David Fisher, MD
Dr. Fisher is chief of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts (USA). He also serves as director of the MGH Cutaneous Biology Research Center and director of the Melanoma Center at MGH. Fisher’s research has focused on understanding the molecular and genetic events which underlie formation of melanoma as well as skin pigmentation. As a clinician, he has worked to translate these understandings into advances in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of human diseases related to the skin and associated disorders. A graduate of Swarthmore College with a degree in Biology and Chemistry, Fisher is also a concert cellist and graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He received his PhD under doctors Henry Kunkel and Gunter Blobel at Rockefeller University and his Medical Degree at Cornell University Medical College. He carried out post-doctoral training with Dr. Phillip Sharp at MIT. Fisher’s specialty training in Medicine, Pediatrics, and Oncology were carried out at Harvard Medical School. He currently is the president of the Society for Melanoma Research.
Keith Flaherty, MD
Dr. Flaherty received a Bachelor of Science from Yale University and medical degree from Johns Hopkins University. He trained in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and completed a fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the faculty in the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and member of the Developmental Therapeutics Program in the Abramson Cancer Center in 2002. In 2009, Dr. Flaherty moved to Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School to serve as the Director of Developmental Therapeutics for the MGH Cancer Center. He was awarded a K23 grant from the NCI to investigate the inhibition of angiogenesis with targeted therapy combinations in melanoma and renal cell carcinoma. In addition to being principal investigator of numerous first-in-human clinical trials with novel targeted therapies, he is the principal investigator of two national, cooperative group trials: E2603, a phase III trial comparing sorafenib, carboplatin and paclitaxel to carboplatin and paclitaxel alone in patients with metastatic melanoma and E2804, a randomized phase II trial comparing combinations of anti-angiogenic agents in metastatic renal cell carcinoma. He served as principal investigator for the first-in-human clinical trials of the first prospectively developed selective BRAF inhibitors, RAF-265 and Zelboraf. Zelboraf has emerged as the most active single-agent therapy ever evaluated in metastatic melanoma patients, and is rapidly being tested in a phase III trial of which Dr. Flaherty serves as co-principal investigator. He is internationally known for expertise in clinical and translational research directed against signal transduction pathways in melanoma.
Breast Cancer Co-Chiefs
Laura Esserman, MD, MBA
Dr. Laura Esserman is a breast surgeon and Director of the Breast Care Center. She specialized in breast cancer research and treatment because she saw great opportunities to advance our knowledge and treatment of breast cancer and to make a meaningful difference in the lives of women who have breast disease. Her overall vision as demonstrated by such initiatives as a healing garden, an art therapy program for patients, and a same day assessment program is to develop state-of-the-art ways to care for and empower patients during their treatment. Dr. Esserman received her undergraduate degree from Harvard, and her medical and surgical training from Stanford University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in breast oncology at Stanford in 1988, and received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1993. She joined the UCSF faculty in 1993. Dr. Esserman has received many honors for her work, a grant to establish a state-of-the-art breast center and breast cancer research foundation-one of three major Department of Defense grants awarded to in the United States in 1998. She is also the Clinical director of the Breast Oncology research program at UCSF.
Laura Van ‘t Veer, PhD
Laura van ‘t Veer received her M.Sc. degree in Biology (1984) at the University of Amsterdam and a PhD in Medicine (1989) at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands. She did her postdoctoral training at the Cancer Center of the Harvard Medical School and The Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA (1989-1991) and The Netherlands Cancer Institute (1992-1993). From 1993 till 2007 she initiated and held the positions of Head Molecular Pathology and Head Genetic Counseling Clinic at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. In 2003 she was one of the founders of the Netherlands Cancer Institute spin-off, the molecular profiling company Agendia. In 2007-2010 she became Division Head Diagnostic Oncology, including clinical operations and research of 5 clinical departments. Since 2010 she is Professor at the University of California San Francisco, where she leads the Breast Oncology Program. Dr. van ‘t Veer is first author of a study showing that microarray genomics technology can predict which breast tumors will likely metastasize and which will not (Nature 2002, NEJM 2002). When these findings are implemented into daily clinical practice, the amount of so-called adjuvant treatments with chemotherapy for (pre-menopausal) breast cancer patients could be reduced by up to thirty percent. This microarray test now called MammaPrint, is central to the work of the translational research network TRANSBIG (Translational Research Breast International Group). The MINDACT trial is worldwide the first large scale clinical trial implementing genomics. MammaPrint is an FDA cleared In Vitro Diagnostic Multigene Index Assay (IVDMIA), included in several international and national guidelines for breast cancer management. At UCSF she coordinates the tissue and biomarker activities of the FNIH sponsored multicenter adaptive clinical trial I-SPY. Dr. van ‘t Veer received for this work the 2007 European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) life-time achievement award for translational research in breast cancer.
Tanios Bekaii-Saab, MD
Dr. Bekaii-Saab completed his undergraduate studies at McGill University and earned his MD at the American University of Beirut. His residency in internal medicine was at the Indiana University Medical Center, followed by fellowships in hematology/oncology and in clinical pharmacology at Tufts University-New England Medical Center.
Dr. Bekaii-Saab is Co-Leader of the Enterprise wide Gastrointestinal Cancer Program at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and Professor at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. He is actively involved in ASCO, AACR, and the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Dr. Bekaii-Saab is co-leader for the hepato-biliary cancer committee for the Alliance cooperative group and the Alliance representative for the NCI hepato-biliary national cancer task force. He is also the SWOG representative for the NCI pancreatic cancer task force and senior executive leader for solid tumor research and GI cancer committee co-lead for the Mayo clinic- sponsored ACCRU network. An active peer reviewer for more than 50 prestigious journals, Dr. Bekaii-Saab has authored more than 350 peer-reviewed publications, abstracts in prominent journals, and book chapters.
Dr. Bekaii-Saab’s research interests include experimental therapeutics/translational research, molecular targeted and immune therapies. He is the principal investigator on numerous clinical trials supported by government, industry and NCCN. He has been awarded the prestigious NCI clinical investigator team leadership award and the ASCO leadership program development award.
Ravi Salgia, MD, PhD
Ravi Salgia, MD, PhD, is the City of Hope Professor and Chair in the Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research. He is the Arthur & Rosalie Kaplan Endowed Chair in Medical Oncology and Associate Director of Clinical Services. Dr. Salgia was a tenured professor of medicine, pathology and dermatology, and the Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program, and Aerodigestive Tract Program Translational Research Lab in the Section of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Chicago Medical Center in Illinois. Dr Salgia was also an attending physician in the Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology, University of Chicago. Dr Salgia is a member of the American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research, and International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, among others. He was also a member of the Committee on Cancer Biology and Clinical Trials Review Committee at the University of Chicago. Dr Salgia’s research interests focus on novel therapeutics against lung cancer. He has been an invited lecturer to more than 300 symposia and seminars. Dr Salgia has been honored with numerous awards, including recently being named one of the Top Doctors in America. Dr Salgia is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Carcinogenesis, Update on Cancer Therapeutics, and Current Women’s Health Reviews. He also serves as associate editor for the Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology, and Oncology. He has authored or coauthored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, 125 abstracts, and 30 book chapters. Dr Salgia earned a medical degree from Loyola University School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, where he also obtained a doctorate of philosophy. He did his internship/residency in Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He also did his Medical Oncology Fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. He was on faculty at the DFCI for a decade before moving to the University of Chicago.
Margaret Tempero, MD
Dr. Tempero is Deputy Director and Director of Research Programs and leads the Pancreas Cancer Program at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (HDFCCC). Her research career has focused on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma especially in the area of investigational therapeutics. She was a pioneer in the use of antibody-based therapies and helped develop the fixed dose rate concept for gemcitabine. Her group has developed effective gemcitabine combinations and provided a foundation for using CA19-9 as a surrogate for survival in clinical trials. Currently her group is assessing molecular subtypes and molecular enrichment for selecting new drugs for clinical evaluation.Dr. Tempero directed the first GI SPORE devoted to pancreatic cancer when she was on the faculty of the University of Nebraska and subsequently led the NCI funded U54 Molecular Target Assessment Team at UCSF. She also organized the first Pancreas Cancer Think Tank in 1999 and co-led the NCI sponsored Progress Review Group on Pancreatic Cancer in 2000. She has served as the Chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel on Pancreatic Cancer since 2000. She also serves on the Pancreatic Cancer Task Force for the NCI intergroup and recently co-organized the State of the Science meeting on pancreatic cancer at the NCI.Dr. Tempero also has extensive experience in scientific review and administration, training and oversight. She co-directed the AACR/ASCO Methods in Clinical Cancer Research in Vail for 3 years and spent 9 years of service teaching at this course and in similar courses in Europe and Australia. She was founding Chair of the NCI Clinical Oncology Study Section (CONC) and served as a member and Chair (2-year term) of the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors Subcommittee A. She is on the External Advisory Boards of the Pancreas SPORE at MDACC and the GI SPORE at the University of Arizona. She is, or has been, on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Lustgarten Foundation, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the V Foundation, The Alberta Canada Cancer Board and the EORTC. She has held many appointments at AACR and ASCO and has served as a member of the ASCO Board of Directors and as ASCO President in 2004. She is currently a member of the Oncology Drug Advisory Committee for the FDA. She served as Deputy Director and Interim Director for the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center until 1999 and is Chief Emeritus of the Division of Medical Oncology at UCSF (2000 – 2007).
Fred Appelbaum, MD
Frederick R. Appelbaum, MD, is Director of the Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Head of Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine, and President and Executive Director of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. He is a diplomat on the American Boards of Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology, and is past chair of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute. Additionally, he has been a board member of a number of scientific societies, including the American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and is Chair of the Leukemia Committee of the Southwest Oncology Group. Dr. Appelbaum served two terms as Associate Editor for Blood and also serves on the Editorial Boards of numerous scientific journals. Dr. Appelbaum is Head of the Clinical Transplant Research Program in the FHCRC/University of Washington Cancer Consortium and Principal Investigator on several National Institutes of Health grants. He is the author of over 800 scientific articles and was the lead author on the first paper to describe the successful use of autologous marrow transplantation. Dr. Appelbaum’s current areas of research interests center on the biology and treatment of hematologic malignancies.
Sarcoma and Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST)
George Demetri, MD
Dr. George Demetri received an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from Harvard University, followed by a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do research at the Université de Besancon, France, after which he received his medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine, California, USA. After completing Internal Medicine residency and chief residency at the University of Washington Hospitals in Seattle, Washington, he pursued a fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Harvard Medical School, where he has served as an attending physician since 1989. Dr. Demetri and colleagues at Harvard have developed a large research-focused multidisciplinary center of excellence for sarcoma patients at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, supporting a number of translational and clinical research projects in sarcomas and focusing on new drug development. Dr. Demetri’s research and clinical interests have focused on mechanism-based drug development for solid tumors, with a particular emphasis on molecularly-defined subsets of sarcomas such as Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST). Work from the multidisciplinary team at Dana-Farber/Harvard has contributed to the development of several new drugs for sarcomas and other malignancies, including imatinib (Gleevec), sunitinib (Sutent), dasatinib (Sprycel), trabectedin (Yondelis) and other new targeted therapies in development. Dr Demetri serves as co-chair of the Medical Advisory Board for the Sarcoma Foundation of America as well as several scientific and editorial advisory boards. With an interest in internet-based patient support, he also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of CancerNet (www.cancer.net) from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
E. David Crawford, MD
E. David Crawford is the distinguished Professor of Surgery, Urology, and Radiation Oncology, the Head of the Section of Urologic Oncology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Chairman of the Prostate Conditions Education Council and founder of Bingham International Center for the 3D Diagnosis and Treatment of Prostate Cancer. Dr. Crawford received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati. His postgraduate training included an internship and residency in urology at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati. He completed a genitourinary cancer fellowship at the University of California Medical Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Crawford is an internationally-recognized expert in benign prostate hypertrophy, urologic cancers, and, in particular, prostate cancer. The recipient of more than 69 research grants, he has conducted research in the treatment of advanced bladder cancer, metastatic adenocarcinoma of the prostate, hormone refractory prostate cancer, and other areas of urological infections and malignancies. He has authored or coauthored more than 450 articles in such journals as Urology, The New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Urology and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. He has published five textbooks and authored more than 50 book chapters, and is an editorial reviewer or consultant for Urology, Journal of Urology, The New England Journal of Medicine, Cancer and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Crawford is an active member of many national and international organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Urological Association (AUA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Crawfords involvement in the national prostate cancer arena has been widely recognized and he has received many honors and awards, including a Freddie Award at the AMA International Health and Medical Film Competition for the program ITV: The Cutting Edge Medical Report (Prostate Cancer: Understanding, Diagnosing, and Defeating). He has been recognized as one of the Best Doctors in America, one of the Best Cancer Doctors, one of the Top 20 Urologists in the Country and was selected as the Best Healthcare Provider in the Denver Metro region.
Razelle Kurzrock, MD
Dr. Razelle Kurzrock is known for developing one of the largest and best phase 1 clinical trials programs in the nation while at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. A central theme of that program was the personalized medicine strategy, embodied in a protocol called PREDICT for Profile-related Evidence Determining Individualized Cancer Therapy. This approach utilized advanced molecular technologies to match patients with targeted cancer treatment that optimized chances for response.
At Moores Cancer Center, Dr. Kurzrock’s charge is broad, including not just growing and innovating the Center’s clinical trials program, but also heading its newly established Center for Personalized Therapy. As a physician-scientist, she brings extraordinary expertise and experience in clinical research, business operations, regulatory operations, financial and budget planning, and administrative oversight, in addition to her world-recognized work in translational science. Dr. Kurzrock is also Vice Chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division in the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
Dr. Kurzrock received her MD degree from the University of Toronto and has about 450 peer-reviewed publications and a uniquely strong record of competitive grant funding within the setting of phase I program building. She has been the principal investigator of the National Cancer Institute U01 Phase I Studies of Targeted Anti-Cancer Agents.