SU2C-Farrah Fawcett Foundation JSAC

The Joint Scientific Advisory Committee for the SU2C-Farrah Fawcett Foundation Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Translational Research Team Grant is dedicated to seeking out the most innovative and promising project focused on patients with HPV-driven cancers (including anal, cervical, and head and neck cancers) who relapse following initial therapy, and for whom few therapeutic options are available. The committee is comprised of highly accomplished senior laboratory researchers and physician-scientists. The scientific oversight provided by the Joint Scientific Advisory Committee is critical to achieve Stand Up To Cancer's mission to translate the most promising cancer research into real advances in cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prevention as quickly as possible.

Joint Scientific Advisory Committee Biographies

Waun Ki Hong, Co-chairperson Stephen E. Goldstone
Lawrence D. Piro, Co-chairperson Karyn A. Goodman
Jaffer A. Ajani Ernest T. Hawk
Al B. Benson Michael B. Kastan
Anette U. Duensing Heinz-Josef Lenz
Cathy Eng Philip A. Philip
Robin Farias-Eisner Joel E. Tepper
Elizabeth I.O. Garner  


Waun Ki Hong, M.D.
Head, Division of Cancer Medicine
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

Dr. Waun Ki Hong is the head of the Division of Cancer Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Hong received his bachelor of science and medical degree at the Yon Sei University College of Engineering Science in Seoul, Korea. He went on to do his residency at the Boston Veterans Affairs Medical Center and became a medical oncology fellow at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He joined MD Anderson in 1984 as chief of the Section of Head and Neck Medical Oncology, and became chair of the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology in 1993.

Dr. Hong's research interest includes retinoids, genetic predisposition to disease, biological markers, and chemoprevention, particularly the area of translational aerodigestive cancer research. His major research focus is working to identify and develop effective novel personalized molecularly targeted preventive and therapeutic approaches in patients with aerodigestive cancers and/or identify high risk individuals to reduce incidence and mortality through an integrated translational research team effort.

Dr. Hong was recently appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Board. In 1996, he became the first MD Anderson physician to receive an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professorship, a lifetime honor presented in recognition of his distinguished career. In 2001-2002, he served as president of the American Association for Cancer Research. His many honors for outstanding achievements in clinical research and patient care include the AACR's Joseph H. Burchenal and the Rosenthal Foundation Awards, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology's most prestigious award, the David A. Karnofsky Award.

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Lawrence D. Piro, M.D., Co-chairperson
The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute
Santa Monica, Calif.


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Jaffer A. Ajani, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas


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Al B. Benson, M.D.
Professor in Medicine
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
Northwestern University
Chicago, Ill.

Al B. Benson III, M.D., is a professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois.  He is also the associate director for clinical investigations at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, at Northwestern University. In addition, he is an attending physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, a staff physician at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, and a consultant to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Dr. Benson earned his medical degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo following which he completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals in Madison, Wisconsin. He was an assistant professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois and co-medical director for the National Public Health Service in Champaign, Illinois. He then served as a clinical oncology and research fellow at the University of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer Center, where he received an American Cancer Society Fellowship Award.  

Dr. Benson is active on numerous professional committees, often serving as an officer. He is a recipient of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Statesman Award (Fellow of ASCO) and has served on a number of committees. He has been a member of the Task Force on Quality of Cancer Care, the co-chair of ASCO’s Colorectal Cancer Guidelines Subcommittee, the Stage II Colon Cancer Guidelines Panel and the Guidelines Panel for use of Radiofrequency Ablation for Colorectal Cancer Hepatic Metastases. He also is the immediate past chair of the ECOG-ACRIN Gastrointestinal Committee and the current chair of the Data Monitoring Committee and a member of the NCI Rectal/Anal Cancers and the Colon Cancer Task Forces. He is chair of the International Rare Cancers Initiative (IRCI), Anal Cancers Committee, and member of the Small Intestinal Cancer Committee. In addition, he is a past president of the Illinois Medical Oncology Society, past president of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), an executive committee member and past-chair of the Board of Directors of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and a member of the Board of Directors of the NCCN Foundation. He is the chair of both the NCCN Hepatobiliary Guidelines Panel and of the Colon, Rectal and Anal Panel, and a member of the Pancreatic Cancer and Neuroendocrine Panels. He is a past president of the International Society of GI Oncology (ISGIO). Dr. Benson is a member of the Executive Committee of the Patient Advocate Foundation, the National Patient Advocate Foundation, and Scientific Advisory Committee of Friends of Cancer Research.

Dr. Benson is on the editorial board of the ASCO Connection, Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Health and Drug Benefits, Personalized Medicine in Oncology, Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research, and Gastrointestinal Cancer research among others.  

His most recent national awards include the NCCN Rodger J. Winn award and the ACCC Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Research Award.

Dr. Benson’s research is primarily in the areas of gastrointestinal cancer clinical trials, cancer clinical trials, biologic therapies, phase I cancer clinical trials and cancer guideline development. He has authored or coauthored numerous reports, reviews and book chapters focusing on these topics. His research in biologics, cancer therapy, and cancer prevention has been awarded funding from a variety of sources including the NIH.

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Anette U. Duensing, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Pathology
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Anette Duensing studied medicine in Germany and the U.K. She received her M.D. from the University of Hannover School of Medicine, Germany, where she also trained in Pathology. Following her doctoral thesis work on cancer cytogenetics, Dr. Duensing was awarded a research fellowship from the Dr. Mildred Scheel Stiftung für Krebsforschung of the Deutsche Krebshilfe, which she spent at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Since 2003, Dr. Duensing heads her own research laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), Hillman Cancer Center. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and member of the Cancer Therapeutics and Cancer Virology Programs at the UPCI.

Dr. Duensing is the recipient of an AACR Scholar-in-Training Award (AACR-AstraZeneca), a Young Investigator Award from The Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative, the UPCI Junior Scholar Award 2010 and was named Hillman Fellow for Innovative Cancer Research. She is Academic Editor for PLoS ONE and is an author of over 60 original articles, reviews and book chapters. Dr. Duensing's research focuses on the molecular biology of cancer and targeted therapies of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) as well as human papillomavirus (HPV)-induced carcinogenesis and genomic instability.

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Cathy Eng, M.D., FACP
Associate Professor
Department of GI Medical Oncology
UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas


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Robin Farias-Eisner, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Calif.


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Elizabeth I.O. Garner, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Division of Gynecologic Oncology
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, Mass.


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Stephen E. Goldstone, M.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor, Surgery
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
New York, N.Y.

Stephen E. Goldstone, M.D., is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and an active member of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. He attended the State University of New York at Albany and graduated summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He attended the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor society. He completed a surgery residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center and served as chief resident for the last two years of his residency.

He is an assistant clinical professor of surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and has a surgical practice in New York City. Dr. Goldstone has spoken at conferences around the world and has done extensive research on human papillomavirus (HPV). His work has been published in many prestigious medical journals. He has developed a surgical technique to treat anal HPV dysplasia and is currently involved in testing both prevention and treatment procedures for HPV. He is a member of the AIDS Malignancy Consortium.

Dr. Goldstone is an expert on gay men’s health and authored the best-selling book The Ins and Outs of Gay Sex -- A Medical Handbook for Men. He is past-president of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Alumni Board of Governors. He resides in New York City with his partner and two sons.

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Karyn A. Goodman, M.D.
Department of Radiation Oncology
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, N.Y.


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Ernest T. Hawk, M.D.
Vice President and Division Head
Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences
UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, Texas

Ernest Hawk, M.D., M.P.H., is vice president and division head for Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and holds the T. Boone Pickens Distinguished Chair for Early Prevention of Cancer. Additional responsibilities include leadership of the Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment, and co-leadership of MD Anderson’s Cancer Prevention and Control Platform which advances health promotion and cancer control through evidence-based public policy, public and professional education, and community-based service implementation and dissemination. A native of Detroit, Mich., Dr. Hawk earned his bachelor’s and medical degrees at Wayne State University and his master of public health degree at Johns Hopkins University. He completed an internal medicine internship and residency at Emory University, a medical oncology clinical fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco, and a cancer prevention fellowship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Prior to his appointment at MD Anderson in December 2007, Dr. Hawk held several positions at the NCI in Bethesda, Md. He most recently served as director of the Office of Centers, Training and Resources. His prior NCI posts included chief and medical officer in the Gastrointestinal and Other Cancers Research Group, medical officer in the Chemoprevention Branch, and chair of the Translational Research Working Group.

Dr. Hawk has been involved in a wide range of preclinical and clinical chemoprevention research, including developmental studies of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, COX-2 inhibitors, and preventive agent combinations in high-risk cohorts. He earned numerous awards for his work, including the NCI Research Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Prevention. Most recently, his interests have broadened to include improvement of minority and underserved populations’ participation in clinical research, and the integration of risk assessment, behavioral science, and preventive strategies in clinical trials. He has published more than 150 scientific articles and book chapters, and serves as the senior deputy editor for Cancer Prevention Research, and on the editorial board of Cancer Medicine.

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Michael B. Kastan, M.D., Ph.D.
Executive Director, Duke Cancer Institute
Duke University School of Medicine
Durham, N.C.


Michael B. Kastan, M.D., Ph.D., is the executive director of the Duke Cancer Institute. He earned medical and doctoral degrees from the Washington University School of Medicine and did his clinical training in pediatrics and pediatric hematology-oncology at Johns Hopkins. He was a professor of oncology, pediatrics, and molecular biology at Johns Hopkins prior to becoming chair of the hematology-oncology department and later cancer center director at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, before moving to Duke earlier this year. He is a pediatric oncologist and a cancer biologist; his laboratory research concentrates on DNA damage and repair, tumor suppressor genes, and causes of cancer related to genetic predisposition and environmental exposures. His discoveries have made a major impact on our understanding of both how cancers develop and how they respond to chemotherapy and radiation therapy and his publications reporting the role of p53 and ATM in DNA damage signaling are among the most highly cited publications in the biomedical literature of the past two decades.

Dr. Kastan has received numerous honors for his highly cited work, including election to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine and receiving the 47th annual AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to basic cancer research. He has served as chairman of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute and on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research. He is currently editor-in-chief of the journal Molecular Cancer Research and editor of the textbook Clinical Oncology.

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Heinz-Josef Lenz, M.D., FACP
Associate Director for Clinical Research
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
Los Angeles, Calif.

Heinz-Josef Lenz, M.D., FACP, is professor of medicine and professor of preventive medicine, holds the Kathryn Balakrishnan chair for cancer research, and is associate director, clinical research, co-chair of GI Oncology, co-director USC Center for Molecular Pathways and Drug Discover at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Lenz received his medical degree from Johannes-Gutenberg Universität in Mainz, Germany, and went on to complete a residency in hematology and oncology at the Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany, before completing clerkships in oncology and hematology at George Washington University and the Beth Israel Hospital of Harvard Medical School, respectively. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the USC Keck School of Medicine.

Dr. Lenz’s research focus is in the identification of biomarkers in GI cancers, early drug development and novel clinical trials. He is co-chair of SWOG GI Committee, co-chair SWOG GI Translational Medicine and member of the NCI GI Steering Committee and NCI Gastroesophageal Task Force and NCI Correlative Science Committee. He is the principal investigator for R01, U01, U10, and USC PI for N01.

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Philip A. Philip, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Oncology
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Detroit, Mich.

Dr. Philip is a professor of oncology and medicine at the Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. He leads the gastrointestinal and neuroendocrine tumors multidisciplinary team and is the vice president of medical affairs at Karmanos. He also chairs the pancreatic cancer subcommittee at the Southwest Oncology Group and is a member of the intergroup’s task force on pancreatic cancer. He also sits on the medical advisory board for the Pancreatic Action network (PanCan) and been very active in advocacy and fundraising for cancer. Dr. Philip practices as medical oncologist specializing in gastrointestinal cancers and neuroendocrine tumors.

Dr. Philip graduated from Medical College at the University of Baghdad in Iraq. He earned a doctorate in clinical pharmacology and pharmacogenetics from the University of London. He completed training in medical oncology in the UK (Oxford) and at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Dr. Philip joined faculty at Wayne State University in 1995. His major research interests are in new drug development with special focus on targeted agents against signaling pathways and has been the principal investigator on many phase I-III clinical trials.

He has published/co-authored over 160 peer reviewed manuscripts in addition to book chapters and invited review articles. He also co-edited a book on pancreatic cancer. Dr. Philip has served as a grant reviewer for the NIH, PanCan, Cancer UK and multiple other agencies. He contributes to the design of clinical trials in GI cancers at the national level. He also serves on the editorial board on several national and international journals.

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Joel E. Tepper, M.D.
Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, N.C.

Dr. Joel Tepper is the Hector MacLean distinguished professor of cancer research at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from MIT, and his medical degree from Washington University, St. Louis. He was an intern at Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago and a residency in radiation oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has been a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute and an attending physician at MGH and Harvard Medical School. For the past 27 years he has been at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, as chair for the first 20 of those years.  

He has been an active participant in clinical and translational research in gastrointestinal tumors for many years including vice-chair of the GI Committee of CALGB for 14 years and was the co-chair of the NCI GI Steering Committee that coordinates the NCI Phase II and III clinical trials cooperative group portfolio and has been director of the UNC GI SPORE grant. He has been co-chair of the Colon-Rectal Working group of The Cancer Genome Atlas and has worked on the pancreas and esophageal task forces of TCGA. He is co-director of the NCI funded UNC Carolina Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNE). Dr. Tepper has served as president and chairman of the Board of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and received the Gold Medal from ASTRO in 2008. He has been a board member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and has been on a number of committees for the AACR. He was a founding member of the Clinical and Translational Research Advisory Committee (CTAC) that advises the director of the NCI on the NCI clinical and translational research portfolio and has worked for NCI on PATS (Process to Accelerate Translational Science) and the OEWG (Operational Efficiency Working Group). He is a fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Dr. Tepper is editor of three textbooks including Clinical Radiation Oncology and is the founding editor of Seminars in Radiation Oncology. He has authored a large number of peer-reviewed publications.

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