Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, FACS, is the President and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He assumed the role on September 19, 2022.
Vickers is an internationally recognized pancreatic cancer surgeon, pancreatic cancer researcher, and pioneer in health disparities research. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars. He has served on the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Board of Trustees and the Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees. Additionally, he has served as president of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract and the Southern Surgical Association. Vickers is the immediate past president of the American Surgical Association. Vickers continues to see patients and has had continuous National Institutes of Health extramural funding (over $50 million) for more than 25 years.
In 1994, he joined the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) as an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery, where he was later appointed to professor and the John H. Blue Chair of General Surgery. In 2006, Vickers left UAB to become the Jay Phillips Professor and chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
While at Minnesota, the lab of Vickers and Ashok Saluja, PhD, was instrumental in the development of an injectable cancer drug, Minnelide, which is licensed and entered phase II trials for the treatment of pancreatic and gastrointestinal cancer in 2019. He is a patent holder and has a limited financial interest in Minneamrita Therapeutics, LLC, the pharmaceutical company licensed to develop the drug.
In 2013, Vickers became senior vice president of Medicine and dean of the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, one of the largest public academic medical centers in the United States. In his role as dean, Vickers led the medical school’s main campus in Birmingham as well as its regional campuses in Montgomery, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa.
On January 1, 2022, Vickers assumed the roles of CEO of the UAB Health System and CEO of the UAB/Ascension St. Vincent’s Alliance, while retaining his role as dean of the UAB Heersink School of Medicine. The $5.8 billion, 11-hospital UAB Health System is anchored by UAB Hospital, the eighth-largest hospital and the fourth-largest public hospital in the U.S., with 1,207 beds. The UAB Health System also includes UAB Hospital-Highlands, UAB Callahan Eye Hospital, and management relationships with Medical West, Baptist Health Montgomery, Russell Medical, John Paul Jones, Whitfield Regional, Northwest Regional Health, and Regional Medical Center of Central Alabama hospitals. The system also has affiliate relationships with Infirmary Health in Mobile and Northeast Regional Hospital in Anniston. The system also includes Cooper Green Mercy Health Services and the UAB Health System/Ascension St. Vincent’s Alliance. In addition to serving as CEO, Vickers served as chair of the Alliance Joint Leadership Committee and the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation Board.
Born in Demopolis, Alabama, Vickers grew up in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville. He earned baccalaureate and medical degrees and completed his surgical training (including a chief residency and surgical oncology fellowship) at the Johns Hopkins University. Vickers completed two post-graduate research fellowships with the National Institutes of Health and international surgical training at John Radcliffe Hospital of Oxford University, England.
Vickers and his wife, Janice, who is also from Alabama, have been married since 1988. They have four children.