Participating Institutions & Investigators
Academic Thoracic Oncology Medical Investigators Consortium (ATOMIC)
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D. Ross Camidge, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO
D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD is Professor of Medicine/Oncology and holds the Joyce Zeff Chair in Lung Cancer Research at the University of Colorado. Dr. Camidge was educated at Cambridge University (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology), Cambridge, UK – 1992; and Oxford University Medical School, Oxford, UK – 1995. He joined the University of Colorado as a visiting professor in November of 2005, and was recruited as full-time faculty in October of 2007. He is dual-trained in both medical oncology and clinical pharmacology.
Dr. Camidge is the Director of Thoracic Oncology at the University of Colorado. His focus is in Thoracic Malignancies and Developmental Therapeutics (Phase I studies). In 2012 he was announced as the recipient of the Bonnie J. Addario International Lectureship Award as a ‘Luminary in the quest to eradicate lung cancer.’ In 2013 he became the first physician to receive the Hank Baskett Sr. Spirit Award, for which he was credited as being ‘one of the leading minds in lung cancer today.’ In 2014, he was nationally recognized by The Quality of Life Center at Claremont University in California as an ‘Exemplary mentor in the positive development of junior colleagues in the profession.’ In 2015 he became the inaugural holder of the Joyce Zeff Chair in Lung Cancer Research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and, in 2016, the Lung Cancer Foundation presented him with the Breath Away From The Cure Award describing him as ‘Simply one of the best in treating lung cancer today.’
Dr. Camidge is also the National Medical Director of the Academic Thoracic Oncology Medical Investigators Consortium (ATOMIC) and a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Lung Cancer Committee. He has been principal investigator on numerous clinical trials in early phase drug development and thoracic malignancies. He has authored more than 150 articles and reviews in peer-reviewed journals such as Cancer, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of Thoracic Oncology and The New England Journal of Medicine. He has presented his research at multiple national and international scientific meetings.
Dr. Camidge has been principal investigator on numerous clinical trials in early phase drug development and thoracic malignancies. He has authored more than 150 articles and reviews in peer-reviewed journals such as Cancer, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of Thoracic Oncology and The New England Journal of Medicine. He has presented his research at multiple national and international scientific meetings.
The University of Colorado Cancer Center is the Rocky Mountain region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI has given only 40 cancer centers this designation, deeming membership as “the best of the best.” Headquartered on the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, UCCC is a consortium of three state universities (Colorado State University, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Colorado Denver) and six institutions (AMC Cancer Research Center, The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, Denver VA Medical Center, National Jewish Health and University of Colorado Hospital). Together, our 400+ members are working to ease the cancer burden through cancer care, research, education and prevention and control. Learn more at www.ucdenver.edu.
Participating Institutions and Investigators
Charu Aggarwal, M.D., M.P.H. and Melina Marmarelis M.D., MSCE
Abramson Cancer Center, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Aggarwal completed her medical education at Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India, 2003 (MD) and University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2005 (for MPH in Health Care Organization and Policy). Dr. Aggarwal then went on to complete Post-Graduate Training with an Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine at the State University of New York. She completed a Fellowship in Hematology-Oncology at Temple University-Fox Chase Cancer Center, 2008-2011 and was Chief Fellow during 2010-2011. She holds certifications from the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine, 2008; Hematology, 2011; and Medical Oncology, 2011. Her professional memberships include the American Association of Cancer Research, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Melina Marmarelis, MD, MSCE, is an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the Medical Director of the Penn Medicine Mesothelioma and Pleural Disease Program. She specializes in thoracic medical oncology. Her research focuses on early phase clinical trials in lung cancer and mesothelioma, determinants of therapy resistance and sensitivity, and molecular characteristics and testing in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). She is the co-director of the Molecular Tumor Board at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Marmarelis earned her medical degree at Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Hematology/Oncology fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Marmarelis is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania is a world leader in cancer research, patient care, and education. The pre-eminent position of the Cancer Center is reflected in its continuous designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute since 1973, one of 41 such Centers in the United States.
The Abramson Cancer Center is dedicated to innovative and compassionate cancer care. The clinical program, comprised of a dedicated staff of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, nutritionists and patient care coordinators, currently sees over 90,000 outpatient visits, over 11,800 inpatient discharges, and provides over 37,000 chemotherapy treatments, and more than 66,000 radiation treatments.
In addition, the Abramson Cancer Center is home to the 400+ basic, translational and clinical scientists who work relentlessly to determine the pathogenesis of cancer. Together, the faculty are committed to improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Learn more at www.penncancer.org
Collin Blakely, M.D., Ph.D.
University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA
Dr. Collin Blakely is a medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of lung cancer. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Washington and attended the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the Medical Scientist Training Program. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and trained as a clinical fellow in Medical Oncology at UCSF. His research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying lung cancer resistance to EGFR-targeted therapies. His goal is to translate laboratory-based findings into new treatments for lung cancer patients. The primary focus of his research is to translate laboratory-based findings into novel investigator sponsored trials that aim to assess the safety and efficacy of rationally designed targeted therapies for lung cancer patients.
Dr. Blakely received his M.D. in 2007 in Medicine from University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. in 2006 in Cell and Molecular Biology from University of Pennsylvania. He did a Residency in 2009 in Internal Medicine at University of Pennsylvania Health System, and did a Fellowship in 2011 in Medical Oncology at UCSF.
His clinical expertise includes non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer, and his research interests include ALK-rearranged lung cancer, EGFR-mutant lung cancer, mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies and ROS1-rearranged lung cancer.
Dr. Blakely’s Awards & Honors include: Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, 2018-2021; V Scholar Award, V Foundation, 2018-2020; Clinical Scientist Award, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, 2018-2012; AACR BioOncology Fellowship, AACR, 2014-2016
UCSF is recognized as one of the world’s greatest research universities, with a collaborative culture focused on understanding, preventing and treating disease. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UCSF’s four graduate schools – Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy – as well as its graduate programs in basic science, social science and global health – among the top in the world. Training takes place at UCSF Health’s hospitals and clinics, as well as at its partner hospitals – Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno – and numerous clinics throughout Northern California. UCSF scientists are driving revolutions in health, from the discovery that enabled physicians to control the AIDS epidemic to recombinant DNA techniques that laid the groundwork for today’s biotechnology industry. Five UCSF scientists have received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Researchers are on the front line in studying and developing novel treatments for diseases ranging from diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease. UCSF’s pioneering work in multiple sclerosis led to FDA approval of an effective new medication for MS in 2016. Learn more at: www.uscf.edu/about
Jeffrey M. Clarke, M.D. and Thomas E. Stinchcombe, M.D.
Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC
Jeffrey M. Clarke, MD is Assistant Professor of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, and is a Member of Duke Cancer Institute. His education and training include: Internal Medicine Chief Resident, Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine; Hematology and Medical Oncology Fellowship, Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine; Categorical Internal Medicine Residency, Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine. He received his M.D. from Indiana University School of Medicine.
Dr Clarke’s research philosophy: “I realized during a biology class in college that I could use my interest in science to help make a difference in people’s lives. It drove my decision to pursue a career in medicine. I realized early in medical school that I wanted to spend my career trying to understand cancer, how to fight it and caring for patients who have it. As a medical oncologist with Duke Cancer Center, I specialize in cancers of the chest, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Working closely with my patients, getting to know them personally and understanding their values and goals, allows me to develop individualized care and treatment plans for each one. The most rewarding part of my work is developing long term relationships with my patients and their families throughout their cancer journeys. I am motivated and inspired by how my patients live their lives everyday.”
Thomas E. Stinchcombe, MD is Professor of Medicine at the Duke Cancer Institute in the Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology of the Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Stinchcombe is a member for the Thoracic Oncology Program within the Duke Cancer Institute. He received his medical degree from the University of Virginia, School of Medicine in 1995 and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Michigan in 1998. This was followed by a Hematology and Oncology fellowship at the University of North Carolina from 1998-2001. His clinical interest is in thoracic malignancies, and his research focus is clinical trials for non-small-cell and small-cell lung cancer.
Dr. Stinchcombe acts as Associate Editor of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO), the official journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). He is an Editorial Board Member of Clinical Lung Cancer and Lung Cancer and formerly of the Journal of Clinical Oncology and Lancet Respiratory Medicine. Dr. Stinchcombe is a reviewer of various oncology journals and funding societies and he has published hundreds of articles in peer-reviewed journals and authored different specialized book chapters.
The Duke University School of Medicine is a community of scholars devoted to teaching, research and patient care. The School of Medicine incorporates a range of highly regarded, nationally acclaimed health education, biomedical graduate, and certificate and training programs. The school also includes the research efforts of more than 2,100 basic and clinical faculty in 22 departments and 15 centers and institutes. Their combined efforts make Duke one of the largest biomedical research enterprises in the country, with more than $650 million in sponsored research expenditures annually. Duke Health conceptually integrates the Duke University School of Medicine, Duke-NUS Medical School, Duke University School of Nursing, Duke University Health System, Private Diagnostic Clinic (Duke physicians practice), and incorporates the health and health research programs within the Duke Global Health Institute as well as those in schools and centers across Duke University, including the Duke Robert J. Margolis Center for Health Policy. Learn more at: https://corporate.dukehealth.org/who-we-are.
Patrick Forde, M.D.
Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD
Dr. Forde is Assistant Professor of Oncology in the thoracic oncology program at Johns Hopkins. He treats patients with lung cancer, mesothelioma and other thoracic cancers. He completed training in internal medicine and oncology in Ireland prior to undertaking a further fellowship at Johns Hopkins and subsequently becoming a medical oncology faculty member in the Lung Cancer Program. His research focus is in immunotherapy and, in particular, agents called anti-PD-1 antibodies which stimulate the immune system to treat cancer. These agents have shown promise in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer and Dr. Forde has developed a clinical trial of anti-PD-1 for earlier stage lung cancer patients. He is active clinically, treating many patients with thoracic cancers while maintaining an active research portfolio that aims to find new and better treatments for patients dealing with cancer.
Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, is a $7 billion integrated global health enterprise and one of the leading health care systems in the United States. Johns Hopkins Medicine unites physicians and scientists of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with the organizations, health professionals and facilities of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System.
Johns Hopkins Medicine’s vision, “Together, we will deliver the promise of medicine,” is supported by its mission to improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence in medical education, research and clinical care. Diverse and inclusive, Johns Hopkins Medicine educates medical students, scientists, health care professionals and the public; conducts biomedical research; and provides patient-centered medicine to prevent, diagnose and treat human illness.
Johns Hopkins Medicine operates six academic and community hospitals, four suburban health care and surgery centers, and 39 primary and specialty care outpatient sites. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, opened in 1889, has been ranked number one in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 22 years of the survey’s 25-year history, most recently in 2013. For more information, visit http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/about/
Aaron J. Franke, M.D., M.S.
University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL
Aaron Franke, MD, MS is an Assistant Professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at University of Florida. He then completed his fellowship in Hematology & Medical Oncology at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa. Throughout his early career, Dr. Franke has had a great deal of exposure to both the clinical and research realms of thoracic oncology, which is in alignment with his career as a clinician scientist. He’s been fortunate to benefit from a culture of strong mentorship, which is critical to the success of early-stage investigators and trainees.
In his role as Clinical Assistant Professor and Associate Research Leader for the University of Florida Health Cancer Center (UFHCC) Thoracic Cancers Disease Site Group, he is continuously refining his research proficiencies while serving as a PI and co-PI for several industry-sponsored studies, as well as developing novel investigator-initiated trials. On a national stage, Dr. Franke serves on the NCI-NCTN NRG Oncology Lung Cancer Committee, working to facilitate our center’s participation in large oncology cooperative group efforts to expand clinical trial access to promising targeted and immunotherapeutic agents for patients with lung cancer.
As the co-leader of the UFHCC lung cancer research consortia, and active member of several clinical/translational science working groups, Dr. Franke is afforded unrestricted access to collaborators in the University’s interdisciplinary network, including bench discovery, population and quantitative science, bioinformatics, metabolomics and the UF cancer genomics institute. Leveraging these resources when designing and carrying out prospective studies will create infinite opportunities to capitalize on these innovative collaborative efforts to successfully foster his focus on biomarker-driven precision oncology and novel developmental therapeutics.
Institutional Planning and Research (IPR) provides evidence-based analyses and reports that inform and shape institutional planning at the University of Florida. The office provides timely, accurate, consistent, and vital information about the university, peer institutions, and higher education. IPR conducts research needed by university decision-makers, publishes reports on the performance of the institution, creates data visualizations, and participates in national studies. The office integrates and interprets data from internal and external sources, builds new applications to expand access to data, and advocates for data quality and integrity.
Institutional Planning and Research envisions the University of Florida as an institution whose plans, policies, and decisions are informed by a rich core of valid institutional data and a sophisticated understanding of the meaning of those data. The national and international image of the University of Florida is enhanced by presentation and reporting of data that document accurately its excellence and performance. Learn more at: https://ir.aa.ufl.edu
David Gerber, M.D. and Jonathan Dowell, M.D.
UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
David Gerber, M.D., is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine within the Hematology/Oncology Division at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Co-Director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program.
He graduated cum laude from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and earned his medical degree at Cornell University Medical College in New York.
He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at UT Southwestern, followed by a fellowship in medical oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
Dr. Gerber is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology, and he holds medical licenses in both Texas and Maryland.
He is active in research related to lung cancer, including clinical trials. His research has generated more than 100 publications that he has authored or co-authored, including articles, abstracts, book chapters, book reviews, and invited manuscripts. His studies have contributed to invitations to lecture both nationally and internationally.
Dr. Jonathan Dowell completed his medical school education at the University of Chicago and received his internal medicine training at UT Southwestern. He then pursued his fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at Vanderbilt University, where he received extensive mentorship in thoracic malignancies from leaders in that field. Following fellowship, given his affinity for the clinical, research, and teaching environment at UT Southwestern, Dr. Dowell returned to join the faculty. Dr. Dowell specializes primarily in thoracic malignancies, including but not limited to non-small cell and small cell lung cancers, mesothelioma, and thymoma. He is also an active investigator in the clinical research program for these cancers at UT Southwestern. Dr. Dowell’s approach is to educate patients and their families about their illness so that they can make informed treatment decisions. In addition, Dr. Dowell is devoted to medical education. In 2018, he was named a Super Doctor by Texas Monthly.
The story of UT Southwestern Medical Center is one of commitment to excellence, dedication to discovery, and service to the community. It’s also a story of phenomenal growth, fueled by exceptional people with an extraordinary vision: to establish an academic medical center second to none.
Since its formation in 1943, Southwestern Medical School has grown from a small wartime medical college into UT Southwestern Medical Center, a multifaceted academic institution nationally recognized for its excellence in educating physicians, biomedical scientists, and health care personnel. The faculty also includes six Nobel Laureates, four of whom are active faculty members, 21 members of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, and 19 members of the Institute of Medicine, a component of the NAS. UT Southwestern’s faculty and residents annually provide care to more than 90,000 hospitalized patients and oversee nearly 2 million outpatient visits. Learn more at http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/about-us/mission-history/index.html
Wade Iams, M.D.
Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) is a leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The center’s world-renowned team of experts provides an integrated, personalized and patient-centered approach to cancer care, including treatment, research, support, education and outreach. From a wide variety of wellness programs to a leading REACH for Survivorship Clinic, patients find support from diagnosis through survivorship. VICC is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of just two centers in Tennessee and 41 in the country to earn this highest distinction, and ranks in the top 10 nationwide for cancer research grant support.
Built on a long-standing legacy that includes the work of Nobel laureates Stanley Cohen and Earl Sutherland, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center is focused on improving outcomes for all individuals diagnosed with cancer through collaboration and scientific innovation. Our work includes basic, translational and population-based research, cancer prevention and control, precision cancer treatment and breakthrough clinical trials, as well as community outreach, education and service. Learn more at www.vicc.org
Natasha Leighl, M.D.
Princess Margaret Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada
Natasha Leighl is a medical oncologist at the Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Canada, and Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. After receiving her MD from the University of Toronto, Dr Leighl completed residencies in internal medicine at the University of Calgary and in medical oncology at the University of Toronto. She subsequently completed a Fellowship in Thoracic Oncology with Dr Frances Shepherd at the Princess Margaret Hospital, a Fellowship in Clinical Oncology with Professor Martin Tattersall at the University of Sydney, Australia, and received her MMSc in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Dr Leighl’s main interest is in developing new treatments in lung cancer. She is a member of the Lung Disease Site Executive and Past-Chair Committee on Economic Analysis in the NCIC Clinical Trials Group. Dr Leighl is currently Web Editor of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, Section Co-Editor of The Oncologist and Current Oncology and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. She has served on several committees including as Lung Track Leader for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Cancer Education Committee, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Medical Oncology Examination Board and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) Career Development and Continuing Education Committees. She was past President of Lung Cancer Canada. She has recently been awarded the OSI Pharmaceuticals Foundation Chair in Cancer New Drug Development at the University Health Network, University of Toronto and is a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is one of the top 5 cancer centres in the world and the lung group is internationally recognized as a leader in clinical and translational research and lung cancer care. They have 12 site groups and 26 specialty clinics, and more than 3,000 staff who see over 400,000 patient visits every year. 850,000 square feet of clinical space house 202 inpatient beds, 16 linear accelerators, a state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance-guided Radiation Therapy (MRgRT) suite, and two Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion units, making it one of the largest comprehensive cancer treatment facilities in the world and the largest radiation treatment centre in Canada. Princess Margaret CC sees over 1,000 patients every day and has the capacity to deliver diagnostic, treatment, and follow-up care to close to 200,000 patients and their families every year. Through ongoing research, education and innovation, with more than 80 lung-cancer related trials annually, Princess Margaret CC continues to be on the frontiers of medical, surgical and radiation oncology, embracing the latest technology and international best-practices and setting standards for patient care. Learn more at: PMH/UHN
Stephen V. Liu, M.D.
Georgetown University Hospital Cancer Center, Washington DC
Dr. Stephen V. Liu, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of Thoracic Oncology and Director of Developmental Therapeutics at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center of Georgetown University.
Dr. Liu graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a major in Biology and a minor in Film and Media Studies, before receiving his M.D. at the University of Maryland. He completed his Internal Medicine training at the University of Pennsylvania and a fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the University of Southern California, after which he received further specialized training in genomic medicine at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) under Dr. Daniel Von Hoff. He is a board-certified medical oncologist with expertise in thoracic malignancies including lung cancer, thymic malignancies and mesothelioma.
Dr. Liu has a research focus on the development of novel therapeutic agents and innovative combinations for the treatment of advanced thoracic malignancies. He is Director of Thoracic Oncology at Georgetown University and Head of the Developmental Therapeutics group at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. His work has been published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of Thoracic Oncology, Lancet Oncology, and Cancer Discovery. He is actively involved in post-graduate education and has been awarded multiple teaching awards for his efforts. In addition to leading national and global clinical trials for the treatment of lung cancer, Dr. Liu has also served as the Chief Editor for Frontiers in Thoracic Oncology since 2014.
Jorge Nieva, M.D.
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Jorge Nieva is a medical oncologist specializing in lung and head and neck cancer at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center of Keck Medicine of USC.
Dr. Nieva graduated from the University of California, Irvine College of Medicine in 1997, trained in internal medicine at University of California, San Diego and in oncology and hematology at the Scripps Clinic. In 2003 he joined the faculty of the Scripps Research Institute and the medical staff of the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, CA. While at Scripps, Dr. Nieva pioneered new technology for the detection of cancer cells in the peripheral blood and discoveries related to the fundamental mechanisms of the immune system.
He was recruited to the Billings Clinic in Montana in 2007 where he served as department chair and was a program leader who established the multidisciplinary lung cancer and head/neck cancer clinics at the cancer center. While in Billings, Dr. Nieva led efforts to establish a research program in virus-delivered cancer gene therapy and immunotherapy. His teams were awarded certificates for excellence in the conduct of cancer clinical trials from the National Cancer Institute and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Nieva returned to California, joining the faculty of the Keck School of Medicine in 2014.
Dr. Nieva leads thoracic medical oncology efforts at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. He is a member of the Translational and Clinical Sciences Program at the Norris Cancer Center and the disease site head for Thoracic and Head & Neck Malignancies. His research focuses on host related biomarkers as predictors of cancer outcomes and is the principal investigator for the Cancer Moonshot program ATOM-HP which seeks to quantify the physical fitness of cancer patients undergoing cancer treatments. Dr. Nieva also serves as chairman of the Data and Safety Monitoring Committee for the Norris Cancer Center.
The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, located in Los Angeles, is a major regional and national resource for cancer research, treatment, prevention and education. More than 200 basic and population scientists, physicians from the faculty of the Keck School of Medicine of USC and several USC professional schools/departments and the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences who are members of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center investigate the complex origins and progression of cancer, develop prevention strategies and search for cures. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has designated the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center as one of the nation’s 41 comprehensive cancer centers, a select group of institutions providing leadership in cancer treatment, research, prevention and education. USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has held this designation since 1973, when it was named as one of the first eight comprehensive cancer centers. Learn more at uscnorriscancer.usc.edu.
Liza C. Villaruz, M.D.
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA
Liza C. Villaruz, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology. She is board-certified in internal medicine, medical oncology and hematology. Dr. Villaruz’s clinical expertise and research focuses on the evaluation and management of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. As an active member of the Lung and Thoracic Malignancies Program and the University of Pittsburgh’s Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in lung cancer, Dr. Villaruz actively accrues and is the principal investigator of several ongoing clinical trials at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute evaluating novel therapeutic approaches to the treatment of lung cancer. Her research focuses on delineating the clinical behavior of novel molecular subtypes of lung cancer, and the study of novel targeted agents for the treatment of these lung cancer molecular subtypes.
Dr. Villaruz has been awarded the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award for her work on the role of microRNAs as biomarkers of chemotherapy resistance in metastatic melanoma. Dr. Villaruz received an undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Notre Dame, in Notre Dame, IN, and a medical degree at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, in Baltimore, MD. She completed her residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Villaruz is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and is an invited reviewer for medical journals such as Lung Cancer and Oncology Research. Her areas of specialization/research interests include Lung Cancer , Novel Therapies in Lung Cancer, Clinical Trials in Lung Cancer.
Her education and training include a BS from University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, 2001; MD from, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 2005, with her residency in Internal Medicine at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 2008, and a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 2011.
Jared Weiss, M.D. and Shetal Patel, M.D., Ph.D.
UNC Lineberger Cancer Center, Chapel Hill, NC
Dr. Jared Weiss is an assistant professor of medicine for hematology/oncology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, NC. Dr Weiss received his B.S. in neuroscience at Brown University in Providence, RI; his Doctor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT; his residency in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA; and his fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and oncology. Dr. Weiss is an active clinical investigator in thoracic and head/neck cancers. He volunteers and advocates with the Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina and serves on their board of directors. He is Vice President of cancergrace.org and serves on the executive board of the Lung Cancer Initiate of North Carolina. He is the section chief of thoracic oncology at the University of North Carolina.
Dr. Patel is a thoracic and head/neck medical oncologist with a particular interest in clinical and translational research in immune and targeted therapy. She is an assistant professor of medicine, lung cancer clinical research group (POD) leader at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, NC. Dr. Patel completed her degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, studying cancer biology in the laboratory. After completing her Internal Medicine residency at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, she returned to the University of Pennsylvania to compete fellowship training in medical oncology. Her Ph.D. is from University of Pennsylvania in Cell and Molecular Biology, with Certifications in Internal Medicine-Medical Oncology, Board Eligible. She is a member of the UNC Molecular Tumor Board, ASCO TAPUR Molecular Tumor Board, ALLIANCE Immuno-Oncology Committee, and NCI Head and Neck Steering Committee – Rare Tumors Task Force.
One of the leading cancer centers in the nation, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As one of only 41 National Cancer Institutes, UNC Lineberger was rated as exceptional – the highest category – by the National Cancer Institute. The center brings together some of the most exceptional physicians and scientists in the country to investigate and improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer. With research that spans the spectrum from the laboratory to the bedside to the community, UNC Lineberger faculty work to understand the causes of cancer at the genetic and environmental levels, to conduct groundbreaking laboratory research, and to translate findings into pioneering and innovative clinical trials. Learn more at www.unclineberger.org