Fighting a Smarter War Against Cancer:
Personalized Medicine & the Cure for Cancer

February 17, 2010 | 2-6:30pm

A symposium for medical professionals, researchers and patient advocates

About | Agenda | Schafer Lecture | Speakers | Listen to Podcasts


Speaker Biographies

Carolyn "Bo" Aldigé

» Listen to podcast

Carolyn "Bo" Aldigé President & Founder, Prevent Cancer Foundation

Carolyn R. (“Bo”) Aldigé is president of the Prevent Cancer Foundation (formerly the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation), a national non-profit organization she founded in 1985 in memory of her father, Edward P. Richardson, who died of cancer one year earlier. In the 24 years since its inception, Prevent Cancer has provided more than $113 million in support of its mission: cancer prevention and early detection through research, education, community–based programs and advocacy, and has become nationally recognized as a leader in the fight against cancer through prevention.

Aldigé is a member of the board of the National Coalition for Cancer Research, having served for eight years as its president. She also serves on boards of directors/advisors of seven National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Centers and as a member of the board of four additional non-profit cancer-related organizations. She has been a member of C–Change (formerly the National Dialogue on Cancer) since its inception. She serves on several key committees of this organization, as well as committees and task forces of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Preventive Oncology, the Southwest Oncology Group and the Coalition for a Stronger FDA. She is vice-chairman of the Global Lung Cancer Coalition and a member of the steering committees of the International Digestive Cancer Alliance.

For her many contributions to the Washington, DC community, Aldigé was named a Washingtonian of the Year 1996. She is the only individual who has received Public Service Awards from the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of Preventive Oncology. She has been honored by numerous non-profit organizations and cancer centers, as well as the National Cancer Institute.

Milton Brown, MD, PhD

» Listen to podcast

Milton Brown, MD, PhD Director, Drug Discovery Program, Georgetown University Medical Center

Milton L. Brown, MD, PhD, a well–known medicinal chemist, holds the Edwin H. Richard and Elisabeth Richard von Matsch Endowed Chair in Experimental Therapeutics at Georgetown University Medical Center. An experienced leader in establishing academic drug discovery centers, Brown received his PhD in synthetic chemistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, followed by an MD at the University of Virginia. As director of the Drug Discovery Program (DDP) at Georgetown University Medical Center he is positioned at the interface of chemistry and medicine to help facilitate the translation of basic science into new medical therapies. The DDP is currently involved in more than 20 drug discovery and development projects, in collaboration with investigators at Georgetown and other institutions.

Under Brown’s leadership, the DDP was selected as a Chemical Diversity Center in the National Cancer Institute’s Chemical Biology Program. He served as a member of both the Experimental Therapeutics and the Drug Discovery and Molecular Pharmacology study sections at NIH (2001–2006) and in the 2006 Breast Cancer Experimental Therapeutics study section at the Department of Defense. He also served for two years as an elected member of the medicinal chemistry long–range planning committee for the American Chemical Society.

Albert J. Fornace, Jr, MD

» Listen to podcast

Albert J. Fornace, Jr, MD Al Fornace, MD, Molecular Cancer Research Chair, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Albert J. Fornace, Jr, MD was recruited to the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center three years ago and holds the Molecular Cancer Research Chair. He is an internationally recognized expert in growth control mechanisms mediated by tumor suppressors and is in the top 1% of cited authors in the life sciences ( He has also been ranked in the top 30 cell-cycle researchers ( ). He holds seven patents which are primarily for cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. A major focus of his recent research is the metabolomics of stress response.

At the NIH and later at Harvard and Georgetown, Fornace has been a leader in the stress signaling field and the key roles for some of these signaling pathways in cancer prevention as well as their perturbations that contribute to tumor development. He has in-depth experience in the mechanisms of action of cancer therapeutics including 10 years in NCI’s Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology. He also has six years experience in experimental radiotherapy, radiobiology, and chemosensitizers for radiation therapy while in the Dept of Radiation Oncology at NCI, as well as six years experience in radiobiology and cancer biology at Harvard.

Fornace was a key contributor to the development of molecular markers for chemosensitivity and chemoresistance in the tumor cell lines of the NCI Anti–Cancer Drug Screen (NCI60) panel, while at the NCI. His cancer cell signaling studies now include global approaches including functional genomics and recently metabolomics. At Harvard he was the Director of the John B. Little for the Radiation Sciences and Environmental Health. He is a full member of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and was also a full member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Harvard NIEHS Center for Environmental Health.

Gilad Gordon, MD, MBA

» Listen to podcast

Gilad S. Gordon President, ORRA Group

Gilad S. Gordon, MD, MBA, a world–recognized expert in health economics and quality of life assessments, heads the ORRA Group, LLC. He holds an AB in Biochemistry from Harvard, an MD from the Health Sciences Technology program at Harvard Medical School and MIT, and an MBA from the University of Washington. He completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1986 and was a Senior Fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Washington from 1986 to 1988.

Gordon’s career began at the Eli Lilly Company where he developed new methodologies for undertaking cost–effectiveness and quality of life research during clinical trials and was also involved in the development of various new drugs for cancer, infectious disease, and mental disease. He then moved to Colorado to work at Synergen, a bio–technology company developing drugs for sepsis and inflammation. He then spent four years working with clinical information systems and medical software designing and utilizing the systems to better understand and improve health care provision.

Since 1998, Gordon has focused his work on the clinical development of new chemical entities and was most recently Vice President of Medical Affairs for FeRx, Inc. Over the past 6 years, Gordon has been serving as a consultant to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry helping small–to medium–sized organizations and universities design innovative clinical programs, obtain funding for the programs, manage the clinical programs, and gain regulatory approval for their new drugs. His major focus has been in oncology, hepatology and immunology. He has held academic medicine appointments in the Department of Medicine at the University of Indiana Medical School from 1988 to 1992 and is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. In addition, Gordon, has recently been working with various senators and congressmen on the health care reform proposals and frequently lectures on these topics.

Hartmut Juhl, MD

» Listen to podcast

Hartmut Juhl Founder & CEO, Indivumed, GmBH

Hartmut Juhl, MD, is CEO of Indivumed GmbH and its subsidiary Indivumed Inc. and Inostics GmbH. Born in Hamburg, Germany, he attended Medical School at Hamburg University and received his MD in 1986. Juhl trained in General Surgery and worked as a surgical oncologist at the Department of Surgery of the Christian-Albrechts University Hospital in Kiel from 1992 until 1998. From 1992 to 1998 he was also Head of the Cancer Research Unit at the Department of Surgery at the Hospital. His research focused on detection of minimal residual disease by immunohistochemical and PCR–approaches as well as antibody-directed therapy of GI-tract cancer.

In 1996 he received his “Habilitation” (PhD–equivalent) and became Assistant Professor at Christian–Albrechts–University in Kiel. In 1998 he ended his surgical duties to become a full-time scientist and Associate Professor at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University in Washington DC. With 15 years of experience in surgery and research he became extremely familiar with all aspects, practical problems and scientific needs of biobanking and collection of tissue for diagnostic purposes.

In 2002, he founded Indivumed, GmbH in Hamburg, Germany – a company focused on promotion and development of individualized cancer therapies based on a unique clinical database and tissue collection from cancer patients. Indivumed has a subsidiary, Indivumed Inc., in the Washington DC area which is also focused on tissue and data collection. A second subsidiary of Indivumed, Inostics GmbH, was founded in 2009 with Bert Vogelstein and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University to improve DNA analysis as a basis for predicting drug response and individualizing cancer medicine. Juhl has appointments as Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University in Washington DC and the University of Hamburg in Germany.

Subha Madhavan, PhD, MS

» Listen to podcast

Subha Madhavan, PhD Director of Clinical Research Informatics, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Subha Madhavan, PhD, is the Director of Clinical Research Informatics at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is an information scientist who has worked in the field of biomedical informatics and clinical data management and analysis for over 10 years. Prior to joining Georgetown, Madhavan served as the Associate Director of Product and Program Management in the life sciences informatics area at the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information technology (CBIIT). Her work at NCI involved bridging the gap between bench and bedside by enabling researchers and physician scientists to use cutting-edge biomedical informatics solutions to identify better therapies for cancer. Specifically, she led a group of scientists, physicians and software engineers in building REMBRANDT – a database that hosts and interconnects clinical data points with various genomics datasets from large brain tumor clinical trials. Madhavan and the REMBRANDT project were awarded the Service to America Award in 2005. Also at the NCI, Madhavan co–managed a team that defined and implemented the information strategy for The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project and the TCGA data portal ( Through her graduate work in Molecular Pharmacology at the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences, her post–doctoral training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and professional career in the industry and the government, Madhavan has been able to employ her multi-disciplinary expertise in sciences and information technology to advance biomedicine. At Georgetown, she leads various informatics efforts including the caBIG in silico Research Center for Excellence, the Cancer Family Registries and the Georgetown Database of Cancer (G–DOC).

John Marshall, MD

» Listen to podcast

John L. Marshall, MDDirector, Ruesch Center for the Cure of GI Cancers Associate Director for Clinical Research, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

John L. Marshall, MD, is a global leader in the research and development of drugs for colon cancer and other GI cancers. He is the principal investigator of over 150 clinical trials, at the local as well as national levels. Marshall is the clinical director of oncology for Georgetown University Hospital, associate director for clinical research of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology. He is widely published in the field of clinical oncology, reviews manuscripts for eight journals, and holds peer-reviewed grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Marshall’s own research focuses on the development of a novel vaccine for the treatment of advanced colon cancer. For over a decade, he has directed Lombardi's Developmental Therapeutics Program while also maintaining his regular clinical practice. Seeing about 60 patients each week, Marshall specializes in cancers of the GI tract at all stages of the disease.

An outspoken advocate for clinical research, Marshall founded the Otto J. Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers at Lombardi in 2009. Its mission is to realize the dream of individualized curative therapies through research, care and advocacy. The Center, directed by Marshall, combines expertise in molecular medicine, translational research and a patient-centered philosophy.

Mace Rothenberg, MD

» Listen to podcast

Mace Rothenberg, MDSenior Vice President of Pfizer Oncology

Mace L. Rothenberg, M.D., is Senior Vice President of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs for the Oncology Business Unit at Pfizer’s Global Research and Development site in La Jolla, Calif. He joined Pfizer in 2008 and is responsible for leading worldwide clinical research, development, and post–marketing evaluation for all oncology products. Rothenberg is also involved in the evaluation of potential in–license of oncology products from outside sources. At Pfizer, Rothenberg is a member of the Leadership Team in the Oncology Business Unit and a member of the Senior Management Team of Pfizer, Inc.

Prior to joining Pfizer, Rothenberg was Professor of Medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Professor of Cancer Research at the Vanderbilt–Ingram Cancer Center. He was active in clinical-translational research in oncology for more than 20 years. Rothenberg was the principal investigator of several research grants from the National Cancer Institute and served on a number of NIH study sections.

Rothenberg has published more than 150 articles, chapters and books, primarily in the areas of early stage drug development, gastrointestinal malignancies and ovarian cancer. Rothenberg has served on the editorial boards of several leading medical journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology and Clinical Cancer Research. His work was critical to the development and eventual FDA approval of irinotecan (CPT–11, Camptosar®) in 1996 and oxaliplatin (Eloxatin®) in 2002 for colorectal cancer and gemcitabine (Gemzar®) in 1996 for pancreatic cancer. In addition to his clinical research accomplishments, Rothenberg has been recognized for his compassionate care of cancer patients. In 2008, he received the Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award from the American Cancer Society, honoring him as one of the nation’s top cancer caregivers.

Rothenberg received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978 and his M.D. from the New York University School of Medicine in 1982. He trained as an Intern and Resident in Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University and obtained his medical oncology training at the National Cancer Institute.

The Hon. W.J. (Billy) Tauzin

» Listen to podcast

The Hon. W.J. (Billy) TauzinPresident & CEO, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)

Billy Tauzin was named president and chief executive officer of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in January 2005. He knows firsthand what patients face as they search for hope, treatment and cures having recently battled cancer himself. This unique insight guides his leadership as PhRMA president where he is helping to develop solutions to America’s health care challenges so patients now and in the future have the medicines they need.

Tauzin came to PhRMA after a long and distinguished career in public service. He began his public career serving in the Louisiana State legislature. Tauzin made his mark serving the people of Louisiana’s 3rd District, and the American people for 13 terms as a Member of Congress. He served as Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Tauzin is a native of Vacherie, Louisiana. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Nicholls State University in 1964 and a Law Degree from Louisiana State University in 1967.

Carol Taylor, PhD, MSN

» Listen to podcast

Carol Taylor, PhD, MSNDirector, Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University

Carol Taylor, RN, MSN, PhD, is a founding member and now director of the Center for Clinical Bioethics and a Professor of Medicine and Nursing at Georgetown University. Experienced in caring for patients who are chronically and critically ill and their families, Carol chose doctoral work in philosophy with a concentration in bioethics because of a passion to “make health care work” for those who need it.

At Georgetown, Taylor directs an innovative interdisciplinary ethics curriculum grounded in a rich notion of moral agency for medical students and advanced practice nurses. She teaches in the undergraduate nursing curriculum, directs a practicum in clinical ethics for graduate students in the philosophy program, serves on the ethics committee, directs the ethics consultation service, directs the visiting scholars and researchers program, conducts ethics rounds and ethics case presentations, and develops professional seminars in clinical ethics for health care professionals and the public. Her research interests include clinical and professional ethics, and organizational integrity.

Taylor has a PhD in Philosophy with a concentration in bioethics from Georgetown University and a Master's Degree in Medical-Surgical Nursing from Catholic University. She now works closely with health care professionals and leaders who are exploring the ethical dimensions of their practice. She lectures internationally and writes on various issues in healthcare ethics and serves as an ethics consultant to systems and professional organizations. She is the author of Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins Fundamentals of Nursing: The Art and Science of Nursing Care, which is now in its 6th edition and co–editor of Health and Human Flourishing: Religion, Medicine and Moral Anthropology.

Louis M. Weiner, MD

» Listen to podcast

Louis M. Weiner, MDDirector, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Louis M. Weiner, MD, is director of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. He earned his bachelor degree in biology with honors from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine at New York University. After completing his internship, residency, and service as chief medical resident at the University of Vermont’s Medical Center Hospital, he held clinical and research fellowships in hematology and oncology at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

Prior to joining Lombardi, Weiner served as chairman of the Medical Oncology Department and vice president for Translational Research at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA. He held an endowed chair in medical science and was the driving force behind developing an immunotherapy laboratory and clinical programs, as well as establishing the Center’s medical oncology fellowship program. Weiner also served as professor in the Department of Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine.

As Director of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chair of the Department of Oncology, Associate Vice President of Georgetown University Medical Center, and Clinical Director of Cancer Services at Georgetown University Hospital, Weiner is responsible for the operation and development of the cancer center, including its educational, research and clinical missions. In his role as Clinical Director of Cancer Services at Georgetown University Hospital, Weiner also leads the clinical operation of the Medical Oncology group. Weiner is known for his laboratory and clinical research focusing on new therapeutic approaches that mobilize the patient’s immune system to fight cancer using monoclonal antibodies – laboratory–crafted proteins designed to recognize specific cancer cells.

Anton Wellstein, MD, PhD

» Listen to podcast

Anton Wellstein, MD, PhDAssociate Director for Basic Science, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Anton Wellstein, MD, PhD, is the Associate Director for Basic Science at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is a leading basic science researcher in the field of the molecular oncology and holds faculty appointments in the Departments of Oncology and Pharmacology at Georgetown University Medical Center. His areas of expertise include mechanisms of tumor angiogenesis and metastasis.

Wellstein initially trained in medicine at the J. Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, and practiced medicine for seven years. After postgraduate training and a PhD in pharmacology, Wellstein chose to focus exclusively on basic science research, developing new therapies for the treatment of cancer. He currently holds the rights to eight patents and pending patents, and has licensed one of these technologies to a Washington-area biotechnology company for drug development. Several others are under negotiation. He has published over 120 original papers and serves on several NIH study sections and committees.

His research centers around angiogenesis factors released from tumor cells as molecularly defined therapeutic targets. Wellstein’s laboratory purified a novel heparin–binding polypeptide growth factor (pleiotrophin, PTN) from supernatants of breast cancer cells and cloned the respective genomic and cDNA. In addition to this gene product, he has engaged in an extensive series of studies on another gene that modulates fibroblast growth factor activity; FGF–BP. Wellstein has studied transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation, biological function, tissue-specific expression during development and carcinogenesis as well as in a series of diseased states in mouse and human. His laboratory has received funding from the NIH, Department of Defense, the American Cancer Society, and several other foundations.