Faculty Biographies

April 23–24, 2021
Virtual Meeting

Elias Jabbour

Elias Jabbour, MD

The University of Texas 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, TX. 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 both in acute and chronic forms of leukemia. He 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.

Franco Locatelli

Franco Locatelli, MD

University of Rome, IRCCS Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Italy

Prof Franco Locatelli is head of the Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, IRCCS Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Rome, and full professor of pediatrics at the Sapienza University of Rome in Italy. He leads the largest program of childhood allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in Italy and was recently appointed president of the Italian Higher Council of Health (Consiglio Superiore di Sanità), the technical scientific advisory body to the Ministry of Health. He graduated in medicine and surgery from the University of Pavia in Italy, where he also obtained a specialization in pediatrics and hematology. In 2005, he received the Gold Medal for Merit in public health by the president of the Italian Republic.

Prof Locatelli is an expert in childhood hematologic and oncologic malignancies. He was the president of the Italian Association for Pediatric Hematology-Oncology from 2004 to 2006, and served as chairman of the EWOG-MDS consortium from 2005 to 2011. Currently, he coordinates the national protocols for children with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia and relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He has implemented in Italy the first-in-human academic studies on children with CD19+ lymphoid malignancies using second-generation retroviral chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and on children with GD2+ neuroblastoma.

Prof Locatelli is also involved in the development and validation of gene therapy approaches in patients with thalassemia and sickle cell disease and he has extensive experience in running phase I/II clinical trials. He is the author or co-author of 1,070 peer-reviewed articles published in international journals and he has an overall impact factor above 5000 and an H-index of 99 (Scopus source).

Lia Gore

Lia Gore, MD

University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, USA

Dr Lia Gore is a professor with tenure at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and chief of pediatric hematology/oncology/bone marrow transplant-cellular therapeutics at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She received her MD from George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. She completed her internship in pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center, and her pediatrics residency training and pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship and further postdoctoral training at the University of Colorado and Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Dr Gore’s research interests are focused on the development of novel cancer therapeutics, with an emphasis on pediatric and hematologic malignancies and improving access to clinical trials for children and adolescents. Her focus is on particularly high-risk diseases such as relapsed leukemia, sarcoma, and central nervous system tumors. She has been a principal investigator (PI) or co-investigator on more than 250 national and international clinical trials, including as the PI for trials leading to the approval of 4 drugs for childhood cancer.

Dr Gore serves on advisory panels of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee to the US Food and Drug Administration, the Developmental Therapeutics and Department of Defense Study Sections of the National Institutes of Health, and has advised the European Medicines Agency on pediatric investigational plans for oncology products. She has directed a research study portfolio of over $30 million dollars. She is a founding co-director of the University of Colorado National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center’s hematologic malignancies program. Dr Gore currently serves as a co-director of the developmental therapeutics program, and on the executive committee for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She is the newly elected groupwide vice chair for the Children’s Oncology Group.

Roberta Demichelis

Roberta Demichelis, MD

Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Mexico

Roberta Demichelis, MD, 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, Mexico. She graduated from the Universidad Anáhuac School of Medicine in Mexico. She completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in hematology at the INCMNSZ. She later joined the faculty of the same institution, where she currently serves as the acute leukemia service coordinator.

Dr Demichelis is involved in clinical research with a focus on acute leukemia. She is coordinator of the Acute Leukemia Working Group of the Mexican Society of Hematology (Agrupación Mexicana para el Estudio de la Hematología). The group is carrying out different prospective multicentric studies focused on characterizing patients with acute leukemia and improving outcomes in the region. She actively participates in international American Society of Hematology initiatives, and was invited to be part of the Clinical Research Training Institute in Latin America faculty group.

José Maria Ribera

José Maria Ribera, MD

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

José Maria Ribera is chief of the Clinical Hematology Department and the Stem Cell Transplantation Unit at the Catalan Institute of Oncology University Hospital ‘Germans Trias i Pujol’ in Badalona, Barcelona, Spain. He is also a professor of medicine and hematology at the Autònoma University of Barcelona. After gaining his medical degree, Prof Ribera specialized in hematology at the Hospital Clínic Barcelona, before completing his PhD in the Clinical Hematology Department.

Prof Ribera’s main areas of scientific interest include acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and lymphomas arising in HIV-infected patients. President of the foundation of the cooperative Spanish Hematology Treatment Program (PETHEMA) and chairman of the PETHEMA Adult ALL Program, Prof Ribera is a member of the steering committee of the European LeukemiaNet and of the European Working Group for Adult ALL (EWALL). A reviewer for many hematology and oncology journals, he has authored or co-authored more than 485 articles in international peer-reviewed journals (H index 60), as well as 100 book chapters on hematology and oncology.

Andre Schuh

Andre Schuh, MD

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Canada

Dr Andre Schuh is a staff physician at the University Health Network/Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, ON. He served as head of the leukemia program at Princess Margaret from 2010–2014, and as medical director, malignant hematology from 2012–2018. He obtained his medical degree at the University of Toronto, and thereafter received subspecialty certification in internal medicine and in hematology, followed by a 4-year molecular biology fellowship.

Dr Schuh’s current interests include acute leukemia management and clinical trials (especially in the older patient), myelodysplastic syndromes, and the development of province- and country-wide leukemia management strategies.

Naval Daver

Naval Daver, MD

MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), Houston, TX

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.