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Renowned Surgeon Christopher J. Kane Named to Joseph D. Schmidt, MD Presidential Chair in Urology


  • Judy Piercey

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  • Judy Piercey

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Image: Dr. Christopher J. Kane

Dr. Christopher J. Kane, inaugural holder of the Joseph D. Schmidt, MD Presidential Chair in Urology.

Christopher J. Kane, M.D., a renowned specialist in prostate cancer and an expert in robotic and other minimally invasive procedures for urologic surgery at the University of California San Diego, has been appointed the inaugural holder of the Joseph D. Schmidt, MD Presidential Chair in Urology in the School of Medicine.

The $3.3 million endowed faculty chair was created in honor of Dr. Joseph Schmidt, professor emeritus who served UC San Diego from 1976 through his recent retirement in August 2015. Schmidt is revered for his excellent patient care and for training 60 Urology residents in his time at UC San Diego. He served as chief of the Division of Urology at UC San Diego for 30 years. Prior to coming to San Diego, Schmidt was on faculty at the University of Iowa. He received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and completed his residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md. He also spent two years of military service with the Air Force during the Vietnam War.

Image: Dr. Joseph Schmidt

Dr. Joseph Schmidt, Professor Emeritus, Division of Urology.

The Joseph D. Schmidt, MD Presidential Chair in Urology was established through charitable donations and matched through the University of California’s Presidential Match for Endowed Chairs. The endowed chair will provide a dedicated source of funds to support the chair holder’s urologic research, teaching and service activities at UC San Diego Health.

“Private support has created a lasting legacy that will help the Division of Urology provide advanced patient care, research and surgical treatment of urologic diseases and disorders,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “The generosity of our donors will enable esteemed clinical faculty, like Dr. Kane, to break new ground in research.”

A professor of surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine and chair of the Department of Urology at UC San Diego Health, Kane was named a 2015 “Top Doc” in San Diego Magazine's “Physicians of Exceptional Excellence” annual survey performed in collaboration with the San Diego County Medical Society, his seventh consecutive year with the award. He is internationally recognized for his patient care and research in prostate cancer, renal cell carcinoma and minimally invasive surgical treatment of urologic diseases and disorders.

Image: UC San Diego surgeons

UC San Diego surgeons are skilled in the full range of urologic surgical procedures.

Kane has authored more than 270 peer-reviewed research articles with a focus on prostate cancer risk factors and outcomes, prostate cancer surgery and minimally invasive surgery for prostate and kidney cancer. He serves on the editorial boards of several major urology journals as well as the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Prostate Cancer Management Guidelines Committee. He also co-chairs the National Cancer Institute’s Renal Cell Carcinoma Advisory Task Force.

Kane performs more than 200 robotic cancer surgeries per year and is highly experienced in nerve sparing robotic prostatectomies, robotic radical cystectomy for bladder cancer and robotic partial nephrectomy for kidney cancer.

“The funding from the Joseph D. Schmidt, MD Presidential Chair in Urology allows me to dedicate more time to the urologic cancers research program,” Kane said. “It also allows me to fund initiatives, like our comprehensive urologic oncology database, that are a research resource for the entire division.”

Prior to joining UC San Diego Health, Kane held leadership positions at UC San Francisco and the Naval Medical Center San Diego. He completed his residency at the Naval Medical Center in Oakland, Calif. Kane received his medical degree from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. A retired Navy Captain and a decorated veteran of Desert Storm, he is board certified in urology.

Schmidt added, “We celebrate Dr. Kane’s selection to this endowed faculty chair. His expertise will ensure Urology’s leadership in research and patient care in collaboration with UC San Diego Health and UC San Diego School of Medicine.”

For more information about supporting UC San Diego Health, visit the giving website

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