Christine Brown, Ph.D.
Christine Brown, Ph.D., is a faculty member in the departments of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation and Immuno-Oncology who conducts groundbreaking research in immunotherapy, particularly CAR T cell therapy. As deputy director of the T Cell Therapeutics Research Laboratory, Brown and The Heritage Provider Network Professor in Immunotherapy, Brown provides scientific oversight for the preclinical research program, as well as the ongoing clinical trial program focused on the development of CAR-engineered T cells for the treatment of blood cancers and solid tumors. Brown’s personal research efforts are focused on developing and refining redirected CAR T cells for the treatment of malignant brain tumors, particularly hard-to-treat glioblastoma. Last year, she helped lead a team that developed and tested the first CAR T cell therapy using chlorotoxin, a component of scorpion venom, to direct T cells to target brain tumor cells. The promising therapy was quickly licensed.
Nagarajan Vaidehi, Ph.D.
Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., M.S.N., C.H.P.N.
City of Hope’s Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., M.S.N., C.H.P.N., last year joined the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors in health and medicine. The academy recognized her for her pioneering work in palliative and end-of-life care. It is one of many accomplishments and accolades she has received over the years, the last 30 of them spent at City of Hope, where she is currently the director of the Division of Nursing Research and Education. Beginning her career as an oncology nurse, Ferrell found her calling 42 years ago. Since then, she has established herself as a world-renowned expert on palliative and hospice care, developing national guidelines around palliative and end-of-life care. Drafted 20 years ago, her book, “Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care,” recently published a fourth edition. It is the industry standard used by programs throughout the country.
Yuan Yuan, M.D., Ph.D.
Debbie Thurmond, Ph.D.
Debbie Thurmond, Ph.D., the Ruth B. & Robert K. Lanman Chair in Gene Regulation & Drug Discovery Research, was recently named director of the Arthur Riggs Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute. A renowned research scientist, professor and the
founding chair of the newly created Department of Molecular & Cellular Endocrinology, Thurmond and her team lead efforts to identify cellular and molecular mechanisms in diabetes development and therapies that can stop or reverse those processes. The goal is to develop innovative treatment and prevention modalities for diabetes. She is also spearheading a novel research effort to draw connections between cancer and diabetes in the hopes of preventing and providing better treatments for both. Areas of research focus include delineating the cellular pathways/mechanisms of insulin release and blood glucose control, developing cellular therapies to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes, improving islet cell transplantation and identifying biomarkers for detecting diabetes development.
Angela L. Talton, M.B.A.
In January 2021, Angela L. Talton, M.B.A., joined City of Hope as senior vice president and its first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. She provides leadership for City of Hope’s holistic and integrated efforts to continue its focus on building a diverse and inclusive culture at all levels of the enterprise. Talton’s expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion encompasses leadership development, recruitment and retention of talent, communication strategy, philanthropic giving, supplier diversity and analytics. Throughout her career, Talton has held a variety of senior executive roles, including serving as a divisional vice president at Sears Holding Corporation and as a vice president of business processes at ALLTEL Communications Inc. More recently, she served in senior executive roles at industry leader Nielson for nearly 12 years, including chief diversity officer, senior vice president of global diversity and inclusion, and senior vice president of global call center operations. It was there that she crafted a five-pronged strategy focused on accountability, career development, talent retention, supplier diversity and education.