Dr. Yusuf A. Hannun

Director of Stony Brook Cancer Center

Dr. Hannun has one overarching goal: To develop a cancer center that makes a difference in the study and practice of cancer medicine — both at Stony Brook and around the world. Here in Suffolk County, with Stony Brook already delivering some of the most advanced and comprehensive cancer care in the region, Dr. Hannun has been building on existing strengths to create a world-class cancer program. By expanding clinical programs, more fully integrating research with clinical care, spearheading facility expansion, transforming the Center into a basic and translational research hub, and recruiting new physicians and investigators, Dr. Hannun is taking the Stony Brook Cancer Center to the next level. 

As these elements become integrated into the Cancer Center, the next step is to attain National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation. This would make Stony Brook one of 69 NCI-designated cancer centers in the country and the only one in Suffolk County. 

Prior to joining SBU, Dr. Hannun served as Senior Associate Dean for Research at the Medical University of South Carolina where he also served as the Ralph F. Hirschmann Chair and Distinguished University Professor of Biomedical Research and the chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for 14 years. Dr. Hannun is an internationally known researcher in the area of lipids, protein kinases, and signal transduction. His novel contributions to science in the field of lipid biology have opened up a new field of investigation centered on the study of sphingolipids and their roles in cancer biology, inflammation, and cancer therapeutics. 

Dr. Hannun has published more than 550 scientific manuscripts, edited seven books and authored 7 patents.  His H index is currently 125 with more than 60,000 citations to his work.  Dr. Hannun has received numerous national scientific and professional honors, including election as a fellow to the AAAS, election to the AAP and ASCI, the Mallinckrodt Scholarship, and the Pew Scholarship in Biomedical Sciences. He received the South Carolina Governor’s Award for Excellence in Research in 2006, and he gave the Feodor Lynen Lecture of the German Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) in 2007.  In 2010, he received the Avanti Award for excellence in Lipid Research from the ASBMB (American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) and in 2012 he received the Kuwait Prize. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from his Alma Mater, the American University of Beirut in May 2014. In 2015, he received The European Lipid Science Award. He currently holds multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health.  He is also the principal investigator on a 15-year program project grant from the National Cancer Institute.