Albuquerque appointed as first holder of Sharma Professorship
As a preteen in Bombay, India, Dr. Kevin Albuquerque was indelibly impressed by the cancer patients at the hospital where his mother worked – an experience that inspired him to become a doctor.
“She worked as an administrative assistant in a large cancer hospital,” Dr. Albuquerque recalled. “I would visit her frequently while I was in middle school and see patients and observe their care, which was fascinating and heartwarming. I later trained in surgical oncology and then shifted to radiation oncology.”
Dr. Albuquerque, Professor of Radiation Oncology, has been appointed as the first holder of the Ken Sharma Professorship in Radiation Oncology in recognition of his clinical and research expertise. Mr. Sharma, who died of a brain tumor in 1999, co-founded i2 Technologies in 1988.
“The Professorship was established by a generous gift from Mrs. Bianca Sharma in honor of her late husband,” said Dr. J. Gregory Fitz, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, and Dean of UT Southwestern Medical School. “Dr. Albuquerque, whose clinical practice is focused in treating breast and gynecologic cancers, is an integral member of the gynecological cancer disease-oriented team. His reputation in scholarly and research pursuits make him an ideal candidate for this Professorship.”
Mr. Sharma and partner Sanjiv Sidhu came to prominence in the late 1990s with the success of i2 Technologies, an enterprise software company started in Mr. Sidhu’s Garland apartment. As i2 grew into a multibillion-dollar enterprise, corporate giants became clients of the company’s innovative supply chain software, a planning and scheduling application used to eliminate inefficiencies.
Mr. Sharma served as Vice Chairman of i2 until his death. Even as Mr. Sharma changed the face of e-business, he never wavered in his dedication to customers. He once said, “This work of mine has been a great source of satisfaction. If I’ve been able to help at least one person, that will be enduring.”
“I am honored and very humbled to receive the Sharma Professorship,” said Dr. Albuquerque, who joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2012.
Dr. Albuquerque is one of the few radiation oncologists in North Texas offering specialized brachytherapy, an image-guided, high-dose radiation therapy that sends radiation directly to the tumor. He said the therapy offers the best chance at preserving – or even improving – a cancer patient’s quality of life.
In assessments on breast cancer patients, Dr. Albuquerque found that those receiving brachytherapy felt better, had more energy, and had a better quality of life overall than patients who underwent traditional radiation therapy. With support from the Sharma Professorship, he hopes to perform similar quality-of-life studies for different types of gynecologic cancer, including cervical, uterine, vulvar, and ovarian cancer.
Dr. Albuquerque said he hopes his research adds to advancements and innovations that ultimately help others. “I hope I can follow, if even in a small way, in Mr. Sharma’s footsteps,” he said.
Dr. Albuquerque received his medical degree and a Master of Surgery at the University of Mumbai’s Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College in India. He completed two residencies there and went on to become a senior resident and research fellow in surgical oncology at Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital in Mumbai. He subsequently became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in the United Kingdom.
He then moved to the United States, where he completed a residency in radiation oncology at SUNY University Hospital, and a rotation in brachytherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Beth Israel Hospital. Dr. Albuquerque previously was an Associate Professor in Radiation Oncology at Loyola University Medical Center, where he also served as the Clinical Director of the Department of Radiation Oncology and as the Director of Brachytherapy.
Dr. Fitz holds the Nadine and Tom Craddick Distinguished Chair in Medical Science and the Atticus James Gill, M.D. Chair in Medical Science.