The Oncology Data Advisor® Editorial Board, led by Rahul Banerjee, MD, FACP, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, collaborates to create compelling, clinically relevant content for our readers.
Consisting of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pathologists, pharmacists, and patient advocates, members provide comprehensive perspectives on all aspects of oncology care.
Rahul Banerjee, MD, FACP, Editor in Chief, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA); he also holds a faculty appointment at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. He previously completed his Hematology/Oncology Fellowship and Advanced BMT/CAR-T Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. His clinical interests are in multiple myeloma, AL amyloidosis, and CAR-T therapy. His research interests are in toxicity management, digital health, and the patient experience.
Thomas Abrams, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a Senior Physician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the Director of the Liver Cancer Task Force of the Harvard Cancer Center. He specializes in the treatment of patients with gastrointestinal cancers, including pancreatic, gastric, colorectal, esophageal, gallbladder, and primary liver cancers. Dr. Abrams’ primary research interest is the early detection of liver cancers through the discovery and application of novel biomarkers. He has authored or coauthored numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Maria Badillo, MSN, RN, OCN®, CCRP, is the Research Nurse Manager in the Mantle Cell Lymphoma/Myeloma Department at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. As a clinical trial manager, she develops research strategies and programs, manages protocol design and implementation, and coordinates patient participation in phase 1, 2, and 3 clinical trials. Ms. Badillo has been a speaker at several conferences, including the Oncology Nursing Society Congress and the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators Conference. Her research focuses on the development of novel therapeutics for patients with hematologic malignancies and the management of adverse events to optimize treatment outcomes.
Ulka Vaishampayan, MD, is a Professor of Internal Medicine and the Director of the Phase 1 Program at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center. She is also the Chair of the SWOG Advanced Renal Committee, a member of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Renal Task Force, and a board member of the Michigan Society of Hematology/Oncology. Dr. Vaishampayan specializes in the treatment of genitourinary malignancies, including prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and renal cell carcinoma, and her research focuses on translational drug development. She has authored or coauthored numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Beth Sandy, MSN, CRNP, is an Outpatient Thoracic Oncology Nurse Practitioner at the University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She specializes in the treatment and supportive care of patients with lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. Ms. Sandy has authored or coauthored numerous peer-reviewed publications, posters, and book chapters, and has been a speaker at several national and international conferences. She is a member of several professional societies and is active on committees and editorial boards for APSHO, IASLC, MASCC, ONS, and SITC.
Richard D. Carvajal, MD, is Deputy Physician-in-Chief and Director of Medical Oncology at Northwell Health Cancer Institute in New York, where he is also the R.J. Zuckerberg Chair in Medical Oncology. Dr. Carvajal’s research is focused on the development of novel therapies for patients with melanoma and other cancers, including uncommon clinical and molecular subsets such as those arising from the eye (uveal melanomas), mucosal surfaces of the body (mucosal melanomas), and palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or under the fingernails (acral melanomas). He has been the principal or co-investigator of over 500 clinical trials and has authored or coauthored over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts, books, and book chapters. In addition, Dr. Carvajal serves as Co-Chair of the International Rare Cancer Initiative Uveal Melanoma working group, a joint initiative between the National Cancer Institute, the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, and the Cancer Research UK to enhance international collaboration in clinical trials for uveal melanoma.
Richard F. Riedel, MD, is an Associate Professor in the Division of Medical Oncology at Duke University Medical Center. Additionally, he serves as the Associate Director of Clinical and Translational Research for the Duke Sarcoma Program and is a member of the Duke Cancer Institute. His clinical practice is dedicated to the care of patients with bone and soft tissue sarcoma, and his research interests lie in identifying novel therapies for these patients. Dr. Riedel is a nationally recognized expert in the field of soft tissue and bone sarcoma and is active at the national level in preparing national sarcoma guidelines (NCCN Soft Tissue Sarcoma Guidelines panel member and NCCN GIST Guidelines panel member) and educational initiatives. He has authored or coauthored numerous peer-reviewed publications focused on improving outcomes for patients with sarcoma.
Lei Zhao, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Her clinical interests focus on cancer genetics, metabolic syndrome, and gastrointestinal, liver, and surgical pathology. Dr. Zhao has published numerous peer-reviewed articles centered on improving outcomes of patients with gastrointestinal diseases.
Sara Hurvitz, MD, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology and the Director of the Breast Cancer Clinical Research Program at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine. She is also Co-Director of the Santa Monica–UCLA Outpatient Hematology/Oncology Practices and Medical Director of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinical Research Unit. Dr. Hurvitz specializes in the treatment of patients with breast cancer. She has designed, implemented, and led national and international trials evaluating novel treatments for this disease.
Lauren Ghazal, PhD, FNP-BC, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and an Associate Member in Cancer Prevention and Control at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. Her research focuses on nursing work-related challenges and financial toxicity experienced by adolescent and young adult cancer survivors, incorporating economic, clinical, and personal experiences to address survivorship disparities.
Joseph Kalis, PharmD, BCOP, is an Ambulatory Oncology Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at the University of Colorado Health. In this position, he educates patients about their chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments, reviews treatment plans and dose adjustments, and assists with supportive care. Dr. Kalis’ professional interests include multiple myeloma and hematologic malignancies. He enjoys teaching learners from all walks of life. Dr. Kalis has spoken extensively for continuing education programs, along with various peer-reviewed papers on oncology and pharmacy.
Jason Mouabbi, MD, is in Assistant Professor in the Department of General Oncology and the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he specializes in lobular breast cancers. His research focuses on the management of breast cancer subtypes and their impact on treatment. Dr. Mouabbi has been the recipient of multiple honors and awards, including the Guiding Researchers and Advocates to Scientific Partnerships (GRASP) Advocate Choice Award in 2022 and the Lester & Sue Smith Breast Cancer Award of Excellence in 2021.
Allison Rosen, MS, is a colorectal cancer survivor and a patient advocate who uses her platform to educate, support, and represent the cancer community. She works as a patient advocate with numerous organizations, including Fight Colorectal Cancer, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, SWOG Cancer Research Network, and MD Anderson Cancer Center. Ms. Rosen is passionate about bridging the gap between the health care system and the communities that it serves.
Stephen J. Freedland, MD, is Director of the Center for Integrated Research in Cancer and Lifestyle and Associate Director for Education and Training at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. He also is the Warschaw Robertson Law Families Chair in Prostate Cancer and a professor in the Department of Urology at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. He also holds a staff physician appointment at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, NC. Dr. Freedland has published over 700 articles and served on numerous American Urological Association and American Society of Clinical Oncology guideline panels for prostate cancer. His research interests include the role of diet, lifestyle, and obesity in cancer, cancer health disparities, and cancer risk stratification.
Megan-Claire Chase is a patient advocate and the Breast Cancer Program Director for SHARE Cancer Support, a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower women with cancer by providing public education and support for patients and survivors. As a survivor of stage IIA invasive lobular breast cancer, Ms. Chase became involved in patient advocacy work after completing her treatment. She is a prolific writer, blogger, and public speaker, having been featured in the New York Times, in People Magazine, and on PBS’s “Beyond Cancer” episode of “Stories from the Stage.” Her story and work are documented in her blog “Life on the Cancer Train.”
Joseph Oropeza, PharmD, BCCCP, is an Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Pharmacy Clinical Specialist at the University of Colorado Health. With a strong commitment to evidence-based care, he collaborates directly with providers and nurses to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. Dr. Oropeza’s focus revolves around applying pharmaceutical expertise in emergency situations to deliver optimal care. He enjoys fostering two-way learning by not only contributing expertise but also engaging in continuous learning from colleagues and experiences. He takes pride in teaching and mentoring future learners and emphasizing critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and the importance of shared decision making in clinical scenarios.
Tristan E. Knight, MD, FRCPC, is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA) and practices at Seattle Children’s Hospital. He completed his Pediatric Residency at the University of Hawaii, a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT)/Cellular Therapy Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). His clinical areas of interest are allogeneic/autologous BMT and cellular/immune effector cell therapy, particularly in the treatment of children with ALL, AML, and neuroblastoma. He has published extensively on novel therapeutic approaches in these conditions, including the use of CAR T-cell therapy in children.
Morana Vojnic, MD, MBA, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell Health and a Medical Oncologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, where she serves as Director of Oncologic Services in the Brain and Spine Metastases Program. She specializes in thoracic and neuro-oncology, with expertise in the treatment of lung cancer, mediastinal tumors, head and neck cancer, brain cancer, and metastatic lesions of the brain and spine. With a background in molecular genetics, Dr. Vojnic designs personalized treatment plans and protocols using targeted drugs, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy for the treatment of patients with these diseases.
Gurbakhash Kaur, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. She specializes in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma, AL amyloidosis, and other plasma cell disorders, including the use of CAR T-cell therapy, immunotherapy, and stem cell transplantation. She actively participates in clinical trials investigating novel therapeutic options and quality-of-life improvements for patients with multiple myeloma.
Hiam Abdel-Salam, MS, CGC, is a Certified Genetic Counselor in the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center. She provides cancer risk assessment and counseling for patients in the Breast, Genitourinary, and Pediatric/Adolescent/Young Adult Centers. Her research interests are in the identification of incidental hereditary cancer predispositions in multigene panel testing and communication of hereditary cancer syndromes within families. She has a particular research focus on exploring attitudes and communication about cancer and hereditary cancer risk among racial and ethnic minority populations and improving access to cancer genetic counseling among underserved patients.
Nagashree Seetharamu, MD, is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, at the Barbara and Donald Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell Health. In addition to being a nationally and internationally renowned thoracic and head and neck oncologist, with a busy clinical practice, she is a very active academician. She has conducted several research projects in the fields of lung cancer prevention, early detection, predicative and prognostic biomarkers, as well as novel therapeutics in thoracic and head and neck oncology. In addition, Dr. Seetharamu is passionate about mentoring the new generation of oncologists and plays an active role in the fellowship program at Northwell Health. She also serves as a mentor for trainees in other institutions through the ASCO mentorship program.
Catherine Skefos, MA, MS, CGC, is a Certified Genetic Counselor in the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she provides cancer risk assessment and counseling to patients in the Endocrine Center. As a genetic counselor working with both pediatric and adult patients, she helps patients and family members understand and adapt to information about inherited cancer risk and genetic testing. Prior to becoming a genetic counselor, she received an MA in Medical Anthropology from the University of South Florida, where her research focused on health care access and health disparity. Catherine has a special interest in teaching, particularly educating health care providers about the utility of genetic counseling and testing with the goal of improving patient access to genetic services.