George Zhi Cheng, MD, PhD, FCCP

George Zhi Cheng, MD, PhD, FCCP

Read through a Q&A with one of the CHEST Network leaders, George Zhi Cheng, MD, PhD, FCCP, Thoracic Oncology and Chest Procedures Network Vice-Chair.

July 18, 2023

Where do you work?
I work at the University of California, San Diego, as an Associate Professor of Medicine.

What are your research interests and how does this apply to your position within the Networks?
My research interests focus on advancing the diagnosis and management of thoracic cancers, improving chest procedures, and promoting multidisciplinary care. I investigate novel approaches to thoracic cancers, develop personalized treatment strategies, and explore innovative diagnostic techniques. Additionally, I study minimally invasive procedures, such as endobronchial ultrasound and navigational bronchoscopy, and their efficacy in managing thoracic diseases. By fostering collaboration, disseminating research findings, and influencing guidelines, I aim to contribute to the field and enhance patient care within the Thoracic Oncology and Chest Procedures Network.

How did you become interested and involved in the Thoracic Oncology and Chest Procedures Network?
My interest and involvement in the Thoracic Oncology and Chest Procedures Network stemmed from my experiences. Witnessing the impact of thoracic cancers on patients' lives and the evolving advancements in diagnostics and treatments, I actively sought opportunities to collaborate with and to learn from the experts. Through engagement in research, attending conferences, and participating in opportunities within CHEST, I became familiar with the Thoracic Oncology and Chest Procedures Network and recognized its value in knowledge exchange and research collaboration. I feel very fortunate to have met and worked with so many amazing colleagues along the way.

Are you involved in any other activities or volunteer positions at CHEST?
Within CHEST, I served on the Interventional Chest/Diagnostic Procedures NetWork Steering Committee since 2019. After the recent reorganization, I have actively participated in the Pleural Disease Section of our Thoracic Oncology and Chest Procedures Network. In the past 2 years, I co-chaired and organized American Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology-CHEST sessions during the CHEST Conference. Additionally, I participate in the CHEST simulation sessions as a faculty member. Finally, I also serve on the Scientific Presentations and Awards Committee where I review the annual sessions and presentations that will be hosted at CHEST Annual Meetings.

What clinical research is most interesting to you right now?
The current clinical research that holds a significant interest for me is in robotic navigation bronchoscopy, integration of novel imaging modalities in the bronchoscopy procedures, lung cancer ablation trials, complex pleural effusion management, and integration of artificial intelligence in diagnosis and therapy of thoracic oncology.

What are your hobbies?
I enjoy being active—snowboarding or skiing in the winter, scuba diving in the summer. And, spending time with my family and traveling when I get the chance.

What is something you cannot live without (after family and friends)?
Interesting question. When it comes to something we cannot live without, I believe it is crucial to prioritize and maintain a holistic sense of health—both in body and mind. By nurturing our physical well-being through regular exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate rest, we can optimize our energy levels and overall vitality. Simultaneously, tending to our mental well-being through practices such as mindfulness, stress management, and self-care allows us to cultivate resilience, clarity, and a positive mindset. Striking a balance between physical and mental health will help us to form a solid foundation for achieving our aspirations and living a fulfilling life.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your Network peers?
There is no time like the present to become more actively involved in the Thoracic Oncology and Chest Procedures Network! I encourage all my Network peers to join us in our collective mission to make a meaningful difference and drive advancements in the field of thoracic oncology and chest procedures. Together, we can push the boundaries of knowledge, collaborate on impactful research projects, and shape the future of patient care. Let's leverage our diverse expertise, share insights, and foster a vibrant community that nurtures innovation and excellence. Your contributions and active participation are invaluable as we work toward improving outcomes and transforming the lives of individuals affected by thoracic conditions.



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