University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO
Wells A. Messersmith, M.D. more
Dr. Messersmith is a Professor at the University of Colorado, where he joined the faculty in 2007. He serves as co-Head of the Division of Medical Oncology and co-Leader of the Developmental Therapeutics Program. Dr. Messersmith trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School and did his Medical Oncology / Drug Development Fellowship at Johns Hopkins, where he was on the faculty from 2004-2007 in the GI Oncology and Drug Development programs.
Dr. Messersmith is focused on clinical and translational cancer research and is the Director of the Gastrointestinal (GI) Medical Oncology Program. This comprehensive program includes multi-disciplinary GI cancer clinics, tumor boards, and research endeavors. Dr. Messersmith holds several NIH grants (including R01) and is the principal investigator on numerous national and local therapeutic trials. He is an active investigator in the developmental therapeutics laboratory, working on novel targeted therapies as well as correlative studies for use on human tissue samples.
A respected author, Dr. Messersmith has authored or co-authored over 50 articles for Clinical Cancer Research, Lancet Oncology, and Cancer Biology, among others.
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About University of Colorado Cancer Center
The University of Colorado Cancer Center is the Rocky Mountain region's only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI has given only 40 cancer centers this designation, deeming membership as "the best of the best." Headquartered on the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, UCCC is a consortium of three state universities (Colorado State University, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Colorado Denver) and six institutions (AMC Cancer Research Center, The Children's Hospital, Denver Health, Denver VA Medical Center, National Jewish Health and University of Colorado Hospital). Together, our 400+ members are working to ease the cancer burden through cancer care, research, education and prevention and control. Learn more at http://www.ucdenver.edu
Participating Institutions and Investigators
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Jordan D. Berlin, M.D. more
Dr. Berlin is Associate Professor and Clinical Director of GI Oncology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago, and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati Hospital, followed by a medical oncology fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin.
Dr. Berlin is a past recipient of the ECOG Young Investigator Award. He is a member of the American College of Physicians/,
the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the European Society of
Medical Oncology, among other professional organizations.
He is author or co-author of over 50 journal articles, several book chapters, and over 100 scientific abstracts.
He is the Chair of the Intergroup Task Force on Pancreas Cancer and was Program Chair of the AGA/ASCO/ASTRO/SSO combined
GI Cancer Symposium in 2008. He serves on several other committees including the NCCN Guidelines Steering Committee and the
Program Committee for the World Congress on GI Cancers.
About Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of two centers in
Tennessee and 41 in the country to earn this highest distinction. Its nearly 300 faculty members generate more than
$140 million in annual federal research funding, ranking it among the top 10 centers in the country in competitive grant
support, and its clinical program sees approximately 4,000 new cancer patients each year. Vanderbilt-Ingram, based in Nashville,
Tenn., recently joined with 21 of the world's leading centers in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a non-profit
alliance dedicated to improving cancer care for patients everywhere. For more information,
Christiana Care Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, Newark, DE
Bruce M. Boman, M.D., Ph.D., MSPH, FACP more
Dr. Boman is the Director, Cancer Genetics and Stem Cell Biology, Helen F. Graham Cancer Center (NCI-selected) at Christiana Health Care System; a professor of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University; an adjunct associate professor at the Department of Biologic Sciences, University of Delaware; Professor of Medical Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University, and Member, GI Cancer Program, Kimmel Cancer Center, among others. In addition to his various positions and assignments, Dr. Boman is a highly regarded author and researcher.
After getting his B.A. in Biochemistry from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Boman received his M.S. from University of Minnesota School of Public Health before getting his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. Finally, Dr. Boman received his Ph.D. from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. He is also a board-certified medical oncologist.
With the advent of recent and exciting new opportunities in the study of regulatory pathways, mutations, and colon carcinogenesis, Dr. Boman is interested in the signaling pathways, including molecular and cellular mechanisms of crypt homeostasis in the large intestine as well as the investigation of the stem cell origin of colorectal cancer (CRC). He is particularly interested in small genetic elements, called microRNAs, with the goal of identifying new therapeutic targets.
About the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Care Health System
Christiana Care Health System is one of the largest health care providers in the northeast US, serving Delaware and neighboring areas in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A not-for-profit teaching hospital, Christiana Care is recognized as a regional center for excellence in cancer, cardiology and women's health services, as well as for its Level-I trauma care and Level-3 neonatal intensive care (both highest capability). With more than 10,000 employees, Christiana Care is the largest private employer in Delaware and the 10th largest employer in the Philadelphia region. In 2007 Christiana Care had more than $1.5 billion in total patient revenue and provided the community with $35.7 million of free care and medicine. Find more information at www.christianacare.org.
The Helen F. Graham Cancer Center is a free-standing center on the Christiana Hospital campus, centralizing a vast array of outpatient services under one roof and featuring unique multi-disciplinary medical services including surgery, medical oncology, and radiation oncology. The HFGCC was designated an NCI-selected community cancer center in 2007. As a CCOP, it has been participating in clinical trial research for the past 20 years, and is one of the top institutions nationally in terms of trial accrual. In addition, the center has a full complement of associated support services as well as genetic counseling and cancer prevention.
Translational research has been a central focus of the Center, with establishment of its Center for Translational Cancer Research (CTCR) in 2004 and a new, four-story, 124,000-square-foot pavilion opening in 2009. The CTCR is a formal collaborative program among the HFGCC, the University of Delaware, AI DuPont Children's Hospital, and the Delaware Biotechnology Institute. It also has a Familial Cancer Registry and tissue procurement program that focuses on high-risk patients. This tissue procurement enhances the resources available for translational research studies that involve the application of basic science toward potential therapies. The HFGCC was recently awarded a 4.6 million dollar NCI grant for The Genome Atlas Project (TGAP) for collection of human tissue samples. Other research programs focus on cancer stem cells and cancer biomarkers.
Read more about how oncologists at the HFGCC are collaborating with researchers to bring the latest advances in cancer treatment from the laboratory to the bedside at www.udel.edu/ctcr
NYU Cancer Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY
Deirdre Cohen, M.D. and Lawrence Leichman, M.D., FACP more
Dr. Cohen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine (Cancer Center) of NYU Langone Medical Center. She is a medical oncologist, specializing in gastrointestinal malignancies.
Dr. Cohen earned her B.S. at Cornell University and completed her medical education at SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn. She then completed her internal medicine residency at NY Presbyterian Hops- Cornell Hospital Center and Clinical Fellowships in Hematology Oncology at NYU Medical Center. She also holds an M.S. in clinical investigation from NYU School of Medicine.
Dr. Cohen's work is focused on gastrointestinal cancers. She is specifically focused on the investigation of novel treatment modalities in the context of clinical trials. She has published a number of publications and is the recipient of a career development award from the NCI.
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Dr. Lawrence P. Leichman is the Director of GI Malignancies of Medical Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine
(Hematology Division) at NYU Clinical Cancer Center. His medical specialties include medical oncology with expertise in
Esophageal Cancer, Gallbladder Cancer, Rectal Cancer, Head & Neck Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Aids Associated Cancer,
Colon Cancer, Liver Cancer, Gastrointestinal Cancers.
He has more than 20 years of clinical, teaching and research experience at highly renowned medical centers including the
University of Southern California-Kenneth J. Norris Jr. Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Roswell Park Cancer Center,
Buffalo, New York. Dr. Leichman is nationally recognized in "America's Top Doctors" and "Best Doctors" and is a consultant
for the National Cancer Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is board certified in medical oncology
and internal medicine. He earned his medical degree and served his residency and fellowship at Wayne State University School
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About NYU Langone Medical Center
At the NYU Langone Medical Center, our mission is the relief of human suffering caused by disease and disability through education, research and patient care. Pursuant of our mission, the Medical Center is committed to the highest standards in all areas of health care delivery, training and information. Learn more at: http://www.med.nyu.edu/research/about-us
Jefferson University – Abington Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
Steven J. Cohen, M.D. more
Dr. Steven J. Cohen is Director, Rosenfeld Cancer Center and Cancer Service Line and Chief of Medical Oncology and Hematology Division, Abington Hospital, and Professor of Medical Oncology and Vice-Chair, Department of Medical Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.
Dr. Cohen earned his B.A. at Cornell University and his M.D. at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Temple University Hospital and his fellowship in hematology/oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center.
He was most recently at Fox Chase Cancer Center where he served as Director of the GI Medical Oncology Program and the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He was also Chief Medical Officer for the Fox Chase Cancer Center Partners program.
Dr. Cohen conducts clinical research and devotes his clinical practice to patients with gastrointestinal malignancies. He is Vice-Chair of the NCI Pancreatic Cancer task force and Chair of the Colorectal Cancer subcommittee of the ECOG/ACRIN GI Cancer Committee. He is also an active member of the NRG Colorectal and non-Colorectal Cancer committees.
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Jefferson University Hospitals and Thomas Jefferson University are partners in providing excellent clinical and compassionate care for our patients in the Philadelphia region, educating the health professionals of tomorrow in a variety of disciplines and discovering new knowledge that will define the future of clinical care. Jefferson has topped the list of hospitals in Pennsylvania (3rd) and the Philadelphia metro area (2nd) in U.S.News & World Report's annual listing of the best hospitals and specialties. Learn more at: Jefferson University – Abington Hospital
Mount Sinai Compehensive Cancer Center, Miami Beach, FL
Mike Cusnir, M.D. and Joseph Pizzolato, M.D. more
Dr. Mike Cusnir is an Attending Physician at Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center and Mount Sinai Medical Center;
Miami Beach, Florida. He holds an Academic appointment as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami
and Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Cusnir is actively involved in a number of ongoing Phase I & II trials for Colorectal
and Pancreatic Cancer. He has presented his clinical research on gastrointestinal cancers at invited institutional lectures,
as well as national and international Gastrointestinal Oncology conferences.
Dr. Cusnir earned his Medical Degree from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogota, Colombia). He completed his postgraduate
Internship and Residency in Medicine at Maimonides Medical Center and Fellowship in Oncology at the University of Maryland,
Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
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Dr. Pizzolato is an Attending Physician in Hematology and Oncology and Co-Director for the GI Program.
He attended Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY where he received his medical degree, Internship
and Residency in Internal Medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, Fellow in Medicine at
Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY and Fellow in Medical Oncology/Hematology,
Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
Dr. Pizzolato has published a number of Publications and Abstracts in his gastrointestinal cancers.
Dr. Pizzolato is involved in a number of gastrointestinal research trials.
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About Yale Medical Group
The Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center is a nationally recognized, award-winning facility that utilizes a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating cancer. We provide quality care, leading innovation and personalized treatment plans for each patient to treat a broad range of cancers. Our patient-centered focus ensures access to convenient, timely appointments, clinical trials and a host of support services all aimed at helping patients heal.
Mount Sinai is the first hospital in Florida, and one of only 36 in the U.S., to receive its third consecutive Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC).The CoC created this award to recognize programs that strive for excellence in providing quality cancer care.
The Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center offers one of the most integrated cancer research programs in the state. The Mount Sinai Cancer Research Program gives patients the opportunity to participate in innovative clinical trials that offer new cancer treatment options before they become available to the general public. Our program is currently engaged in more than 65 active clinical trials, placing Mount Sinai at the forefront among the nation’s cancer research institutions. Many of our protocols have resulted in cutting-edge cancer treatments. Learn more at: http://www.msccc.com/
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
Crystal Denlinger, M.D., FACP more
Dr Denlinger is Chief, Division of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology and Associate Professor, Department of Hematology/Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center;
Director of the Survivorship Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center; Deputy Director, Phase 1 Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center; and Clinical Associate Professor (Adjunct), Department of Medicine-Oncology, Lewis Katz School of Medicine.
Dr Denlinger's educational background includes: Fellow, Hematology/Oncology Fox Chase Cancer Center/Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA; Resident, Internal Medicine Categorical Residency, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY and MD, New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ
Her certifications include: Diplomate, Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2007, and Diplomate, Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, 2004, 2014. Her honors & awards include: National Comprehensive Cancer Center Foundation Young Investigator Award, 2012-2014; Special Contributor Award, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 2014; CHASE Award, Fox Chase Cancer Center Annual Cancer Survivors Celebration, 2011; Participant, ASCO/AACR Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop, Vail, CO, 2008; ASCO Foundation Merit Award, ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, Orlando, FL, 2007.
Dr Denlinger’s clinical and research interests encompass gastrointestinal malignancies and cancer survivorship. Dr. Denlinger was the recipient of a 2012 NCCN Young Investigator Award to study receipt of survivorship care in colorectal and non-small cell lung cancer survivors and currently serves as the chair of the NCCN Survivorship Guideline Panel and a member of the NCCN Esophagus and Gastric Guideline Panels.
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About Fox Chase Cancer Center
Fox Chase Cancer Center is one of the leading cancer research and treatments centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as the nation's first cancer hospital, Fox Chase became one of the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and community outreach. For more information, visit Fox Chase's web site at www.fccc.edu or call 1-888-FOX-CHASE or 1-888-369-2427.
Swedish Cancer Institute, Seattle, Washington
Philip J. Gold, M.D. more
Dr. Gold is Director of Clinical Research and the Program Leader for the Gastrointestinal (GI) Oncology Program at the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle, Washington. Additionally, he is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Oncology at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine in Seattle.
In 1991, Dr. Gold obtained his degree in medicine with a distinction in research at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Florida. After that, he completed an internal medicine internship and residency, and then received the Amgen Oncology Fellowship Award while he was training in medical oncology at the UW School of Medicine and the FH Cancer Research Center. Presently, he is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.
Dr. Gold's clinical investigations on GI tumors, and particularly colorectal cancer treatment, can be found in peer-reviewed publications like the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Seminars in Oncology, and Cancer Investigation. Furthermore, he currently serves on a number of advisory boards, and is active in the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the Southwest Oncology Group, where he serves as the subcommittee co-chair for colorectal cancer.
About the Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI)
The Swedish Cancer Institute opened in 1932 as the first dedicated cancer-care center west of the Mississippi. Today, SCI has a presence on all three of Swedish's Seattle-area hospital campuses - First Hill, Cherry Hill and Ballard - as well as in East King County through a new medical oncology clinic in Bellevue. A true multidisciplinary program, SCI offers a wide range of advanced cancer-treatment options in chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery - backed by extensive diagnostic capabilities, patient education and support-group services. SCI-managed radiation-therapy services are also offered at Stevens Hospital in Edmonds, Highline Community Hospital in Burien, and Northwest Hospital in North Seattle. The SCI clinical-research arm encompasses industry-sponsored and cooperative group therapeutic trials, cancer screening and prevention trials, and investigator-initiated trials. Breast-cancer screening and diagnostics are available through the Swedish Breast Care Centers and mobile mammography units. SCI patients benefit from an integrated approach to care which takes into account a person's physical well-being and emotional/spiritual needs, too. From prevention and early detection, to state-of-the-art treatments and complementary therapies, to supportive and palliative care, SCI meets the individual needs of each patient. For more information, visit www.swedish.org.
Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT
Howard Hochster, M.D. more
Dr. Howard Hochster is an internationally known expert in Cancer Clinical Trials and early cancer drug development,
particularly in gastrointestinal cancer. He joined the Yale faculty in July, 2010, as Associate Cancer Center Director
for Clinical Research and Director of GI Oncology. He has published widely on treatment of colon, pancreatic and gastric
cancer and has been in the forefront of developing newer chemotherapy and targeted agents for these diseases.
Dr. Hochster directed the Office of Clinical Trials and Developmental Therapeutics at the NYU Cancer Institute during
his tenure there (1987-2010) among several other leadership posititions. He was President of the New York Cancer Society
in 2004 through 2006 and is a Medical Director of the Chemotherapy Foundation, as well as advisor to the
Israel Cancer Reserach Foundation. He has served on several NIH study sections and ASCO committee.
In 2009-2010 he chaired the colorectal track for the ASCO Annual meeting.
About Yale Medical Group
Yale Medical Group (YMG) is one of the largest academic multispecialty group practices in the United States. Our physicians are the clinical faculty for the Yale School of Medicine (YSM). We have over 1,000 practicing physicians, more than 100 specialties and subspecialties, 24/7 on-site and on-call coverage for numerous services, a reputation as a major referral center for Greater New Haven, Connecticut, and New England. We provide compassionate, individualized care to both adult and pediatric patients in a comfortable, professional environment. We listen carefully and provide explanations and answers while encouraging patients to participate in all medical decisions. We work in teams with specially trained nurses, social workers, technologists and other caregivers to support patients and family members before, during and after their visits. Learn more at: http://yalemedicalgroup.org
Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Heinz-Josef Lenz, M.D., FACP more
Dr. Lenz is Professor of Medicine and Professor of Preventive Medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) and the Associate Director of Clinical Research at the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (USC/NCCC). He is Co-Director of both the Colorectal Center and the GI Oncology Program, as well as Scientific Director of the Cancer Genetic Unit at USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, California. He has been the recipient of the ASCO Career Development Award and the NIH/NCI Midcareer Development Award, reflecting his expertise in translational research. He is the Chair of Correlative Science at SWOG and the Co-Chair of the SWOG GI Committee. He serves on the NCI/CTEP GI Steering Committee.
Dr. Lenz received his medical degree from Johannes-Gutenberg Universität in Mainz, Germany, in 1985. He completed a residency in Hematology and Oncology at the University Hospital Tübingen in Germany, a clerkship in Oncology at George Washington University in Washington, DC, and a clerkship in Hematology at Beth Israel Hospital of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He served subsequent fellowships in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of California/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
An active researcher, Dr. Lenz is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and invited papers, reviews, and editorials, and has been listed in the Best Doctors' database since 2003.
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About Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
The Keck School of Medicine of USC is a place of dynamic activity in patient care, scientific discovery, medical and bioscience education, and community service. Our faculty, staff, students, residents, alumni, donors and friends are committed to excellence. Together we are poised to lead medicine in the 21st Century for the benefit of humankind. This is an exciting time of great transformation as we endeavor to create a truly stellar academic medical center at USC. Located on USC's Health Sciences Campus, just east of downtown Los Angeles, the Keck School of Medicine is home to the Keck Medical Center of USC — a state-of-the-art academic medical center comprised of the Keck Hospital of USC (formerly USC University Hospital) and the USC Norris Cancer Hospital. The two world-class, USC-owned hospitals are staffed by more than 500 physicians who are faculty at the renowned Keck School of Medicine of USC. University-owned USC Verdugo Hills Hospital further expands the academic medical enterprise into the Foothill communities of Los Angeles. USC also partners with the nearby Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The Keck School of Medicine also is home to several research institutes, including the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine at USC, the USC Cardiovascular Thoracic Institute and the USC Institute for Global Health. Established in 1885, the Keck School is the oldest medical school in Southern California. Learn more at keck.usc.edu
UNC Lineberger Cancer Center at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Autumn McRee, M.D. and Michael S. Lee, M.D. more
Dr. Autumn McRee, MD is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Research, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology at UNC Lineberger Cancer Center at University of North Carolina. Dr. McRee earned her BS at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, 2001 and her M.D. at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX, 2005. She completed her residency at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, in 2008 and followed with a Fellowship at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, in 2011.
As a member of the GI oncology team, Dr. McRee’s clinical interests are in the multi-disciplinary care of patients with gastrointestinal malignancies and in patients with colorectal and pancreatic cancer, with a focus on clinical trials designed to investigate new promising treatments for these patients. In collaboration with her basic science colleagues, she has an interest in devising novel treatments for patients with GI malignancies based on the biology of their tumors. Specifically, the aim is to further delineate the molecular pathways that lead to cancer formation, which will lead to the development of more effective targeted therapies. By incorporating correlative translational science into our standard clinical trials, she believes we can take advantage of known mutations within a patient's tumor to both improve treatment outcomes and to determine predictive biomarkers of response to prevent undue toxicity.
Her recent Recent Accomplishments and Honors include: 2001 Phi Beta Kappa, Vanderbilt University; 2001 Magna Cum Laude, Vanderbilt University; 2010 Chief Fellow of Hematology/Oncology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; 2011 UNC Lineberger Clinical Fellow Award of Excellence.
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Dr. Lee is Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Lee received his M.D. at Duke University School of Medicine, completed his residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and completed his oncology fellowship at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Dr. Lee is a clinical and translational investigator in gastrointestinal cancers, particularly colorectal cancers, focusing on drug development and design of early phase clinical trials of novel targeted therapies. He is particularly interested in developing molecularly targeted phase I and II clinical trials for patients with gastrointestinal cancers and developing correlative studies to determine biomarkers of susceptibility or resistance. In addition, he is involved in the preclinical research necessary for drug development and identifying novel pathobiologic discoveries in gastrointestinal cancers.
About the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center
One of the leading cancer centers in the nation, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As one of only 41 National Cancer Institutes, UNC Lineberger was rated as exceptional - the highest category - by the National Cancer Institute. The center brings together some of the most exceptional physicians and scientists in the country to investigate and improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer. With research that spans the spectrum from the laboratory to the bedside to the community, UNC Lineberger faculty work to understand the causes of cancer at the genetic and environmental levels, to conduct groundbreaking laboratory research, and to translate findings into pioneering and innovative clinical trials. Learn more at http://unclineberger.org
Bert H. O'Neil, M.D. more
Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, Indianapolis, IN
Dr. O'Neil is Director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Program and Phase I trial programs at Indiana University.
Dr. O'Neil earned his BS in biology at the University of California in Irvine and his MD at the UCLA School of Medicine. After graduating, he completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of California in San Francisco. He conducted his fellowship in hematology and oncology also at the University of California in San Francisco.
Currently, Dr. O'Neil serves as Director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Program and Phase I trials programs at Indiana U. He is also a CALGB/Alliance Study Chair and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. His research interests include elucidation of novel mechanisms of resistance to radiation therapy in rectal cancer, and early drug development for gastrointestinal malignancies, particularly colorectal cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma.
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About Indiana University Simon Cancer Center
The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center is a patient care, research, and educational organization within the Indiana University School of Medicine, located on the school’s main campus in Indianapolis. Established in 1992 as the IU Cancer Center, it has been a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Center since 1999 and is the only center with such distinction in Indiana that provides patient care. It changed its name in 2006 to reflect the philanthropic support of the Melvin and Bren Simon family. Our mission is to dramatically decrease mortality and suffering from cancer by conducting outstanding translational research, by providing excellence in education and by delivering high quality patient-centered care. Learn more at: https://cancer.iu.edu
Christopher Lieu, M.D. and Colin Weekes, M.D. more
University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO
Dr. Lieu joined the University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty as an Assistant Professor in July 2011. He trained in internal medicine at the University of Colorado, where he also served as a Chief Medical Resident. He completed his fellowship training in medical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and served as the Chief Medical Oncology Fellow in 2010.
His primary areas of focus are in Gastrointestinal Cancers (Colorectal, Pancreatic, Gastric, Esophageal, Hepatocellular, Gallbladder, Bile Duct, Anal, Carcinoma of Unknown Primary), Drug Development (Experimental Therapeutics) and Translational Research.
Dr. Lieu is a member of the Developmental Therapeutics (phase I clinical trials) and Gastrointestinal (GI) Medical Oncology Program. These comprehensive programs include multidisciplinary cancer clinics, tumor boards, and research endeavors. Dr. Lieu is focused on using a personalized approach in developing new anticancer drugs for GI cancers, particularly interested in anti-angiogenic therapy for colorectal cancers, novel drugs for KRAS mutant colorectal cancers, as well as developing personalized therapeutics for young adults with colorectal cancer. He is interested in resistance mechanisms to targeted therapy in GI cancers, and he was awarded the 2013 Conquer Cancer Foundation Career Development Award to study targeted therapies in colorectal cancer.
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Dr. Weekes initially trained at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where he completed a combined M.D., Ph.D program. His graduate training was in cell biology and focused on lymphoma cell chemotherapy resistance. Following completion of medical school, he matriculated through a internal medicine residency at the University of Alabama Birmingham. Dr. Weekes focused on the translational research in the development of novel therapies for pancreatic cancer during my medical oncology fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Dr. Weekes has an active clinic focused on the management of all gastrointestinal malignancies and early phase clinical studies as part of the developmental therapeutics clinic. In addition, he directs a translational research laboratory focused on developing therapies targeting the tumor microenvironment for the treatment GI malignancies. Dr Weekes is an active member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) as well as the Pancreatic Cancer Research Team.
"My research interest is to develop novel therapeutic strategies to improve clinical outcomes for my patients in a personalized manner. This is manifested in two separate but linked research endeavors. I am an active member of the clinical research program and direct clinical trials testing new chemotherapy agents in patients with gastrointestinal malignancies with a focus on pancreas cancer. My laboratory research is focused on improving the understanding of pancreas cancer biology to develop novel strategies to treat pancreas cancer. As such, my lab focuses on understanding the complex biology of pancreas cancer and its various cellular components to include pancreas cancer stem cells and stromal cells in addition to cellular signaling processes. We utilize a novel pancreas tumor explant model to accomplish this goal. Our ultimate goal is to develop novel therapeutic treatment strategies to direct patient care based upon laboratory findings obtained in our lab and that of our collaborators."
About University of Colorado Cancer Center
The University of Colorado Cancer Center is the Rocky Mountain region's only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI has given only 40 cancer centers this designation, deeming membership as "the best of the best." Headquartered on the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, UCCC is a consortium of three state universities (Colorado State University, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Colorado Denver) and six institutions (AMC Cancer Research Center, The Children's Hospital, Denver Health, Denver VA Medical Center, National Jewish Health and University of Colorado Hospital). Together, our 400+ members are working to ease the cancer burden through cancer care, research, education and prevention and control. Learn more at http://www.ucdenver.edu.
Johns Hopkins University Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD
Lei Zheng, M.D. PhD and Nilofer Azad, M.D. more
Dr. Lei Zheng, MD, PhD is Associate Professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center Dr. Zheng is one of the lead researchers on a project to use immunized sera from vaccinated patients to identify candidate pancreatic cancer associated proteins against which the immune system has been activated. Through this project, he has identified a molecular pathway that underlies the tumor-stroma interaction in the tumor’s microenvironment of pancreatic cancer. His current research interest is to further explore the roles of the pancreatic tumor's microenvironment in developing immune tolerance and in supporting tumor growth, invasion and metastasis. His long-term goal is to develop novel therapeutics for pancreatic cancer by targeting tumor’s microenvironment and to conduct innovative "first in human" clinical trials. He is also the lead investigator on the development of vaccines and immune based therapies as pre-operative, post-operative, and long-term maintenance treatments for patients with pancreatic cancer. His clinical research interest is focused on developing multidisciplinary therapeutics in the pre-operative/neoadjuvant setting for patients with pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Nilofer S. Azad, MD is an Assistant Professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Azad is board certified in medical oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She received her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and has been in practice for 14 years. She continued her education at Baylor, completing a residency in internal medicine. Dr. Azad then went on to the National Cancer Institute of National Institutes of Health to complete a fellowship in oncology and hematology. Dr. Azad joined the faculty at the Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2008. Her clinical expertise is in cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, with a particular concentration in colorectal and pancreatobiliary cancer. Her research efforts are dedicated to developing new drugs for patients with advanced cancer, with a focus on using epigenetic agents in combination with immunotherapy and other agents to improve survival for patients. She runs many clinical trials for patients with GI cancers, with particular emphasis on trials for advanced disease. She has led clinical trials for GI cancer patients as a member of the AACR Stand Up 2 Cancer Epigenetics Dream team as well as a Principal on the newly announced Colorectal Cancer SU2C Dream Team.
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About John Hopkins Medicine
The Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, is a $7 billion integrated global health enterprise and one of the leading health care systems in the United States. Johns Hopkins Medicine unites physicians and scientists of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with the organizations, health professionals and facilities of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System.
Johns Hopkins Medicine's vision, "Together, we will deliver the promise of medicine," is supported by its mission to improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence in medical education, research and clinical care. Diverse and inclusive, Johns Hopkins Medicine educates medical students, scientists, health care professionals and the public; conducts biomedical research; and provides patient-centered medicine to prevent, diagnose and treat human illness.
Johns Hopkins Medicine operates six academic and community hospitals, four suburban health care and surgery centers, and 39 primary and specialty care outpatient sites. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, opened in 1889, has been ranked number one in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 22 years of the survey's 25-year history, most recently in 2013. For more information, visit www.hopkinsmedicine.org/about/
About Gastrointestinal Cancers Program at John Hopkins
The Johns Hopkins Colon Cancer Center is one of the world's leading treatment and research centers for colon cancer. Johns Hopkins scientists were the first to discover its genetic culprits and revealed the first map of the colon cancer genome. No other medical center in the world treats as many patients for pancreatic cancer as the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. The Whipple procedure, the most aggressive and effective form of treatment, is a complicated surgical procedure performed more commonly here than in any other hospital in the world. We have taken the lead in the study and treatment of pancreatic cancer with the new discovery of the pancreatic cancer genes, the ongoing development of a cancer vaccine, studies of early, precancerous lesions and research into the best methods of performing pancreatic surgery.
Physicians at the Kimmel Cancer Center have remained at the forefront of the diagnosis and treatment of liver, bile duct, and gall bladder cancers through extensive research. New studies track the role environmental factors play in the development of bile duct and gallbladder cancers. Other studies continue to examine the role that estrogen plays in the development of these tumors. Physicians research the cause and prevention of gallstones, a major risk factor for gallbladder cancer and the reason this tumor occurs more often in women. New robotic methods of delivering treatments and biologic therapies are on the horizon.
Experts with the Esophageal Cancer Program at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center treat more esophageal cancer patients than any other local medical center. Our researchers are covering new ground in the treatment of all types of cancer, including esophageal cancer. The staff at Johns Hopkins are experts, in many cases nationally and internationally known, in esophageal cancer and how to treat it. The Johns Hopkins Cancer Surgery Second Opinion Program offers people recently diagnosed with esophageal or gastric cancer the ability to consult with some of the leading experts in cancer surgery.