Faculty Biographies

December 5–6, 2022, Webinar

Elias Jabbour

Elias Jabbour, MD

MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA

Elias Jabbour, MD, is professor of medicine, Department of Leukemia, at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), Houston, Texas. He graduated from the Saint Joseph University School of Medicine, Beirut, and joined the Hotel Dieu de France University Hospital as a resident. He pursued a fellowship in hematology-oncology at the Gustave Roussy Institute, France. In 2003, he joined MDACC as a fellow in the Department of Hematology/Leukemia and Stem Cell Transplantation. He later joined the faculty in the Leukemia Department as assistant professor.

Dr Jabbour is actively involved in research in both acute and chronic forms of leukemia. He was involved in clinical trials that led to the approval of several drugs in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). He actively assisted in developing chemotherapeutic and biologic agents in leukemias and contributed to the development of others. Dr Jabbour has designed more than a dozen clinical trials assessing new combinations for the management of de novo ALL, elderly ALL, and relapsed/refractory disease. Of note, he developed a protocol that has shown significant improvements in survival rates for patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive ALL. In addition, he developed another innovative treatment approach for these patients by combining blinatumomab, a bispecific monoclonal antibody, with ponatinib, offering a chemotherapy-free regimen that it is hoped will further increase cure rates. Another area on which he focused his research is elderly patients with ALL. The aggressive biology of the disease and elderly patients’ poor tolerance of intensive chemotherapy leads to low survival rates for this patient population.

Dr Jabbour is currently investigating an innovative strategy combining new monoclonal antibodies such as inotuzumab ozogamicin, a conjugated anti-CD22 antibody, and blinatumomab with minimal chemotherapy. If successful, such strategies will likely increase the cure rates of adult patients with ALL to the high level achieved in pediatric patients.

Dr Jabbour has taken an active role in the medical community, participating in numerous scientific meetings. He has authored or co-authored numerous publications (>550 peer-reviewed publications) and abstracts, and serves as a reviewer for many scientific journals. He has received several prestigious awards, among them merit awards from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (2005, 2006, 2007) and the American Society of Hematology (2005, 2006, 2007). He also received several other honors, including the Kimberly Patterson and Shannon Timmons fellowships and the highly coveted Celgene Future Leader in Hematology (2007) and Young Investigator in Hematology (2016) awards.

Stephanie Dixon

Stephanie Dixon, MD, MPH

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, USA

Dr Stephanie Dixon is an assistant member in the Division of Cancer Survivorship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (SJCRH), Memphis, Tennessee. She received her medical degree from the University of Michigan College of Medicine and completed training in a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She then pursued a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at SJCRH, followed by an additional year of training in childhood cancer survivorship. Concurrent with her fellowship, she completed a master’s degree in public health with a focus in applied epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Following completion of her training, she joined the faculty at SJCRH in the Division of Cancer Survivorship, where she specializes in the care of childhood cancer survivors as well as children newly diagnosed with Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

Dr Dixon is actively involved in clinical research focused on late health outcomes after childhood cancer treatment, including studies focused on late mortality and chronic health conditions in survivors, as well as targeted interventions to prevent or mitigate late effects of cancer therapy.

Shaun Fleming

Shaun Fleming, MBBS(Hons), FRACP, FRCPA

Melbourne Haematology, Australia

Dr Shaun Fleming is a consultant hematologist at Melbourne Haematology, Richmond, VIC, Australia. He practices as both a clinical hematologist and hematopathologist. He is also a clinical and laboratory hematologist at the Alfred Hospital. He is a graduate of Monash University and completed his training at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and Melbourne Pathology.

Dr Fleming has a particular interest in leukemia and related myeloid disorders such as myelodysplasia. He provides expert management of other malignant hematologic disorders such as lymphoma and thrombosis, and interprets diagnostic tests. Dr Fleming is an investigator on several clinical trials in leukemia and myelodysplasia and conducts translational research in acute myeloid leukemia.

Hagop Kantarjian

Hagop Kantarjian, MD

MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA

Dr Hagop Kantarjian is a professor and chair of the Department of Leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), where he is also the Samsung Distinguished Leukemia Chair in Cancer Medicine. He is also a non-resident fellow in health policy at the Rice University Baker Institute. He received his medical degree at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, and hematology and oncology training at MDACC.

Dr Kantarjian’s research focuses on translational-clinical developmental therapeutics in leukemia. In the past 4 decades, he has made several contributions that improved prognosis and survival in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (tyrosine kinase inhibitors, eg, imatinib, dasatinib, nilotinib, bosutinib, which improved the 10-year survival from 20% to 90%), in acute lymphocytic leukemia (HYPER-CVAD regimen and its derivatives, which improved cure rates from 20% to 60%), the discovery of decitabine for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome, and of clofarabine for the treatment of leukemias, among others. His research and collaborations were the basis for the FDA approvals of over 25 drugs in leukemia.

Dr Kantarjian has received several prestigious honors and awards, including the 37th Jeffrey A Gottlieb Memorial Award (2012), the John Mendelsohn Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award (2008), the Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award (2013), the Charles A. LeMaistre, MD, Outstanding Achievement Award in Cancer (2014), and America’s Top Doctors, Castle Connolly Medical (2003–present). He was also selected for the top Castle Connolly National Physician of the Year Award for Lifetime Achievement (2014). He is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the International Association for Comparative Research on Leukemia and Related Diseases, Mannheim, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology, and other professional groups. He is also an author on over 2,200 peer reviewed publications.

Marcos de Lima

Marcos de Lima, MD

Ohio State University, USA

Dr Marcos de Lima is a professor of medicine at Ohio State University (OSU), and the director of  the Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy programs at the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. He attended the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he received his medical degree and completed his residency in internal medicine. He later finished his fellowship in medical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

Dr de Lima’s research focuses on strategies to prevent leukemia relapse after transplant, and the development of novel translational cellular therapy approaches to treat blood cancers. His goal is to expand clinical trials to develop new and refine existing cellular therapy approaches with the potential to move from conceptualization and testing to the clinical bedside to help patients. He has extensive experience developing and conducting clinical trials in the context of hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation for myeloid malignancies.

Dr de Lima has published nearly 400 manuscripts and written several textbook chapters in his field of study. He also serves as a professor in the Division of Hematology at the OSU College of Medicine. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

Michael Osborn

Michael Osborn, MBBS, FRACP, FRCPA

SA Pathology, Adelaide, Australia

Dr Michael Osborn is a consultant hematologist at SA Pathology, Adelaide, Australia, who initially trained in pediatric hematology and oncology in Adelaide, prior to gaining further experience in pediatric and adult stem cell transplantation in Bristol, UK. He returned to Adelaide to complete his training in laboratory and clinical hematology at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science (IMVS) and the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He also worked as clinical leukemia research fellow at the IMVS before becoming a fellow of both the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.

Dr Osborn’s interests include hematologic malignancies, stem cell transplantation, and optimizing management of adolescents and young adults with cancer.

Jae Park

Jae Park, MD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, USA

Dr Jae Park is an associate attending physician in the leukemia service, Division of Hematologic Oncology, director of the adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) program, and assistant director of the cellular therapeutics service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. He received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, and completed an internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and a hematology-oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr Park’s research focus is on translating and establishing novel targeted and immunotherapies for patients with hematologic malignancies. He is principal investigator of several clinical trials in adult patients with ALL and chronic lymphocytic leukemia/non-Hodgkin lymphoma using CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T cells, bispecific T-cell engagers, oral targeted agents, and immunomodulators.

Dr Park has authored or co-authored numerous peer-reviewed articles appearing in New England Journal of Medicine, Blood, Science Translational Medicine, Cancer Discovery, Journal of Clinical Investigation, and Journal of Clinical Oncology. His research has been recognized and funded by the American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Geoffrey Beene Research Foundation, and National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Elizabeth Raetz

Elizabeth Raetz, MD

New York University Grossman School of Medicine, USA

Dr Elizabeth Raetz is a KiDS of NYU Foundation professor of pediatric medicine at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and serves as director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and medical director of the Stephen D. Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. She earned her medical degree from the University of Wisconsin and completed a residency in pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at the University of Utah Hospital.

Dr Raetz has worked as an investigator on several phase I–III clinical studies in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), Hodgkin lymphoma, and neuroblastoma. She has been an active member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) ALL Committee for the past 20 years, serving on the Executive Committee and as the study chair for clinical trials in relapsed ALL and disease classification. She presently serves as a vice chair for the COG ALL Disease Committee, overseeing frontline clinical trials.

Stephen Hunger

Stephen P. Hunger, MD

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA

Dr Stephen P. Hunger is chief of the Division of Oncology, director of the Center for Childhood Cancer Research, and holder of the Jeffrey E. Perelman Distinguished Chair in the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, PA. He is professor of pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He also serves as associate director for pediatric research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center. Dr Hunger received his medical degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He completed a pediatrics residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, and a pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship and postdoctoral research training at Stanford University, CA. He has been a faculty member since 1994, with prior leadership positions at the University of Florida (chief of pediatric hematology/oncology, 2001–2007) and the University of Colorado and Children’s Hospital Colorado (chief of pediatric hematology/oncology/bone marrow transplantation, 2007–2014).

Dr Hunger specializes in basic, translational, and clinical research and treatment regarding children, adolescents, and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). He has a major interest in global oncology, with a focus on improving cure rates for children with ALL in low- and middle-income countries. He was the vice-chair (2002–2007) and chair (2008–2015) of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) ALL Disease Committee, and has led the COG/National Cancer Institute High-Risk ALL TARGET project since its inception in 2006. This project has made numerous discoveries on the genomic landscape of childhood ALL that have resulted in precision medicine clinical trials in genetically defined ALL subsets.

Dr Hunger is past-chair of the Scientific Committee of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology and the current treasurer. He has authored more than 325 peer-reviewed manuscripts, almost all on pediatric ALL.