Anil Rustgi's Biography

Anil K. Rustgi, MD, is Interim Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine at Columbia University. In those roles he is Interim Dean of the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and also administratively responsible for the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, and the School of Nursing at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC).

Dr. Rustgi graduated summa cum laude from Yale College with a bachelor of science degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry (departmental honors) and earned his medical degree at Duke University School of Medicine, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed an internal medicine residency at Beth Israel Hospital and a gastroenterology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), both at Harvard Medical School. He rose to associate professor of medicine at MGH before joining the University of Pennsylvania in 1998, where he served as Chief of Gastroenterology and directed two Centers and NIH T32 training grants until 2018.

In 2019, Dr. Rustgi was recruited to be the Director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP)/CUIMC, and he successfully renewed the center’s NCI comprehensive status in 2020. He is also Irving Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean of Oncology, and Chief of Cancer Services at NYP/CUIMC. Dr. Rustgi is a world-renowned leader in the field of gastrointestinal oncology. His interdisciplinary research focuses on tumor initiation, tumor microenvironment, and tumor metastasis in the context of gastrointestinal cancers, including cancers of the esophagus, pancreas, and colon. Dr. Rustgi's lab works to translate discoveries into improving molecular diagnostics and finding new experimental therapeutics for patients and is funded through several grants including an NCI P01 (program project on esophageal cancer), an NCI U54 on Barrett's esophagus, two NIH R01 grants (for pancreatic cancer and colon cancer) and an American Cancer Society Research Professorship. He has more than 350 publications and his work has appeared in high-impact journals such as Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature Medicine, Cancer Cell, Genes and Development, Gastroenterology, Journal of Clinical Investigation, PNAS, and New England Journal of Medicine. He maintains a clinical practice in hereditary GI cancers and teaches students and fellows.

He has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been designated as American Cancer Society Professor. Previously, he was president of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), editor-in-chief of Gastroenterology, and president of the International Society of Gastroenterological Carcinogenesis. Dr. Rustgi is 2020 president of the American Pancreatic Association.

He has been recognized for his contributions with numerous awards, including the AGA Julius Friedenwald Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Gastroenterology Medal, AGA Distinguished Mentor Award, the Ruth C. Brufsky Award for Excellence in Research in Pancreatic Cancer, and the Distinguished Achievement Award from the South Asian American Society for Cancer Research. In addition, he received the top mentorship awards (Arthur Asbury for faculty and one from the postdoctoral fellow program) during his tenure at the University of Pennsylvania.