Tim Nesvig Lymphoma Fellowship

The loss of an exceptional young man to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 30 served as the inspiration for the creation of an outstanding fundraising endeavor. Under the direction of Stephen J. Forman, M.D., chair, Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation at City of Hope, friends and family members established the Tim Nesvig Lymphoma Fellowship and Research Fund to further understand the underlying causes of lymphoma and develop better treatment options for patients.
Jasmine Zain
2014 Fellow Jasmine Zain, M.D.
Jasmine Zain, M.D., is an associate clinical professor in hematology and HCT. Additionally, she is the Tim Nesvig Lymphoma Research Fellow, as well as director of the T cell Lymphoma Program at City of Hope.

Dr. Zain obtained her medical degree from Fatima Jinnah Medical College for Women in Lahore Pakistan. She went on to complete an internship and residency at North Shore Hospital of Forest Hills in Forest Hills, NY, followed by a hematology/oncology fellowship at New York University Medical Center. She then took a position at The Brooklyn Hospital as an attending physician, followed by an appointment as assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Connecticut. In 2002, Dr. Zain first joined City of Hope where she specialized in the treatment of patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, allogeneic stem cell transplantation, and early phase clinical trials in hematologic malignancies. She left City of Hope to assume a leadership position as director of the bone marrow transplant program at NYU Langone Medical Center, before joining the faculty at Columbia University in 2012.
Past Fellows
Xiuli Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
“I’m very grateful to the Nesvig family and their friends. Their support is extremely valuable for our research. Without their incredible generosity, we wouldn’t be able to do this important work, which has the potential to touch the lives of many.” —Xiuli Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Don J. Diamond, Ph.D.
Don J. Diamond, Ph.D., director of translational vaccine research, is studying a new therapeutic approach with potential for treating non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He aims to take advantage of a surprising trait in bacteria that normally pose a household threat: Salmonella is attracted to tumor cells.
Hua Yu, Ph.D.
Hua Yu, Ph.D., is Professor of Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology. Dr. Yu is a pioneer in STAT3, a protein that plays a critical role in converting healthy cells into cancerous ones. She was also the first to show STAT3’s role in both boosting cancer and shielding cancer cells from the immune system.
Robert W. Chen, M.D.
Robert Chen and his team are conducting several phase I and phase II studies of an antibody-based therapeutic treatment to target a specific type of Hodgkin’s lymphoma (CD 30 expressing Hodgkin’s Lymphoma). Preliminary results show that this treatment is efficacious and has minimal side effects. Dr. Chen is also working on developing a new therapy using RNA to target mantle cell lymphomas that have become resistant to chemotherapy.
Defu Zeng, M.D.
Defu Zeng and his team are researching a new regimen for a safer and potentially lifesaving treatment for blood cancers. Zeng and his team are investigating the use of a genetically engineered antibody called anti-CD3 before transplantation, which has shown great promise both in preventing Graft Versus Host Disease and as a replacement for radiotherapy before transplant.
Anna Scuto, Ph.D.
Anna Scuto has been seeking more effective, less toxic treatments for non-HodgkinsB-cell lymphoma. Her investigations into the role of one protein — signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, or STAT3 — revealed that the STAT3 pathway is activated in lymphoma cells, unlike healthy B cells. Her lab experiments showed that inhibiting STAT3 halted lymphoma’s growth and spread.
Ryotaro Nakamura, M.D.
Dr. Nakamura has made significant progress developing a novel treatment that stimulates the patient’s immune system to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A clinical trial testing a refinement of his treatment schedule begins in summer 2010. In addition, Dr. Nakamura’s team is following up on findings that may lead to a new lymphoma vaccine that triggers the body’s natural defenses to attack cancer.
Mark Kirschbaum, M.D.
Dr. Kirschbaum heads up an active program of clinical trials testing new targeted therapies for lymphoma. These treatments correct the actual molecular changes that bring about the disease. The goal is to develop therapies that are easier to administer, more effective and less toxic than traditional chemotherapy. Currently, Dr. Kirschbaum is testing several combination therapies designed to avoid drug resistance — a common problem with cancer treatments.
Leslie Popplewell, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Dr. Popplewell leads a clinical trial that seeks to eradicate residual disease following bone marrow transplantation. In the study, patients receive infusions of their own immune cells that have been genetically modified to attack lymphoma. This strategy to prevent lymphoma recurrence was developed in City of Hope’s own laboratories.