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Christopher Kane, MD, Appointed C. Lowell & JoEllen Parsons Endowed Chair


May 26, 2011  |  

Internationally-recognized cancer surgeon, Christopher Kane, MD, professor of surgery and chief, division of urology, has been named the inaugural holder of the C. Lowell and JoEllen Parsons Endowed Chair in Urology. The $2.5 million endowed faculty chair will enable Kane to recruit world-class talent and to support novel research and cancer treatment and prevention programs at UC  San Diego Health System.

Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane, MD, chief of Urology, UC San Diego Health System

“This endowed chair acknowledges Dr. Kane, a pioneering surgeon, who will uphold Dr. Parson’s legacy as a caring clinician and a living example of game-changing translational research,” said Mark A. Talamini, MD, professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego Health System. “The Parsons Endowed Chair in Urology represents a tremendous gift to and investment in UC San Diego. We express our deep gratitude to Dr. Parsons, his wife JoEllen, and his family for making this endowed chair possible.”

The endowed chair honors C. Lowell Parsons, MD, professor of surgery with the UC San Diego School of Medicine. A faculty member since 1977, Parsons is a global expert in the treatment of interstitial cystitis (IC) having treated more than 6,000 patients with this painful bladder condition. Through the pursuit of knowledge at the bench and bedside, Parsons’ studies led to the discovery of Elmiron®, a drug which represents one of the university’s top five patents.

“I humbly accept the Parsons Endowed Chair on behalf of the Urology division. This endowment gives us critical resources to continue our recruitment of exceptional faculty to UC San Diego,” said Kane, a specialist in prostate cancer and renal cell carcinoma who recently received the 2011 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Medal from UC Davis.  He was also a Best Doctor in San Diego in 2009 and 2010 and was named a Healthcare Champion by the San Diego Business Journal in 2010.

Heading a national referral center, Kane offers minimally invasive surgical treatments for urologic disease. He is an expert in robot-assisted prostatectomy, open and laparoscopic kidney cancer surgery, and bladder and testes cancer surgery. Kane has published significant peer-reviewed works on prostate cancer risk factors and outcomes, active surveillance, improved classification and treatment of men with high-risk prostate cancer and minimally invasive surgery. He is currently co-Chair of the NCI task force on Kidney Cancer.

Before coming to UCSD, Dr. Kane was Vice Chair of the UCSF Department of Urology, Director of the UCSF Urology Residency Program, and Director of the UCSF Urologic Oncology Fellowship Program. Prior positions include Chief of Urology at the VAMC San Francisco and Urology Residency Director and a member of the Executive Committee of the Medical Staff while at the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

In 2008, Dr. Kane initiated the annual UCSD Urology Postgraduate Course, which is bringing national recognition to UCSD’s urology program. He has also launched a new, two-year, Urologic Oncology Fellowship program, accredited by the Society of Urologic Oncology. Dr. Kane has a pivotal role at the Moores Cancer Center as Genitourinary Oncology Team Leader and Director of Robotic Surgery.

In 2009, he retired as a Captain in the Medical Corps of the United States Navy Reserve. As a military officer and surgeon, he served in the medical corps in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. His numerous military honors include the Navy Commendation Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.

Kane is UC San Diego Health System’s most referred to urologic surgeon. He is known for his highly meticulous techniques and gift for compassionate care. His lifesaving talents are expressed in the words of patient Jim Rosenfield.

“Two days after I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, Dr. Kane spent an hour with me answering all of my questions and concerns. It was the first of many conversations. A year and a half after surgery, I'm in great health, and Dr. Kane remains just as caring and responsive as he was when we first met,” said Rosenfield. “To me, Dr. Kane represents medicine and surgery at its best. He is a great, skilled, and humane doctor. Not only did he save my life, he has enriched it by being my friend.”

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Media Contact: Jackie Carr, 619-543-6163,

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