AUGUSTA, GA. (WFXG) - The Georgia Cancer Center has undergone lots of changes over the years. Just two months ago, the M. Bert Storey Research Building officially reopened. All that was needed was someone to lead.

That someone is Dr. Jorge Cortez, a world renowned leukemia expert at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston.

“He’s involved in the development of many of the drugs that actually turned chronic myeloid lukemia, once was a deadly disease, into a very treatable disease," said Medical College of Georgia’s Dean, Dr. David Hess

Even more importantly, according to the Georgia Cancer Center’s interim director Dr. David Hess, is his personality and his work ethic.

“He’s a very humble leader, he leads by example, he actively sees patients, in fact when I contacted him earlier today he was actually making rounds at M.D.Anderson seeing in-patients,” said Dr. Hess.

Hess said Cortez’s reputation in the leukemia field alone will make this a destination cancer center for the disease in the Southeast and the East coast.

He said, “We have people that come from Europe and Israel, children with brain tumors for novel treatments developed here. I think with Dr. Cortez, you’re going to see that happening in more and more areas, particularly leukemia.”

From his passion for patients to his philantrophy in Latin America, folks at the Georgia Cancer Center believe Dr. Cortez is the perfect candidate to push the center towards obtaining NCI designation - which would give the center access to grants and more research resources.

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