News & Events

David W. Ollila, M.D.

Posted on October 12, 2018


Date - October 12, 2018
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


David W. Ollila, MD
James and Jesse Millis Distinguished Professor
Department of Surgery
Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery
UNC Chapel Hill
Talk Title: With Apologies to R.E.M. : You CAN Get There from Here


David W. Ollila, MD, is the James and Jesse Millis Distinguished Professor in the UNC-CH Department of Surgery and serves as the Associate Director of the North Carolina Cancer Hospital. A fellowship-trained surgical oncologist in the Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery, he completed his surgical oncology fellowship at the John Wayne Cancer Institute where he developed his areas of special interest: breast cancer, melanoma, and the surgical management of endocrine disorders. During his fellowship, he developed the foundation to become a clinical trialist and translational researcher. He is the Surgical Director for both the Multidisciplinary Breast Program and Multidisciplinary Melanoma Program at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Ollila’s breast cancer and melanoma research interests include work derived from his expertise in sentinel node biopsy, a technique for identifying the lymph node most likely to contain cancer metastasis. He was one of the first to examine the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy as a method to improve the ability to determine tumor volume in melanoma patients and minimize surgery in women undergoing neoadjuvant, or preoperative chemotherapy. Dr. Ollila has had grant support for sentinel node studies involving novel approaches for patients with large breast cancers, and for expression of cell-cell adhesion molecules in cutaneous melanoma patients. He had been funded for a retrospective and prospective trial attempting to identify poor prognostic melanoma phenotypes using differential gene expression profiles. He has a 17-year history as a melanoma clinical trialist including immunotherapy trials and targeted therapy trials such as c-kit and BRAF mutant trials and as a breast cancer clinical trialist including a UNC sentinel node validation trial, phase II partial breast radiation trial and neoadjuvant chemotherapy trials. In addition, Dr. Ollila has been invited to make presentations both nationally and internationally on melanoma and breast cancer care and treatment.