December 6, 2019

ICAHO20 Faculty

ICAHO20 is being held on September 26-27, 2020 in Seattle, WA.

This ASCO Direct™ is an officially licensed program of the American Society of Clinical Oncology® (ASCO®) that provides most relevant scientific meeting highlights and perspectives for oncologists and other practitioners.

David Aboulafia, MD – Virginia Mason Medical Center

Dr. David Aboulafia is the Section Head in the department of Hematology/Oncology at Virginia Mason Clinic and an Investigator in the Virginia Mason Community Clinical Oncology Program/SWOG. He is an active member of the AIDS Malignancy Consortium and chair of the AMC outreach, education, recruitment and retention committee. He is also a Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology at the University of Washington.

Since 1992, Dr. Aboulafia has been the Medical Director of Bailey-Boushay House in Seattle. Bailey-Bousahy provides care to people with HIV disease, promoting their health, well-being and functional independence. Its goal is to ensure that every person with HIV/AIDS in our community has equal access to positive outcomes. Bailey-Boushay emphasizes acceptance of all people, compassion, safety, and the dignity and autonomy of individuals. Dr. Aboulafia also serves on the University of Washington Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Committee, and is member of the HIV Medical Association and the International Association of Physicians for AIDS Care.

Ghassan Abou-Alfa, MD, MBA – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Ghassan Abou-Alfa is an Attending Physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical School at Cornell University. Professor Abou-Alfa specializes in the treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies and in particular, hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, gallbladder cancer, and fibrolamellar carcinoma. Professor Abou-Alfa is the immediate previous Chair of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)Hepatobiliary Task Force and member of the NCI AIDS Malignancy Consortium Steering Committee. Professor Abou-alfa is a member of the International Affairs Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and is the President-Elect for the International Society of Gastrointestinal Oncology (ISGIO). Professor Abou-Alfa majored in biology, earned his medical degree, and now serves as a trustee on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater the American University in Beirut. Professor Abou-Alfa completed his postdoctoral training in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology at Yale University, and received his MBA from Columbia University.

Professor Abou-Alfa’s research focuses on incorporating small biological molecules into standard cancer therapies. In recent years, his group at MSK led the initial efforts evaluating sorafenib in HCC. Sorafenib was ultimately approved by the FDA for that indication in 2007. Professor Abou-Alfa more recently his group at MSK led the efforts evaluating cabozantinib which was approved by the FDA for HCC indication in January 2019. He now focuses on determining the right CAR-T antigens for HCC and analyzing worldwide data to help analyze the genetic profile of patients with HCC and help determine the appropriate targeted therapy that will be most valuable. Professor Abou-Alfa has also championed key work in determining novel targeted therapies for cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder cancer, targeting IDH-1, FGR-2, and Her-2. He later led the efforts of pemigatinib, which was approved by the FDA in May 2020, or patients with cholangiocarcinoma and FGFR2 alterations.

Professor Abou-Alfa strongly advocates for greater awareness of cancer’s global impact; and continues to lead several international educational and research efforts with different institutions worldwide.

William I. Bensinger, MD – Swedish Cancer Institute

is the leader of the myeloma program at the Center for Blood Disorders and Stem Cell Transplantation at the Swedish Cancer Institute. He was formerly the Director of the Autologous Stem Cell Transplant Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, a Full Member of the FHCRC and Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington. He received his medical education at Northwestern University in Chicago, Ill. from 1969-73. Post graduate training was accomplished at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo, the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md. and the University of Washington, in Seattle.

Dr. Bensinger has published more than 300 articles in refereed journals, books and monographs in the field of stem cell transplantation on the subjects of mobilization, collection and transplantation of autologous and allogeneic stem cells, especially as it relates to the treatment of multiple myeloma. Other publications include the use of CD34 selected stem cells and innovative transplant regimens.

Shailender Bhatia , MD – Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Dr. Bhatia received his MBBS (equivalent to MD) degree at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, INDIA and completed his Internal Medicine Internship and Residency at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT. He completed his Post-Doctoral fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA.

Dr. Bhatia’s research efforts are mostly focused on clinical trials that aim at improving outcomes in skin cancers (especially Melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma) and Kidney cancers. He is especially interested in those novel therapeutic approaches that stimulate the immune system against cancer and those that target therapy to the tumors in order to spare unnecessary toxicity.  He is the Principal Investigator for several clinical trials for MCC focused on improving the immune response against this cancer.

Joseph Chao, MD – City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center

A Board-certified medical oncologist and hematologist, Joseph Chao, M.D. Joined City of Hope in 2007 as a Fellow and advanced rapidly to Staff Physician and Assistant Clinical Professor. He is a medical oncologist. He earned his medical degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago, then continued his training at Harbor – UCLA Medical Center. Named one of the “Top Doctors” for oncology by Pasadena magazine in 2011, Dr. Chao is among the first medical professionals to be certified by City of Hope’s STAR (Survivorship, Training, and Rehabilitation) program which ensures our patients receive the most up-to-date, evidence based rehabilitation services available.

V.K. Gadi, MD, PhD – University of Illinois Chicago

Dr. Gadi received his MD and PhD from the University of Alabama School of Medicine at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Oncology at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA. Some of his research interests include clinic practice in breast and hematologic malignancy and hematopoietic transplantation Immunogenetics of and immunotherapy for solid tumors (breast).

Kathryn Gold, MD – University of California San Diego

Dr. Kathryn Gold is a medical oncologist and clinical investigator focusing on the treatment of thoracic and head and neck malignancies. Her clinical and translational research interests focus on the use of targeted therapies and immunotherapies in aerodigestive track malignancies.   Dr. Gold completed her fellowship in medical oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.  She is currently an associate professor at UCSD Moores Cancer Center and is the Co-Director of Clinical Research Services at the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute.

Petros Grivas, MD, PhD – Seattle Cancer Alliance and University of Washington

Dr. Petros Grivas is a board certified oncologist with expertise and experience in treating genitourinary (GU) cancers at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the University of Washington Medical Center. He is the Clinical Director of the Genitourinary Cancers Program at the University of Washington and he is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Medicine, Division of Oncology. He is also an Associate Member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Grivas completed his training at the University of Patras Medical School and took his M.D. degree in 2005. He then pursued his Ph.D in Medical Oncology under the mentorship of key academic faculty and defended his thesis successfully in late 2008.

He completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at Hahnemann University Hospital/Drexel University College of Medicine in 2010. He then completed his Fellowship in hematology/oncology at the University of Michigan in 2013. He stayed there as a clinical lecturer for another year before he was recruited as an assistant professor at the Cleveland Clinic where he lead the bladder/urothelial cancer program, pursuing clinical and translational research, teaching trainees, and seeing patients with GU cancers. He moved to Seattle in January 2018.

Anna B. Halpern, MD – Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Dr. Halpern earned her medical degree from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.  She completed her residency at the University of Chicago and completed her fellowship at the Fred Hutch Cancer Center and the University of Washington.  She became board certified in medical oncology/hematology in 2016.  She is a physician at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Assistant Professor of Hematology at the University of Washington School of Medicine and an Assistant Member of Clinical Research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Dr. Halpern conducts clinical trials and outcomes research in MPNs, MDS and AML. Her overarching research aim is to improve the outcomes of adults with hematologic malignancies via the development and testing of evidence-based, rational therapies that are tailored to individual patients. She designs and conducts clinical trials testing novel care concepts for patients with myeloid neoplasms and uses large databases to study systems-issues on a broader scale, such as risk factors for toxicities from treatment. She is currently the Principal Investigator for multiple clinical trials for advanced myeloid neoplasms.

Bruce Lin, MD – Virginia Mason Medical Center

Dr. Lin attended the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  He completed his residency at the University of Southern California and he completed his fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine. Dr. Lin specializes in hematology and medical oncology, liver cancer, colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancer, gastrointestinal oncology, colorectal care, liver, cancer, pancreatic cancer, bile duct cancer, and gastroesophageal cancer.

Vivian G. Oehler, MD – Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Dr. Vivian Oehler is a hematologic oncologist who cares for patients with leukemia and other blood disorders. She graduated from the Case Western Reserve University Medical School.  She is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the department of Hematology at the University of Washington.  She is also an Associate Member at the Fred Hutch Clinical Research Division. Her research explores the genetic origins and drivers of those diseases.

Dr. Oehler also studies why some patients don’t respond to the standard treatment for leukemia, a class of targeted cancer drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors. These drugs block chemical messengers that help send growth signals in cells. A significant minority of patients develop resistance to the therapy, and Dr. Oehler’s lab is trying to identify predictive markers for identifying these patients. Her lab also develops and tests new drugs to treat chronic myeloid leukemia CML and acute myeloid leukemia AML.

John Pagel, MD, PhD – Swedish Cancer Institute

John M. Pagel, MD, PhD is Chief of Hematologic Malignancies and the Director of Stem Cell Transplantation at Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle, Washington.  Dr. Pagel earned his BA in biology and his PhD in microbiology and molecular genetics from the University of California.  He then received his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine where he graduated magna cum laude.  Following his residency in internal medicine at UC San Francisco, he went on to do his oncology fellowship at the University of Washington.

Dr. Pagel is also the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award, the Lymphoma Research Foundation Career Development Award, the American Society of Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award and the American Society of Clinical Oncology Career Development Award. He has been the Principal Investigator on multiple awarded NIH grants including a K08, four RO1 grants and two R21 awards.  Moreover, he has led projects on three major NIH Program Project grants for over a decade and serves as a Core Principal Investigator on two other Program Project Grants.

Mark Pegram, MD – Stanford Women’s Cancer Center

Mark D. Pegram, MD, is the first director of the Breast Cancer Oncology Program at Stanford Women’s Cancer Center. He is also the co-director of Stanford’s Molecular Therapeutics Program. He is a renowned clinician and scholar in breast cancer research and a leader in translational medicine. Dr. Pegram played a major role in developing the drug Herceptin as a treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer, which constitutes about 20 percent of all cases. His laboratory experiments demonstrated that combining Herceptin with chemotherapy effectively killed cancer cells that overproduced the growth factor HER2.

Dr. Pegram and others then conducted clinical trials showing that Herceptin improved survival rates and even cured some breast cancer patients. This remains one of the premier examples of bench-to-bedside translational research. Dr. Pegram’s current research efforts include a continued focus on the cancer-associated gene that encodes HER2 and developing new ways to target cancer cells expressing this protein. He is also pursuing strategies to target estrogen receptors, implicated in some 70 percent of all breast cancer cases.

Dr. Pegram earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina before joining the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles. He spent five years at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where he was a Sylvester Chair professor of medicine in the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute and associate director for clinical research in the University’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. He joined the Stanford faculty in 2012.

Kathryn Pennington, MD – University of Washington Medical Center

Dr. Pennington attended the University of Michigan Medical School.  She completed her residency in OB/GYN at the University of Michigan and she completed her fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Washington.  She became board certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology in 2011.  She then became board certified in Gynecologic Oncology in 2018. Kathryn P. Pennington, M.D. is a faculty member in gynecologic oncology at the University of Washington Medical Center.

She specializes in the treatment of gynecologic cancers, including ovarian, uterine, cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancers, as well as gestational trophoblastic disease.  Dr. Pennington’s clinical expertise includes minimally-invasive surgery and complex pelvic surgery, treatment of gynecologic cancers with chemotherapy and gynecologic cancer survivorship.

Cristina P. Rodriguez, MD – University of Washington

Dr. Cristina Rodriguez is a medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of head and neck cancers. She is an Associate Professor in the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington and an Associate Member for solid tumor clinical research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Dr. Rodriguez completed her MD at the University of the Philippines in Manila, Philippines. She completed her internal medicine residency at the Cleveland Clinic, followed by her medical oncology fellowship, also at the Cleveland Clinic. She has been a faculty member at the University of Washington since 2013. In addition to her clinical roles, Dr. Rodriguez is an active clinical investigator with a particular interest in targeted therapies and improving outcomes for squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck, salivary gland cancers and thyroid cancers. 

Rafael Santana-Davila, MD – Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Dr. Rafael Santana-Davila is a medical oncologist who specializes in treating patients with lung and head and neck cancers. He attended the and was cum laude at the Anahuac University School of Medicine in Mexico.  He completed his residency at the University of Minnesota and completed his fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the Mayo Clinic. 

He is a physician with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Associate Professor at the University of Washington, and Associate Member of Clinical Research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. His wide-ranging research interests include health services research, where his main goal is to understand how to bring the latest advances to patients who can’t access cancer care at specialized centers. Dr. Santana-Davila also designs and implements clinical trials that test experimental treatments, particularly those that harness the immune system to fight virus-associated cancers.

Mazyar Shadman, MD, MPH – Fred Hutch

Dr. Mazyar Shadman is a blood cancer specialist who focuses on lymphoid malignancies. He is involved in clinical research using novel therapeutic agents for lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL, as well as immunotherapy (specifically CAR T cell therapy) for lymphoid neoplasms and blood stem cell transplant for hematologic malignancies. His goal is to identify the best treatment sequence or combination for patients with high-risk lymphoma and CLL.

Binay Shah, MD, MHA – Binaytara Foundation

Dr. Binay Shah is a board certified oncologist and hematologist at PeaceHealth United General Hospital, Sedro Woolley, WA. Dr. Shah’s area of interest is in health outcomes and health disparities among cancer patients, and he has published and presented over 125 papers in various journals and meetings.

He is invited nationally and internationally to speak on various cancers and global health. He has the distinction of developing the nation’s first statewide personalized cancer care tumor board as  president of the Idaho Society of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Shah is a patient advocate, and humanitarian. He founded the Binaytara Foundation to promote health and education in underprivileged communities.

Parmeswaran Venugopal, MD – Rush University Medical Center

Dr. Venugopal, MD is the Elodia Kehm Chair of Hematology; a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, and the Director of Hematology Section at the Rush Medical College & Rush University Medical Center.

Roland Walter, MD, PhD, MS – Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Roland Walter is a hematologist who specializes in treating acute myeloid leukemia, or AML. His research seeks to develop new and improved antibody-based therapies in the laboratory that effectively kill AML cells, including treatments that eradicate the AML stem cells, and then to bring these therapies to patients.

Jack West, MD – City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. West is an Associate Clinical Professor in Medical Oncology, a specialist in thoracic oncology, and serves as Executive Director of Employer Services at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was previously Medical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle.Dr. West received a MPhil in Experimental Biology from Cambridge University on a Fulbright Scholarship and a medical degree (magna cum laude) from Harvard Medical School, where Dr. West also conducted research as a Howard Hughes Medical Student Fellow.

His postdoctoral training included an internship and residency in internal medicine at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA, followed by a fellowship in medical oncology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington in Seattle, WA.In late, 2002, he moved to Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle, where he served for over 16 years as Medical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program, overseeing a broad array of clinical care and research responsibilities.  In March, 2019, he moved to the Los Angeles area to dedicate his focus on innovative approaches to delivering sub-specialist expertise across a broader geography, using tools such as remote case reviews and telemedicine consultations.He has authored dozens of papers and chairs several CME programs and symposia internationally on thoracic oncology, novel educational approaches, and social media in cancer care.