About Us

The Biden Cancer Initiative is a response to the lack of a cohesive, comprehensive and timely approach to cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, research, and care.

Fueled by urgency, we stand on behalf of every patient, every family, every community having to deal with a cancer diagnosis and the complex and confusing maze they must navigate thereafter.

We are an independent nonprofit organization that builds on the Cancer Moonshot’s goals and grounded on Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden’s firm commitment to ending cancer as we know it.

Our work is shaped by the breadth and depth of insight, experience, and expertise of our board of directors and advisory committee.

Board Of Directors

Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

Co-Chair

Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

Co-Chair

As a Senator from Delaware for 36 years, Vice President Biden was a leader in facing some of our nation’s most important domestic and international challenges. As Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 17 years, he was widely recognized for his work on criminal justice issues, including the landmark 1994 Crime Act and the Violence Against Women Act. As Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 12 years, Biden played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. foreign policy.

As the 47th Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden continued his leadership on important issues facing the nation and represented our country abroad. Biden led the White House Cancer Moonshot, which resulted in more than 80 new actions and collaborations from the public and private sectors to speed progress in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care, and worked with Congress to authorize an additional $1.8Billion for investment in cancer research. Biden oversaw the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and chaired the Middle-Class Task Force.

In January, President Obama awarded Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with Distinction – the highest civilian honor in the United States.

Jill Biden, Ed.D.

Co-Chair

Jill Biden, Ed.D.

Co-Chair

Dr. Jill Biden is a mother and grandmother, a lifelong educator, and a former Second Lady of the United States.

Dr. Biden’s passion for finding a cure began in 1993, when four of her friends were diagnosed with breast cancer. Hoping to use her decades-long education background to promote prevention, she started the Biden Breast Health Initiative in Delaware, which has educated more than 10,000 high school girls about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.

Later, after losing both parents to the disease, and helping to nurse her sister through a stem cell transplant, she was inspired to use her role as Second Lady to raise awareness and support research. In Washington, D.C., Dr. Biden and the Vice President served – and continue to serve – as the Honorary Co-Chairs for the Global Race for the Cure.

Following the death of their son Beau to brain cancer in 2015, Vice President and Dr. Biden helped push for a national commitment to ending cancer as we know it, known as the White House Cancer Moonshot. Today, they continue that mission through the Biden Cancer Initiative, hoping to inject a sense of urgency into cancer research and care, and to deliver better outcomes for patients.

David B. Agus, M.D.

David B. Agus, M.D.

Dr. David B. Agus is a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California. He is the founding director and CEO of the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC. A medical oncologist, Dr. Agus leads a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers dedicated to the development and use of technologies to guide doctors in making healthcare decisions tailored to individual needs.

Dr. Agus served in leadership roles at the World Economic Forum and is a CBS News contributor. Dr. Agus’ three books “The End of Illness”, “A Short Guide to a Long Life” and “The Lucky Years: How to Thrive in the Brave New World of Health” are all New York Times and international bestsellers.

Erin Andrews

Erin Andrews

As part of FOX Sports’ “A Team,” Erin Andrews currently reports for FOX NFL Sunday, for sideline coverage and features, a show that records a staggering 56.4 million unique viewers. Andrews recently wrapped her 6th season as Co-Host of ABC’s long-running reality series, Dancing with the Stars, alongside Tom Bergeron this fall. Having a unique perspective on the competition, Erin was also a contestant in 2010, where she was paired with Maksim Chmerkovkiy and earned third place.

Recent notable appearances include her coverage of Super Bowl LI & Super Bowl XLVIII, the 2015 & 2014 World Series and host of FOX’s Prime Time College Football Pregame Show. Prior to her move to FOX, Andrews spent eight years at ESPN where she hosted the first hour of ESPN’s College GameDay on ESPNU and was a features reporter for the full three-hour program, congruently serving as a sideline reporter for NCAA football and basketball games.

Erin began her career with Fox Sports-Florida South as a freelance reporter and Tampa Bay Lightning reporter for the Sunshine Network. She joined ESPN in May 2004 as a reporter for the network’s National Hockey League coverage and quickly become a fan favorite, transitioning into college football, basketball, baseball and Major League Baseball.

Photo by: Brian Bowen Smith

Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D., President of the Salk Institute, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 for discovering the molecular nature of telomeres, the ends of chromosomes that serve as protective caps essential for preserving genetic information, and for co-discovering telomerase, an enzyme that maintains telomere ends. Both telomeres and telomerase are thought to play central roles in aging and diseases such as cancer, and her work helped launch entire new fields of research in these areas.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, Dr. Blackburn has received nearly every major science award including the Lasker, Gruber and Gairdner prizes. Helping to guide public science policy, she was a member of the Stem Cell Research Advisory Panel for the California State Legislature and a member of the President’s Council of Bioethics, an advisory committee to the President of the United States.

David G. Bradley

David G. Bradley

Mr. Bradley is chairman of Atlantic Media, whose holdings include The Atlantic, Quartz, National Journal Daily, National Journal Membership, The Hotline, and Government Executive Media Group. At the age of 26, he launched his first company, the Advisory Board Company, a for-profit think tank ultimately serving 4,000 corporations, financial institutions, and medical centers around the world. The Advisory Board company and its sister enterprise, the Corporate Executive Board, today are public companies listed on NASDAQ. During his early 20s, Mr. Bradley was a Fulbright Scholar in the Philippines. He graduated from Swarthmore College, holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, a J.D. from Georgetown University, and, more recently, an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Swarthmore. Board memberships include the Council on Foreign Relations, New America Foundation and KIPP DC. He is based in Washington, D.C.

Carol L. Brown, M.D.

Carol L. Brown, M.D.

Carol L. Brown, M.D., a board-certified Gynecologic Oncologist, is the Associate Cancer Center Director for Diversity and Outreach at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She holds academic appointments as Attending Surgeon and Member, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Brown’s career is dedicated to providing high-quality and compassionate surgical care to women with gynecologic cancer, reduction and elimination of cancer health disparities experienced by medically underserved populations, and promoting public policy to increase awareness, improve care, and increase research funding for gynecologic and other cancers locally and nationally.

Jimmy “Taboo” Gomez

Jimmy “Taboo” Gomez

Jimmy Gomez, also known to his band mates and fans as “Taboo”, is not just a member of the global chart-topping sensation, The Black Eyed Peas, but also a cancer survivor.

Born in East Los Angeles, Taboo followed his dream of being an entertainer and rose from humble beginnings to unimaginable success. With singles like “Boom Boom Pow” and “I gotta feelin”, BEP had a record 27 consecutive weeks atop Billboard’s hot 100 chart. Having sold a staggering 65 million albums worldwide, Taboo is now a driving force behind BEP’s return to the spotlight in 2017.

Julie Papanek Grant, M.B.A., M.Phil.

Julie Papanek Grant, M.B.A., M.Phil.

Julie Papanek Grant is a Partner at Canaan Partners, an early-stage technology and healthcare venture capital firm with over $3.5 billion under management. During her four years at Canaan, Julie has led and co-sponsored numerous investments across biopharmaceuticals, life science tools, and digital health start-ups including Cellular Research (acquired by Becton Dickinson) and Protagonist Therapeutics (IPO in 2016).

Prior to Canaan, Julie’s held positions focused on new oncology therapies across Roche and Genentech’s Development and Commercial organizations. Julie holds an M.B.A. from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, an M.Phil. from Cambridge University in BioScience Enterprise and a B.S. from Yale University in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.

Kurt Grote, M.D.

Kurt Grote, M.D.

Kurt Grote is a Senior Partner in McKinsey & Company’s North American Healthcare Systems and Services Practice, and leads the Firm’s work with Cancer Centers. Dr. Grote supports CEOs and top teams of the largest healthcare providers across the Americas to improve performance with a focus on improving patient outcomes and optimizing labor and supply deployment. Dr. Grote’s extensive research work has focused on physician-system alignment, clinical quality enhancement, and health system performance in the face of healthcare reform.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Dr. Grote earned M.D. and B.A. degrees from Stanford University. He also served as captain of the U.S. National Swim Team and was an Olympic Gold Medalist in the 1996 Games, and in the 1998 World Championships. During this period, he worked with major pharmaceutical companies to promote swimming as part of a treatment regimen for asthmatic children.

Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D.

Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D.

Dr. Elizabeth Jaffee is the Deputy Director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, the Dana and Albert “Cubby” Broccoli Professor of Oncology and the Co-Director of the Skip Viragh Center for Pancreas Cancer. She has served on many committees at the National Cancer Institute and is currently Chair of the National Cancer Advisory Board.

Dr. Jaffee served as co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Panel that provided scientific advice for Vice President Joe Biden’s Moonshot Initiative. Dr. Jaffee is the 2015 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Burchenal Award Recipient and is Present-Elect of AACR for the 2017-2018 term. Her interests are in vaccine and immunotherapy development for pancreatic and breast cancers.

Howard Krein, M.D., Ph.D.

Howard Krein, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Krein currently serves as Senior Director of Health Policy & Innovation of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University. He is an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery/Microvascular Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital where he specializes in cancer reconstruction. Dr. Krein is Chief Medical Officer at StartUp Health, which is organizing and supporting an army of Health Transformers. Dr. Krein received his M.D. from Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and a Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from UMDNJ/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Eric S. Lander, Ph.D.

Eric S. Lander, Ph.D.

Dr. Eric Lander is president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. A geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician, Dr. Lander has played a pioneering role in all aspects of the reading, understanding, and biomedical application of the human genome. He was one of the principal leaders of the international Human Genome Project (HGP) from 1990 to 2003, with his center being the largest contributor to the mapping and sequencing of the human blueprint.

With his colleagues, Dr. Lander has developed and applied methods for discovering the molecular basis of rare genetic diseases, common diseases, and cancer. He has done pioneering work on genetic variation, population history, evolutionary forces, regulatory elements, long non-coding RNAs, three-dimensional folding of the human genome, and methods to systematically identify the genes essential for biological processes. Dr. Lander is professor of biology at MIT and professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School. In 2008, Dr. Lander was appointed by President Obama as co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Dr. Lander earned his B.A. in mathematics from Princeton University (1978) and his Ph.D. in mathematics from Oxford University (1981) as a Rhodes Scholar.

Todd Park

Todd Park

Todd Park is Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Devoted Health. Prior to co-founding Devoted, Todd served as White House technology advisor based in Silicon Valley until January 2017. In this role, he focused on bringing top technology talent and best practices into government to improve service delivery, national defense, public engagement, and more.  Prior to this role, Todd served from March 2012 to August 2014 as U.S Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and, in that position, served as an Assistant to the President. Todd joined the Obama Administration in August 2009 as CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where he functioned as an “entrepreneur-in-residence,” helping HHS harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health of the nation. For his work at HHS, Todd was named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” in 2010.

Prior to his work in government, Todd co-founded Athenahealth in 1997 and co-led its development over a decade into a leading provider of cloud-based software and services for physicians and health care practitioners.  He also co-founded Castlight Health, an innovative online health benefits platform company, in 2008, and has served as a senior advisor to Ashoka, a global incubator of social entrepreneurs, where he helped start a venture to bring affordable telehealth, drugs, diagnostics, and clean water to rural India.  Todd graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College with an A.B. in economics.  He currently serves on the boards of New America and the Biden Cancer Initiative. Todd was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 2017, and is a member of the 2017 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.

Susan M. Schneider, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN

Susan M. Schneider, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN

Dr. Susan Schneider is an Associate Professor and Lead Faculty for the Oncology Nursing Specialty at Duke University.  Dr. Schneider is Immediate Past President of the Oncology Nursing Society, a professional nursing organization of nearly 40,000 members whose mission is “Advancing Excellence in Oncology Nursing and Quality Cancer Care.” 

Dr. Schneider has extensive experience as a clinical nurse, advanced practice nurse and researcher caring for individuals with cancer. As a researcher, Dr. Schneider has focused on developing interventions to manage symptom distress in order to improve cancer patients’ quality of life and increase survival. As an educator, Dr. Schneider has devoted her teaching career to the development of oncology nurse leaders. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.  As an influential nursing leader, Dr. Schneider uses her clinical expertise to advocate for quality care for the cancer population.

Gregory C. Simon, J.D.

President, Biden Cancer Initiative

Gregory C. Simon, J.D.

President, Biden Cancer Initiative

Greg Simon served as the Executive Director of the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force, a position created by President Barack Obama and for which he was chosen by Vice President Joe Biden in March 2016. Over nine months, Greg and his team helped launch over seventy innovative collaborations. Greg returned to the White House after serving as Vice President Al Gore’s Chief Domestic Policy Advisor between 1993 and 1997.

Greg was the CEO of Poliwogg, a financial services company creating unique capital market opportunities in healthcare and life sciences. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Worldwide Policy and Patient Engagement at Pfizer, co-founded with Michael Milken, FasterCures/ The Center for Accelerating Medical solutions, and with Leon and Debra Black co-founded the Melanoma Research Alliance. Greg is a cancer survivor, having been recently successfully treated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Kim Thiboldeaux

Kim Thiboldeaux

Kim Thiboldeaux joined The Wellness Community in 2000 as President and CEO. In 2009, the headquarters offices of The Wellness Community and Gilda’s Club joined forces to become the Cancer Support Community, one of the largest providers of social and emotional support worldwide, where Kim has maintained her role as CEO. Formerly the Director of Patient Relations for Oncology & Transplant at Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc., Kim brings to this position a wealth of experience in healthcare, patient education and national patient advocacy.

Prior to joining Roche, Kim served as the Director of Corporate Relations at Whitman-Walker Clinic, a Washington, D.C.-based health clinic that provides comprehensive services to people with HIV and AIDS. Kim is the co-author of “Reclaiming Your Life After Diagnosis” (2012), and “The Total Cancer Wellness Guide” (2007). She is the host of Frankly Speaking About Cancer with the Cancer Support Community, an award-winning Internet talk radio show that airs weekly on VoiceAmerica.com and is aimed at informing and inspiring listeners to live well with cancer. Kim is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

Jeffrey Zients

Jeffrey Zients

Across a 20-year career in business, Jeff Zients built and led a number of high-performing organizations. He served as the CEO and Chairman of The Advisory Board Company which he joined in 1992. Across his tenure, Mr. Zients helped create more than $2 billion in equity value. Most recently, Mr. Zients served in the Obama Administration White House from 2009 to 2017, including as Director of the National Economic Council (NEC). Prior, Mr. Zients spearheaded the turnaround of the failed healthcare.gov website launch, and served as the acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Mr. Zients was first recruited into the Administration and appointed by President Obama to the newly created position of United States Chief Performance Officer, and was confirmed by the Senate as Deputy Director for Management at OMB. Mr. Zients is a co-founder of The Urban Alliance Foundation, a non-profit organization that partners with corporations to provide economically disadvantaged youth with year-round paid internships, adult mentors, and job training. He graduated summa cum laude from Duke University.

Biden Cancer Initiative Staff

Gregory C. Simon, J.D.

President, Biden Cancer Initiative

Gregory C. Simon, J.D.

President, Biden Cancer Initiative

Greg Simon served as the Executive Director of the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force, a position created by President Barack Obama and for which he was chosen by Vice President Joe Biden in March 2016. Over nine months, Greg and his team helped launch over seventy innovative collaborations. Greg returned to the White House after serving as Vice President Al Gore’s Chief Domestic Policy Advisor between 1993 and 1997.

Greg was the CEO of Poliwogg, a financial services company creating unique capital market opportunities in healthcare and life sciences. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Worldwide Policy and Patient Engagement at Pfizer, co-founded with Michael Milken, FasterCures/ The Center for Accelerating Medical solutions, and with Leon and Debra Black co-founded the Melanoma Research Alliance. Greg is a cancer survivor, having been recently successfully treated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Danielle Carnival, Ph.D.

Vice President, Biden Cancer Initiative

Danielle Carnival, Ph.D.

Vice President, Biden Cancer Initiative

Dr. Danielle Carnival most recently served as the Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Director for the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force. Over her more than six years at the White House, she leveraged her technical scientific expertise to develop programs and policies to make progress on Obama-Biden Administration goals in partnership with Federal agencies and the private, academic and philanthropic sectors. This work spanned areas of health and biomedical policy, including cancer and neuroscience, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, and advancing equity and promoting diversity in STEM fields, among others.

Danielle assumed leadership roles for some of the Administration’s signature initiatives and events, most notably, the White House Cancer Moonshot, White House Science Fairs, College Opportunity Days of Action, and Computer Science for All and Diversity in STEM initiatives. Danielle received her Doctorate in Neuroscience from Georgetown University and her Bachelor’s degree from Boston College.

Cecilia Arradaza

Senior Director of Communications, Biden Cancer Initiative

Cecilia Arradaza

Senior Director of Communications, Biden Cancer Initiative

For more than 20 years, Cecilia Arradaza has worked to develop, design and deliver communications strategies that provoke discourse, engage broad audiences, and inspire action. She specializes in healthcare, medical research and financial communications and public affairs. Currently senior director of communications at the Biden Cancer Initiative, Cecilia is helping establish the effort’s presence and paving the path for meaningful impact.

Prior to the Initiative, she headed U.S. marketing for Brunswick Group, a global advisory firm, was executive director of communications for economic policy think tank and convener Milken Institute, and led communications and policy efforts at Milken Institute centers FasterCures and the Center for Financial Markets. She has also previously handled issues advocacy programs for foundation and corporate clients at Chandler Chicco Agency, Hyde Park Communications, and Powell Tate. She is on the board of the BrightFocus Foundation and the WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s network, and is also active in a number of local and international nonprofits. She graduated from the George Washington University at Mount Vernon College.

Lisa Simms Booth

Senior Director of Patient and Public Engagement, Biden Cancer Initiative

Lisa Simms Booth

Senior Director of Patient and Public Engagement, Biden Cancer Initiative

Lisa Simms Booth serves as the Senior Director of Patient and Public Engagement at the Biden Cancer Initiative, helping define the organization’s strategic priorities and programs. Lisa leads the Initiative’s advocacy outreach and collaboration strategies, including the design and coordination of the Biden Cancer Collaborative which develops solutions to shared challenges.

Prior to joining the Initiative, she was at FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, shaping its approach to accelerating medical progress through leadership roles in partnership development, external affairs and operations. Throughout her 14-year tenure at FasterCures, Lisa created programs that brought together pharmaceutical, biotech, philanthropic, and non-profit communities. Prior to joining FasterCures, she worked for a variety of political and advocacy organizations including LISTEN, Inc., The Alliance for Justice, Time Dollar Institute, Children’s Defense Fund, Democratic National Committee and the National Rainbow Coalition. She is a Pittsburgh native and graduate of Michigan State University.  She is active in the music ministry and community outreach efforts for her church, Metropolitan AME, which recently celebrated its 180th Anniversary.

 

Catharine Young, Ph.D.

Senior Director of Science Policy, Biden Cancer Initiative

Catharine Young, Ph.D.

Senior Director of Science Policy, Biden Cancer Initiative

Dr. Catharine Young holds a doctorate degree in Biomedical Sciences and currently serves as the Senior Director of Science Policy for the Biden Cancer Initiative. Prior to this position, Catharine served as the Senior Science and Innovation Policy Advisor and Head of the D.C. team for the Foreign Commonwealth Office. Based at the British Embassy, Catharine influenced science and innovation policies of both the U.K. and U.S. governments, industry, and academia. Following her Postdoctoral training at Cornell University in Biomedical Engineering, Catharine was selected as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs. Here she led international engagements on eliminating biological weapons, improving biosafety and biosecurity, and establishing and enhancing biosurveillance capacity. Catharine also co-founded Blueprint International, a non-profit dedicated to providing novel technological solutions to some of the world’s most pressing social issues.

Her recent awards include being selected as a TED Fellow, Alexandria 40 Under 40 and Social Enablers top 100 most inspiring social entrepreneurs. Catharine is an advocate for women in STEM and has been a contributor to major social and media networks including TED-Ed, the Guardian and the U.K. Science and Innovation Network.

Ariel Carmeli

Senior Director of Partnerships, Biden Cancer Initiative

Ariel Carmeli

Senior Director of Partnerships, Biden Cancer Initiative

Ariel is passionate to improve the health and well-being of people with unmet medical needs by working at the intersection of science, business, and informatics. In his current role, Ariel is responsible for developing relationships with and convening private sector companies, non-profit organizations, academic and medical institutions, philanthropists, patient and advocacy foundations, and others to develop new or scale existing actions and collaborations to make a decade’s worth of progress against cancer in half the time.

Prior to joining the Biden Cancer Initiative, Ariel was an Engagement Manager in McKinsey & Company’s New York Office as part of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Products practice. He led teams working on strategy and transformation efforts alongside senior management at pharma companies primarily focused on R&D and oncology, and also has experience in public health and regulatory affairs. He has bioinformatics research experience from internships at Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine.

Ariel currently splits his time between New York City and Washington D.C., graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Mathematics and Pre-Med from Cornell University, and is originally from the San Francisco bay area.

Katie Maguire

Administrative Manager

Katie Maguire

Administrative Manager

Originally from Washington DC, Katie has returned to her hometown after living in both LA and NY.  Katie brings with her skills she has gained from both the finance and entertainment sectors, to build effective administrative teams and stream-lined structures and workflows within them. Katie studied classical arts at Ithaca London Center, and modern theater at the Russian State Institute of Performing Arts. She also has a passion for STEM, which is evident by her latest work – a documentary profile she produced on aerospace engineer and explorer – Natalie Panek.

Advisory Committee

Convened to reimagine systems and transform how we prevent, detect, diagnose, treat and survive cancer, this Advisory Committee will identify and drive implementation of specific solutions to complex issues including: standardizing how cancer is diagnosed and treated, making sharing data the rule instead of the exception, helping patients find and enter clinical trials, and ensuring patients are able to effectively navigate their care.

Amy Abernethy, M.D., Ph.D.

Amy Abernethy, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Amy Abernethy serves as chief medical officer, chief scientific officer and senior vice president, oncology, at Flatiron Health, where she leads the research oncology, clinical operations and data science teams, and contributes to the company’s strategic vision.

Before joining Flatiron, Amy was professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, and ran the Center for Learning Health Care in the Duke Clinical Research Institute and Duke Cancer Care Research Program in the Duke Cancer Institute. For more than a decade, she has pioneered the development of technology platforms to spur novel advancements in cancer care, including the development of systems by which aggregated clinical data can support personalized medicine, outcomes research, cancer care quality monitoring, and scientific discovery. Amy received her M.D. at Duke University, where she also did her internal medicine residency, served as chief resident and completed her hematology/oncology fellowship. She has her Ph.D. from Flinders University in Australia, focused on evidence-based medicine and clinical informatics, and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Peter Adamson, M.D.

Peter Adamson, M.D.

Dr. Peter Adamson is Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a National Cancer Institute (NCI) supported international consortium of more than 220 childhood centers that conducts clinical-translational research, including large-scale clinical trials, in children with cancer. He is Professor of Pediatrics and Pharmacology at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania and holds the Alan R. Cohen Endowed Chair in Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He currently serves on the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) and is an internationally recognized leader in pediatric cancer drug development. He also served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel for Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative.

Bjoern Albrecht, Ph.D.

Bjoern Albrecht, Ph.D.

Dr. Bjoern Albrecht is a partner in McKinsey & Company’s London office. He works with pharmaceutical and biotech companies, health systems, payers, and providers on cancer-related topics. He leads the McKinsey Cancer Center globally and is also a leader in the Pharmaceuticals & Medical Products Practice in Europe. With a Ph.D. and post-doctoral training in molecular oncology, he is a respected peer of both senior executives and research scientists. Albrecht’s work covers the entire value chain from early discovery strategies through clinical development to commercialization and reimbursement for cancer medicines. In addition, he supports health systems leaders and manufacturers in defining “adequate outcome” approaches to cancer treatment and developing innovative collaborations to serve patients’ needs.

David Arons

David Arons

David Arons is the CEO of National Brain Tumor Society, where he also serves as the Chief Public Policy and Advocacy Officer. He previously served as the Director of Government Relations for the American Cancer Society in Minnesota and was the co-founder and Co-Director of the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest. He is the author of several books, including Power in Policy: A Funder’s Guide to Advocacy and Civic Participation, Strengthening Nonprofit Advocacy, and A Voice for Nonprofits. He serves on the National Cancer Institute’s Council of Research Advocates and Clinical Trials Advisory Committee. In 2016, Mr. Arons was named to the Blue Ribbon Panel of experts selected to help advise Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot.

Nilofer Azad, M.D.

Nilofer Azad, M.D.

Nilofer Azad, M.D., is Associate Professor of Oncology and a member of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Azad is the principal investigator for numerous early phase clinical trials in solid tumors and gastrointestinal cancers, focusing on colorectal cancer and bile duct cancers and is a clinically active medical oncologist.  Dr. Azad serves as Co-Director of the Developmental Therapeutics research program at the Kimmel Cancer Center. She is a member of national NCI Colon Cancer Task Force.  Active studies include combination molecularly targeted therapies, immunotherapy and epigenetic therapy in GI cancers and she is Principal Investigator at Johns Hopkins for the new $12 million dollar colon cancer Stand Up 2 Cancer Dream Team focusing on colon cancer.

Dr. Azad received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas in Austin, before completing her medical degree and residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.  She completed her fellowship in Medical Oncology at the National Cancer Institute before becoming a member of the Johns Hopkins University faculty in July 2008.

Anna D. Barker, Ph.D.

Anna D. Barker, Ph.D.

Dr. Anna Barker is Co-Director of Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS), the Director of the National Biomarker Development Alliance (NBDA), the Director of the Transformative Healthcare Knowledge Networks, and a Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. As Co-Director of Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS), Dr. Barker designs and implements new research models specifically directed toward addressing major problems in biomedical research and biomedicine. Prior to joining ASU, Dr. Barker served several years as the Deputy Director and Deputy Director for Strategic Scientific Initiatives for the NCI, National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Barker has a long history in research and the leadership and management of advanced research and development in the academic, non-profit, and private sector.

Therese B. Bevers, M.D.

Therese B. Bevers, M.D.

Dr. Therese Bevers is professor of Clinical Cancer Prevention and the medical director of the Cancer Prevention Center and prevention outreach programs at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. In her role as medical director, Dr. Bevers has overseen the growth and program development of the Cancer Prevention Center—the first comprehensive clinical cancer prevention service program in the country—since its opening in 1996.

Her clinical and research interests are in the area of breast cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis and survivorship. She was one of the lead investigators in the groundbreaking Breast Cancer Prevention Trial which demonstrated that tamoxifen reduced the risk of developing breast cancer by one half and the STAR trial which showed that raloxifene had similar benefits but fewer risks. Dr. Bevers chairs the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s guideline panels on Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis and Breast Cancer Risk Reduction.

Aneesh Chopra

Aneesh Chopra

Aneesh Chopra is the President of CareJourney, a Hunch Analytics company that provides actionable, clinically-relevant analytics services to population health organizations. He served as the first U.S. Chief Technology Officer under President Obama (’09-’12) and in 2014, authored, “Innovative State: How New Technologies can Transform Government.” In 2017, he joined the Board of the Health Care Cost Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit organization focused on complete, accurate, unbiased health care utilization and cost information. He earned his MPP from Harvard Kennedy School and BA from The Johns Hopkins University.

Jennie Crews, M.D.

Jennie Crews, M.D.

Dr. Jennie Crews has over 20 years of experience in oncology in academic, private practice and hospital-based settings. She is the Medical Director for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Network, Community Sites and Research Integration and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington. Previously, she was the Medical Director for Cancer Services at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Cancer Center and for the PeaceHealth Northwest Network and the Medical Director of the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center in Washington, N.C. Dr. Crews received her B.S. in Biology with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her M.D. from Duke University and completed training in internal medicine and oncology at Duke, where she served as Assistant Chief Resident. In 2016, Dr. Crews completed a Master in Medical Management from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. She is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians and is board certified in medical oncology.

Lou DeGennaro, Ph.D.

Lou DeGennaro, Ph.D.

Dr. Lou DeGennaro is president and CEO of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to fighting blood cancers. DeGennaro has been a member of the LLS executive leadership team since he joined LLS as chief scientific officer in 2005. He was named LLS chief mission officer in 2009, with responsibility for leadership of all of LLS’s mission functions, including research, patient education and support, public policy, and advocacy. He was named president and CEO in September 2014. As the key architect of LLS’s cures and access agenda, DeGennaro conceived and pioneered LLS’s Therapy Acceleration Program® – a venture philanthropy approach to accelerating new treatments to patients through drug discovery and development partnerships with the biotechnology industry.

Brian Druker, M.D.

Brian Druker, M.D.

Dr. Brian Druker is the director of the Knight Cancer Institute, associate dean for oncology of the OHSU School of Medicine, JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. His research is focused on translating the knowledge of the molecular pathogenesis of cancer into specific therapies and investigating the optimal use of these molecularly targeted agents. He performed preclinical studies that led to the development of imatinib (Gleevec) for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and then spearheaded the highly successful clinical trials of imatinib, which led to FDA approval of the drug in record time. This work changed the life expectancy of patients with CML from an average of 3 to 5 years to a 95% five-year survival, and has resulted in a paradigm-shift in cancer treatment from non-specific chemotherapy to highly targeted therapeutic agents. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and, among numerous awards, is the recipient of the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award.

Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D.

Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Levi Garraway joined Eli Lilly in January 2017 and is currently Senior Vice President, Global Development and Medical Affairs. Prior to joining Lilly, Garraway served as an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and an Institute Member of the Broad Institute. He was the inaugural Director of the Joint Center for Cancer Precision Medicine, which spans the Dana-Farber, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Garraway led a research group that studied cancer genomics, drug resistance, and cancer precision medicine. Garraway serves on the scientific advisory boards of major cancer centers, including Sloan Kettering and M.D. Anderson and he is a member of several major National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) advisory committees.

Kathy Giusti, M.B.A.

Kathy Giusti, M.B.A.

Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient, is the Founder of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and currently serves on its Board of Directors. Ms. Giusti is also the Faculty Co-Chair of the Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator at Harvard Business School, whose mission is to speed breakthroughs in precision medicine for all cancers. She is recognized as a pioneer of precision medicine, a champion of open-access data sharing, and a strong advocate for patient engagement in their treatment and care and as part of the research process.

Since founding the MMRF in 1998, Ms. Giusti has led the Foundation in establishing collaborative research models in the areas of tissue banking, genomics, and clinical trials that are dramatically accelerating the pace at which lifesaving treatments are brought to patients.

Laurie Glimcher, M.D.

Laurie Glimcher, M.D.

Dr. Laurie Glimcher, president and chief executive officer of Dana-Farber, is also chief executive officer of Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare, director of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, and a trustee of Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Care. Dr. Glimcher has served as the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean and Professor of Medicine of Weill Cornell Medical College, and as Cornell’s Provost for Medical Affairs. She has served as the Irene Heinz Given Professor of Immunology at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she directed the Division of Biological Sciences. She was also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, where she headed one of the world’s premier immunology programs. Dr. Glimcher helped develop Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, and witnessed the 21st Century Cures Bill being signed into law.

Margaret Hamburg, M.D.

Margaret Hamburg, M.D.

Dr. Margaret Hamburg is an internationally recognized leader in public health and medicine. As Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Medicine, she is senior advisor on international matters and liaison with Academies of Medicine around the world. She is also President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Hamburg is a former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where she was known for advancing regulatory science, modernizing regulatory pathways, and globalization of the agency. Before this, she was founding vice president and senior scientist at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a foundation dedicated to reducing nuclear, chemical and biological threats. Other positions have included Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (HHS), Health Commissioner for New York City, and Assistant Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

Daniel Hilferty

Daniel Hilferty

Daniel J. Hilferty is president and chief executive officer of Independence Blue Cross, one of the nation’s leading health insurers. Since Mr. Hilferty became CEO in 2010, the number of people the company and its affiliates serve has tripled to more than 8.3 million in 23 states and Washington, D.C. Mr. Hilferty is the immediate past chairman of the board of directors of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and he serves on the executive committee of America’s Health Insurance Plans.

Mr. Hilferty’s vision is to lead the transformation of health care in America, seeking innovative technologies and new models of care that will increase the quality and lower the cost of care. He has built business collaborations with world-renowned institutions and partnered with Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans and other leaders in health care to purchase dynamic health care companies, including AmeriHealth Caritas, one of the country’s largest Medicaid managed care companies.

Tyler Jacks, M.D.

Tyler Jacks, M.D.

Dr. Tyler Jacks is a world leader in the field of cancer genetics and is known for his ground-breaking work on the development of genetically-engineered mouse models of cancer (GEMMs). Over the course of his academic career, he has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers along with numerous review articles and book chapters. In 1992, Dr. Jacks became an assistant professor in the MIT Department of Biology and a member of the MIT Center for Cancer Research, which became the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT in 2011. Currently, he is the David H. Koch Professor of Biology, Director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Jacks served both as Chair and Member of the National Cancer Advisory Board at the National Cancer Institute as well as a member on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), where he was elected President of the organization in 2009.

Danelle Johnston, MSN, RN, ONN-CG, OCN

Danelle Johnston, MSN, RN, ONN-CG, OCN

Danelle Johnston is the Chief Nursing Officer, Senior Director of Planning and Initiatives for The Lynx Group. In this role, she oversees the strategic and operational responsibilities of staff, programs, and expansion of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) as well as the execution of its mission. She is instrumental in supporting the many committee activities within AONN+, exploring and nurturing partnerships with other organizations in clinical and oncology arenas, and providing key clinical and professional insight that will help AONN+ enhance its sponsorships and services.

With more than 24 years of experience holding a variety of positions and a diverse and progressive oncology nursing background, Danelle is recognized as a national leader in oncology nurse navigation and in innovative community outreach and education focused on improving clinical care coordination and supporting the growth of others in the profession.

Samir N. Khleif, M.D.

Samir N. Khleif, M.D.

Dr. Samir Khleif is currently the CEO of a Global Oncology project that intends to develop accessible, affordable and high-quality cancer care ecosystems for international underserved communities. The project is part of the AGHF, a global healthcare impact fund for low and low-middle income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. He also serves as the Director of the Global Oncology Research and Impact institute. Dr. Khleif is a Biomedical Scholar and Professor of Oncology at Georgetown University. Previous positions include: Director of the Georgia Cancer Center of the University System of Georgia; Chief of Cancer Vaccine Section at the National Cancer Institute; Special Assistant to the FDA Commissioner, leading the Critical Path for Oncology; and CEO/Director of the King Hussein Cancer Center. Dr. Khleif is the recipient of the National Cancer Institute’s Director Golden Star Award, the National Institutes of Health Award for Merit, and the Commendation Medal of the US Public Health Service. Dr. Khleif received his medical degree from the University of Jordan, completed his fellowship in Medical Oncology at the NCI.

Brenda Nevidjon, MSN, RN, FAAN

Brenda Nevidjon, MSN, RN, FAAN

Brenda Marion Nevidjon is the Chief Executive Officer of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), a professional association of more than 39,000 members committed to promoting excellence in oncology nursing and the transformation of cancer care. Throughout her career in Canada, Switzerland and the United States, she has focused on bridging practice settings and academic environments to advance patient care, creating innovative work environments, promoting scholarship in practitioners, and developing leaders. After two decades in oncology clinical and administrative settings, she transitioned to health care executive practice, culminating with her being the first nurse and the first women to be chief operating officer of Duke University Hospital in 1996. Her bachelors’ degree is from Duke University; her master’s is from the University of North Carolina. Among other recognitions, she is a fellow in in the American Academy of Nursing.

Kevin O’Connor, D.O.

Kevin O’Connor, D.O.

After 22 years in the Army and a decade at the White House, COL Kevin O’Connor has joined The GW Medical Faculty Associates as Director of Executive Medicine. Additionally, he serves as the Medical Director of International & Diplomatic Affairs at The George Washington University Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine and Senior Medical Advisor for Health Sciences Programs at the School of Medicine & Health Sciences. As an Army family physician, teacher, flight surgeon, and hyperbaric medical officer for the last 22 years, Dr. O’Connor has served in clinical, academic, leadership, and operational assignments at Fort Bragg and Fort Carson, to include tours of duty with the 82nd Airborne Division, 75th Ranger Regiment, and United States Army Special Operations Command.

Franklyn G. Prendergast, M.D., Ph.D.

Franklyn G. Prendergast, M.D., Ph.D.

In 2015, Dr. Franklyn Prendergast retired from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the first and largest integrated nonprofit medical group practice in the world, where he most recently served as Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics. Franklyn held numerous leadership positions during his time at Mayo, including Director of the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In recent years, he turned his attention to healthcare in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), providing strategic guidance to the Saudi Ministry of Health and serving as a keynote speaker for the Ministry’s National Healthcare Strategy and Health System Design conferences held in 2014. Currently, Dr. Prendergast is a member of the Board of Directors for Eli Lilly, Cancer Genetics, Inc., and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI), in addition to other organizations.

Richard Wender, M.D.

Richard Wender, M.D.

Dr. Richard Wender is the chief cancer control officer of the American Cancer Society. In this role, he is charged with providing oversight and guidance to the organization’s domestic and global cancer control programs, with a focus on access, navigation, and health equity in an effort to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to live a healthy life and receive high quality treatment and support. Dr. Wender leads one of the largest cancer control organizations in the country, with more than 1,000 regionally-deployed staff working in the areas of prevention and early detection, patient and caregiver support, programs and services, global cancer control, and health systems. Prior to joining the Society, Dr. Wender worked for 34 years as a family physician in the department of family and community medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, most recently as alumni professor and chair.

John Wilbanks

John Wilbanks

John Wilbanks is the Chief Commons Officer at Sage Bionetworks and a Senior Fellow at Faster Cures. Previously, Wilbanks worked as a legislative aide to Congressman Fortney “Pete” Stark, served as the first assistant director at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, founded and led to acquisition the bioinformatics company Incellico, Inc., and was executive director of the Science Commons project at Creative Commons. In February 2013, in response to a We the People petition that was spearheaded by Wilbanks and signed by 65,000 people, the U.S. government announced a plan to open up taxpayer-funded research data and make it available for free. Wilbanks holds a B.A. in philosophy from Tulane University and also studied modern letters at the Sorbonne.

Cheryl Willman, M.D.

Cheryl Willman, M.D.

Dr. Willman is Director and CEO of the University of New Mexico Cancer Center. In her research, Dr. Willman has focused on finding the causes and the cures for patients affected by leukemia. She is the Director of the Leukemia Research Programs for the NCI’s Children’s Oncology Group and Southwest Oncology Group. She is leading a consortium of investigators from UNM, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who are applying advances from the human genome project to improve leukemia diagnosis and discover new and more effective drugs and therapies.

Karen Winkfield, M.D., Ph.D.

Karen Winkfield, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Karen Winkfield is a Radiation Oncologist at Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center (WFBCCC) whose research aims to identify and overcome sociocultural barriers to cancer care in underserved populations. Through community-engaged research, she partners with communities to develop programming focused on disseminating accurate and timely cancer health care information in a culturally sensitive manner. As the Associate Director for Cancer Health Equity and Director of the Office of Cancer Health Equity at the WFBCCC, Dr. Winkfield has the unique charge to help structure programming and build research collaborations that will help ensure equitable access to care along the entire cancer continuum for all patients regardless of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geography, or sexual/gender identity. Dr. Winkfield is a graduate of Duke University’s Medical Scientist Training program and was the 2nd black woman to graduate from this dual degree program. Over the past decade, her research has focused on population health science with the goal of reducing cancer health disparities.