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2014 AICR Conference Speaker Biographies

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Elisa Bandera

Elisa Bandera, MD, PhD

Dr. Elisa Bandera is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Rutgers School of Public Health, and a member of the graduate faculty at Rutgers University’s Department of Nutritional Sciences.

She earned an MD degree from the University of Málaga, Spain and a PhD in Epidemiology and Community Health from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she also completed post-doctoral training in nutritional epidemiology of cancer.  

Her major research interests include the impact of dietary factors and obesity on female hormonal cancer risk and survival, early determinants of cancer risk, and breast and ovarian cancer in African American women. She has served as Principal Investigator in several epidemiologic studies, including the New Jersey Ovarian Cancer Study, which is a member of the Ovarian Cancer Association International Consortium, the Jersey Girl Study (a study evaluating factors affecting puberty in girls), the Women’s Circle of Health Study (a study of breast cancer in African American women, which is a member of the AMBER Consortium), and KP-ROCS (a cohort study evaluating obesity and ovarian cancer survival).

Over the past ten years, she has been actively involved in translating research findings into public health recommendations. She was involved in the development of the American Cancer Society’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Prevention in 2006 and in the 2011 Guidelines for Cancer Prevention and Survival.

Dr. Bandera was Project Leader for the SLR on endometrial cancer for the Second Expert Report. She was also recently the CUP Panel lead for the updated evidence on endometrial cancer published in September 2013, and Panel lead for the updated evidence on pancreatic cancer published in October 2012. In 2014, Dr Bandera will be one of the Panel leads for the update of the evidence for kidney cancer.

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Steven Belinsky

Steven Belinsky, PhD

Dr. Steven Belinsky received his undergraduate training and graduate degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then did a postdoctoral fellowship and was a Senior Staff fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences before moving to the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in Albuquerque, NM in 1990. He is currently Vice President for Research, Director of the Lung Cancer Program, and co-directs the Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics Program for the University of New Mexico Cancer Center. He has served on numerous advisory boards for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Belinsky has worked in the field of tobacco carcinogenesis for >25 years and is internationally recognized for his work in lung cancer and translational studies for early detection of lung cancer. His laboratory was the first to demonstrate that the tobacco specific nitrosamine causes DNA adducts that accumulate in the lung and lead to mutation of the K-ras oncogene. His work has been extended to evaluate epigenetic mechanisms for lung cancer, specifically inactivation of genes through aberrant promoter hypermethylation. Key findings from his laboratory include, identifying the p16 tumor suppressor gene as an early event in lung, the detection of promoter methylation of specific genes up to 3 years prior to diagnosis of lung cancer, and the demonstration that inhibitors that block promoter hypermethylation can prevent lung cancer development. Currently, his research is focused on controlling lung cancer through the identification of gene targets and pathways that are disrupted during the development of this disease. These findings are translated into population-based studies for the purpose of developing intermediate biomarkers for predicting cancer risk, early detection, prognosis, and response to preventive interventions. In addition, his group is involved in conducting at both the animal and human level the evaluation of novel preventive and chemotherapy approaches to reduce the mortality from lung cancer. Dr. Belinsky has authored more than 200 publications.

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Kerry S. Courneya

Kerry S. Courneya, PhD

Dr. Kerry S. Courneya is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Cancer at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. He received his BA (1987) and MA (1989) in Physical Education from the University of Western Ontario (London, Canada) and his PhD (1992) in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). He spent five years as an assistant and associate professor at the University of Calgary before moving to the University of Alberta in 1997. He was promoted to full professor in 2000 and awarded a Canada Research Chair in 2004. Dr. Courneya’s research program focuses on physical activity and cancer survivorship including how exercise may help survivors cope with cancer treatments, recover after treatments, and extend long term survivorship. His research interests include studying the effects of exercise on patient-reported outcomes, health-related fitness outcomes, and cancer outcomes; the determinants of exercise in cancer survivors; and behavior change interventions for promoting exercise in cancer survivors. Dr. Courneya is Study Co-Chair for the multinational Colon Health and Life-Long Exercise Change (CHALLENGE) Trial designed to determine the effects of exercise on disease-free survival in 962 colon cancer survivors. He is also Team Co-Leader for the Alberta Moving Beyond Breast Cancer (AMBER) Cohort Study designed to determine the associations between physical activity, health-related fitness, and cancer outcomes in 1,500 newly diagnosed Alberta breast cancer survivors. He has co-authored the American Cancer Society’s physical activity and nutrition guidelines (2012) and the American College of Sports Medicine’s exercise guidelines for cancer survivors (2010).

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Andrew Dannenberg

Andrew Dannenberg, MD

Dr. Andrew J. Dannenberg is the Henry R. Erle, MD-Roberts Family Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Dannenberg received his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis and served as a medical resident and gastroenterology fellow at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. His laboratory is focused on elucidating the mechanisms underlying the inflammation-cancer connection in multiple organs with an emphasis on prostaglandin biology. A major focus is the role of obesity-mediated inflammation in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. The long-term goal of this research is to develop evidence-based approaches to reduce the risk of cancer. Dr. Dannenberg has authored more than 150 scientific articles, as well as edited several books and journals.  In 2011, he was awarded the American Association for Cancer Research-Prevent Cancer Foundation award for excellence in cancer prevention research. He is a member of the Association of American Physicians (AAP), the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).  He serves on the editorial boards of several journals including Cancer Prevention Research and Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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John W. Erdman

John W. Erdman, Jr., PhD

Dr. John Erdman is Emeritus Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Professor of Internal Medicine and Professor of Nutrition in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana. Dr. Erdman's training and expertise encompass the nutritional and physiological biochemistry of man and animals. He has authored over 180 original research articles on these subjects and has over 300 total publications including other articles and chapters. He is a member of a variety of professional organizations including the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), and the American Heart Association (AHA). He is past President of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences (now ASN), has been elected Fellow for ASN, AHA and IFT. He has been extensively involved with the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), where he served on the FNB for 9 years, 6 as Vice Chair. Among other committees of the FNB, he served as Chair of the Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) and was Chair of the Committee on Military Nutrition Research. Recently this committee published the report "Nutrition and Traumatic Brain Injury". For his extensive contributions to the NAS, he was named as Lifetime National Associate of the NAS in 2001 and was elected as a Member of the Institute of Medicine, NAS in 2003. Other honors include: receipt of the Samuel Cate Prescott Award for Research and the William Cruess Award for Teaching from IFT: the Borden Award from ASN; being named as an Original Member in Agricultural Science by ISI as an Highly Cited Researcher (top 0.05%); and several University of Illinois Excellent and Outstanding Teaching awards. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of ILSI- NA. Dr. Erdman has is past Executive Director of the Mars Science Advisory Council and is currently Executive Director of the Wrigley Scientific Advisory Council. Dr. Erdman received his BS, MS, MPH and PhD in Food Science from Rutgers University.

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Christine Friedenreich

Christine Friedenreich, PhD

Dr. Christine Friedenreich is a cancer epidemiologist with the Department of Population Health Research (PHR) of CancerControl Alberta, Alberta Health Services and an Adjunct Professor in the Faculties of Medicine and Kinesiology of the University of Calgary (U of C). She holds a Health Senior Scholar career award from Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions and in 2012 was named the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s Weekend to End Women’s Cancers Breast Cancer Chair at the U of C. Dr. Friedenreich is the Scientific Leader for PHR and the Division Head for the Division of Preventive Oncology, Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary. Dr. Friedenreich completed her doctorate in Epidemiology at the University of Toronto in 1990 and postdoctoral work at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France and at the U of C between 1990 and 1994. In 2004-5, Dr. Friedenreich was the Visiting Scientist at the IARC. Dr Friedenreich’s research is focused on understanding the role of physical activity in reducing the risk of developing cancer and in improving quality of life and survival after cancer diagnosis.

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Michelle Harvie

Michelle Harvie, PhD

Dr. Michelle Harvie is a research dietitian from the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Centre, University Hospital South Manchester Trust. She qualified as a dietitian in 1991. Her current research covers optimum diet and exercise strategies to prevent breast cancer and its recurrence. She has over 30 peer reviewed publications and was awarded the British Dietetic Association Rose Simmond's Award 2005 for her paper on weight gain amongst breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. Most recently she received the Association Study Obesity National Best practice award 2011 for her work on intermittent energy restricted diets. She is principal investigator for the B-AHEAD 2 trial which is testing intermittent diets amongst women receiving adjuvant chemotherapy.

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Jeannie Huang

Jeannie Huang, MD, MPH

Dr. Jeannie Huang received her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and her public health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. She underwent pediatric residency training at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and completed a pediatric gastroenterology fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Huang joined the faculty at UCSD and staff at Rady Children’s Hospital in 2002. Her clinical practice includes the treatment of all gastrointestinal, hepatic, pancreatic and nutrition disorders affecting children. Dr. Huang’s current research interests focus on how the health of individuals, communities, and populations can be improved through the creative use of wireless and networked technologies and ubiquitous computing. She developed MD2Me, a SMS and web-based intervention designed to increase health-related self-efficacy and healthcare engagement among adolescents with chronic disease; and Fit4Life, a SMS and phone-counseling intervention designed to help young cancer survivors achieve healthy weight. Both interventions were tested in randomized controlled trials, and both demonstrated significant improvements in targeted health outcomes among intervention recipients. Dr. Huang also currently leads a NIH-funded project evaluating computer vision technology for assessing pain in children. She is also a co-investigator on 2 NSF-funded projects enabling the use of health sensor and multisource data to monitor and improve health. Dr. Huang currently receives and has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the American Cancer Society for her work. Dr. Huang is also Director of the Pediatric Gastroenterology Fellowship program at the University of California San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego.

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Esther M. John

Esther M. John, PhD, MSPH

Dr. Esther John is a cancer epidemiologist, with a major research focus on breast cancer in Latinas and other racial/ethnic minority populations and on prostate cancer. Her research examines the role of modifiable lifestyle factors such as body size, physical activity, and dietary intake; early-life exposures; and genetic susceptibility in the etiology and prognosis of these common cancers. She also conducts research on risk factors for specific breast cancer subtypes and second breast cancers, as well as early-life determinants of pubertal development in young girls. Dr. John is a leader and collaborator in several multicenter studies, including the Breast Cancer Family Registry, the WECARE study, and the LEGACY Girls Study.

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Lee W. Jones

Lee W. Jones, PhD

Dr. Lee W. Jones is a Member (Attending Physiologist) in the Department of Medicine and Director of the Cardiology-Oncology Research Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  Dr. Jones completed PhD and Postdoctoral Fellowship in Physical Education (Exercise Oncology) at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). Dr. Jones joined MSKCC in February 2014 after eight years at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Jones’s research program focuses on a translational approach to investigation of the efficacy of targeted exercise training to: (1) mitigate cancer therapy-associated cardiovascular injury, and (2) inhibit tumor growth and progression.  He has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters. He also serves on the energy balance and survivorship working groups of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). His research program has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, and U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program. 

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Donald B. Jump

Donald B. Jump, PhD

Dr. Donald Jump received a PhD in Biochemistry from Georgetown University-Washington, DC in 1980 under the direction of Dr. Mark Smulson. His postdoctoral training was in molecular endocrinology under the direction of Dr. Jack Oppenheimer, endocrinology and metabolism section head in the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis. In 1985, he joined the Department of Physiology at Michigan State University (MSU)-East Lansing, MI; and was jointly appointed in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 1992. He rose through the ranks to Full Professor at MSU (1995). In 2007, he moved his lab to Oregon and joined the Nutrition Program at Oregon State University.

The majority of Dr. Jump’s research for the last 28 years has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIDDK) and the US Department of Agriculture. His research has focused on defining the molecular and metabolic basis for dietary fat regulation of hepatic lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. His contributions to this field were recognized in 2005 with the presentation of the Osborne and Mendel Award by the American Society of Nutritional Sciences; an award given in recognition of outstanding recent basic research in nutrition.

Dr. Jump’s current studies focus on the roles of dietary fat and hepatic fatty acid metabolism in the control of complications associated with diet-induced type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH is a disease characterized by fatty liver with inflammation, oxidative stress and fibrosis. NASH can progress to cirrhosis, a risk factor for liver cancer. The overall goal is to identify approaches to prevent or attenuate the onset and progression of fatty liver disease.

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Thomas Meinert Larsen, PhD

Dr. Thomas Meinert Larsen is an Associate Professor, in the section for obesity research, at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His main interests and research areas are within the aetiology and clinical treatment of obesity. Over the last 15 years, he has been undertaking a number of clinical trials including both nutritional and medical therapy, as well as exercise and use of digital tools. During the latest years, his main involvement has been in conducting long-term human dietary intervention studies, specifically looking at the role of dietary composition and behavior modification for weight loss, weight maintenance, risk factors for type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Some of these dietary intervention studies have involved the use of the so-called “Shop model” where study participants are provided all foods free of charge for up to 6 month in order to ensure optimal dietary compliance. Dr. Larsen has had a key role in the conception and coordination of the large European multi-center study DIOGENES which looked at the health effects of protein and glycemic index. Also, Dr. Larsen has been doing studies on the Mediterranean diet, and now more recently he has looked at the effects of other regional diets, including the New Nordic Diet.

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Gertraud Maskarinec

Gertraud Maskarinec, MD, PhD

Dr. Gertraud Maskarinec is a physician in preventive medicine with a medical degree from Freiburg, Germany, and a doctoral degree in epidemiology from the University of Hawaii. During the last 20 years, her research in nutritional epidemiology has focused on identifying risk factors that play a role in the development of breast cancer, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL), and type 2 diabetes. To understand the differential rates of disease in Hawaii’s ethnic groups, she has performed comparative studies that included individuals from Hawaii, the US, Japan, and Europe. Nutritional factors, especially soy foods, dietary patterns, obesity, have been the topics of numerous grants and publications. The soy-related research builds on the opportunities offered by the ethnically diverse population of Hawaii and the geographic proximity to Japan. Several observational studies as well as nutritional interventions examined biomarkers of cancer risk, including mammographic densities, serum hormone levels, urinary estrogen metabolites, inflammatory markers, characteristics of nipple aspirate fluid, and immunohistochemical markers in tumor tissue. Since there is considerable experimental and epidemiologic research suggesting that diet may have a stronger influence on breast development during childhood and adolescence than during adulthood, Dr. Maskarinec and colleagues are developing low radiation methods to monitor breast density among girls and young women. With the aging of the Multiethnic Cohort and an increasing number of cancer survivors, Dr. Maskarinec and colleagues have expanded their investigations from cancer risk factors to determinants of survival, in particular differences in mortality due to ethnicity and obesity with interesting results related to ethnic differences in adiposity and its role in disease etiology and outcome.

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Joel B. Mason

Joel B. Mason, MD

Dr. Joel Mason received his MD from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine; his training in internal medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and he then returned to the University of Chicago where he completed post-doctoral training in both gastroenterology and clinical nutrition in 1987. His entire faculty career has been at Tufts University, where he is presently a Professor in the School of Medicine and in the Friedman School of Nutrition. He was Chief of the Division of Clinical Nutrition at the School of Medicine until 2002, at which time he set aside that position in order to devote more energies to his research program. He also directed the NIH-funded post-doctoral fellowship program in Human Nutrition and Metabolism at Tufts between 1996 and 2010. For over two decades his research program has been largely focused on the role that folate--and other 1-carbon nutrients--play in modulating the risk of common cancers, most notably cancers of the colorectum and breast. In pre-clinical studies his laboratory has contributed seminal insights into the biochemical and molecular mechanisms by which these nutrients modulate cancer risk, and his clinical studies have helped define the relevance of these mechanisms to human cancer biology. His laboratory has also helped delineate the role of various endogenous and exogenous factors that interact with folate status in determining cancer risk such as: age, genotypic background, the availability of other related B-vitamins, and the effects of alcohol consumption. He has served as a scientific advisor for both the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans as well as for the European Food Safety Authority. More recently, the Mason laboratory has embarked on studies aimed at defining the mechanistic pathways by which obesity enhances carcinogenesis, and his group is pursuing these questions in both pre-clinical and clinical studies.

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Marji McCullough

Marji McCullough, ScD, RD

Dr. Marji McCullough is a nutritional epidemiologist whose research focuses on the influence of dietary factors on cancer risk through evaluation of dietary surveys and blood-based biomarkers in large prospective cohort studies. Her primary areas of interest are the relationships of vitamin D, calcium, dietary patterns, and adherence to dietary and lifestyle guidelines with cancer incidence and premature mortality. She is currently one of the investigators in the large NCI-funded Vitamin D Pooling Project (VDPP) of Breast and Colorectal Cancer, and participated in the previous NCI-funded VDPP of Rarer Cancers.

Dr. McCullough earned her B.S. in Dietetics from Michigan State University, an M.S. in Clinical Dietetics from the MGH Institute of Health Professions. After completing her doctoral degree in Nutritional Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1999, she joined the American Cancer Society’s Department of Epidemiology and Surveillance Research. Dr. McCullough is on the adjunct faculty at Emory University in the departments of Epidemiology, Global Health (Rollins School of Public Health) and in the Nutrition and Health Sciences Program (Division of Biological Sciences).

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Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt

Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, MD, MPH

Dr. Jeffrey Meyerhardt earned his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut and completed an internship and residency in medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA.   He then went on to serve a clinical fellowship in medicine, hematology/oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a clinical and research fellowship in hematology/oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a clinical fellowship in medicine, hematology/oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr Meyerhardt also holds a Masters of Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Dr. Meyerhardt is a Senior Physician in the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, serves as the Clinical Director and Director of the Clinical Trials Office for the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center and is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Meyerhardt’s research interests are focused on the influence of diet and lifestyle on outcomes among patients with cancer, particularly colorectal cancer. He is a project leader for a project in Harvard’s recently awarded TREC grant. In addition, he is involved in studies on the role of PI3-kinase signaling pathway in defining sensitivity and resistance to anti-EGFR therapy in colorectal cancer through the Dana-Farber / Harvard Cancer Center GI SPORE. Finally, he has led multiple phase II trials for gastrointestinal cancers and is the principal investigator for an ongoing NCI-sponsored phase III adjuvant therapy for stage III colon cancer. He has presented nationally and internationally and published extensively on related topics in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters.  Dr. Meyerhardt is member of the Editorial Board for Journal of Clinical Oncology and served as a Guest Editor for a special issue on Hosts Factors and Cancer Prognosis.  Dr. Meyerhardt is also ad hoc reviewer for numerous clinical journals, including Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Annals of Oncology, and Lancet.

Certified with a Subspecialty Board of Medical Oncology, Dr. Meyerhardt is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, serving on multiple committees including the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee, Conquer Cancer Foundation Grants Selection Committee, Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee and Cancer Education Committee.  He is active in the Cancer and Leukemia Group B cooperative group (now Alliance) as a cadre member for the prevention committee and gastrointestinal cancer committee.

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Kirsten K. Ness

Kiri Ness, PT, PhD

Dr. Kirsten K. Ness is a physical therapist and clinical epidemiologist and an Associate Member of the faculty at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She has a BA in Physical Therapy, an MA in Leadership and an MPH and PHD in Epidemiology. She has been in Physical Therapy practice for over 30 years. Her research focuses on the observation and remediation of functional loss among persons who were treated for cancer during childhood. She has funding from the American Cancer Society, the Gabrielle’s Angel’s Foundation, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. She has over 140 peer reviewed publications and serves on the Steering Committees for the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study and the Children’s Oncology Group Survivorship and Outcomes Committee. She is a member of the Survivorship Committee for the American Society for Clinical Oncology, an active member of the Oncology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, and on the Editorial Boards of Pediatric Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Oncology, and the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Howard L. Parnes

Howard L. Parnes, MD

Dr. Howard Parnes received a BA from Cornell University in 1977 and an MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1981. He trained in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center from 1981 to 1984 followed by a medical oncology fellowship at the University of Maryland Cancer Center (UMCC) from 1984 to 1987. After 8 years on the UMCC faculty he joined the Division of Cancer Prevention at the National Cancer Institute, where he has been Chief of the Prostate and Urologic Cancer Research Group since 2001.

Dr. Parnes has authored numerous scientific publications and served on the Steering Committees for PCPT and SELECT, the two largest prostate cancer prevention trials conducted to date. In addition to his primary research interest in genitourinary cancer prevention, Dr. Parnes is an Attending Physician and Clinical Investigator in the NCI Clinical Center prostate and bladder cancer programs.

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Susan K. Parsons, MD, MRP

Dr. Susan Parsons is a Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA, and Associate Director of the Tufts Cancer Center for Population Science and Community Involvement. She is the founding Director of the Reid R. Sacco Adolescent and Young Adult Program for Cancer and Hereditary Blood Disorders and architect of the Avon Foundation-funded Patient Navigation Program for Patients of Chinese Origin at Tufts Cancer Center. Both her clinical and research programs focus on improving the care experience for patients and their families. She is a highly regarded researcher in the development and application of health-related quality of life (HRQL) assessment of children with serious illness and their parent caregivers. Separately, Dr. Parsons and her colleagues address the fiscal impact of critical and chronic illness in studies of total cost of care, cost effectiveness, and more globally, on value. She is dual PI of an ongoing study to develop alternative payment models for a specialized medical home model of care for technology-dependent children and dual PI of a cost effectiveness analysis of a novel targeted agent in the treatment of new-onset Hodgkin Lymphoma. She and colleagues have recently completed a cost effectiveness analysis, using SEER-Medicare data, of innovative treatments in multiple myeloma. Dr. Parsons has a graduate degree in health economics and planning from Cornell University and a medical degree from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. While board certified in pediatric hematology/oncology, she has spent the past two decades caring for both children and adults with hematologic malignancies. Since 2007, she has served as a member of the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplant expert panel on the role of HSCT in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children and adults, and from 2009-2013, served a co-chair of the Health Policy and Psychosocial Working Committee of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. Previously, she served on the Economic Task Force for the Children’s Oncology Group, as member of the Health Services Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and as a member of the National Cancer Legislation Advisory Committee for which she chaired the HRQL and Quality of Care round tables.

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Kim Robien

Kim Robien, PhD, RD, CSO, FAND

. Robien is an Associate Professor at the George Washington University in the Milken Institute School of Public Health. She is a registered dietitian, nutritional scientist, and epidemiologist whose research focuses on nutrition in relation to cancer prevention and survivorship. She is also interested in environmental nutrition and sustainable food systems, and the extent to which food and water-borne environmental contaminants (such as plasticizers from food processing/storage) may contribute to the risk of obesity, cancer and other chronic diseases. Dr. Robien serves as Program Director for the new Master’s in Public Health degree program in Public Health Nutrition at GW. She is a widely published scientific researcher, and also serves as a member of the Editorial Boards for the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Nutrition in Clinical Practice.

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Cheryl Rock

Cheryl Rock, PhD, RD

Dr. Cheryl Rock is a Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, and the Cancer Prevention and Control Program, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. She completed undergraduate training in nutrition and dietetics at Michigan State University, achieved a Master of Medical Science degree in clinical nutrition at Emory University, and was awarded a doctoral degree in nutritional sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Rock’s research efforts are focused on the role of nutritional and dietary factors in the development and progression of cancer, particularly breast cancer, and healthy weight management in adults. Her research efforts address diet composition and weight management, and how diet, adiposity and physical activity affect biomarkers and risk and progression of cancer and other chronic diseases.

Dr. Rock is presently involved in several randomized trials funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that are testing whether healthy weight control and modifications in diet and physical activity can alter biological processes, hormonal factors, body weight, progression of cancer, and cardiovascular disease risk factors. She leads a large multisite vanguard randomized trial that is testing the effect of a behavioral weight loss intervention on weight change, quality of life and comorbidities in overweight or obese women with a history of early stage breast cancer. Dr. Rock also leads a project and core for an NIH-funded Transdisciplinary Research in Energetics and Cancer (TREC) Center at UCSD, one of four such centers. Additionally, she is a co-investigator on six NIH-funded studies that are focused on obesity, various weight loss interventions, and both behavioral and metabolic factors associated with disease risk. Dr. Rock leads the Diet and Physical Activity Shared Resource of the Moores UCSD Comprehensive Cancer Center, a multifaceted laboratory and dietary and physical activity assessment recharge service unit.

Dr. Rock has served on numerous NIH and USDA review panels and committees, and she currently serves on editorial boards for several peer-reviewed journals. To date, Dr. Rock is the author of more than 240 scientific papers and book chapters.

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Isabelle Romieu

Isabelle Romieu, MD, MPH, ScD

Dr. Isabelle Romieu obtained her Medical degree (MD) from the Medical School of Montpellier in France with a specialty in critical care and anesthesiology, and worked for several years at a Cancer Institute in France. She obtained postgraduate training in biostatistics and nutrition, and later obtained a master of Public Health (MPH) and a doctorate of Science (ScD) in Epidemiology with focus on nutritional epidemiology from Harvard University. From 1991 to 2008, she worked in Mexico and Latin American countries first with the Pan American Health organization, then with the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico where she was professor of epidemiology. She joined the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in March 2010 as Head of the Section on Nutrition and Metabolism. She has a major interest in the role of diet, body fatness, physical activity, and other life style risk factors associated to cancer and other major NCDs as well as their early determinants. Her work is both in HICs and LMICs were she is involved in large studies on cancer and NCDs with a particular focus on breast cancer using epidemiologic/statistical techniques, biomarkers to explore metabolic alterations, along with application of genetic, nutrigenomic and epigenetic approaches. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine of Mexico and has received several honorary distinctions for her research.

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Daniel W. Rosenberg

Daniel W. Rosenberg, PhD

Dr. Daniel Rosenberg has more than 25 years of experience in the field of cancer biology. He received his PhD in Environmental Health Science (Toxicology) from the University of Michigan. He then trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Pharmacology at The Rockefeller University in the Laboratory of Dr. Attallah Kappas. After a brief stint as a Toxicologist at the Chevron Environmental Health Center in Richmond, CA, Dr. Rosenberg returned to The Rockefeller University as an Assistant Professor. He is presently the Health Net, Inc. Chair in Cancer Biology and an Investigator in the Center for Molecular Medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Center, directing an active research program that focuses on colorectal carcinogenesis and inflammation-related cancers, using both mouse genetic models and human biospecimens for understanding early molecular changes that contribute to colon cancer risk. He is particularly interested in the development of chemoprevention strategies and nutritional interventions that can be applied to human populations. He has established a translational research program in Cancer Prevention that is formally associated with the Neag Cancer Center and he serves as the Program Director. The research interests of the Program extends across several areas of colon cancer biology, with translational applications in prevention and early detection of premalignant lesions as a primary focus.

He has published several recent papers that identify early molecular signatures (e.g. somatic mutations and epigenetic changes) of microdissected lesions in colonic biospecimens obtained from 'index' colonoscopy patients and is presently examining how these molecular alterations may predict future risk of cancer. He is also actively studying the association of cigarette smoking, obesity, chronic inflammation and other risk factors with the development of a subset of colorectal cancers that display a distinct spectrum of histological and molecular features.

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Sharon Ross

Sharon A. Ross, PhD, MPH

Dr. Sharon Ross is a Program Director in the Nutritional Science Research Group, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. In this capacity, she is responsible for directing, coordinating and managing a multi-disciplinary research grant portfolio in diet, nutrition, and cancer prevention. Topics in her portfolio and research interests include: molecular approaches to diet and pancreatic cancer; diet, epigenetic events, and cancer prevention; nutrition and nanotechnology; as well as diet, obesity and cancer risk. Dr. Ross has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health with an emphasis in Epidemiology. Prior to joining the NCI, Dr. Ross worked at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At FDA, she was involved in scientific review and regulation development for health claim labeling. Before FDA, Dr. Ross was a Cancer Prevention Fellow in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, NCI. Sharon did her doctoral dissertation research in the Laboratory of Cellular Carcinogenesis and Tumor Promotion at NCI where her research topic concerned the effects of retinoids in growth, differentiation, and cell adhesion. Dr. Ross also holds a MS in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Connecticut and a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of New Hampshire.

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Adrienne C. Scheck

Adrienne C. Scheck, PhD

Dr. Adrienne C. Scheck is a research scientist at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix Arizona. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University and an Associate Investigator in the Cancer Biology Program at the Arizona Cancer Center of the University of Arizona. Dr. Scheck received her undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester in NY and her PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. After a postdoctoral fellowship in viral oncology at the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania she moved to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to study AIDS-related dementia. She began her studies of brain tumors while at Sloan-Kettering and moved to the Barrow Neurological Institute in 1989. Current work in her laboratory has 2 major goals. The first is to devise novel therapeutic regimens to improve survival and minimize side effects for patients with malignant brain tumors. To this end, her laboratory has been studying the use of the ketogenic diet (KD) for the treatment of malignant brain tumors. Their work has shown that the KD reduces the growth of malignant brain tumors through a variety of mechanisms, and it potentiates the effect of radiation and temozolomide chemotherapy. These preclinical studies have led to a clinical trial for patients with glioblastoma multiforme (www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT02046187). The second main goal of her research is to identify markers that improve on the current methods of diagnosis and prognosis for this devastating disease. In addition to her love for horses, one of Adrienne’s pet projects comes from her interest in science education. She directs a program that places high school students in research laboratories and gives Cancer Biology lectures to area high school students, and she is a co-investigator on a Science Education grant with the Arizona Science Center.

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Susan E. Steck

Susan E. Steck, PhD, MPH, RD

Dr. Susan Steck is Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Cancer Prevention and Control Program, and Affiliated Scholar at the Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities at the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina. She earned a BS degree in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame, a PhD and MPH in nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is a registered dietitian. She completed postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and has over fifteen years of experience researching the role of diet in cancer prevention and control.

Dr. Steck’s research interests include gene-diet interactions, health disparities in cancer-related risk factors, and biomarkers of diet and genetic susceptibility. She is PI of a Department of Defense-funded grant to examine the role of vitamin D and related genes in racial disparities in prostate cancer aggressiveness. She also leads grants related to the associations between the diet, inflammation, and colorectal and breast cancers. Dr. Steck currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the American Society of Preventive Oncology and President-Elect of the Columbia-Midlands Dietetic Association, and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society of Nutrition.

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Cynthia A. Thomson

Cynthia A. Thomson, PhD, RD

Dr. Cynthia Thomson is a Professor in the College of Public Health and holds joint appointments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences & the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona. Dr. Thomson received her PhD from the Interdisciplinary Program in Nutritional Sciences, University of Arizona and completed NCI-sponsored post-doctoral training at the Arizona Cancer Center with a focus on diet and cancer prevention. Her research emphasis includes dietary intervention in breast and ovarian cancer survivors, as well as behavioral interventions for weight control and metabolic regulation. She was appointed as the Director of the Canyon Ranch Center of Prevention and Health Promotion at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health a center whose mission is to support a healthier Tucson community.

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David J. Waters

David J. Waters PhD, DVM

Dr. David Waters received his BS and DVM degrees from Cornell University and his PhD degree from the University of Minnesota.  He is currently Professor of Comparative Oncology and Associate Director of the Center on Aging and The Life Course at Purdue University.  Since 2005, Dr. Waters has served as Director of The Center for Exceptional Longevity Studies at the Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation.  Appointed to The National Academies of Sciences – Keck Futures Initiative Scientific Panel on Extending Human Healthspan in 2007, he is nationally recognized for his work on utilizing pet dogs as models of human aging. He is a Fellow in the Biology of Aging, Gerontological Society of America. Dr. Waters is an expert on the comparative aspects of prostate cancer in men and dogs, awarded the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program’s Innovative Minds in Prostate Cancer Today in 2007. His research, which targets the underexplored intersection of the fields of aging and cancer, is aimed at developing personalized interventions that promote successful aging and cancer avoidance. This research led to the development of SeleniumHealth™, a toenail test that can be used to measure and adjust the dietary intake of the cancer-fighting nutrient selenium. As a teacher, Dr. Waters contributes significantly to Purdue University’s Dual Title PhD Program in Gerontology. His course To See and To Seize Opportunities offers inter-disciplinary graduate students the opportunity to explore the skills and attitudes that promote self-renewal and peak performance in discovering and educating. In 2005, he was awarded The Great Teacher Award for Exemplary Interdisciplinary Teaching at Purdue. In 2010, his first cross-country scientific expedition to study the oldest-living pet dogs in their homes (“The Old Grey Muzzle Tour”) was featured in USA Today and Good Morning America. His recent TEDx talk The Oldest Dogs as Our Greatest Teachers: Get the Words Out of Your Eyes underscores how language limits the scientific method.

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Published on June 26, 2014

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