georgia cancer coalition ga cancer coalition
GA Cancer Coalition
ga cancer coalition
  Untitled Document

Speaker Biographies

Pam Arlotto
Maestro Strategies, LLC

Ms. Arlotto sets the strategic direction and serves as the primary rainmaker and Client Service Executive for Maestro Strategies. She has over twenty-five years of experience providing consulting assistance to healthcare organizations. Pam has combined her expertise in strategic planning, organizational design, process change, and information technology to create a firm focused on value improvement.

Pam has held a number of important healthcare industry related positions:

  • Past National President and Fellow of the Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society (HIMSS)
  • Founder and former Chairman of the Center for Healthcare Information Management
  • Board Member of Business School at Georgia Tech
  • Board Member of MedShare International
  • Former member of the Board of Trustees at Georgia Tech
  • Former faculty member in the Healthcare Informatics program at University of Alabama at Birmingham

Charlene Bayer, PhD
Principal Research Scientist
Georgia Tech Research Institute

Dr. Bayer heads the Environmental Exposures and Analysis Branch of the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). She also serves as a principal research scientist and adjunct professor and currently directs Georgia Tech’s Indoor Environment Research Program.

A reviewer for the Journal of Chromatographic Science, Indoor Air, and Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry and (periodically) for a variety of other peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, she has expertise in indoor environments, air quality, and related health concerns. Dr. Bayer is a past member of the ASHRAE Environmental Health Committee and serves on numerous other review committees for Underwriters’ Laboratories, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the American Chemical Society.

Dr. Bayer was a semifinalist in Discovery Magazine awards for Innovative Technology of Importance in 1999 and holds numerous patents for materials and devices for monitoring and improving air quality. Her current research includes a project to develop a personal monitoring vest able to monitor a variety of pollutants that are suspected as being asthmatic aggravators while linking these with pulmonary function tests sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She holds a B.S. in chemistry form Baylor University and an M.S. and a PhD in organic chemistry from Emory University.

Ravi Bellamkonda, PhD
GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. Bellamkonda is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Joint Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech/Emory. Dr. Bellamkonda obtained his PhD from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and completed his post-doctoral training at M.I.T in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to moving to Georgia Tech in 2003, he was a tenured Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Dr. Bellamkonda’s research interests are in applying biomaterials-based technologies that repair and regenerate the nervous system. Specifically, Dr. Bellamkonda’s laboratory is interested in bridging long peripheral nerve gaps, overcoming regenerative failure in the central nervous system, interfacing electrodes with the brain and treating gliomas of the brain.

Dr. Bellamkonda leads the Neural Tissue Engineering programmatic thrust at GTEC, a National Science Foundation funded Engineering Research Center based at Georgia Tech/Emory. Dr. Bellamkonda has received numerous awards including a CAREER award and the Globus Indus Technovator award. Dr. Bellamkonda is a Fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and the Institute of Physics. He serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Neuroengineering, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation and Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Dr. Bellamkonda is the Founding Scientist of Marval Therapeutics, Inc., and his research is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Norma Reed Foundation, and the Whitaker Foundation.

Kapil Bhalla, MD
GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar
Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar
Director, Cancer Center
Cecil F. Whitaker Chair in Cancer
Vice-Dean for Cancer Research and Services
Medical College of Georgia

Chief, Clinical Cancer Servicesv
Medical College of Georgia Health, Inc.

A 1976 graduate of the University of Delhi’s Maulana Azad Medical College in India, Dr. Bhalla completed internships in pathology and internal medicine and a residency, also in internal medicine, at St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, N.J. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in hematology and oncology in 1983 at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Following this, he served on the faculties of Columbia University, Medical University of South Carolina, Emory University, University of Miami and University of South Florida and Moffitt Cancer Center. He is Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology.

Dr. Bhalla is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology and the American Association for Cancer Research. Dr. Bhalla chairs the Lymphoid Neoplasia Committee of the American Society of Hematology. He is a past recipient of the American Cancer Society’s Career Development Award and the Leukemia Society of America’s Fellow and Scholar Award. Dr. Bhalla is a former member of the National Institutes of Health’s Experimental Therapeutics Study Section and the former Chairperson of the Developmental Therapeutics Study Section from 2005 to 2007. He is the author of more than 140 scholarly articles on cancer research and clinical trials.

Dr. Bhalla also serves as the associate editor of Cancer Research and is a member of the editorial boards of Blood, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Biology and Therapy and Cell Cycle. Dr. Bhalla’s research focus is cancer epigenetics and chaperone biology as well as novel targeted therapeutics of leukemia and breast cancer.

Robin Bostick, MD, MPH
GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar
Rollins School of Public Health
Emory University

Dr. Bostick is a physician/cancer molecular epidemiologist whose field of study is focused on helping discover the causes of colon and prostate cancers and how we could prevent them. His research emphasizes 1) investigating the roles of diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle factors, and 2) developing biological measurements that can be used to help determine whether someone is at increased risk for getting these cancers, what they could do to reduce their risk, and whether their efforts to reduce their risk are having the desired effects.

A Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar, Dr. Bostick has served as Professor of Epidemiology and Professor (Joint) of Hematology & Oncology, at Emory University since 2003. He holds a BS degree from Wofford College, an MPH from the University of Minnesota and an MD from the Medical University of South Carolina. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Otis Brawley, MD
GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar
Chief Medical Officer
American Cancer Society

As the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, Dr. Brawley is responsible for promoting the goals of cancer prevention, early detection, and quality treatment through cancer research and education. He champions efforts to decrease smoking, improve diet, detect cancer at the earliest stage, and provide the critical support cancer patients need. He also guides efforts to enhance and focus the research program, upgrade the Society’s advocacy capacity, and concentrate community cancer control efforts in areas where they will be most effective. Further, as an acknowledged global leader in the field of health disparities research, Dr. Brawley is a key leader in the Society’s work to eliminate disparities in access to quality cancer care.

A world renowned cancer expert and practicing oncologist, Dr. Brawley most recently served as professor of hematology, oncology, and epidemiology at Emory University, as medical director of the Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, and as deputy director for cancer control at Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University. He has also previously served as a member of the Society’s Prostate Cancer Committee, co-chaired the Surgeon General’s Task Force on Cancer Health Disparities, and filled a variety of capacities at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), most recently serving as director of the Office of Special Populations Research.

Currently, Dr. Brawley serves as chair of the National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel on the Treatment of Sickle Cell Anemia and as a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Control Advisory Committee. Dr. Brawley is a graduate of University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his internship at University Hospital of Cleveland, Case-Western Reserve University, his residency at University Hospital of Cleveland, and his fellowship at the National Cancer Institute.

George Dougherty, Sr.
Cancer Survivor

Dr. Doughterty has survived two types of cancer. Upon retiring after 39 years as a teacher, prinicipal and superintendent, he learned that he had early stage prostate cancer. A year later, he was diagnosed with stage three multiple myeloma. He is now in remission and looking forward to many years of survivorship.

Michael Eriksen, ScD, MPH
GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar
Professor and Director, Institute of Public Health
Georgia State University

Dr. Eriksen has been Director of the Institute of Public Health since 2002. He received his training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and has had a long and distinguished career in public health. Dr. Eriksen has been employed in a variety of settings, including academia (University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas), the private sector (Pacific Telephone), state government (Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene), Federal government (CDC), and international organizations (World Health Organization). Dr Eriksen has published dozens of peer-reviewed articles and is co-author of The Tobacco Atlas, published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

During his time at CDC, Dr. Eriksen was Director of the Office on Smoking and Health, where he played a leadership position in attempting to develop tobacco control policy for the United States. Dr. Eriksen received numerous awards for his work, including the Tobacco or Health Commemorative Medal from WHO. In 2004, the Georgia Cancer Coalition designated him as a Distinguished Cancer Scholar.

Diane Fletcher, MA, RN
Chief Executive Officer
Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition

Ms. Fletcher serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition, a 33-county non-profit collaborative working to be a national model of comprehensive rural cancer control. The Cancer Coalition’s partners include regional health care centers, public health agencies, cancer survivors, academic institutions, businesses, and community service and faith-based organizations. As CEO, Ms. Fletcher oversees the Coalition’s research, education, community outreach and cancer care initiatives and promotes regional cancer research, prevention, screening and treatment. Ms. Fletcher also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Georgia Southern University.

Prior to joining the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition, Ms. Fletcher was Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Cancer Control Consortium, a successful statewide consortium of more than 250 organizations. Her past experience includes serving as Assistant Director for Cancer Control at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, as well as clinical, management and education positions with community health care systems. Ms. Fletcher holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, a Master’s degree in Counselor Education and is currently a PhD candidate.

Sheryl Gabram-Mendola, MD, MBA
GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar
Professor of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology
Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University
Director, Avon Breast Cancer Center
Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady Health System

Dr. Gabram-Mendola is a professor of surgery in the division of surgical oncology at Emory University and a GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar. She also directs the Avon Breast Cancer Center as well as Oncologic Services at the Georgia Cancer Center of Excellence. Both programs are part of the Grady Health System.

Board certified by the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Gabram earned her medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., conducted her residency at the Washington Hospital Center and held a fellowship at Hartford Hospital, University of Connecticut. She also holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Gabram’s clinical interests are in surgical oncology focusing on breast cancer. Her research interests include studies on the psychological and immunological impact of breast biopsy for cancer diagnosis as well as sentinel node and bone marrow micrometastases in women with clinical T1 or T2N0M0 Breast Cancer.

James Hotz, MD
Medical Director
Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition

Dr. Hotz has a BA degree from Cornell University in Chemistry and an MD degree from Ohio State University, and completed his Internal Medicine Internship and Residency at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Hotz is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and has served as Clinical Services Director and Medical Director of Albany Area Primary Health Care, Inc., since 1978. In addition, he played a major role in organizing the Southwest Georgia Community Health Institute and was the Medical Director from 1993 to 1998. The institute, which provides a mechanism for collaborative health planning, is a not-for-profit corporation that is unique in Georgia.

Dr. Hotz serves on the Board of Directors of the Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center and the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition. He has chaired the Board of Directors of the Georgia Association for Primary Care, Southwest Georgia AHEC and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and is active on the Board of the Georgia Office of Rural Health Services, Phoebe Putney Health Systems, and the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition. Additionally, Dr. Hotz was awarded $100,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Program for his outstanding leadership promoting grass-roots health care reform.

William Kanto, Jr., MD
Ellington Charles Hawes Professor and Chairman
Department of Pediatrics
Director, Children’s Medical Center
Medical College of Georgia

Dr. Kanto is currently Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Georgia, a position he has held for more than 16 years. Prior to becoming Chair, Dr. Kanto served as Chief of the Section of Neonatology in the Department of Pediatrics at MCG for more than 10 years. Faculty appointments as a neonatologist at MCG and Emory University preceded his academic appointments. Dr. Kanto’s research and special interests have included necorotizing enterocolitis, ECMO, regionalization of health care and childhood obesity. Dr. Kanto received his MD from the University of Virginia, completed internship at the University of North Carolina, and pediatric residency at UVA. His fellowship in Neonatology was at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

Michelle Kegler, DrPH, MPH
Associate Professor
Rollins School of Public Health
Emory University

Dr. Kegler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Dr. Kegler came to Emory in 1999. She is a recognized expert in community participatory research, coalition building, community partnerships, and program evaluation. Her largest community-based participatory research project, which involves a rural Native American community, has been funded by NIH for nine years. Dr. Kegler is now conducting an NCI-funded study of household smoking restrictions and family influences on smoking initiation in African-American and White families in Southwest Georgia, which also complements and informs the Emory Prevention Research Center research agenda. She co-leads the Research and Evaluation core areas of the center.

Brian Leyland-Jones, MD, PhD
GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar
Professor and Director
Winship Cancer Institute
Emory University

Before joining Emory, Dr. Leyland-Jones was the Minda de Gunzberg Chair in Oncology and professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. From 1990 to 2000, he served as founding chair of Oncology and director of the McGill University Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Dr. Leyland-Jones holds biochemistry, medical and doctoral degrees from the University of London. Following residency training at Hammersmith, Brompton, St. Bartholomew’s and London hospitals, he completed a clinical pharmacology fellowship at Cornell University and a medical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He then joined the academic staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and New York Hospitals with a special research interest in early clinical evaluation of new anti-cancer compounds.

In 1983, he moved to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to head the Developmental Chemotherapy section. During his time with the NCI, he was responsible for the overall development of approximately 70 anti-cancer compounds in various stages of transition from in vitro screening to Phase III clinical trials.

During his tenure as director of the McGill Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Dr. Leyland-Jones led development of a clinical trials operation that integrated research with five clinical trial cooperative groups and more than 40 pharmaceutical companies. Cancer-related clinical trials at McGill currently include more than 100 protocols at any one time and are structured through nine multidisciplinary disease sections throughout the Cancer Centre. Dr. Leyland-Jones also initiated new sections of epidemiology and cancer pharmacology, increasing the Cancer Centre’s research space and adding several new associate and full professorial appointments. In addition, he worked closely with the Montreal community to establish eight endowed chairs and several fellowships within the department.

Dr. Leyland-Jones’ main research interests are pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics in oncological clinical trials; translation of preclinical models into the clinic; biomarker endpoints in Phase I/II clinical trials; and screening and mechanistic studies of novel targeted and chemotherapeutic anti-cancer agents. He has authored more than 125 peer-reviewed articles and book contributions, 150 abstracts and 29 patents.

Rodney Lyn, MS
Institute of Public Health
Georgia State University

Mr. Lyn serves as a faculty member in the Institute of Public Health at Georgia State University. He teaches undergraduate courses in the College of Health and Human Sciences and regularly serves as a guest lecturer for the Institute’s graduate courses in public health. Dr. Lyn directs various research projects focused on promoting physical activity and healthful eating to address childhood obesity in the State of Georgia. A project of primary focus is Policy Leadership for Active Youth (PLAY), a collaborative effort between the state’s research universities and statewide partners to address childhood obesity through public policy. Through his work with PLAY over the past 4 years, Dr. Lyn has advised members of the General Assembly, state agencies, professional associations, and the philanthropic community.

Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia State, Dr. Lyn coordinated school and community-based obesity prevention interventions through work at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and Georgia State University’s Department of Nutrition. His educational background includes a dual-major bachelor’s degree in Biology and Physical Education and a Master’s degree in Exercise Science. Dr. Lyn recently earned his PhD at Georgia State University.

Roland Matthews, MD
Director of Gynecologic Oncology
Morehouse School of Medicine

Dr. Matthews is a gynecologic oncologist and attending physician at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and Vice Chairman of the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (Georgia CORE). He currently serves as chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Matthews is Georgia Cancer Coalition distinguished scholar, investigating the role of prohibitin in cervical cancer. He is an executive committee member of the Stony Brook School of Medicine (SUNY) Health Science Center in Brooklyn, New York, where he completed his Doctor of Medicine and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

John McDonald, PhD
Chair, School of Biology
Georgia Institute of Technology
Chief Scientific Officer
Ovarian Cancer Institute

Dr. McDonald is Chair of the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Chief Scientific Officer of the Ovarian Cancer Institute in Atlanta. Prior to assuming his current positions, Dr. McDonald was a faculty member in the Department of Genetics at the University of Georgia, serving as Department Head from 1998-2004. He received his PhD in Genetics from the University of California (Davis) in 1978 and was an NIH Post-doctoral at The University of California, San Diego (La Jolla) from 1979 to 1981 before taking a faculty position at Iowa State University (Ames) in 1982.

Dr. McDonald is former editor of the journal Genetica and of several books, including two on the biological significance of endgenous retroviruses. He is author of over 100 scientific publications and co-author of the genetics textbook The Science of Genetics (Saunders). In 2005, Dr. McDonald was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his “pioneering work in the field of transposable elements.” His current research efforts are focused on cancer epigenetics and the link between genomic stress and cancer onset and progression.

Nancy Paris, MS
President and CEO
Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (Georgia CORE)

Ms. Paris is leading the effort to expand clinical cancer research in the state of Georgia. As president and CEO of the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (Georgia CORE), Ms. Paris is the architect of a vision to build a seamless oncology community in the state, as well as broker new clinical trials and provide new training opportunities throughout Georgia.

Before heading Georgia CORE, Ms. Paris served for four years as Vice President of the Georgia Cancer Coalition, the non-profit organization leading Georgia’s war on cancer. In that role, she was responsible for strategic grant-making and developing statewide programs and partnerships, including the Distinguished Cancer Clinicians and Scientists initiative. In 2005, she worked with the Coalition to spin off Georgia CORE as a more comprehensive strategy to improve cancer care through clinical research.

Ms. Paris has also served as President of Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care Services and as Vice President of Georgia Baptist Health Care System. Under her direction, both organizations received numerous foundation and government grants as well as national awards for excellence and innovation. She also served as Director of Hospice Atlanta, Vice President of the Visiting Nurse Foundation, President of AID Atlanta and President of the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta.

Stephen Peiper, MD
GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar
Chairman of Pathology
Medical College of Georgia

Dr. Stephen C. Peiper chairs the Department of Pathology at the Medical College of Georgia and is the Edgar R. Pund Distinguished Professor. He was also the recipient of the 2007 Clinical Ligand Assay Society’s Distinguished Scientist Award in Basic Research. Dr. Peiper focuses his research on chemokine receptors involved in HIV infection, inflammatory disease and cancer metastasis.

A Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar, Dr. Peiper serves on the Roche Advisory Panel for Molecular Diagnostics and is content chair for the Diagnosis and Staging Committee of the Cancer Coalition’s Georgia Cancer Plan. He was a member of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Special Interest Panel on Novel HIV Therapeutics: Integrated Preclinical/Clinical Program in 2004 and 2005. He has chaired the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Study Section to foster international scientific collaboration and the Subcommittee on Hematology of the Veterans Health Affairs Research Program Review Division, and has been a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Advisory Board for Immunologic Devices. Dr. Peiper is a referee for numerous publications: Journal of Immunology, Blood, Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Genomics, Experimental Hematology, Journal of Leukocyte Biology, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Cutting Edge, Protein Expression and Purification, Cell, Nature Medicine, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Virology and Journal of Virology. He previously served as a section editor for the Journal of Immunology.

He came to MCG in 2002 from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky, where he was director of the Henry Vogt Cancer Research Institute of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and vice chair of the Department of Pathology. He is a 1977 graduate of St. Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri. He completed a pathology residency and a fellowship in hematopathology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before serving as chief resident and clinical instructor in pathology.

Michael Pierce, PhD
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Complex Carbohydrate Research Center
University of Georgia

Dr. Pierce is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center at the University of Georgia. He joined the university as Associate Professor in 1991.

While at UGA, Dr. Pierce has received grants totaling more than $16 million from the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Health. He is the recipient of the prestigious 5-year Faculty Research Award from the American Cancer Society. He has been Visiting Scholar in the Cell Signaling Program of the Tokyo Metropolitan Research Institute and continues to serve as grant reviewer for various organizations, such as the California Cancer Research Program, the Pathobiochemistry Study Section of the NIH, Ad Hoc Reviewer for the American Cancer Society, Program Project Reviewer for the NCI and NIH, and the U.S. Army Breast Cancer Program. He personally lists eight patents for which he served as principal inventor or investigator.

Dr. Pierce received his B.S. in Chemistry/Biology from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1973, and his PhD with Dr. S. Roth in the Department of Biology from Johns Hopkins University in 1980. From 1979 to 1982, Dr. Pierce also served as NIH Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Clinton Ballou in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.

Suresh Ramalingam, MD
Associate Professor of Hematology Oncology
Chief, Thoracic Medical Oncology
Winship Cancer Institute
Emory University

Dr. Ramalingam is Associate Professor of Hematology-Oncology at Emory University and Chief of Thoracic Medical Oncology at the Emory Winship Cancer Institute. Dr. Ramalingam specializes in the treatment of lung cancer, esophageal cancer and other thoracic malignancies. He is also actively involved in development of new drugs for the treatment of cancer. One of his main areas of interest involves the development of histone deacetylase inhibitors for the treatment of lung cancer. Dr. Ramalingam has published several papers on lung cancer and is currently involved in the development and conduct of innovative clinical trials intended to improve the outcome for patients with lung cancer. He serves as the principal investigator on several early phase clinical trials sponsored by the NCI. He is a member of the Thoracic Core Committee of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.

William Todd
President and CEO
Georgia Cancer Coalition

Mr. Todd serves as the president of the Georgia Cancer Coalition, appointed to the post late in 2003. Immediately prior to joining the GCC, he was a member of Governor Sonny Perdue’s staff managing a number of projects initiated by the new administration in its first year. Primarily, he worked as Executive Director of the Commission for a New Georgia.

Mr. Todd was the founder of Encina Technology Ventures, an early-stage technology venture capital fund in partnership with Atlanta developer Tom Cousins. He was the founding president of the Georgia Research Alliance, a strategic partnership of the six research universities in Georgia, joined by the business community and state government, whose purpose is to grow and leverage the State’s research capabilities into economic development results.

Mr. Todd spent the first half of his professional career in various administrative assignments in the Emory University System of Health Care, at hospitals, clinics, and the school of medicine. Prior to heading up the Georgia Research Alliance, he was Assistant Vice President for Medical Administration at the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

Mr. Todd is a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology, and serves on the university’s Foundation Board and several other civic and corporate boards.

Erwin Van Meir, PhD
Director, Brain Tumor Program
Winship Cancer Institute
Emory University

Dr. Van Meir is currently the Director of the Winship Cancer Institute Brain Tumor Program and the Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-Oncology. The laboratory is part of a multidisciplinary neuro-oncology team that designs new approaches for brain tumor therapy. He has trained multiple undergraduate and graduate students, medical fellows and postdocs and is a member of the Graduate Division of Biological and Biochemical Sciences at Emory, where he participates in the programs in Genetics and Molecular Biology and in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology. He is further active in several scientific societies and serves on the scientific board of the Society for Neuro-Oncology and the European Association for Neuro-Oncology.

Dr. Van Meir received his B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Fribourg and his PhD in Molecular Virology from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He went for postdoctoral training in Molecular Neuro-Oncology at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in San Diego, where he studied the genomics of the p53 tumor suppressor in astrocytic tumors.

He has devoted his career to understanding the molecular basis of human brain tumor development and devising new therapeutic strategies to improve patient survival. His laboratory examines how genetic alterations and hypoxia induce changes in cell biology that promote malignant transformation and tumor angiogenesis. His team has developed novel therapeutic approaches for cancer using oncolytic adenoviruses and anti-angiogenic molecules, including small molecule inhibitors of the hypoxia-inducible factor pathway. His laboratory has also discovered novel biomarkers for brain tumors. These findings have been reported in over 140 scientific publications that have cumulated over 4,000 citations. He has organized several international conferences on these topics, is a reviewer for the leading cancer research journals, and is a current or former member of the editorial boards of Frontiers in Bioscience, Neuro-Oncology, International Journal of Oncology, and The International Journal of Cancer.

Binghe Wang, PhD
GCC Distinguished Cancer Scholar
Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar
Professor, Department of Chemistry
Georgia State University

Dr. Wang is a medicinal chemistry professor at Georgia State University. He is also a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Drug Discovery and Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scientist. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of Medicinal Research Reviews and is the founding editor of a book series entitled “Wiley Series in Drug Discovery and Development.” Professor Wang’s research interests include drug design and synthesis, molecular recognition, and new diagnostics. Specifically, his lab is currently working on design and synthesis of phosphodiesterase inhibitors (in collaboration with Professor Roberto Docampo of UGA), bacterial SecA inhibitors (in collaboration with Professor P.C. Tai of GSU), HIF-1 inhibitors (in collaboration with Professor Erwin Van Meir of Emory), and bacterial quorum sensing inhibitors (in collaboration with Professor Chung-dar Lu of GSU).

In addition, Dr. Wang’s lab is researching new MRI contrast agents (in collaboration with Professor Weili Lin of UNC) and aptamers for glycoproteins with the ability to differentiate glycosylation patterns (in collaboration with Professor Zhen Huang of GSU). The aptamer project is aimed at detecting cancer biomarkers and the MRI work is also for cancer detection.

Click here for email contact information
50 Hurt Plaza • Suite 700 • Atlanta, GA 30303 • Phone: (404) 584-7720 • Fax: (404) 584-8404

©2006 - 2007 The Georgia Cancer Coalition • Designed by Wave MechanixSite Map