Speaker Bios - Friday


Friday  |  Saturday

Lucile Adams-Campbell, PhD
Associate Director, Minority Health and Health Disparities Research,
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Adams-Campbell is an epidemiologist who specializes in community health research, interventions and outreach. With a focus on prevention, she studies issues that affect populations at the greatest risk for developing cancer. Dr. Adams-Campbell has participated and led several large cohort studies of African-American women and played a leading role in bringing the Boston University Black Women’s Health Study to the District of Columbia. Through community-based interventions involving diet and exercise, she hopes to decrease mortality from cancer and related conditions among minorities and the underserved. Dr. Adams-Campbell was director of the Howard University Cancer Center for 13 years prior to joining Georgetown Lombardi in 2008.

Amanda Bennett
Author, “The Cost of Hope: A Memoir”; Executive Editor for Bloomberg News,
Pulitzer Prize Winner

Before becoming executive editor for Bloomberg News, Ms. Bennett was editor of various major newspapers, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Herald-Leader in Lexington, Kentucky and The Oregonian. Ms. Bennett served as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal for more than 20 years. In 1997, she shared the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting with her Journal colleagues, and in 2001, during her tenure at The Oregonian, that paper won a Pulitzer for public service. Ms. Bennett is the author of several books including: “The Cost of Hope;” “In Memoriam;” co-authored with Terence B. Foley; “The Man Who Stayed Behind,” co-authored with Sidney Rittenberg; and “Death of the Organization Man.”

Bruce Cheson, MD
Professor of Medicine and Head of Hematology,
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Cheson’s clinical interests focus on the development and evaluation of new therapeutic approaches for hematologic malignancies. Most recently, he was head of the medicine section for the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Investigations Branch within the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, and senior staff physician in the NCI’s Lymphoma Clinic. Prior to that, Dr. Cheson was assistant professor of medicine in hematology/oncology at the University of Utah. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Tufts University School of Medicine.

David L. Evans, MD
Senior Vice President of Clinical Programs, ActiveHealth Management

Dr. Evans has been with ActiveHealth Management (AHM) for eight years and leads a national team of physicians who provide clinical leadership and expertise to AHM’s care management suite of products and services. His team’s activities include literature research and review, content development, clinical rule development (analytics), program delivery monitoring and QI, and clinical outcomes and reporting. Dr. Evans attended Rice University for his undergraduate degree and the University of Texas Health Science Center for his medical training.

Howard Fingert, MD, FACP
Senior Medical Director, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company

Dr. Fingert is senior medical director and leader of a new program in Clinical Intelligence, Oncology Clinical Research at Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, where he has developed multiple oncology products and new business alliances with external partners. Previously, Dr. Fingert worked in clinical development, clinical risk management and regulatory affairs at Pfizer and other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies developing products for oncology, HIV, immunology, neurology and other indications. Dr. Fingert previously served on the academic faculties at Harvard and Tufts Medical Schools, and he has published research in cancer pharmacology, drug safety and clinical trials.

Gilad S. Gordon, MD, MBA
President, Orra Group, LLC; Clinical Associate Professor, University of Colorado Denver

Dr. Gordon’s career has primarily focused on conducting applied medical research within the private sector. His major fields of interest have been in oncology, virology, hepatology and endocrinology. His work has focused on bridging the private and public sectors to accelerate the development of new drugs and technologies with the goal of improving the lifespan and quality of life of patients in the developed and developing world. In addition, Dr. Gordon is an expert in health economics, quality-of-life assessments and medical information systems who has recently worked with various senators and congressmen on the health care reform proposals.

Louis B. Jacques, MD
Director, Coverage and Analysis Group, Office of Clinical Standards and Quality,
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Dr. Jacques joined CMS in 2003 and has been director of the Coverage and Analysis Group since October 2009. The group reviews evidence and develops Medicare national coverage policy. Prior to his arrival at CMS, Dr. Jacques was associate dean for curriculum at Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he retains a faculty appointment. He served on a number of university committees including the Executive Faculty, Committee on Admissions and the Institutional Review Board. He previously worked in the Palliative Care Program at Georgetown Lombardi, where he covered the gynecologic oncology service.

Shakuntala Malik, MD
Medical Officer, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research,
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Dr. Malik joined the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research branch of the FDA in January 2009. In addition to her duties at the FDA, she continues with her clinical activities at the NCI thoracic oncology clinic. Prior to joining FDA she worked as associate professor of medicine in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Malik’s interest remains in lung cancer and development of new markers and therapeutic options for lung cancer.

John L. Marshall, MD
Director, Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Marshall is a global leader in the research and development of drugs for colon cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers. He is the principal investigator of over 150 clinical trials, at the local as well as national levels. Besides his role as head of the Ruesch Center, Dr. Marshall is chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology for MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and associate director for clinical research of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. 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. Dr. 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 Georgetown Lombardi's Experimental Therapeutics Program while also maintaining his regular clinical practice. Seeing about 60 patients each week, Dr. Marshall specializes in cancers of the gastrointestinal tract at all stages of the disease.

Margo Michaels, MPH
Executive Director and President, Education Network to Advance Cancer Clinical Trials

Over the last 15 years, Ms. Michaels has developed innovative programs to educate advocates, community leaders and health care professionals about policy and science issues related to cancer and cancer clinical trials. She is considered a national expert in community-based education efforts around cancer clinical research. Prior to starting ENACCT, she served as branch chief at NCI’s Public and Survivor Education Branch; as lead consultant to the Clinical Research: Affiliates Funding Trials (CRAFT) program at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and as director of the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Project LEAD.

Lori Minasian, MD, FACP
Deputy Director, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute

Dr. Minasian is a board certified medical oncologist who for 15 years led the National Cancer Institute’s Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP). She is program director for the SELECT trial, the largest prostate cancer prevention trial conducted by the NCI. She has served on multiple internal committees and working groups such as the NCI’s Clinical Trials Working Group, the Operational Efficiency Working Group and the Governing Board for the Common Toxicity Criteria for Adverse Event Reporting, and has led the Clinical Trials Subgroup of the Pharmacogenomics Working Group.

Carol Palackdharry, MD
Medical Director, ActiveHealth Management;
Clinical Lead, Oncology Condition Analysis, Aetna

Dr. Palackdharry joined ActiveHealth Management, a division of Aetna’s Nascent Businesses, in February 2011, where she leads efforts to utilize clinical, claims, and patient-derived data to drive clinical decision support services in oncology and other strategic initiatives. She is the clinical lead for Aetna’s Oncology Condition Analysis team, which analyzes and projects the financial impact of new therapies, imaging, procedures and other advances in the treatment of cancer. Dr. Palackdharry formally represents Aetna and AHM on several national health care leadership roundtables, committees and advisory boards.

Michael J. Pishvaian, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

A practicing oncologist specializing in gastrointestinal cancers, Dr. Pishvaian also conducts clinical translational research with a focus on the rational combination of targeted therapies to better treat cancer. In the lab, Dr. Pishvaian’s basic science research focuses on combining a CDK4 inhibitor with chemotherapy for GI cancers. His clinical research has focused on combining other targeted therapies such as PARP inhibitors or mTOR inhibitors with chemotherapy.

Mace L. Rothenberg, MD
Senior VP, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Oncology Business Unit, Pfizer, Inc.

Dr. Rothenberg oversees the clinical research and development activities as well as post-marketing evaluation and monitoring for all oncology products at Pfizer. He came to Pfizer in 2008 after more than 20 years in academia where he focused on early-stage drug development, clinical trial design and the evaluation of new therapies for gastrointestinal cancers. Dr. Rothenberg’s work was critical to the development and FDA approval of irinotecan (Camptosar®) in 1996 and oxaliplatin (Eloxatin®) in 2002 for colorectal cancer and gemcitabine (Gemzar®) in 1996 for pancreatic cancer.

Brian Rye
Health Care Financial Analyst for Bloomberg Government

Mr. Rye is a health care financial analyst with Bloomberg Government. Before joining Bloomberg, he spent 12 years as an equity research analyst at SunTrust, Raymond James and Janney Montgomery Scott. In those capacities, he followed biotechnology, pharmaceutical and other health care companies. Mr. Rye also served as a senior business management analyst for Booz Allen Hamilton’s civil health group.

Michael Sapienza
Executive Director and Founder of Chris4life Colon Cancer Foundation

After losing his mother to colon cancer in 2009, Mr. Sapienza founded the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation. Chris4Life has become one of the nation's leading colorectal cancer foundations and has raised almost $3 million in under two years. Mr. Sapienza has led efforts to start research funds at Georgetown Lombardi, the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Comprehensive Cancer Center and Karmanos Cancer Institute. He also started the Chris4Life Fund, which has provided $100,000 in financial assistance to over 400 patients nationwide.

Deborah Schrag, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Adult Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dr. Schrag is a health services researcher and medical oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She is associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an attending physician at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She is the current deputy associate director of population sciences at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. Dr. Schrag's research has focused on evaluating the quality of cancer care delivery in the United States. She has methodological expertise in analyzing large public health data sets including tumor registry data and Medicare and Medicaid data, and has worked to augment these data sets to enhance their value for comparative effectiveness research. Her research is funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Schrag collaborates with leadership of public health departments at the local and state level to foster equitable high quality cancer care and to minimize disparities in outcomes based on non-medical factors such as socioeconomic status and race. She has focused on measuring differences in the efficacy of cancer treatments in the clinical trial setting as well as their effectiveness when new treatments are adopted broadly at the population level. She has served as an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Board Member and is currently a director of the American Board of Internal Medicine Oncology Section. Dr. Schrag received her MD from Columbia University and her MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. Before working at Dana-Farber/Harvard, she worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City for a decade.

Todd Shuster, MD
Senior Director of Clinical Development, PAREXEL International

Dr. Shuster is a board certified medical oncologist with over 15 years of clinical practice experience. He has served as a principal investigator for oncology trials through the National Cancer Institute cooperative groups, and has been an investigator for several pharmaceutical-sponsored studies. His focus has been on drug development in solid tumors, particularly thoracic malignancies and breast cancer. Since joining PAREXEL in 2009, Dr. Shuster has served as medical lead for several oncology studies and has worked closely with strategic partnership teams, providing expertise in clinical development and protocol design.

Alan Wertheimer, PhD
Senior Research Scholar, Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Wertheimer is the author of numerous books, including “Coercion;” “Exploitation;” “Consent to Sexual Relations;” and “Rethinking the Ethics of Clinical Research.” He has served as visiting professor of public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University as well as professor of law at University of San Diego. Dr. Wertheimer has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and the Program in Ethics and the Professions at Harvard University.

James Zwiebel, MD
Chief, Investigational Drug Branch, Cancer Therapy Evaluation, NCI

Dr. Zwiebel completed a clinical fellowship in hematology/oncology at the George Washington University Medical Center and research fellowships at both the NCI and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. He continued his laboratory work on cancer gene therapy as a member of the faculty at Georgetown Lombardi, where he also practiced hematology and oncology. In his current role at NCI, Dr. Zwiebel and his colleagues work with investigators and industry to bring promising new cancer therapies into the clinic.