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Participating Institutions & Investigators

Academic Urology Research Investigators Consortium (AURIC)

AURIC Director

Thomas Flaig, MD

Thomas Flaig, MD, was appointed vice chancellor for research for the CU Denver and CU Anschutz Medical Campus in March of 2020. A medical oncologist, Dr. Flaig has been part of CU since 2003, when he arrived as an oncology fellow. In 2016, he became the inaugural chief clinical research officer of UCHealth and associate dean for clinical research at the CU School of Medicine. In this role, he led numerous efforts to create the infrastructure and streamline the processes to provide an efficient and attractive environment for conducting research on our campuses, and to coordinate research activities with the university’s clinical partners.

Dr. Flaig has provided leadership for the expansion of systemwide clinical trial activity at UCHealth and the ongoing implementation of OnCore campuswide. A comprehensive clinical trial management system, OnCore has greatly improved and modernized the management approach to the more than 1,000 clinical research projects on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.

In addition to his clinical and administrative work, Dr. Flaig has significant clinical and translational research experience, having led both local and national multi-center clinical trials and served as the local principal investigator on a large number of Phase I, II and III studies. He previously served as medical director of the clinical trials office and associate director of clinical research at the CU Cancer Center.

Known nationally for his work on bladder cancer, Dr. Flaig has been a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Investigational Drug Steering Committee and the bladder cancer task force. He also serves as chair of the bladder cancer committee for the National Comprehensive Care Network, which publishes internationally recognized treatment guidelines, updated regularly with new research findings. He has personal experience with the translation of lab discoveries to the clinic, having founded a small business to advance work done in his lab and associated patents.

About University of Colorado Cancer Center

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is the Rocky Mountain region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI has given only 40 cancer centers this designation, deeming membership as “the best of the best.” Headquartered on the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, UCCC is a consortium of three state universities (Colorado State University, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Colorado Denver) and six institutions (AMC Cancer Research Center, The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, Denver VA Medical Center, National Jewish Health and University of Colorado Hospital). Together, our 400+ members are working to ease the cancer burden through cancer care, research, education and prevention and control. Learn more at

Participating Institutions and Investigators

Neeraj Agarwal, MD

Dr. Neeraj Agarwal is a Professor of Medicine, and a Presidential Endowed Chair of Cancer Research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), University of Utah. He also directs the Genitourinary Oncology (GU) Program, and the Center of Investigational Therapeutics (CIT) at the HCI.

He is an internationally recognized physician scientist in the field of genitourinary cancers. He is the overall study chair of multiple Phase I/II and Phase III trials and serves as a steering committee member of numerous other trials. Dr. Agarwal has received SWOG Young Investigator Award, the William D. Odell Young Investigator Award, and a National Cancer Institute Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award. After receiving his medical training at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, he completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in geriatric medicine at the University of Iowa, followed by a hematology-oncology fellowship at HCI.

Dr. Agarwal has authored more than 350 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He serves as a panel member for the NCCN guideline committees for bladder and kidney cancers. He is an advisor to the Oncology Drug Advisory Committee and the United States Food and Drug Administration and leads early therapeutics in the SWOG genitourinary cancers committee. He holds numerous scientific communications leadership roles, including chief editor of the ASCO Daily News, specialty editor for ASCO’s site, and editorial board member of several journals, including Journal of Clinical Oncology and European Urology. He also serves as a member of the ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Advisory Panel. Recently, Dr. Agarwal was appointed as the Senior Director for Clinical Research Innovation, directly reporting to the cancer center director at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

About the Huntsman Cancer Center

Huntsman Cancer Institute’s mission is to understand cancer from its beginnings, to use that knowledge in the creation and improvement of cancer treatments, to relieve the suffering of cancer patients, and to provide education about cancer risk, prevention, and care. Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah is a nationally recognized research center and treatment hospital in Salt Lake City. We serve patients with all types of cancer, who come from throughout the Mountain West, including Utah and parts of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming. Our doctors and scientists include world-renowned experts dedicated to the highest quality standards and driven by the commitment to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. Learn more at:

Maria Bourlon, MD

Dr. Bourlon is a surgeon who graduated from the Universidad Panamericana. She specialized in Internal Medicine from 2008 to 2012 and Medical Oncology from 2012 to 2015 at the Salvador Zubirán National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition (INCMNSZ). Dr Bourlon obtained a fellowship in Urology Oncology from the University of Colorado, in the United States. DR Bourlon receive a Master’s degree in Medical Sciences from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2017. Currently, a member of the National System of Researchers, a physician assigned to the Department of Hematology and Oncology of the INCMNSZ, as well as in charge of the Uro-Oncology Clinic of the Institute. She is the author of multiple articles, mainly in the area of genitourinary tumors.

About The National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zubirán

The National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zubirán (INCMNSZ) is one of the National Institutes of Health with the greatest medical and scientific prestige in Mexico. Dr. Fernando Gabilondo Navarro, current director of the Institution, described its foundation in this way, in the commemorative memory of the 60th anniversary of the Institute “October 12, 1946 was an important day in the history of medicine in Mexico, since very early the doors of the Hospital for Nutritional Diseases were opened to receive a large number of patients in an avant-garde institution, conceived by one of the visionary geniuses of modern medical science, Master Salvador Zubirán Anchondo”.

Mitchell Gross, MD

Dr. Mitchell Gross is the Senior Director, Clinical Translation Program at the Ellison Institute and an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. His overall research interest focuses on applying modern techniques relating to the study of genes and proteins (genomics and proteomics) to the clinical problems faced in treating patients with prostate cancer. A particular interest relates to the androgen receptor and relating proteins and pathways as key driving forces behind the development and treatment of prostate cancer. As a medical oncologist, his clinical activities are focused on therapeutic clinical trials incorporating both molecularly targeted and conventional therapies to the care of patients with prostate cancer. He serves as primary investigator on many multi-center phase I and II clinical trials. 

Dr. Gross has earned degrees from the University of California, San Diego (BA), Baylor College of Medicine in Houston (MD), and the University of California, Los Angeles (PhD in Molecular Biology). He completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at the UCLA Center for the Health Sciences.

Matthew I. Milowsky, M.D.

Matthew I. Milowsky, M.D. is The George Gabriel and Frances Gable Villere Distinguished Professor of Bladder and Genitourinary Cancer Research, Vice Chief for Research and Section Chief of the Genitourinary Oncology Service. in the Division of Oncology at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. He also serves as a Program Leader for Clinical Research and Co-Director of the Urologic Oncology Program at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Milowsky is a medical oncologist and clinical and translational researcher. His clinical interest is in the treatment of patients with genitourinary cancers with a focus on the care of patients with advanced bladder cancer. His research involves the development of novel therapies for patients with urologic cancers with a particular interest in the design of clinical trials that utilize immunotherapy as well as those that use an integrated genomics approach to characterize urothelial cancers for genetic alterations that may represent targets for novel agents. He chairs the BCAN Bladder Cancer Genomics Consortium (BCGC) and serves as Principal Investigator for BCAN’s Urothelial Cancer-GENOmic Analysis to iMprove Patient Outcomes and rEsearch study (UC-GENOME), a large-scale genomically-driven bladder cancer study in partnership with eight academic medical centers recognized for their expertise in bladder cancer to foster collaborative translational research to better understand the biology of bladder cancer and develop new therapies.

About the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center

One of the leading cancer centers in the nation, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As one of only 41 National Cancer Institutes, UNC Lineberger was rated as exceptional – the highest category – by the National Cancer Institute. The center brings together some of the most exceptional physicians and scientists in the country to investigate and improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer. With research that spans the spectrum from the laboratory to the bedside to the community, UNC Lineberger faculty work to understand the causes of cancer at the genetic and environmental levels, to conduct groundbreaking laboratory research, and to translate findings into pioneering and innovative clinical trials. Learn more at

Melissa Reimers, MDDr. Melissa Andrea Reimers, MD is a board-certified medical oncologist specializing in genitourinary oncology. Dr. Reimers has 10 years of experience, and her specialties include Internal Medicine, Oncology. Her research interests are in clinical trial development with a focus on advanced prostate cancer and bladder cancer, kidney cancer, chemotherapy and immunotherapy incorporating precision medicine into clinical trial design. 

Dr. Reimers received her Medical Degree from St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO. She did her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill and her Fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Dr. Reimers is currently Assistant Professor, Medicine Division of Medical Oncology at Washington University in St Louis.

About Washington University (in St. Louis)

Washington University oncologists at the Siteman Cancer Center devote their efforts to preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer.

  • Medical oncologists treat patients with medications, including chemotherapy, in outpatient and inpatient settings for nearly all types of cancers.
  • Bone marrow transplant specialists provide the most advanced treatment for patients suffering from leukemia, lymphoma and aplastic anemia.

Many of our oncologists have been named among the Best Doctors in America. Our multidisciplinary team of oncologists, along with our nurses and caregivers, have the expertise and experience you or your loved one will need during every phase of cancer treatment.  

The Washington University Advantage:  An added value of cancer treatment at Washington University is the possibility of enrollment in clinical trials. Patients may participate in new treatment protocols of several national and regional multidisciplinary cooperative oncology groups, institutional multidisciplinary therapeutic protocols and studies with investigational agents sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.

Sarmad Sadeghi, MD

Dr. Sarmad Sadeghi earned his medical degree at Tehran University of Medical Sciences. He has a Master of Science degree (MS) in Health Information Sciences and a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) in Public Health Management and Policy Sciences from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston.

He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He completed his hematology/oncology fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute. Dr. Sadeghi joined the faculty at the division of oncology of University of Southern California in 2013 and has a clinical and research focus in genitourinary malignancies, specifically bladder, kidney and prostate cancers.

Dr. Sadeghi is the study chair and principal investigator of a number of multicenter clinical trials and is also an active member of SWOG cooperative group and the California Cancer Consortium. Dr. Sadeghi is well published with several original articles and abstracts in peer reviewed journals and international meetings.

About USC Norris Comprehensive 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

Umang Swami, MD

Umang Swami is an Assistant Professor in Department of Oncology at Huntsman Cancer Institute with a focus on genitourinary cancers. He completed his Medical School from Sawai Man Singh Medical College, India. Thereafter he worked as a Visiting Scientist at Montefiore-Einstein Cancer Center, NY and collaborated on phase I studies of novel drugs and regimens for patients with refractory or advanced solid tumors. He did his residency training in Internal Medicine at St. Barnabas Hospital, NY, Hematology-Oncology fellowship from University of Iowa and completed MS in Clinical Investigations from College of Public Health at University of Iowa.

He has published more than 60 articles in peer reviewed journals and has presented his research at various international conferences including ASCO, AACR and ASBMT. He is a reviewer and editor of multiple journals and member of various professional societies like ASCO, AACR, ASH and ACP. He serves on the ASCO guideline panels for systemic therapy in melanoma, management of immune-related adverse events and Multi-Site Guideline Advisory Group. He is a current member of Institutional Review Board at University of Utah. He was also a member of transfusion subcommittee and Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center Career Enhancement Advisory Committee at University of Iowa. He has mentored medical students, residents and fellows interested in oncology research.

About the Huntsman Cancer Center

Huntsman Cancer Institute’s mission is to understand cancer from its beginnings, to use that knowledge in the creation and improvement of cancer treatments, to relieve the suffering of cancer patients, and to provide education about cancer risk, prevention, and care. Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah is a nationally recognized research center and treatment hospital in Salt Lake City. We serve patients with all types of cancer, who come from throughout the Mountain West, including Utah and parts of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming. Our doctors and scientists include world-renowned experts dedicated to the highest quality standards and driven by the commitment to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. Learn more at:

Elizabeth M Wulff-Burchfield, MD

Dr. Wulff-Burchfield is an assistant professor of medicine in the divisions of medical oncology and palliative medicine at the University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City, Kansas.

Dr. Wulff-Burchfield attended Duke University School of Medicine and earned her Doctorate of Medicine in 2010. Dr. Wulff-Burchfield then completed her internship and residency in internal medicine and her fellowships in medical oncology and hospice and palliative medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. Following completion of her training, she joined the faculty at the University of Kansas, where her areas of specialization are in genitourinary medical oncology and outpatient palliative medicine for patients with cancer.

Dr. Wulff-Burchfield has separate oncology and palliative care practices. In her oncology practice, she treats bladder, kidney, prostate, and testicular cancer using the most innovative therapies and technologies, including clinical trials. She collaborates closely with colleagues in urologic oncology and radiation oncology in order to create a data-driven and patient-centered treatment plan. In her palliative care practice, she treats patients with any cancer diagnosis, helping support them and promote a good quality of life while they are going through cancer treatment.

About the University of Kansas Cancer Center

The University of Kansas Cancer Center is transforming cancer research and clinical care by linking an innovative approach to drug discovery, delivery and development to a nationally-accredited patient care program. The partnership includes cancer research and healthcare professionals associated with the University of Kansas Medical Center and The University of Kansas Health System; the University of Kansas, Lawrence; The Stowers Institute for Medical Research; Children’s Mercy Hospital; and in partnership with members of the Midwest Cancer Alliance. Learn more at: