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Dr. Christopher Wood is the Chair of the Kidney Cancer Association’s Board of Directors, a member of the KCA’s Medical Steering Committee, and a surgeon and professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

We spoke with Dr. Wood about serving on the Board and his work in medicine.

Dr. Chris Wood with Dr. W. Kimryn Rathmell and KCA President and CEO Gretchen E. Vaughan during IKCS 2019.

What motivated you to get involved with the KCA?
Interestingly, I was hired at MD Anderson to be the prostate guy.  But since I was the junior person on faculty, and there was no one specializing in kidney cancer, I was given all of the kidney cases.  Soon I was doing all kidney surgery clinically and prostate cancer research in the lab.  It wasn’t working.  I loved taking care of kidney cancer so I soon made the career move to focus my professional career on kidney cancer.  At the same time, the KCA was associated with the who’s who of kidney cancer.  I felt that aligning myself with the organization would help me to network, give me opportunities to express my views and present my research, and be a great resource for my patients.

What prompted/inspired you to go into the medical field?
I loved biology and anatomy and physiology in high school.  It inspired me to study it in college and then medical school was the next logical step.  I truly love helping people and there can be no greater gift to them than curing them of their cancer or making a positive impact on their outcome.  There truly is no greater feeling.  Truthfully, I didn’t even know what a urologist was until my 3rd year of medical school.  But I had some great mentors that really showed me the way, and I have absolutely no regrets.  I have the best job in the world.

How long have you worked with the KCA?
I have worked with the KCA since I was a young attending physician back in the early 2000’s.  As a resident, I actually helped take care of the KCA’s founder, Eugene Schonfeld.

What is your favorite travel destination and why?
I love going to the Middle East – Dubai, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman. I have many friends over there and it is always fun to visit and learn about the history. My other favorite place where I can de-stress is Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  My family has had a townhouse there for 15 years and I never miss an opportunity to head up there for some R and R.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In the winter, I love to ski. In the spring, summer, and fall, I love to play golf although I must confess I am not very good at it.  I also have season tickets to the Texans and enjoy going to the football games with my son.

What is one thing most people do not know about you? 
I am told most people find me intimidating, and to be honest, I am on the shy and quiet side and find it funny that people are intimidated by me.  They should talk to my family, who feel it is their constant job on this earth to keep me humble.

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