doctor of medicine degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood, Ill., before serving his internship and residency at LLUMC.

 

Dr. Lei Dong

Chief Medical Physicist, Scripps Proton Therapy Center

Lei Dong, PhD, an accomplished medical physicist who has spent most of his career at the nation's top-ranked University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will join Scripps Health as chief medical physicist of the Scripps Proton Therapy Center.

Most recently, Dong served as professor and deputy chair of MD Anderson's department of radiation physics. During his 15-year career at MD Anderson, Dong has held a variety of clinical, research and teaching roles. He is considered an internationally renowned expert in image guided radiation therapy.

Dong played an important role in the clinical implementation of proton therapy at MD Anderson when its proton treatment center opened in 2006. He has led a multidisciplinary clinical team in designing proton treatment planning and workflow procedures and has supported in-house developed software for proton therapy. Dong has extensive knowledge of the "pencil beam scanning" technology that will be used at Scripps Proton Therapy Center.

MD Anderson ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. It is home to one of just nine proton therapy centers currently operating in the United States. For eight of the past 10 years, including 2011, MD Anderson has ranked No. 1 in cancer care in "America's Best Hospitals," a survey published annually in U.S. News & World Report.

Scripps Clinic Medical Group will oversee medical services at Scripps Proton Therapy Center, and Scripps Health will provide its clinical management services. The facility is being developed by Advanced Particle Therapy (APT), LLC, of San Diego. APT has arranged the financing to build the center and purchase the proton therapy equipment from Varian Medical Systems. Additionally, APT will manage and maintain the building and equipment.

"The addition of Lei Dong marks a significant step toward establishing a world-class team at Scripps Proton Therapy Center," said Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. "In addition to offering our patients the very latest advances in proton technology, this facility will also be staffed by clinical professionals who are at the top of their fields."

Dong has written more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles on various aspects of radiation therapy and has been an investigator on several radiation-related research studies funded by the National Institutes of Health. His recent research involves proton therapy for lung cancer.

As chief medical physicist of Scripps Proton Therapy Center, Dong will be responsible for key aspects of the facility's technical and clinical operations. This includes the clinical commissioning and acceptance testing of all proton therapy and diagnostic imaging equipment. He will also be responsible for the selection and training of the center's staff of physicists, therapists and dosimetrists (treatment plan designers). Additionally, Dong will develop and maintain quality control and safety programs at the center. He is expected to start in his new role with Scripps in February 2012.

Dong earned his bachelor's degree in engineering physics at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, where he also received his master's degree in modern applied physics. He earned his doctorate degree in biomedical sciences and medical physics at the University of Texas. Dong is board certified in therapeutic radiation physics and is a fellow of the American Association of Medical Physicists.