Faculty Biographies

October 19–20, 2023, Webinar

Elias Jabbour

Elias Jabbour, MD

MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

Dr Elias Jabbour 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.

Naval Daver

Naval Daver, MD

MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

Dr Naval Daver is an associate professor and director of the Leukemia Research Alliance Program in the Department of Leukemia at MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) in Houston, TX. He is a clinical investigator with a focus on molecular and immune therapies in AML and myeloid disease, and is principal investigator on more than 25 ongoing institutional, national, and international clinical trials in these diseases. These trials focus on developing a personalized therapy approach by targeting specific mutations or immune pathways expressed by patients with AML, evaluating novel combinations of targeted, immune, and cytotoxic agents, and identifying and overcoming mechanisms of resistance. He is especially interested in developing monoclonal and bispecific antibodies, immune checkpoint and vaccine-based approaches, as well as targeted and apoptotic therapies in AML, and he is leading a number of these trials at MDACC. Dr Daver has published over 240 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is on the editorial board of numerous hematology journals.

Roberta Demichelis

Roberta Demichelis, MD

Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Mexico

Dr Roberta Demichelis is an assistant professor in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at the Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán (INCMNSZ) in Mexico City. She graduated from the Universidad Anáhuac School of Medicine, then completed her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in hematology at INCMNSZ. She later joined the faculty and currently serves as the Acute Leukemia Service coordinator.

Dr Demichelis is involved in clinical research with a focus on acute leukemia. She is a founding member and coordinator of the academic and scientific activities of the Acute Leukemia Working Group of the Mexican Association for the Study of Hematology (Agrupación Mexicana para el Estudio de la Hematología). The group conducts prospective multicentric studies focused on characterizing Mexican patients with acute leukemia and improving outcomes in the region. She actively participates in American Society of Hematology (ASH) initiatives, serves as a member of the ASH Clinical Research Training Institute (CRTI) subcommittee, and is part of the CRTI for Latin America faculty group.

Wellington Silva

Wellington Silva, MD

Hospital Regional de São José, Brazil

Dr Wellington Silva is a hematologist affiliated with the acute leukemia team at Hospital das Clínicas, University of São Paulo, Brazil. He received his MD and PhD from the University of Pernambuco School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at Hospital das Clínicas of the Federal University of Pernambuco and his fellowship in hematology and transfusion medicine at the University of São Paulo in 2016, then joined the faculty as an attending physician.

Dr Silva is actively engaged in training hematologists and conducting clinical research focused on acute leukemias. His primary interest lies in reporting local treatment outcomes and investigating the unique challenges of managing acute leukemia in resource-limited settings. Furthermore, he has established platforms for genetic assessment of acute leukemias in regions with limited resources and has initiated multicenter studies on adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Dr Silva has authored and co-authored numerous publications and abstracts, reflecting his commitment to advancing acute leukemia research in the university setting. His ultimate goal is to contribute to the improvement of acute leukemia outcomes in his country through dedicated research efforts.

Phillip Sheinberg

Phillip Scheinberg, MD, PhD

Hospital de São José, Beneficencia Portuguesa de São Paulo, Brazil

Dr Phillip Scheinberg is head of the Division of Hematology at Hospital A Beneficência Portuguesa, São Paulo, Brazil. He also serves as a member of the hospital’s institutional review board. He received his medical degree from the University of Santo Amaro in São Paulo, and served his internship and residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, FL, where he became medical chief resident. He completed a hematology-oncology fellowship before becoming a staff clinician in the Hematology Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. He then earned his PhD at the University of São Paulo School of Medicine.

During his time at NHLBI, Dr Scheinberg was involved in clinical protocols in bone marrow failure syndromes such as aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), and large granular lymphocytic leukemia. The focus of these protocols was to investigate novel immunosuppressive regimens that will improve the response rate in untreated severe aplastic anemia and prevent relapses and clonal evolution to MDS.

Dr Scheinberg is a member of several professional organizations, including the American College of Physicians (ACP), American Society of Hematology, and Brazilian Association of Hematology, Hemotherapy and Cell Therapy. He is a fellow of the ACP. His research has appeared in respected publications such as Blood, New England Journal of Medicine, Haematologica, Lancet Haematology, British Journal of Haematology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Annals of Hematology.

José Maria Ribera

José Maria Ribera, MD, PhD

Catalan Institute of Oncology, University Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Spain

Prof Josep-Maria Ribera is a practicing physician and researcher. He is a senior consultant of the Clinical Hematology Department for the Catalan Institute of Oncology and the Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol in Badalona, Spain. He joined the Josep Carreras Research Institute at its creation and participated in the process of instituting the Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Research Group.

Prof Ribera has been a full professor of medicine at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) since 2003. He teaches postgraduate courses at UAB, University of Barcelona, the Universidad Internacional Menéndez y Pelayo, and the Escuela Nacional de Sanidad, and carries out other varied teaching duties. After gaining his medical degree, he specialized in hematology at the Hospital Clínic Barcelona before completing his PhD in the Clinical Hematology Department.

Prof Ribera’s work and publications have made him well known internationally. He is a member of the Steering Committee for ALL of the European LeukemiaNet and the European Working Group for Adult ALL (EWALL). His research focuses on the study of new treatment approaches and prognostic factors in adult ALL, and he collaborates closely with the Lymphoma Research Group in the study of therapy and prognosis in human immunodeficiency virus-related lymphomas. He has authored or co-authored more than 485 published clinical papers and 100 book chapters on hematology, oncology, and internal medicine.