Cross-disciplinary Research Mentors

Specialized training in the emerging discipline of cancer genetics requires a highly focused interdisciplinary and collaborative approach in order to capitalize on rapid advances in basic scientific knowledge and to maximize the potential benefits to science and society. The diverse experience of the investigators and the multidisciplinary infrastructure of City of Hope’s Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics, combined with its collaboration with leading City of Hope/Beckman Research Institute and University of Southern California researchers and educational programs, give the Cancer Genetics Career Development Program the robust resources required to produce world class investigators and mission-critical allied health professionals who will contribute significantly to the growing body of cancer genetics research.
 
The CGCDP draws upon the knowledge and experiences of a diverse faculty and consultants who are nationally recognized experts in their fields. A partial listing of City of Hope mentors, faculty members and extramural consultants represents the multiple disciplines germane to comprehensive cross-disciplinary training in cancer genetics research. Mentors were chosen from among City of Hope and USC faculty to represent a broad spectrum of relevant basic science and clinical research disciplines. Additional researchers with investigational focus related to chosen research projects are also accessible to allow Trainees to tailor their mentorship specifically to their project design and research goals. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the proposed training, each Trainee will have at least two mentors with expertise in different disciplines.

City of Hope Cross-disciplinary Mentors:
 
Jeffrey N. Weitzel, M.D.
Chief, Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics
Professor of Oncology Population Sciences
Director, Cancer Screening & Prevention Program Network
Director, Cancer Genetics Education Program
Areas of expertise: Clinical cancer genetics, health services research, molecular oncology, disparities and Latino health, targeted therapy for hereditary cancer and clinical prevention.
 
Kathleen Blazer, M.S., C.G.C., Ed.D.
Cancer Risk Counselor; Assistant Director, Cancer Genetics Education Program, Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics
Areas of expertise: Clinical cancer genetics, genetic counseling, education, bioethics
 
Kimlin Ashing-Giwa, Ph.D.
Director, Center of Community Alliance for Research and Education (CCARE)
Areas of expertise: Community participatory research, Behavioral Science, minority and disparities research

William Bennett, M.D.
Associate Professor, Division of Thoracic Surgery
Areas of expertise: Molecular epidemiology and environmental carcinogenesis

Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D.
Professor and Director, Division of Cancer Etiology
Dean for Faculty Affairs
Area of expertise: Cancer epidemiology

Ravi Bhatia, M.D.
Director, Division of Hematopoietic Stem Cell and Leukemia Research
Co-leader, Hematologic Malignancies Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center
Professor, Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation
Areas of expertise: Regulation of normal and malignant hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, therapeutic targeting of malignant stem cells, and hematopoietic stem cell therapeutics

Smita Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H.
Chair and Professor, Department of Population Sciences
Associate Director for Population Research and Co-leader, Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center
Director, Center for Cancer Survivorship
Director, Outcomes Research
Staff Physician, Pediatrics
Areas of expertise: Cancer epidemiology, Quality of Life research/survivorship; issues related to long-term complications among survivors

Shiuan Chen, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Tumor Cell Biology
Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Cancer Biology
Co-director, Breast Cancer Program
Areas of expertise: Hormonal breast cancer biology, aromatase, natural compounds

Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., F.A.A.N.
Professor, Division of Nursing Research
Areas of expertise: Nursing research, qualitative methods, ovarian cancer quality of life, survivorship

Stephen J. Forman, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Chair, Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation
Francis and Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation
Co-leader, Hematologic Malignancies Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center
Clinical Director, Department of Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology
Professor, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research
Visiting Associate, Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
Areas of expertise: Hematology, bone marrow transplantation, stem cell therapy, breast cancer

Marcia Grant, D.N.Sc., F.A.A.N.
Director and Professor, Division of Nursing Research
Areas of expertise: Qualitative and quantitative outcomes in cancer care, nursing research, education, Quality of Life

Richard Jove, Ph.D.
Director, Beckman Research Institute
Deputy Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center
Morgan and Helen Chu Director’s Chair, Beckman Research Institute
Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine
Areas of expertise: Regulatory mechanisms of STAT signal transduction pathways and the roles in oncogenesis

Theodore Krontiris, M.D, Ph.D.
Director Emeritus, Comprehensive Cancer Center
Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine
Areas of expertise: Genetic risk and disease, unstable repetitive genetic elements, multiplex modifier gene interactions

Garrett Larson, Ph.D.
Director, Genetic Markers Core
Associate Research Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine
Areas of expertise: Molecular genetics, cancer sib-pair studies, SNP and haplotype analyses

Lucille Leong, M.D.
Professor, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research
Areas of expertise: Medical oncology, experimental therapeutics, clinical trials, graduate education

Marcia M. Miller, Ph.D.
Director, Electron Microscopy Core Facility
Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Area of expertise: Immunogenetics

Susan L. Neuhausen, Ph.D.
Morris & Horowitz Families Professor in Cancer Etiology and Outcomes Research
Professor, Department of Population Sciences
Areas of expertise: Molecular genetics, hereditary breast and ovary cancer genetics, BRCA gene modifiers

Joyce Niland, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor, Department of Information Sciences
Edward and Estelle Alexander Chair in Information Sciences
Associate Director for Information Sciences, Comprehensive Cancer Center
Director and Professor, Division of Clinical Research Information Management
Areas of expertise: Biostatistics, biomedical informatics and clinical trials

Timothy O’Connor, Ph.D.
Professor, Division of Biology
Areas of expertise: DNA repair and genomic stability in cancer

Gerd Pfeifer, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Cancer Biology
Lester M. and Irene C. Finkelstein Chair in Biology
Co-leader, Cancer Biology Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center
Areas of expertise: epigenetics and mutagenesis

John J. Rossi, Ph.D.
Lidow Family Research Chair
Dean, City of Hope's Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences
Chair and Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Associate Director for Laboratory Research and Co-leader, Cancer Biology Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center
Areas of expertise: RNA biology, cancer and gene therapy, ribozymes, si-RNA

Binghui Shen, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Radiation Biology
Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Cancer Biology
Areas of expertise: Biology of structure-specific nucleases, susceptibility to cancer, and genomic stability

John Shively, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor, Department of Immunology
Associate Dean, City of Hope's Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences
Areas of expertise: CEACAM genes, breast cancer proteomics, prostate cancer

Andrea Thornton, Ph.D.
Chief, Division of Psychology
Assistant Professor and Psychologist, Department of Supportive Care Medicine
Assistant Professor of Behavioral Oncology, Department of Population Sciences
Areas of expertise: Molecular pharmacology and experimental therapeutic research

Yun Yen, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Director for Translational Research, Comprehensive Cancer Center
Dr. & Mrs. Allen Y. Chao Chair in Developmental Cancer Therapeutics, Endowed Chair
Co-leader, Developmental Cancer Therapeutics Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center
Professor and Chair, Molecular Pharmacology
Professor, Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research
Areas of expertise: Molecular pharmacology and experimental therapeutic research
 
External Mentors:
 
Victoria Cortessis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California
Areas of Expertise: Epidemiology and of breast cancer and hormones; SERMS and AI

Harry Burke, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Program Director and Director of Research, Department of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine
Areas of Expertise: statistical modeling of gene microarrays and protein spectra, predominately in cancer

Rowan Chlebowski, M.D.
Principle Investigator, Women’s Health Initiative site
Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Areas of Expertise: Epidemiology and of breast cancer and hormones; SERMS and AI

Victoria Cortessis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California
Area of Expertise: Epidemiology of familial testicular cancer

Fergus J. Couch, Ph.D.
Mayo Clinic
Areas of Expertise: Molecular genetics, HBOC genetics, BRCA gene modifiers

Roberta McKean-Cowdin
Assistant Professor, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California
Areas of Expertise: Brain cancers and tumors in children; breast cancer; variant genes

Steven Narod, M.D.
Chair, Breast Cancer Research, Centre for Research in Women's Health, University of Toronto
Areas of Expertise: Hormonal determinants and modifiers of cancer risk in BRCA carriers, familial risk modeling

Malcolm Pike, Ph.D.
Thornton Chair and Professor, Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California
Areas of Expertise: Cancer epidemiology, hormonal chemoprevention