Medical Advisory Committee

Steven Alberts, MD

Dr. Steven Alberts is a professor of Oncology in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and a consultant in the Division of Medical Oncology. In addition, he is the medical director for the Clinical Research Office and the coordinator for Upper GI Malignancies, North Central Cancer Treatment Group. He also serves as the chair for the GI Cancer Disease-Oriented Group for the Cancer Center.

Dr. Alberts's research interests are focused in gastrointestinal malignancies, epidemiology, cancer prevention, and cancer in American Indians and Alaska Natives. Dr. Alberts has developed an international reputation for his working in the treatment of upper gastrointestinal malignancies. He conducts a variety of clinical trials for this group of diseases. He has a variety of publications outlining this research and is the coauthor of several book chapters. Dr. Alberts also serves as a member of the NCI-sponsored Gastrointestinal Intergroup GI Steering Committee, Pancreas Cancer Task Force, and the Colon Cancer Task Force to help coordinate clinical trials through the national cooperative groups.

Dr. Alberts has a long-standing research career predating his appointment in medical oncology. He has a Masters in public health and has worked as an epidemiologist with the Indian Health Service and the Centers for Disease Control. In this former position Dr. Alberts participated in studies of cancer in the Alaska Native population. He has continued these interests and is currently partly funded through a Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Result (SEER) Program, National Cancer Institute grant.

 

Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD

Dr. Abou-Alfa is a board-certified medical oncologist who treats patients with gastrointestinal cancers. His specialization is in primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma), pancreas, gallbladder, and bile duct tumors. His research focuses on improving the effectiveness of cancer therapy by incorporating small novel biological molecules that target cancer into the treatment of chemotherapy-resistant gastrointestinal malignancies, particularly hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancers.


Nabeel Bardeesy, PhD

Dr Bardeesy is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. He is the recipient of the Gallagher Endowed Chair in Gastrointestinal Cancer Research. His lab focuses on the interface of metabolism and epigenetic reprogramming in GI cancers and in the development of genetically engineered mouse models of human cancer. 

Dr Bardeesy recieved both his BS and  PhD in Biochemistry from McGill University in Canada, followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School.


Oliver Bathe, MD, FRCS(C)

Dr. Bathe is a surgical oncologist with a special interest in hepatobiliary, pancreatic and gastrointestinal tumors. His clinical research interests relate to the patient population he treats, with a goal of improving outcomes. As a result of his clinical trial involvement, he is a member of the NCIC Clinical Trials Group Gastrointestinal Tumor Group Executive, co-chair of the NCIC Hepatobiliary Working Group, and member of the Intergroup Hepatobiliary Task Force.

He also has a basic and translational research program. His lab is focused on understanding the host response against tumor. He directs the University of Calgary Hepatobiliary and Gastrointestinal Tumor Bank which currently houses over 10,000 samples. His tumor banking efforts have attracted a number of national and international collaborations, including with The Cancer Genome Atlas Project and the National Cancer Institutes of Canada. Most recently, his work has involved mapping the metabolomic features of various hepatobiliary, pancreatic and gastrointestinal tumors.

Dr. Bathe graduated from the University of Calgary Medical School and went on to do his General Surgery residency at the University of British Columbia. He then did postgraduate Fellowship training at the University of Miami, Florida in Surgical Oncology. He is currently professor of surgery and oncology at the University of Calgary.


A. William Blackstock, Jr., MD

Clinical Interests: Phase I/II studies with radiation sensitizers and dose escalated radiation therapy in lung cancer

Research Interests: Cytokines radiation in lung injury - radiation sensitizers

Teaching Interests: Radiation/chemo-therapy interactions – radiobiology


Charles Blanke, MD

Dr. Blanke is the chair-elect to one of the U.S. National Cancer Institute's five large-scale cooperative groups that test new cancer treatments and prevention programs, has joined Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

Dr Blanke earned an M.D. with distinction from Northwestern University, completed residency training at the Gundersen Medical Foundation, where he served as chief resident, and was a hematology/medical oncology fellow at Indiana University, where he also served as chief fellow. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Previously, Blanke held positions with OHSU and Vanderbilt University.


Mitesh J. Borad, MD

Dr. Mitesh J. Borad is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of Phase I Drug Development at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. He obtained his internal medical training at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and completed his medical oncology fellowship at Tulane University School of Medicine. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic, he spent 3 years at the Translational Genomics Research Institute as a Genomics Medicine Scholar. He has been serving on the NCI Hepatobiliary Task Force since 2011. His research and clinical interests are in development of novel treatments for patients with biliary and liver cancers. His team has been engaged in whole genome analysis efforts in cholangiocarcinoma with focus on discovery of novel drug targets and their subsequent implementation in the clinic with the long range goal of providing precision medicine to patients with cholangiocarcinoma.


William C. Chapman, MD, FACS

Dr. Chapman grew up in North Carolina where he attended the University of North Carolina graduating in 1980, and subsequently graduating from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1984. He received his surgical training at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, including a two-year postdoctoral fellowship and completing his Chief Resident Year in 1991. He then completed a fellowship in Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation at King's College Hospital in London, England before returning to the faculty at the Vanderbilt Medical Center in the Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation. In 2002, he was recruited to Washington University as Professor and Chief of the Section of Abdominal Transplantation, and in 2007 he was asked to assume the directorship of the Division of General Surgery in addition to his role as Chief of the Transplant Section.

Dr. Chapman has been an active member in many surgical societies and most recently was the Program Chair of the AHPBA for the 2008-2009 year. He is currently Treasurer for the Western Surgical Association and is on the editorial board of Journal for Surgical Research, Transplantation, Journal of the American College of Surgeons, and Annals of Surgery.

Dr. Chapman's research interests include an active basic science research laboratory investigating ischemia reperfusion injury, especially in the setting of hepatic steatosis and liver transplantation. In addition, he has an active interest in image-guided liver surgery maintaining active funding from National Institute of Health and numerous pharmaceutical-sponsored clinical trials. He is a co-author of over 150 journal articles and fifty book chapters.

Dr. Chapman's clinical interests include liver transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery. He is married with three children and resides in St. Louis, Missouri.


Michael Choti, MD, MBA

Dr. Choti is a graduate of the Yale University School of Medicine and received his surgical training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. After completing his general surgery residency in 1990, Dr. Choti went on for advanced surgical training in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. In 1992, he joined the full-time faculty at Johns Hopkins University.


Laura Dawson, MD

Dr. Dawson is a Full Professor / practicing radiation oncologist in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, University of Toronto. She is an internationally recognized leader in hepatobiliary radiation therapy, and is principal investigator of many clinical trials of radiation therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma.

She has published over 100 scientific papers mostly related to liver cancer radiation therapy, related to hepatic malignancies. She has been a speaker at many international oncology meetings, and she has received numerous grants and honors related to her research in radiation therapy for liver cancer.


Yuman Fong, MD

Dr. Fong is an attending surgeon at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), where he holds the Murray F. Brennan Chair in Surgery. He is a Professor of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Yuman Fong received a BA in medieval literature from Brown University in 1981, and an MD from Cornell University Medical College in 1984. This was followed by surgical training at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center under Dr. G. Thomas Shires, a research fellowship under Dr. Stephen Lowry, and a surgical oncology fellowship with Dr. Murray F. Brennan at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Fong is best known clinically for his extensive work in the field of hepatobiliary surgery––especially for hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer, gallbladder cancer, and cholangiocarcinoma. He has pioneered many surgical, laparoscopic, and ablative therapies for these cancers that occur in over a million people yearly worldwide. Nationally and internationally, he has also participated in and coordinated many studies aimed at understanding, preventing, and treating these cancers. In particular, he is focused on developing low cost and minimally invasive treatments for these cancers that are particularly common in emerging nations.

Dr. Fong leads an active laboratory studying the use of genetically modified viruses for the killing of cancer. He was one of the first investigators to administer engineered viruses into the blood stream of humans for treatment of cancer. He is active at coordinating trials of such novel viruses in international clinical trials. He has co-authored over 600 peer reviewed articles and numerous text books.

He is a member of numerous of scientific and medical societies including the American Surgical Association, Southern Surgical Association, and American Society for Clinical Investigation. He has served on the editorial boards of 14 journals. He has received many honors and awards including the James IV Surgical Traveler, and the Shipley Award from the Southern Surgical Association. He has served on the board of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract and the board of the James IV Society of Surgeons. He has been Chair of the Gastrointestinal Organ Site Committee of the ACS Oncology Group. He is currently Chair of the recombinant DNA advisory committee of the National Institutes of Health.


T. Clark Gamblin, MD, MS

Dr. T. Clark Gamblin is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. Gamblin obtained his BS from Mississippi State University and graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in 1998. Dr. Gamblin then completed his general surgery residency at Mercer University followed by a surgical oncology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. After fellowship he joined the University of Pittsburgh faculty in the Divisions of Transplantation and Surgical Oncology. Shortly after joining the faculty, Dr. Gamblin obtained a Master of Science in clinical research from the University of Pittsburgh. He also obtained NIH funding examining the role of liver cancer stem cells and served as a primary investigator on multiple liver clinical trials focused on hepatocellular carcinoma.

Dr. Gamblin is currently the Chief of Surgical Oncology and an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He holds the inaugural Stuart D. Wilson Chair of Surgical Oncology and leads the Comprehensive Liver Cancer Program at MCW. His clinical interests include primary and metastatic liver cancer with a focus in laparoscopic liver surgery. Dr. Gamblin has spoken often nationally and internationally regarding liver cancer. He has over one hundred peer reviewed publications and has mentored many medical students, residents and fellows. Dr. Gamblin also serves as the Co-Director of the Medical College of Wisconsin Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Fellowship. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Gamblin has a basic science lab interest focused on hepatocellular carcinoma genomics and stem cells.


Jeff Geschwind, MD

Dr. Geschwind is Professor of Radiology, Surgery and Oncology and the Director of the Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the Director of the Interventional Radiology Center at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. A native of France, Dr. Geschwind received his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine in 1991. He completed his residency training as a Research Scholar (sponsored by the NIH) in Diagnostic Radiology at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) in 1996, where his research focused on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Dr. Geschwind completed his training in Vascular and Interventional Radiology at Johns Hopkins and joined the faculty in 1998 as an assistant professor. In 2002, he was appointed Director of the Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology and of the Interventional Radiology Center at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and in 2007 was promoted to Professor of Radiology, Surgery and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. As a Johns Hopkins faculty member, Dr Geschwind has focused his clinical expertise on treating hepatic cancer and other malignancies. He and his colleagues are currently working on a new approach using drugs designed to specifically block tumor metabolism in cancer cells.

This research was partially funded through an RO1 grant to Dr. Geschwind from the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute. In 2008, he received a $1.4 million philanthropic donation to support his research in this field. In 2009, he founded a company based on this technology and has raised $4M towards the goal of starting Phase I clinical trials for liver cancer. Dr. Geschwind and colleagues have also continued to improve current therapies for patients with liver cancer, in particular catheter-based therapies such as chemoembolization and radioembolization. He is considered a key opinion leader in the field of liver cancer and has received numerous foundation, industry and federal grants for his research in the field. Dr. Geschwind was also Principal or Co-Investigator in over 40 clinical trials. A prolific speaker and lecturer on liver cancer, both nationally and internationally, Dr. Geschwind has delivered over 200 keynote speeches at scientific assemblies, annual meetings and symposia. He was visiting Professor at many prestigious institutions throughout the world such as MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Yonsei University and Seoul National University in Seoul, and Chinese University of Hong Kong; and gave the keynote address at many international conferences (India, Israel, Japan, Korea, China, Argentina, England, South Africa). In 2013, he gave the Annual Wilhelm Rontgen Lecture at the European Congress of Radiology in Vienna and the John Doppman Memorial Lecture at the National Institutes of Health. He was also inducted into the Academy of Radiology Research which is the most prestigious research organization in radiology.

Dr. Geschwind has authored or co-authored more than 370 published scientific articles and abstracts on interventional oncology and specifically the treatment of liver cancer. Many of these manuscripts were published in the most prestigious peer-reviewed journals, including Clinical Cancer Research, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Radiology. In the fall of 2008, Dr. Geschwind along with Dr. Michael Soulen co- authored the first book dedicated to interventional oncology titled Interventional Oncology Principles and Practice. Dr. Geschwind has contributed many chapters on interventional oncology to some of the most prestigious books in Oncology and Radiology. He has also co-edited Abrams Angiography: Interventional Radiology with Dr. Michael Dake considered the definitive textbook in Interventional Radiology.

Dr. Geschwind has also won numerous national and international awards, including the Alexander Margulis Society Excellence in Research Award from UCSF in 1995, the Annual Memorial Award from the Association of University Radiologists in 1994 and the Dr. Gary J. Becker Young Investigator Award from the Society of Interventional Radiologists in 2000. In 2001, he was named American Roentgen Ray Society Scholar, which allowed him to pursue a master's program in molecular biology at Johns Hopkins, and he received the Society's 2003 Certificate of Merit. He was also awarded the Merit Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology for pioneering work in the field of drug delivery for liver cancer. More recently, he received the Boston University School of Medicine Alumni Award for his accomplishments. Dr. Geschwind was also inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Society. Dr. Geschwind serves as the Consultant to the Editor of the Journal Radiology, which has long been recognized as the premier radiology journal and is on several Editorial Boards including the main interventional radiology journal Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology. Dr. Geschwind is a Diplomate of the American Board of Radiology. He serves on the Board of Directors for the World Conference on Interventional Oncology and was a member of the Executive Council of the Society of Interventional Radiology, among many other organizations and societies. In 2011, Dr. Geschwind was honored with a "Top Doctor" award from US News and World Report, and he was recognized as one of the "Top Ten Radiologists" in the United States by Medical Imaging Magazine. Dr. Geschwind is also a member of the Advisory Board of various companies including Bayer Healthcare, Genentech, Nordion, BTG, Guerbet and Philips Healthcare. He is a founding member of the International Liver Cancer Association and is an active member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research, the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, the Radiology Society of North America, the Society of Interventional Radiology, the American Roentgen Ray Society, the Association of University Radiologists and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Society of Europe.

 

Gregory Gores, MD

My laboratory-based research program is focused on mechanisms of liver cell death, especially apoptosis. We employ disease relevant models to unravel the fundamental cellular processes contributing to liver injury during cholestasis and ischemic/reperfusion injury. In addition, we are also interested in the mechanisms by which cancer cells escape from cell death in order to undergo malignant transformation and metastases.

Significance of Research

Inhibition of apoptosis is a viable therapeutic strategy for minimizing liver injury during cholestasis, viral, autoimmune, and toxic liver diseases. Selective induction of apoptosis in transformed cells is also a goal for treating advanced hepatobiliary malignancies. Fundamental mechanistic insights into the mechanisms of liver cell apoptosis may help to provide rational pharmacologic approaches for the treatment of inflammatory and malignant hepatobiliary diseases.

Basic Research

  • Role of death receptors in hepatocyte apoptosis
  • Carcinogenesis of biliary epithelia

Clinical Research

I develop and participate in clinical research protocols for the treatment of hepatobiliary neoplasia. Current protocols relate to innovative multidisciplinary efforts in the diagnosis and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma. We also participate in unique single institution and multi-institution treatment protocols for these diseases.

  • Hepatobiliary neoplasia
  • Hepatocellular cancer
  • Cholangiocarcinoma

 

Daniel G. Haller, MD, FACP, FRCP

Dr. Haller joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in 1980.  His chief areas of clinical research are in the management of gastrointestinal malignancies.  He was awarded the Deenie Greitzer Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology Professorship in 2009.  He has been awarded the John Glick Teaching Award and the Clinical Specialist Award of the Year from Penn.

Dr. Haller received his M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.  He completed residency and oncology training at Georgetown University. He then was Head of the Medicine Section of the Clinical Investigations Branch of the National Cancer Institute.  

Dr. Haller also served as the Gastrointestinal Committee Chair for ECOG, and is currently the co-chair emeritus of the US NCI GI Intergroup.  He is a Fellow of ASCO, and has chaired both the Program Committee and the Audit and Finance Committee; he has been awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award from ASCO.  He is also an active member of AACR and ESMO.  In 2013, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.

For 18 years, he was the Associate Editor for Hematology-Oncology of the Annals of Internal Medicine.  From 2001-2011, Dr. Haller served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and is now co-editor of the 3rd Edition of the Oxford Textbook of Oncology.  He was recently named Editor-in-Chief of ASCO University, and is also Editor of Gastrointestinal Cancer Research. He is the author or co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed publications.

 

Renuka Iyer, MD

Dr Iyer is an Associate Professor of Oncology and Co-Director of the Liver and Pancreas Tumor Program and Section Chief for Gastrointestinal Oncology for Roswell Park Cancer Institute.  Dr. Iyer received her MD at the University of Mumbai, Grant Medical College. She completed her residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, Cornell University and her fellowship at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Her areas of expertise include:

  • Bile duct cancer
  • Carcinoid
  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Hepatocellular cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer

She also has special interest in:

  • Developing novel treatments for patients with hepatocellular, pancreaticobiliary and neuroendocrine cancers
  • Studies of novel targeted therapies in a woodchuck model of liver cancer
  • Understanding the mechanism of the anticancer effects of vitamin D

 

Milind Javle, MD

Dr. Javle received his medical degree at Grant Medical College, University of Bombay, in Bombay, India. He then pursued postgraduate training in Internal Medicine at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Buffalo, NY, followed by a clinical fellowship in medical oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY.

He is an Associate Professor of Gastrointestinal (GI) Medical Oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. He has served in the past as Assistant Professor of Medical Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and has been a faculty member at MD Anderson Cancer Center since 2007, in the GI Medical Oncology Division, with research interests in pancreatic and biliary cancers. His research interests include identification of molecular subtypes of pancreatic and biliary cancers and development of novel therapeutics against these cancers.


Tomoaki Kato, MD

Dr. Tomoaki Kato, Professor of Surgery, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center Chief of the Division of Abdominal Organ Transplantation, is a renowned expert in liver and intestinal transplantation and complex abdominal and Hepatobiliary surgeries.

Dr. Kato leads the new program for small bowel and multivisceral transplantation. These rarely performed procedures are reserved for patients with complex abdominal pathologies – primarily short gut syndrome and intestinal dysmotility in children, and mesenteric thrombosis and trauma in adults and ex vivo resection, operating on an organ removed from the patient's body and then returning it to the patient.

Since joining NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia in August 2008, Dr Kato has been leading the institution's liver transplant program, using both deceased and living donor livers. The center has generated some of the strongest outcomes data in the world.

Dr. Kato is a member of numerous professional and honorary organizations, and the author or co-author of more than 180 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.


R. Kate (Katie) Kelley, MD

Dr. Robin K. Kelley is a gastrointestinal oncologist who specializes in hepatobiliary cancers, such as cholangiocarcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and gall bladder cancer, as well as gastrointestinal cancers including gastric cancer, esophageal cancer, colon and rectal cancers, pancreatic cancer, and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Her research focuses on developing clinical trials of novel therapeutic agents and treatment combinations in hepatocellular carcinoma and biliary tract cancers, closely integrated with translational research using tumor specimens from patients to identify novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets in these challenging cancers of the liver. She works closely with colleagues in surgical oncology, hepatology, interventional radiology, radiation oncology, and the liver transplant program at UCSF.

Dr. Kelley was born in Montana and grew up in San Diego, California. She received her undergraduate degree in biochemical sciences from Harvard University in 1997. She then completed her medical training at the UCLA School of Medicine in 2002, followed by residency in Internal Medicine at UCLA from 2002-2005, and chief residency in 2005-2006. She received her fellowship training in Hematology/Oncology at the University of California San Francisco from 2006-2009, joining faculty as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in 2010.

Since 2012, Dr. Kelley has also served as the Executive Officer for the Translational Research Program of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, as part of the National Clinical Trials Network. She has been a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Hepatobiliary Panel since 2010. She was a writing member of the NCCN Task Force on Clinical Utility of Cancer Biomarkers in 2011 and a junior member of the NCI Hepatobiliary Task Force from 2011-2012. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Oncologyand Personalized Medicine in Oncology.

Richard Kim, MD

Dr. Richard Kim is an medical oncologist in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Department at Moffitt Cancer Center. He is an assistant professor of oncology at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Kim received his medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He pursued a post-doctoral fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at Yale University Comprehensive Cancer Center in New Haven, CT.

Dr. Kim's clinical and research interests focus on gastrointestinal tumors, in particular hepatobiliary and colon cancer. He is a principal investigator in multiple investigator-initiated I and II trials using novel targeted agents including several cholangiocarcinoma trials.

Dr. Kim was named 2008 Teacher of the Year at the Cleveland Clinic and selected for the 2008 Southwest Oncology Group Young Investigator Program. In 2012 he was awarded NCCN grant for second line clinical trial in cholangocarcinoma and was recently awarded with Junior Faculty Research Award at Moffitt Cancer Center.

Robin D. Kim, MD

Dr. Kim received his Bachelor of Arts from The Johns Hopkins University and his Doctor of Medicine from Jefferson Medical College. He completed his residency in General Surgery at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine which included a two-year research fellowship in liver regeneration and cancer.

Following his residency, Dr. Kim went on to the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children for his Fellowship in adult and pediatric Multiorgan Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery. Here, he gained expertise in the surgical management of liver, biliary and pancreatic diseases. This training balanced both a transplantation and oncologic approach.

Dr. Kim spent 5 years as faculty at the University of Florida, where he developed a robust practice specializing in surgery for diseases of the liver, biliary tree and the pancreas. Patients needing complex hepatobiliary surgery, including laparoscopic liver resections, were referred to him throughout the Southeast. He was also heavily involved with pediatric and adult transplantation of the liver, kidney and pancreas, and was the Director of pediatric and adult liver transplantation. Dr. Kim's basic science research focused on the cellular mechanisms of liver cancer growth, and his educational activities included being the ASTS Fellowship Director.

Dr. Kim is the new Surgical Director of Liver Transplantation at the University of Utah. His clinical practice will span the University Hospital, the Huntsman Cancer Institute and Primary Children's Medical Center. Through his experience and expertise, Dr. Kim will fortify the University's ability to treat diseases of the liver, biliary tract and pancreas.

Jennifer Knox, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Dr. Knox is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a staff member of the Department of Medical Oncology of The Princess Margaret. She completed a Master's of Science in molecular biology and her medical degree at the University of Toronto. After completing her medical oncology specialty training she completed a fellowship at The Princess Margaret focused on new drug development and clinical trials. Her research interests include clinical and translational research in new drug development, GI and GU malignancies.


Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD, FAC

Dr. Lenz, is the Associate Director for Clinical Research and Co-Leader of the Gastrointestinal Cancers Program at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Lenz is Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine, Section Head of GI Oncology in the Division of Medical Oncology and Co-Director of the Colorectal Center at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

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 USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

An active researcher, Dr. Lenz focuses on topics including the regulation of gene expression involved in drug resistance, patients at high risk of developing colorectal cancer, and determination of carcinogenesis, methods of early detection, and better surveillance of these cancers. He is a member of several professional societies, including the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Gastroenterology Association, and the National Society of Genetic Counselors. He also serves on the National Advisory Board of a number of professional organizations. Dr. Lenz is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and invited papers, reviews, and editorials. He also serves as Co-Chair of the GI Committee and Correlative Science Committee for SWOG. He is a member of the NCI Task Force for Gastroesophageal Cancer, the NCI Steering Committee and the NCI Translational Science Committee. In addition to having an NCI-funded laboratory, he was a recipient of the ASCO Young Investigator Award, the ASCO Career Development Award, and the STOP Cancer Career Development Award. He has been listed in the Best Doctors’ database (www.bestdoctors.com) since 2003.

As Associate Director for Clinical Research, Dr. Lenz oversees the programmatic activities of the Gastrointestinal Cancers, Genitourinary Cancers, Women’s Cancers, and Leukemia and Lymphoma Programs.


Rebecca A. Miksad, MD, MPH

Dr. Miksad received a B.A in economics from Harvard, an MD with honors in research from Cornell University, and an MPH from Harvard. She completed her internal medicine residency at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and her Hematology/Oncology fellowship at BIDMC. She completed the NCI-funded post-doctoral fellowship in the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Program in Cancer Outcomes Research Training (PCORT).

Dr. Miksad's research goal is to improve treatments and outcomes for patients with Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Cancer. She is engaged in translational clinical trial and health services/outcomes research as an Attending Physician in medical oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and as Senior Scientist at the Institute for Technology Assessment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Miksad's research is currently supported by a K23 from the National Cancer Institute.


Bruce D. Minsky, MD

Bruce D. Minsky, MD, is Professor and Deputy Head of the Division of Radiation Oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is also the Director of Clinical Research for the Department of Radiation Oncology and an active clinician and clinical research investigator on the Gastrointestinal Cancer multi-disciplinary team. He holds the Frank T. McGraw Memorial Chair for the Study of Cancer.

He received his medical degree from the University of Massachusetts in 1982. He was a Medical Intern at New England Deaconess Hospital and completed his residency in radiation therapy at the Harvard Joint Center for Radiation Therapy.

Following completion of his residency in 1986 he spent the first 20 years of his career at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a clinician and clinical research investigator in Gastrointestinal Cancer. While at MSKCC, he was also the Vice Chair of Radiation Oncology from 2000-2007 and achieved the rank of Professor of Radiation Oncology at Cornell University in 1999. In 2004, Professor Minsky received a medical degree honoris causa from Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen, Germany in recognition for his work in gastrointestinal cancers. He received the MSKCC Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008.

From 2007 to 2012 he served as a Professor of Radiation and Cellular Oncology and Associate Dean in the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago. During that time he was also the Chief Quality Officer at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Dr. Minsky is an editorial board member of several journals and has given extensive intramural and extramural service to radiation oncology and clinical oncology. This includes serving on the board of directors for both the ASTRO and the ASCO. He was elected as president-elect of ASTRO in 2013.

He has published extensively in the field of Gastrointestinal Cancer and now serves as the co-chair of the NCI Gastrointestinal Steering Committee.


Lewis Roberts, MB, ChB, PhD

Dr. Lewis Roberts is a Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. His research interests include studies of the molecular mechanisms of liver carcinogenesis; development of biomarkers and clinical tests to improve the diagnosis and treatment of liver, bile duct, and pancreas cancers; and improvements in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis and liver cancer throughout the world. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition. Dr. Roberts also serves as President of Africa Partners Medical, a non-profit organization focused on improving healthcare delivery in Africa through medical education, practical skills training, and provision of medical equipment and supplies.


Tushar Patel, MB, ChB

Tushar Patel is Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and a member of the Departments of Transplantation and Cancer Biology at Mayo Clinic Florida. He is a graduate of the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and completed clinical training with specialized training as a clinician-investigator at the Mayo Clinic. His clinical practice in focused on liver transplantation and the multidisciplinary treatment of liver cancers. His laboratory-based research program is focused on basic and translational research in liver cancers, and in particular the molecular mechanisms of cancer formation in the bile ducts. Current research is on identifying basic genetic mechanisms and novel target molecules that could be useful to treat these cancers. Many of the more than 100 original scientific papers that he has published are related to cholangiocarcinoma. Amongst these are the earliest reports of increasing incidences of cholangiocarcinoma which served to increase awareness and stimulated clinical and scientific interest in these cancers. His current studies are supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.


Timothy Pawlik, MD, MPH, PhD

Dr. Pawlik received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Pawlik completed surgical training at the University of Michigan Hospital and spent two years at the Massachusetts General Hospital as a surgical oncology research fellow. He then went on for advanced training in surgical oncology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Dr. Pawlik's main clinical interests include alimentary tract surgery, with a special interest in hepatic, pancreatic and biliary diseases. Dr. Pawlik also has an interest in medical ethics and completed a fellowship in medical ethics at the Harvard School of Public Health as well as a Masters in Theology from Harvard Divinity School in Boston. In addition, Dr. Pawlik has received a PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Clinical Investigations.

Dr. Pawlik took his first faculty appointment at Johns Hopkins in 2005, where he is currently Professor of Surgery and Oncology, as well as the Director of the Johns Hopkins Liver Tumor Clinic. Dr. Pawlik holds the John L. Cameron Chair of Alimentary Tract Diseases and is Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology. Dr. Pawlik has given our 200 invited talks both nationally and internationally in 20 different countries. Dr. Pawlik has published over 250 articles and 30 book chapters, in addition to editing two surgical textbooks. Dr. Pawlik serves on multiple editorial boards and is an Associate Editor for Annals of Surgical Oncology and the Journal of Surgical Research, as well as being the editor-in-chief of the World Journal of Gastroenterology. Dr. Pawlik has served on the executive council of several of the premier surgical associations in the United States. Dr. Pawlik is a member of a number of professional societies including the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association, American Surgical Association, Society of Clinical Surgery, as well as being the current President-elect of the Association for Academic Surgery.


Myron E. Schwartz, MD

Dr. Schwartz graduated from Jefferson Medical College AOA in 1976. After a year of rotating internship he joined the National Health Service Corps for three years as a general practitioner in rural Virginia. Dr. Schwartz came to Mount Sinai in 1981, completed residencies in general and vascular surgery, and joined the faculty in 1987. He worked with Charles Miller, MD to establish the Mount Sinai Liver Transplant Program in 1988, and since then has devoted his career to hepatobiliary surgery and transplantation. Over the years he has served as Director of Pediatric and Adult Liver Transplantation, and more recently has focused on liver cancer. Dr. Schwartz is currently the Clinical Director of the Mount Sinai Liver Cancer Program. Together with Research Director Josep Llovet MD, Dr Schwartz has led the collaborative effort that has put Mount Sinai at the forefront world-wide in liver cancer clinical care and clinical/translational research. Dr Schwartz has been funded by the NIH through a K24 Career Development Award entitled, "Systematic Integration of Patient-Oriented Research into the Clinical Pathway for Hepatocellular Carcinoma". He has published over 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals, as well as 21 book chapters. Dr. Schwartz is an international authority on hepatic resection and transplantation for liver cancer, a subject about which he lectures frequently both in the U.S. and around the world.


Abby Siegel, MD, MS

Dr. Siegel received her B.A. degree in English Literature from Brown University. She graduated A.O.A. from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and received her Internal Medicine training at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center. She completed fellowship training in hematology and oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Center/MGH joint program and at New York Presbyterian Weil-Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Siegel cares for patients with gastrointestinal cancers, with an emphasis on hepatobiliary and colon cancers. She also conducts research in treatment outcomes, and teaches medical students and housestaff on the solid tumor service at Columbia. Dr. Siegel is involved in clinical and translational trials in hepatobiliary malignancies on many levels. She has developed many studies looking at new biologic agents for hepatobiliary cancers, and novel treatment strategies, such as liver transplantation, for cholangiocarcinomas. She is the Co-Chair of the hepatobiliary subcommittee of SWOG (an NCI-sponsored national trials network), and also serves on the NCI Hepatobiliary Task Force helping to develop a broad clinical trials portfolio nationally. She holds an NIH K23 award looking at novel methylation-related biomarkers in liver cancer, and recently received an NIH Team Leadership Award in recognition of her contributions to clinical trials in hepatobiliary oncology.


Weijing Sun, MD

Dr. Sun is professor of medicine, Director of GI Cancer of Hematology-Oncology Division, Co-Director of UPMC Gastrointestinal Cancer Center of Excellence, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

He is focusing on the treatment and clinical research of GI malignances, mainly on the development of new drugs and biologic/targeted oriented agents in treatment/therapy (including translational research) of Gastrointestinal Malignances with great experiences in the early phase clinical trial (phase I, II) designing, protocol development and conduction, and many of these have been published.

He has authored many publications including original clinical research articles, reviews, and invited editorial commends in a variety of peer-reviewed journals. He has also written chapters as a GI oncology expert for several medical textbooks including WebMD, Textbook of Gastroenterology. Has had more than 70 publications. He is serving as a member of editorial boards or review committees for several professional journals, including Clinical Colorectal Cancer, Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer, Disease of the Colon and Rectum, Cancer Biology and Therapy, Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs, Pharmacogenomics, Gastroenterology, Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy, American Journal of Hematology-Oncology, and Oncologist.

As a member of ECOG GI Core Committee, he has a significant role in many ECOG studies’ design, review, and approval processing. As a member of NCI (National Cancer Institute) GI Steering Committee Hapatobiliary Task Force, he serves the national leading assessment and guidance for clinic trial design and approval of hepatobiliary cancers. Dr. Sun has been served as ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) Scientific Program Committee GI (Colorectal and Non-Colorectal Cancer) subcommittees for the meeting organization and scientific guidance. He is invited by ASCO as annual meeting section chairman and speaker/discussant as disease expert frequently. He has been served as PI for many investigate initiated studies and pharmaceutical companies’ trials.  

 He is an active member in the American College of Physicians, the American Medical Association, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research, the Eastern Cooperative Group of Oncology, and the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group.

He has been named as a ‘Top-doctor’ of by Philadelphia magazine, and US News.


Jeffrey C. Weinreb, MD, FACR, FISMRM

Dr. Weinreb is Professor of Diagnostic Radiology at the Yale School of Medicine and Chief of MRI and Director of Medical Imaging at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He is a leading authority on MRI contrast agents and the use of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) for the body, focusing on the liver.

As Chairman of the American College of Radiology Commission on Quality and Safety, Dr. Weinreb spearheaded efforts to improve the quality of medical imaging in the USA. Dr. Weinreb has served as President of the SCBT/MR, President of the New York Roentgen Society, and Vice President of the ACR, and he currently chairs the annual ACR Forum.He has authored/co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 12 book chapters and 3 textbooks on MRI, served on the editorial boards of numerous major medical journals, and he has presented more than 850 invited lectures throughout the world.


Laura Williams Goff, MD

Dr. Goff is a medical oncologist who specializes in gastrointestinal cancers with an emphasis on tumors of the liver and biliary tract. Dr. Goff received her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She went on to complete a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and then moved to Vanderbilt University for fellowship training in Hematology and Oncology. She joined the faculty in the GI Oncology program at Vanderbilt in 2007. Dr. Goff is interested in developing the use of new therapeutics in gastrointestinal malignancies through clinical trials and translational research.


Alan P. Venook, MD

Dr. Alan Venook is Professor of Clinical Medicine and the Madden Family Distinguished Professor of Medical Oncology and Translational Research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Dr. Venook hails from Metuchen, NJ; he received a BA in Biological Sciences from Rutgers College in 1976 (a year in which, as Sports Editor of the Rutgers Daily Targum he also sat courtside for the NCAA Final Four in Philadelphia, PA.)

He received his MD Degree in 1980 from UCSF, completed his internship at UCSF in 1981, then spent two years at an Urban Indian clinic in Sacramento California (to fulfill a commitment to the public Health Service) and then completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California, Davis. He returned to UCSF as a Hematology / Oncology Fellow in 1985, joining the faculty in 1988.

Dr. Venook's initial clinical research projects involved multidisciplinary collaborations with interventional radiologists and surgeons to treat liver tumors via the hepatic artery. His first major publication in 1990 described the UCSF experience with chemoembolization for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and is well known for his clinical research of new modalities to treat both primary and metastatic tumors of the liver. He served as the founding Chair of the National Cancer Institute's Hepatobiliary Task Force from 2006-2010.

The Gastrointestinal Oncology Program was started through a collaboration with surgeon Dr. Robert Warren in 1991 and the program now has ten physicians and physician/scientists in medical oncology. One of two UCSF MD's to become affiliated with the Cancer and Leukemia Group B in 1988, Dr. Venook has chaired and/or authored six major studies within the cooperative groups and he now Chairs the GI Committee of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology (formerly CALGB.) He has also been an Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology since 2009.


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cholangiocarcinoma, or bile-duct (bile duct) cancer, arises from the tissues in the bile duct.