Circle of Humanity 2018: Honorees Dr. Nini Wu and Dr. Ira Zackon

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Nini was born in Taiwan and grew up in Montreal, Canada, the eldest of three children. After graduating Medicine at McGill University, she trained in Hematology and Oncology at Northwestern University in Chicago. Ira was born and raised in Montreal, the third of four children, and also graduated McGill Medicine and trained in Hematology and Oncology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire.

After meeting at McGill and marrying, together Nini and Ira moved to Albany in 1998 to join New York Oncology Hematology. Nini practiced general oncology with a focus on care of breast cancer patients, while Ira became a specialist in blood cancers and disorders, directs the NYOH Stem Cell Transplant program and has spearheaded clinical and research collaboration with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Here they raised their two children, Jeremy and Alix, and became part of the Temple Israel and Jewish community. They were an integral part of the Hebrew Academy of the Capital District as parents and both served as Board members, Ira eventually served as President of the Board of Trustees.

In the oncology world, Nini served on the Board of then Gilda’s Club for cancer patient support and while being dedicated to a busy practice, for nine years she was the physician leader as practice president of NYOH. Two years ago, Nini took a new career path and is a Regional Senior Vice President and Physician Advisor for the national US Oncology Network of McKesson Specialty Health, overseeing multiple oncology practices throughout the State of Florida.

Since Nini’s move, Ira has assumed the practice presidency lead at NYOH. He remains involved in our Jewish community at Federation, being on the Federation Board, the Endowment Board of Governors and is chair of the Federation Committee on Aging and recently joined the Board at Temple Israel.

Needless to say, there is a lot of travel in their lives, professionally, as a couple for time together and to see their children, Jeremy in Atlanta and Alix in Boston.