William B Farrar, MD

William Farrar


College of Medicine



Academic Title


Research Program

Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention

Research Interest

Cancer ● Breast Cancer ● Thyroid Cancer ● Depression ● Neoplasm Metastasis ● Colorectal Cancer ● Fatigue ● Loneliness

William Farrar, MD, is a surgical oncologist who serves as CEO of The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and as director of the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Cancer. Dr. Farrar has been on the medical staff at The James since the hospital opened in 1990. He was mentored by the late Arthur G. James, MD, for whom the hospital is named.

Dr. Farrar holds the Dr. Arthur G. and Mildred C. James – Richard J. Solove Chair in Surgical Oncology. In addition, he is a researcher in the Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

As director of the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center, Dr. Farrar oversees all aspects of care in the Midwest’s first center to offer the full continuum of breast cancer care under one roof.

Dr. Farrar has served since 1982 as principal investigator for The Ohio State University’s clinical trial group within the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, which over several decades has designed and conducted research that has changed the way breast cancer is treated and prevented.

His cancer research has also encompassed genetic counseling, as well as sentinel lymph-node mapping and biopsy, a procedure to determine whether cancer cells have spread from the tumor to lymph nodes in the armpit.

Dr. Farrar has authored or co-authored more than 100 cancer research articles in prestigious medical journals, along with several book chapters and scientific abstracts. He served for more than 20 years on the editorial board for the Journal of Surgical Oncology and for several years on the editorial board for the Annals of Surgical Oncology and the Southwest Oncology Group.

Dr. Farrar has provided valuable service to several national organizations, including The American College of Surgeons Committee on Cancer, the Society of Surgical Oncology’s Training Directions Committee and the Joint Council for the Approval of Advanced Training in Head and Neck Surgery. He also served as secretary of the Society of Head and Neck Surgery for six years.

In addition, he has shared his expertise through community-education opportunities, including his scholarly contributions to the regional CBS affiliate’s “Toward a Cancer-Free World” series.


  • BA, 1971 B.A., Illinois Wesleyan University

    Bloomington, IL (USA)

  • MD, University of Virgina

    Charlottesville, VA (USA)

Office Location

N924 Doan Hall

410 W 10th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210




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