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Speaker Biographies 2013

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Speaker Biographies

Short Courses

Sharon Stack:

Dr. M. Sharon Stack received her Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Louisville, completed postdoctoral training in biochemical pathology at Duke University Medical Center and served for several years as a Research Assistant Professor in Pathology at Duke. In 1994, she joined the faculty in the Department of Cell & Molecular Biology at Northwestern University where she rose through the ranks to tenured Professor. While at Northwestern, Dr. Stack was also Program Leader of the Tumor Invasion, Metastasis and Angiogenesis Program of the NCI-designated RH Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center (RHLCCC) and a member of the RHLCCC Executive Committee. She joined the University of Missouri in 2007 as Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences. She is currently (since 2011) Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Ann F. Dunne and Elizabeth Riley Director of the Harper Cancer Research Institute, University of Notre Dame. Dr. Stack has served as a full member of the NIH/NCI Tumor Progression and Metastasis study section and on review panels for many other funding agencies. She is on the Editorial Board of Cancer Research and is a retired member of the Journal of Biological Chemistry Biochemical Journal Editorial Boards. She has published over 125 peer-reviewed research articles and reviews. Her laboratory has been continuously funded by the NIH/NCI since 1989. Her overall research focus is in the area of molecular mechanisms of metastasis. Current research in the Stack Lab centers on regulation of adhesion and extracellular proteolysis in two model systems: epithelial ovarian carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity. Ongoing research utilizes an integrative approach involving examination of 2-dimensional (2-D) and 3-D tissue culture systems and organotypic cultures complemented by murine tumor models and analyses of human tumors. Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which tumor cells orchestrate multiple microenvironmental cues to regulate the expression and activity of metastasis-associated proteinases is the major focus of the laboratory.

Colleen Mitchell:

Colleen M. Mitchell is the Joint Biorepository Operations Manager for the IU Simon Cancer Center Tissue Bank and National Cell Repository for Alzheimer’s Disease at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She coordinates business operations and maintenance for the cores. She ensures standardization and consistency of all standard operating procedures and quality control. She also provides leadership, guidance, support and mentoring for coordinators, technicians and medical staff within the tissue banks, and interacts and collaborates with internal and external stakeholders.

Helena Ellis:

Helena Ellis is Director of the Duke BioBank, where she leads the effort to harmonize biobanking practices among a consortium of Duke’s biobanks. Prior to joining Duke, Helena spent two years at Brown University developing the Rhode Island BioBank, an institutional resource and core biobanking facility. In Boston, Helena worked for Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she managed several biorepositories for the Harvard Epidemiological Cohorts, including the Nurses Health Studies and Health Professional’s Follow-Up Study. She got her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College.

Keynote: It Takes a Village

Andrew Dahlem:

Andrew M. Dahlem, Ph.D., was named vice president and chief operating officer for Lilly Research Laboratories (LRL) and LRL Europe in February 2007. He has previously served as vice president of toxicology, drug disposition, pharmacokinetics and Lilly Research Laboratories in Europe since January 2003 and is a member of Lilly senior management. Dr. Dahlem received a bachelor of science degree in wildlife biology from The Ohio State University in 1982 and a doctor of philosophy degree in toxicology from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989. Dahlem joined Lilly in 1990 as a senior pharmacologist where he worked on improving the ADME properties of molecules to treat Alzheimer’s disease and HIV/AIDS. He became head of biochemical toxicology in 1992. He was named director of drug disposition and biochemical (investigative) toxicology in 1993. He was promoted to executive director for toxicology and drug disposition in 1998 and he assumed responsibility for LRL in Europe in 1999 and for discovery operations in 2000. In December 2001 he was promoted to vice president. Dr. Dahlem serves as adjunct professor of toxicology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at The Ohio State University. He is also a member of The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy Corporate Council, the Illinois Professional Science Master’s Board and the Purdue University’s Discovery Park Advisory Council. He is a member of the Drug Discovery and Development Core of the Institute of Clinical and Translational Research at the University of Iowa and The Ohio State University’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science External Advisory Board. Dr. Dahlem currently serves on the board of directors for Indigo Biosystems, the YourEncore board of advisors and is a member of the Indiana State Museum Foundation Board of Directors. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine Forum on Drug Discovery, Development and Translation and the Translational Research and the Critical Path for Tuberculosis Drug Regimens for the Gates Foundation. He is a member and past president of Indianapolis/Cincinnati Discussion Group of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. He is also a member of the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics, the Society of Toxicology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Norma Nowak:

Dr. Norma J. Nowak is the Chief Scientific Officer and Founder of Empire Genomics LLC, an oncology-focused molecular diagnostics company. In addition she is a Professor of Biochemistry at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Director of Science and Technology at the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. Dr. Nowak is a recognized leader in genetics and genomics as well as her work on the Human Genome Project. This work laid the foundation for the development of array-based comparative genomic hybridization technology and led to Dr. Nowak and her colleagues receiving the 2008 AACR (American Association of Cancer Research) Team Science award.

Anantha Shekhar:

Dr. Shekhar is the founding Director of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), a statewide institute within the Indiana University School of Medicine, supported by a CTSA grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and established in 2008 as a joint partnership of Indiana, Purdue and Notre Dame Universities. The Institute’s mission is to assist in the rapid translation of new discoveries into novel treatments. Dr. Shekhar is the Associate Dean for Translational Research and the Raymond E. Houk Professor of Psychiatry, and Professor of Neurobiology and Pharmacology & Toxicology at the Indiana University School of Medicine as well as Assistant Vice President of Research at Indiana University. In addition to his role in leading the statewide translational research initiative, Dr. Shekhar leads successful basic and clinical research programs in the areas of stress, anxiety and neuropsychiatric disorders, funded by the NIH since 1989. His laboratory has developed some of the best translational models for panic and related anxiety disorders. His work focuses on the role of brain abnormalities that could lead to stress and psychiatric disorders and has more recently extended these studies to the discovery of new treatments. He established and directed a Clinical Neuroscience Research Center (NCRC) at Indiana University Department of Psychiatry from 1997 to 2007, where he directed Phase I and II studies in healthy and disease populations, plus biomarker studies utilizing physiology and brain imaging methods. He has initiated several Investigational New Drug applications and has conducted many pharmacokinetic, pharmacogenetic and Phase III studies of novel compounds in the treatment of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. He has published over 150 original scientific papers in leading basic and clinical journals. A number of grants from the National Institutes of Health, private foundations and commercial collaborations currently support his research. He was a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors for the National Institute of Mental Health 2007-2008. He is the current president of the Association for Clinical and Translational Sciences.

Traci Runge:

Traci is the mother of three daughters: Hannah, a junior at IU, Allie, an 11th grader at Carmel High School and Gracie, a fourth grader. Traci is the first ever to donate healthy then cancerous breast tissue to the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center. She was named the face of St. Vincent’s Woman of Hope, as well as one of the 46 Faces of the XLVI Super Bowl and the inspiration for the Indy Super Cure. Traci has had the honor of speaking at various events for the Cell Therapy Foundation in regards to the innovative treatment of using her own adult stem cells in her reconstruction.

Business of Running a Biobank

Brian Chadwick:

Brian Chadwick brings more than 30 years of experience in the areas of healthcare, clinical research, drug, device and diagnostics development, process improvement initiatives and technology solutions for clinical research and healthcare processes. Mr. Chadwick has a number of publications and is frequently a speaker at professional meetings.

Amelia Warner:

Dr. Warner has 15 years of experience leading research programs in pharmacogenomics for the pharmaceutical industry and academia. She has been a leader in global policy discussions for future biomedical research, participating in ICH E16 and international summits for genetic specimen collection.

Anthoula Lazaris:

Dr. Anthoula Lazaris is a professional with over 20 years combined experience in academia (McGill University) and biotechnology/industry, in management and senior-level positions. Dr. Lazaris possesses a strong, diverse background and proven leadership ability in strategic planning, management of teams, deep knowledge of government funding mechanisms (federal and provincial), technical development, project management and operations, as well as solid skills in the areas of biobanking, molecular biology, cell biology, genetically modified organisms (animals, mammalian cells, fungi and bacteria), gene therapy and recombinant protein production.

Beatrice Knudsen:

Dr. Knudsen is the Medical Director of the Cedars-Sinai Biobank and Translational Research Core. She was recruited from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in 2011 and leads a multidisciplinary team to build a centralized and comprehensive biobank and translational pathology program. Dr. Knudsen received an M.D. and Ph.D. at Weill Cornell Medical College. She pursued postdoctoral studies in signal transduction at The Rockefeller University before completing a Pathology residency at the New York Hospital. Dr. Knudsen is board certified in Anatomic Pathology. In addition to biobanking, she conducts research in prostate cancer metastasis related to the c-Met receptor. She also works on new assay development for tissue imaging. Altogether, Dr. Knudsen combines expertise in biobanking, tissue analysis and signal transduction to conduct biomarker studies and to build infrastructure to help the scientific community with biospecimen needs and tissue-based assays.

Devon Kelly:

Devon Kelly is Director of the OHSU Knight BioLibrary at the Oregon Health & Science University. Devon is a molecular biologist by training with over 14 years experience in specimen repository management, 10 years within pharmacogenetics research and five years basic research. In her current role, she has primary responsibility for the standardization of repository management across OHSU, as well as coordination of the distribution of specimens to non-OHSU researchers. Prior to joining OHSU in 2011, Devon managed a resource team within the Human Sample BioRepository group at GlaxoSmithKline, for which she developed specimen management processes to meet the scientific and operational requirements for nearly 13,000 R&D scientists.

Shannon McCall:

Dr. McCall is an AP/CP Board-certified pathologist and Assistant Professor at Duke University School of Medicine. She is the Director of Duke’s Biospecimen Repository and Processing Core and the Director of Anatomic Pathology Quality Assurance.

Science of Supplying High-Quality Specimens

Jay A. Tischfield:

As Founder, CEO and Scientific Director, Jay A. Tischfield is responsible for the scientific direction, funding and overall mission of RUCDR Infinite Biologics. His over 230 publications describe the genetics of severe combined immunodeficiency disease, inherited kidney stone diseases, alcoholism, limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, autism and Tourette syndrome, as well as basic science related to our understanding of genetic stability in somatic and pluripotent stem cells. His experience in organizing, leading and executing large-scale projects involving hundreds of thousands of human subjects provides the background expertise for RUCDR Infinite Biologics. Jay is among the top five percent of National Institutes of Health-funded researchers for over 38 years, with over $350 million in total funding during the past 15 years. Jay has current certification in two Medical Genetics subspecialties and is a Founding Fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics. He received the Distinguished Alumnus medal from Brooklyn College and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He served as a biomedical infrastructure advisor to Singapore for nearly two decades. He has held professorial appointments at five U.S. Schools of Medicine and is currently MacMillan Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University, Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Director of the Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey. He received his M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale and did a postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. 

Alexandra Lerch-Gaggl:

Alexandra Lerch-Gaggl, Ph.D., is the Scientific Director of the Pediatric BioBank & Analytical Tissue Core (PBATC) at the Children Research Institute (CRI) at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA. Since its establishment in 2008, the PBATC has procured over 10,000 samples, including pediatric tumors and developmental malformations, as well as placenta, blood, bone marrow and normal tissues. Next to investigator-driven, study-specific sample banking, the PBATC also offers analytical services, which provide experimental support for research studies. Dr. Lerch-Gaggl received her Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology and Immunology and her Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Developmental Biology from the Paris-Lodron University in Salzburg, Austria. After her postdoctoral training in the Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy at the Medical College of Wisconsin, she directed the Bryant Imaging Core at the college before taking on the position in the Pediatric BioBank & Analytical Tissue Core. Research interests of Dr. Lerch-Gaggl include biospecimen science, advanced microscopy techniques and digital image analysis and molecular mechanisms of metabolism and cancer formation.

Timothy Geddes:

Tim attained a B.S. in Biochemistry from Michigan State University in 1983, focusing on molecular biology, microbiology and laboratory instrumentation. Throughout his career he has been productive at a variety of institutions, including in molecular biology studies at the University of Michigan and cancer research at both Henry Ford Hospital of Detroit and the Department of Radiation Oncology at Wayne State University. After heading up a state-of-the-art Biotechnology Research and Industrial Applications Laboratory at Gage Products Company, Tim managed the Laboratory of Molecular Neurochemistry at the John Dingell VA Medical Center and Wayne State University in Detroit from 1997 through 2008. Mr. Geddes joined the Beaumont BioBank in 2009 and currently manages the Erb Family Core Molecular Laboratory. He is involved in numerous biospecimen integrity studies, such as the development of novel metrics for biobanked specimens. These include the SPIN project, which was designed to be a novel assessment of biorepository tissue quality and was introduced in 2011, winning the Asterand-ISBER Biospecimen Science Award.

Allison Hubel:

Dr. Hubel is currently Director of the Biopreservation Core Resource (BioCoR,, a national resource in biopreservation. She is also a professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota and a deputy editor for Biopreservation and Biobanking.

Victoria Kelly:

Victoria Kelly received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Cell and Molecular Biology. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh and then joined the Coriell Institute for Medical Research in 2012 as the Molecular Biology Group Leader.

Philip Branton:

Dr. Branton has served on both the Cancer and Surgical Pathology Committees for the CAP since 2000 and is currently chair of the Surgical Pathology Resource Committee for the CAP; he is also vice chair of the Biorepository Accreditation Committee. He trained in medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School (1987) and in anatomic and clinical pathology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (1992) and gyn/breast pathology at the AFIP (1996). He was vice chair and chair of the Pathology Department at Fairfax Hospital near Washington, D.C., where he was on staff from 1997-2010. He joined the Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research Branch (BBRB) and the Cancer Human Biobank (caHUB) at the National Cancer Institute as a consultant surgical pathologist in October 2010. His main interests are in gynecologic and breast pathology and biospecimen science and accreditation issues.

Biospecimens and Translational Science

Dawn Bowles:

Dawn E. Bowles, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Sciences and Co-Director of the Duke Human Heart Repository. Her research is focused on discovery, testing and translation of novel therapeutic modalities for cardiac injury and end-stage heart failure. With Dr. Carmelo Milano, M.D., Dr. Bowles has developed a human heart repository that serves as a discovery engine for their laboratories.

Dhaval K. Shah:

Dr. Dhaval Shah is a Principal Scientist in the translational research group at Pfizer. His research interests involve development and application of mechanism-based compartmental and systems pharmacology models to predict human PK/PD from preclinical data. He is also interested in using Quantitative PK/PD principles to help guide the discovery and development of novel biotherapeutics.

Gail Vance:

Dr. Vance received her M.D. from Michigan State University (MSU) School of Medicine and completed a residency in Clinical Pathology and a residency in Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. She went on to complete fellowship training in Clinical Genetics and Clinical Cytogenetics at Indiana University. She is certified by the American Board of Pathology (Clinical Pathology), the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Medical Genetics (Clinical Genetics and Clinical Cytogenetics). Dr. Vance is a professor in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Vance has over 25 years’ experience in clinical genetics and laboratory genetics, including cytogenetics, molecular cytogenetics and molecular diagnostic testing. She is currently the Director of the Division of Diagnostic Genomics Cytogenetics Division in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics as well as the Director of the Medical Genetics Residency Program and the ABMG-accredited Clinical Cytogenetics Fellowship Program laboratory training programs in Clinical Molecular Genetics and Clinical Cytogenetics at Indiana University. She is also the Director of the Indiana Familial Cancer Program which consists of two IRB-approved data registries and the Indiana Familial Cancer Clinics. Visit the website at: Dr. Vance has been very active at the national level, especially in the College of American Pathologists (CAP) where she has served on numerous committees and is currently serving, and recently completed her second term on the Board of Governors. Her national activities include serving as a member of the CAP/ASCO expert panel that established guidelines for clinical testing of the HER2 (ERBB2) and being a member of the Task Force for Oversight of Genetic Testing for the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society. She is also a recent member of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC), which is a committee established to advise the Secretary on matters of laboratory medicine.

Sherilyn J. Sawyer:

Dr. Sherilyn Sawyer is the Director of the Cohorts Biorepository at the Channing Division of Network Medicine, which contains approximately 3 million biospecimens representing the Nurses’ Health Study, Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and Growing Up Today cohorts, among others. Prior to joining the BWH team in 2012, Dr. Sawyer was a Health Science Administrator with the Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research at the National Cancer Institute. Her responsibilities included a major role in the design and implementation of the caHUB program and technical oversight of caHUB central operations. In addition, Dr. Sawyer served as the co-director of Biospecimen Acquisitions for the Genotype Tissue Expression (GTEx) Roadmap Initiative. Dr. Sawyer is a molecular biologist with expertise in cell signaling and regulation of RNA expression. She earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry from Boston University and a B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of Nevada-Reno.

Case Studies:

Lynn Wetherwax:

Lynn Wetherwax is a Senior Manager at Amgen whose team is responsible for the operation of the biobank. In her 20 years working at Amgen, she has supported various aspects of clinical trials including pharmacokinetic testing, clinical drug supply and biological sample management. In her current role, she is responsible for maintaining the biobank and ensuring that specimens collected in clinical trials are used in accordance with the informed consent.

Catherine Weaver:

As the Global Head of Solution Design, Catherine Weaver is responsible for creating and implementing unique sample management solutions for strategic partnerships with laboratories, CROs, emerging pharma companies and in newly discovered business markets. Prior to joining BioStorage Technologies, Weaver was executive director of global project and data management at PPD Global Central Labs. Weaver holds a B.A. in Education from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. She also studied pharmacy through Purdue University.

Katheryn Shea:

Katheryn Shea is the Vice President of Bioservices at Precision Bioservices Inc., a subsidiary of Precision for Medicine. For over 20 years, Ms. Shea has led repository programs, helping clients build and manage biological collections from design through implementation, maintenance, and closeout stages. She is the 2013-2014 Past President of the International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) and has served on its council for seven of the last twelve years. Ms. Shea has served as principal investigator for several large repository initiatives sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and also acts as a scientific reviewer for repository applications. In addition, Ms. Shea advises on the design of various research studies and clinical trials that utilize anywhere from hundreds to millions of biospecimens. She also serves on the advisory working group that designed the Biorepository Accreditation Program for the College of American Pathologists and is the Biorepository Director for the CAP Biorepository Accreditation held by her company. Ms. Shea received her undergraduate degree in biology from Mount Saint Mary’s College in Maryland.

Eric Eastman:

Dr. Eric Eastman is currently the Chief Science Officer of DioGenix, Inc. and a strategic business consultant to select biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies. He was previously Vice President for Diagnostic Ventures at Gene Logic, Inc.  Dr. Eastman has held various senior management positions including Chief Scientific and Operations Officer for Genetraks Holdings; Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer and SAB Chairman for MetriGenix Corporation; President of Morphochem, Inc; Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Gene Logic, Inc.; Director, Gene Expression and Process Research & Development at GeneMedicine, Inc; Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Lark Sequencing Technologies, Inc. and Director of Molecular Biology and Immunoassay Development at BIOTX, Inc. Dr. Eastman received his M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Human Genetics and Development from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and did his post-doctoral training in the Department of Cell Biology at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Eastman also received a B.A. degree in Biology from Middlebury College and an M.S. degree in Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Connecticut.

Divya Neelam:

Divya Neelam received her Master of Science in Bioinformatics from Indiana University. Her research focused on developing a tool to analyze protein interaction networks. She has been with Sequenom since 2006 starting as a Network and Bioinformatics Engineer serving Sequenom’s worldwide customer base. Divya joined the Applications and Technology team as a technical resource in 2008 and supports Sequenom’s Genotyping, Methylation and Oncology applications.

Bryan Thibodeau:

Bryan Thibodeau received his Ph.D. from Wayne State University from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Toxicology.  His research focused on changes in gene expression that occur during breast cancer progression.  Dr. Thibodeau joined the Beaumont BioBank team in February 2010, where he utilizes microarray technology and specialized software for genomic and gene expression analysis.  More recently he has become involved in next generation sequencing using the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine. The BioBank offers him the opportunity to research a wide variety of conditions from carpal tunnel syndrome to a wide variety of cancer types (pancreas, head and neck cancer, renal cell carcinoma) and cancer stem cells.

Dennis Laska:

Mr. Laska received a B.S. in Biology from the Pennsylvania State University in 1976.During his first decade of research, he held positions in academic laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh; Union University, Albany, NY; and the W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center in Lake Placid, NY where he specialized in the development of cell-based assays and protein purification. He joined the Department of Experimental Toxicology at Bristol Myers Squibb in Syracuse, NY where he pioneered the development of in vitro assays to support ADMET screening. He joined the Toxicology and Drug Disposition group at Eli Lilly and Company in 1987 where he championed alternative to animal testing modalities to reduce both lab animal use and to accelerate hazard evaluation testing. In 2004 he joined the Experimental Biology Department (now Tailored Therapeutics) where he applies cellular models, biomarker and enzyme assays to aid in drug tailoring initiatives. Dennis has authored or coauthored 26 scientific publications and has served as Vertebrate Section Chair and on the Board of Directors of the Society for In Vitro Biology.

Mary Zuniga:

Mary Zuniga, B.S. in Biology, is the Clinical Trial Sample Coordinator at Eli Lilly and Company. Mary has worked at Lilly for the past 17 years and during her career, she partnered both internally and externally to establish the first Lilly Biobanking process and IT infrastructure for the collection and management of anonymized clinical trial samples across more than 30 countries. Additionally, Mary has since implemented a sample inventory system for all stored single-coded clinical trial samples that are housed at four storage vendors in 25 different locations. This inventory system utilizes a standard sample nomenclature across hundreds of clinical trials to allow Lilly researchers quick access to samples.

Brainstorming Breakfast Discussion Groups:

Pedro Rondat Radío:

Dr. Pedro Rondat Radío was certified as a Medicine Doctor in 1986 at National University of Rosario, and as a Clinical Internist Physician in 1990. He was a certified hematologist at the Nacional Academy of Medicine of Buenos Aires in 1996, with over 16 years of experience in oncologic patient care. He has been working at the University of Buenos Aires since 1992. Since 2007, he has been working in the Basic Research Área at the Institute of Oncology “Angel Roffo.” There, he started running an “Oncologic Serum Biobank” in 2008, and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Biobank. He trains the staff personnel in biobanking business and science programs. He takes the Informed Consent from patients, processes and freezes the samples and also is in charge of the data management. The Public Oncologic Serum Biobank stores, at present, 750 samples (total of aliquots: 10000) from cancer patients and volunteers. The Biobank is going to next start an “International Collaboration Research Protocol” with Hackensack University Medical Centre-New Jersey, U.S., measuring novel biomarkers in ovarian cancer patients, for which serum samples and associated data will be provided to the Principal Investigator in the U.S. In November 2011, he presented as a speaker in the 3rd International Congress “Leaders in Biobanking,” Cambridge Healthtech Institute, in New Jersey, U.S., where he gave a short pre-conference course on Information Technology in Biobanks. On March 2012, he visited U.K. Biobank & the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg, invited by their respective authorities, to know their facilities and scientific programs. On June 2012, he was “key speaker” at the Conference 2nd Biobanking Americas, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. Visiongain Global, U.K. Since 2008, the “Oncologic Serum Biobank” has been a member of the “International Biobanks Network” for Latin America. He joins now, as a member, the international “Informed Consent Working Group,” ISBER, U.S. He has been a member of the P3G Consortium, Canada, since 2011.

Vinagolu K. Rajasekhar:

Dr. V.K. Rajasekhar is a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Medicine at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York. Dr. Rajasekhar has been an invited speaker and chaired sessions in various international conferences and also researched at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. Dr. Rajasekhar has received prestigious research awards and support grants from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, to the Robert A Welch Foundation, Texas, USA, etc. He is the senior editor of a well-received book, Regulatory Networks in Stem Cells with Humana/Springer Press. Dr. Rajasekhar has been the reviewer of many peer-reviewed journals such as Stem Cells, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences-USA, Journal of Cell Biology, Neoplasia, PLOS ONE, etc. He has also taught undergraduate courses at the University of California, Irvine, and delivered graduate lecture course at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. Rajasekhar’s current research focus is on the identification, isolation and biobanking of live cancer stem cells from clinical patient specimens. Recently, his team at MSKCC has identified a rare population of human patient prostate cancer stem cells with a new set of biomarkers and a targetable novel signaling pathway distinct from that of total cells in bulk tumors ( This approach has opened up novel possibilities for biobanking of cancer stem cells and has a potential for upgrading the techniques into industrial grade screening. Dr. Rajasekhar has also accomplished impressive basic research that has challenged the accepted textbook wisdom of gene expression in cancer initiation. This study has opened up a new window for developing novel therapeutics against cancer. Dr. Rajasekhar’s research accomplishments mark an impressive number of citations, previews by leading journals and exceptional post-publication peer reviews by Faculty of 1000.

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