The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Eduardo D. Bruera, MD The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Chair, Department of Palliative Care & Rehabilitation Medicine
Dr. Bruera obtained his medical degree from the University of Rosario, in Argentina. He trained in Medical Oncology and relocated to the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada where he directed the clinical and academic palliative care programs until 1999. In 1999 Dr. Bruera joined The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he currently holds the F.T. McGraw Chair in the Treatment of Cancer and is the Chair of the Department of Palliative Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine.
Dr. Bruera’s main clinical interest is the care of the physical and psychosocial distress of patients with advanced cancer and the support of their families. He developed and led, for the first five years of operations, the Edmonton Regional and Palliative Care program. This unique program provides access to palliative care to more than 80% of patients who die of cancer in the Edmonton Region. He also developed and leads the Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center since 1999.
Dr. Bruera has been interested in the development of palliative care programs internationally, particularly in the developing world where he helped in the establishment of numerous palliative care programs in the Latin American region, India, and different areas of Europe. Dr. Bruera acted as the President of the International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care for a period of four years ending in January 2006.
Over the last 20 years, Dr. Bruera has trained hundreds of physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals in the different aspects of the clinical delivery of palliative care. He established the first academic fellowship program in palliative care at the University of Alberta in Canada and one of the first academic palliative care fellowships in the United States at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Dr. Bruera has more than 1000 publications and has edited 31 books. He has given more than 900 major invited lectures.
Dr. Bruera has received a number of national and international awards including the American Cancer Society Lane Adams Quality of Life Award and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award. The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians has established the “Eduardo Bruera Award” as a career award for palliative care specialists.
Michael A. Caligiuri, MD City of Hope National Medical Center
President of City of Hope National Medical Center, Deana and Steve Campbell Physician-in-Chief Distinguished Chair
Michael A. Caligiuri, MD is President of the City of Hope National Medical Center in Los Angeles California. He also holds the Deana and Steve Campbell Physician – in – Chief Distinguished Chair
Prior to his appointment at City of Hope in February of 2018, Dr. Caligiuri was The CEO of The Ohio State University (OSU) James Cancer Hospital (2008 – 2017) and Director of OSU’s Comprehensive Cancer Center (2005 – 2017) ; he had been the Director of OSU’s Division of Hematology – Onco logy from 2000 through 2008 .
Caligiuri is a physician – scientist whose clinical work is focused in leukemia and lymphoma. His laboratory has evolved to investigate:
• Development and normal role of the body’s large granular lymphocytes called natural ki ller cells so as to exploit their properties in an effort to develop effective therapies against cancer;
• The molecular basis for the development of acute leukemia. His lab studies the pathogenesis of acute leukemia, the prognostic significance of molecu lar defects in acute leukemia, and novel immune and targeted therapies for acute leukemia.
Since 1990, more than 100 students have trained in the Caligiuri laboratory and have received over 200 awards for their research. Dr. Caligiuri has designed and conducted many clinical studies for over 1500 leu kemia and lymphoma patients. He has over 320 original publications on immunology or leukemia.
Dr. Caligiuri is an elected member of the American Association for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians, and he is an elected Fellow in the American Association for the Advancem ent of Science (AAAS) . From 2009 – 11, he served as president of the Association for American Cancer Institutes (AACI); From 2014 – 2017 he served as the president of the Society of Natural Immunity, and in 2017 he was elected president of the American Associa tion for Cancer Research (AACR), the world’s largest cancer research organization. Dr. Caligiuri has served on the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Advisors and chaired the Institute of Medicine’s National Cancer Policy Forum from 2014 – 2 016 . He either chairs or is a member of 10 cancer center advisory boards across the country. In 2010, Dr. Caligiuri was one of four individuals in the country to receive a MERIT award from the National Cancer Institute for his work on immunity and canc er, and in 2016 he received an Outstanding Investigator A ward from the National Cancer Institute. In 2018, Dr. Caligiuri was elected a Fellow of the AACR.
Dr. Caligiuri is co – founder of Pelotonia (www.pelotonia.org) , Th e Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (www.ORIENcancer.org) , CancerBridge (www.mycancerbridge.com) , and The Drug Development Institute at The Ohio State University.
Dr. Caligiuri earned his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, his masters and medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, then completed a fellowship in medical oncology, bone marrow transplantation and immunology at the Dana – Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School. He next spent seven years at Roswell Pa rk Cancer Institute as an assistant, associate and full professor before moving to The Ohio State University in 1997, and City of Hope in 2018 .
Curt I. Civin, MD University of Maryland School of Medicine
Director, Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Curt I. Civin, MD, is the director of the new Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Civin has also been appointed associate dean for research and professor of pediatrics in the division of Hematology/Oncology. Dr. Civin comes to the School of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he led projects totaling $21.5 million in extramural research funding. He is internationally renowned for his work and earned the 1999 Nation Inventor of the Year Award for his groundbreaking scientific discovery in 1984 of a method for isolating stem cells from other blood cells, a critical step in studying them and for transplanting these cells into patients. Discoveries from his laboratory are used today in both clinical bone marrow stem cell transplantation and leukemia diagnosis.
Dr. Civin received his doctoral degree from Harvard Medical School. He trained as a resident in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston, and also served as a clinical associate at the National Cancer Institute. In 2001, Dr. Civin was granted an honorary ScD from Amherst College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and independent study.
Dr. Civin’s research focuses on the genes expressed in stem cells. By understanding the inner mechanics of how stem cells work, he hopes to learn how to modify the key properties of stem cells in order to increase their therapeutic potential. In addition, his research includes learning how normal stem cells become cancerous. He holds 12 active research grants, including three from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, and he has published nearly 170 peer-reviewed articles.
Throughout his career, Dr. Civin has demonstrated leadership strength on a national level. He is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials Advisory Committee as well as its Board of Scientific Advisors. He also is chair of the Career Development Program of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Clinical Scholar & Fellow Awards. His honors include the Dr. Frederick Stohlman Award from the Leukemia Society of America, the Kantor Family Prize for Cancer Research Excellence and the National Foundation for Cancer Research Fellow Award. He has won the Return of the Child Award, the highest honor from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America. This year, he was honored with the American Association of Blood Banks’ Karl Landsteiner Memorial Award & Lectureship.
John F. DiPersio, MD, PhD Washington University School of Medicine
Chief, Division of Oncology; Deputy Director Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center
Dr. John F. DiPersio, Deputy Director, Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center and Chief of the Division of Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Virginia E. and Samuel J. Golman Professor of Medicine.
Dr. DiPersio’s research focuses on fundamental and translational aspects of leukemia and stem cell biology. These studies include identification of genetic abnormalities in human leukemias, understanding processes involving stem cell and leukemia cell trafficking, and clinical and translational programs in both leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome and stem cell transplantation.
Dr. DiPersio is Chair of ASH Scientific Committee on Hematopoiesis, a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors (Clinical Science and Epidemiology) of the National Cancer Institute, and the 2013 recipient of the Daniel P. Schuster Distinguished Translational Investigator Award from Washington University, the 19th Annual AACR Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research in 2014 and the 2014 recipient of the American Society of Hematology Mentor Award for Clinical Investigations.. He has authored or co-authored more than 275 publications and over 60 invited reviews and book chapters.
Dr. DiPersio received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester and his B.A. in Biology from Williams College. He completed an internship and residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. After serving as chief resident at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dr. DiPersio completed a fellowship in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Jerome E. Groopman, MD Harvard Institute of Medicine
Dina and Raphael Racanati Chair of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Chief, Experimental Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Dr. Groopman holds the Dina and Raphael Recanati Chair of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and is Chief of Experimental Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He received his B.A. from Columbia College summa cum laude and his M.D. from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He served his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and his specialty fellowships in hematology and oncology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Children’s Hospital/Sidney Farber Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School in Boston. He serves on many scientific editorial boards and has published more than 150 scientific articles.
In 2000, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2007, he was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2008, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Dr. Groopman’s research has focused on blood development, cancer and AIDS. Currently, his basic laboratory research involves understanding how blood and vascular cells grow, communicate, and migrate. He also is studying how viruses cause immune deficiency and cancer, the role of endocannabinoids in hematopoiesis, mechanisms of liver injury due to hepatitis C virus, and the effects of novel cell cycle inhibitors against mantle cell lymphoma.
Dr. Groopman writes regularly about biology and medicine for lay audiences. He has authored numerous editorials on policy issues in The New Republic, the Washington Post and the New York Times. His first popular book, “The Measure of Our Days,” published in October, 1997, and explores the spiritual lives of patients with serious illness. This was the basis for the ABC Television series “Gideon’s Crossing.” In 1998, he became a staff writer in medicine and biology at the New Yorker magazine. His next book, entitled “Second Opinions,” was published in February 2000, and his third book, “The Anatomy of Hope,” was released in 2004 and was a New York Times bestseller. His most recent book, “How Doctors Think,” published in March 2007, explores how physicians arrive at the correct diagnosis and treatment, and why they may not. In conjunction with his spouse, Dr. Pamela Hartzband, he is a bimonthly columnist for “ACP Internist,” the publication of the American College of Physicians read by 150,000 internal medicine physicians in the United States and Canada.
Carl H. June, MD University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Carl June is the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He is currently Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the University of Pennsylvania, and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancel Immunotherapy. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, 1979.
He had graduate training in Immunology and malaria with Dr. Paul-Henri Lambert at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland from 1978-79, and post-doctoral training in transplantation biology with E. Donnell Thomas and John Hansen at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle from 1983 – 1986. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. He maintains a research laboratory that studies various mechanisms of lymphocyte activation that relate to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy for cancer and chronic infection.
In 2011, his research team published findings detailing a new therapy in which patients with refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia were treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells. The treatment has also now also been used with promising results to treat children with refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
He has published more than 350 manuscripts and is the recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine in 2012, the William B Coley award, the Richard V Smalley Memorial Award from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, the AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology, the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence, and the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, Karl Landsteiner Memorial award, Debrecen Award and lifetime achievement award.
Stephen D. Nimer, MD – Chairman Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Director, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
A hematologist, molecular biologist, and bone marrow transplant physician, Dr. Nimer is currently the Director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami, Florida. Dr. Nimer was at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York for nearly 20 years, where he held the Alfred P. Sloan Chair and served as Head of the Division of Hematologic Oncology, Vice Chairman for Faculty Development, and Chief of the Hematology Service. He also served as a member of Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, an Attending Physician at Memorial Hospital, and a Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.
Over the years, Dr. Nimer has conducted extensive clinical and basic science research into the treatment and genetic basis of adult leukemia and bone marrow failure states, defining the regulatory mechanisms that control the production of blood cells and exploring ways to improve the treatment of blood based cancers. He has authored over 200 scientific publications and has received numerous awards for his research, including the prestigious Irma T. Hirschl Career Scientist Award. Dr. Nimer graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975, and received his M.D. degree with honors from the University of Chicago of Medicine in 1979. He completed training in Internal Medicine and Hematology/Oncology at the UCLA School of Medicine, and joined the faculty there in 1986, before moving to Memorial Sloan-Kettering in 1993.
Dr. Nimer was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigators at age 42, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He serves on the editorial board of several medical journals, and on the medical boards of the Myelodysplastic Syndrome Foundation, the Bone Marrow Foundation, and other foundations. Dr. Nimer is also the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research.
Eirini Papapetrou, MD, PhD Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Eirini Papapetrou, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Oncological Sciences, Hematology and Medical Oncology and founding Director of the Center for Advancement of Blood Cancer Therapies at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). She obtained MD and PhD degrees and trained as a clinical hematologist at the University of Patras in Greece. During her postdoctoral studies at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, she pioneered the generation of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and their use in disease modeling and regenerative medicine, and developed cutting edge technologies for the genetic engineering of iPSCs and hematopoietic stem cells for cell and gene therapy.
As an independent investigator, first at the University of Washington and, since 2014, at ISMMS, she performed groundbreaking research that established human iPSCs as models of myeloid malignancies – specifically acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) –, as well as premalignant conditions – inherited bone marrow failure syndromes (IBMFS) and clonal hematopoiesis (CH). The Papapetrou laboratory is now the world leading laboratory in the study of blood cancers with iPSC models. By combining patient cell reprogramming with CRISPR/Cas9-mediated precise gene editing, the Papapetrou laboratory develops models of myeloid leukemias and preleukemic blood disorders and exploits the unique capabilities they offer: the ability to perform genotype-to-phenotype studies and to study the oncogenic mechanisms of driver mutations in a faithful cellular and genomic environment; to obtain large numbers of homogeneous cells for multi-omics analyses, genetic and small molecule screens; and to validate findings through functional assays in isogenic conditions. With these models and strategies Dr Papapetrou’s research program seeks to uncover novel disease mechanisms and identify and validate new therapeutic targets.
Dr. Papapetrou is the recipient of several awards, including the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy Outstanding New Investigator Award, Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award, Pershing Square Sohn Prize, AACR-MPM, and others, and is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. She also co-directs the Stem Cell Engineering Core at ISMMS. Since 2023, she serves as inaugural Director of the Center for Advancement of Blood Cancer Therapies at ISSMS, a new Center that aims to expand the use of human models of leukemia and other blood diseases and bring together basic, translational and clinical researchers to accelerate the development of new therapies for hematologic malignancies.
Rainer Storb, MD Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Clinical Research Division; Head, Transplantation Biology Program
Rainer Storb, MD, is a native of Germany where he attended the University of Freiburg Medical School. After graduation, he spent two years doing clinical training in Essen and Munich, and then three years doing research in Paris on a NATO Science Fellowship, working with Drs. Najean, Bernard and Bessis. In 1965, Dr. Storb traveled to Seattle on a Fulbright Fellowship and began work in the Division of Hematology at the University of Washington with Dr. E. Donnall Thomas. It was here that Dr. Storb participated in the birth of the Seattle marrow transplantation program.
For the past 39 years, he has worked to develop new concepts in transplantation biology and apply them to patients. Studies included the demonstration of peripheral blood stem cells for allogeneic transplantation in the 1960s and 1970s, the importance of in vitro histocompatibility typing for outcome of related and unrelated transplants in the 1960s and 1970s, the definition of immunologic recovery after marrow transplantation, the development of conditioning programs for transplantation, uncovering the nature of graft-host tolerance, developing strategies of treating and preventing graft-vs-host disease, and studies on hematopoietic engraftment. Many transplantation protocols currently in use have been directly extrapolated from his studies.
One practical example of his work translated from preclinical studies into the clinic concerns the novel use of combination drug therapy to prevent graft-versus-host disease, which occurs when donor bone marrow reacts against the patient after transplantation. Dr. Storb’s formulated drug schedule is now the “gold standard” in use at centers worldwide. His work applied to patients with aplastic anemia has defined and improved treatments and increased the long-term survival of this patient group to greater than 90 percent. His current studies to develop protocols for establishing chimeric grafts, where the marrow is part donor and part patient, uses transplant regimens which have little toxicity and allow for the treatment of genetic and malignant diseases in both old and young patients in the outpatient setting. In these transplants, cures of malignancy are achieved through an allogeneic graft-vs-tumor effect rather than through the high-dose cytotoxic radiochemotherapy previously used.
Dr. Storb has won numerous awards for his work, including the Alexander von Humboldt Award, the Joseph Steiner Award, the Gustav Carus Prize of the German Academy of Natural Sciences, the Meyenburg Prize, the Henry M. Stratton Medal and the E. Donnall Thomas Prize from the American Society of Hematology, the Joseph H. Burchenal Clinical Research Award from the American Association for Cancer Research, and the Don Metcalf Lecture Award from the International Society of Experimental Hematology.
For the past 18 years, Dr. Storb has been the 10th most cited physician/scientist and the 43rd most cited overall scientist worldwide per SCIENCE WATCH. During that time he has also been the second most quoted researcher in the field of Oncology. Throughout the years, Dr. Storb has trained over 130 researchers in his laboratory, who are now raising the standard of hematopoietic cell transplantation biology research throughout the world.
University of New Mexico Cancer Research & Treatment Center
Cheryl L. Willman, MD University of New Mexico Cancer Research & Treatment Center
Director and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Cheryl Willman was born in Indiana and raised in the Midwest. She received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and her professional degree in medicine (M.D.) from The Mayo School of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota in 1981. Dr. Willman completed post-doctoral training in cancer research and pathology at the National Institutes of Health in Washington DC, at UNM, and at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Today, Dr. Willman is an internationally known cancer researcher and Director & CEO of the University of New Mexico Cancer Research & Treatment Center – “the UNM CRTC.” The CRTC was first founded by the State Legislature as the Official Cancer Center of the State of New Mexico in 1971. In 2005, the CRTC achieved the very prestigious designation and federal funding as a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Center, joining the elite ranks of the 60 best cancer treatment and research centers in the United States. The 62 oncology physicians, 110 cancer researchers, and over 250 staff of the UNM CRTC are dedicated to providing outstanding cancer care, conducting world class research, training the next generation of oncology healthcare professionals, and bringing community education and outreach programs to all New Mexicans.
In her research, Dr. Willman has focused on finding the causes and the cures for patients affected by leukemia. She is the Director of the Leukemia Research Programs for the NCI’s Children’s Oncology Group and Southwest Oncology Group. Her UNM laboratories, supported by over $16 million in funding from the NCI and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, receive leukemia samples from the majority of children and one-third of adults in the United States who are affected by leukemia. She is leading a consortium of investigators from UNM, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who are applying advances from the human genome project to improve leukemia diagnosis and discover new and more effective drugs and therapies. In the past year, this UNM/Sandia team has filed four new patents on their discoveries.
Throughout her career, Dr. Willman has received numerous research and public service awards, including in 2001 the 16th annual Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women and most recently the 2005 New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award. She is involved in leadership roles in many national organizations. She has received the UNM Teacher of the Year and Best Lecturer Awards from the UNM School of Medicine and is a member of the U.S. Department of Energy Women in Science Hall of Fame.
Dr. Jeffrey D. White has been in the forefront of groundbreaking research on the etiology and treatment of HTLV-I associated adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. He is currently studying the natural history and treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in Bethesda, Maryland.
Previously, Dr. White was the Director, Clinical Trials and Clinical Care Program Metabolism Branch, at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda. He was also a visiting professor at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences in Taipei, Taiwan 1993 and an Attending Physician at the Department of Internal Medicine at The Washington Hospital Center from 1991 – 1993.
Dr. White has given many invited lectures on the topics of complementary and alternative medicine and monoclonal antibody therapy at national and international medical conferences. He is certified in the subspecialties of Hematology and Medical Oncology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He currently sits on the Medical Advisory Board of Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation and previously served on the Breast Health Advisory Council of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Dr. White received a BS in Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University and his M.D. at Howard University College of Medicine. Additionally, he completed a residency in Internal Medicine and fellowships in hematology and medical oncology at The Washington Hospital Center.
*Janet D. Rowley, M.D., D.Sc.
*Barrie R. Cassileth, Ph.D.
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