Research & Medical Advisory Committee
Christabel K. Cheung, PhD, MSW
Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work
Christabel K. Cheung, PhD, MSW is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, and member of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Cheung’s research interests in psychosocial oncology are primarily focused on adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients in the domains of financial hardship, social determinants of health, disparities, embodied research methods, and antiracist patient engagement in the conduct of research. Other research activities include participation as faculty affiliate at AYA CAncer REsearch (AYA CARE), the research arm of the AYA Oncology Program at Michigan Medicine, member of the MELD Research Group for the Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program at the University of Southern California, and collaborating member at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, where she was previously special member of their Minority Underserved National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Program (NCORP). As an embodied BIPOC AYA patient scientist and two-time survivor of cancer in the AYA years (Hodgkin’s lymphoma), she is recognized for writing one of the first cancer blogs focused on racially minoritized young adult patients, JadeGangster.com. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from University of Missouri-Columbia, a Master of Social Welfare from University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD in Social Welfare from University of California, Los Angeles.
Susan Parsons, MD
Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, Medical Director of the Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Program at Tufts Medical Center
Dr. Susan Parsons’ career has combined formal graduate training in health economics and planning, with extensive clinical training and experience in hematology/oncology, and cancer survivorship. Dr. Parsons graduated from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons with top honors in pediatrics. She completed a residency and chief residency at Boston Children’s Hospital, followed by a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at the Boston Children’s/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Her research has focused on strategies to improve the patient’s experience with healthcare, reduce regimen-related toxicity, and optimize functioning. Nationally, she serves as a member of the Children’s Oncology Group’s (COG) Steering Committee for Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) and member of the study team of three frontline clinical trials. In the recently completed high risk pediatric study (AHOD 1331), she led an embedded study on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and co-leads a cost effectiveness analysis. In two other trials, she serves as the Quality of Life chair, examining the trajectory of health-related quality of life, symptom burden, and financial toxicity, associated with novel therapy. In 2019 Dr. Parsons was appointed chair of cancer care delivery research (CCDR) for COG and has served as a member of the NCI’s Scientific Steering for CCDR for almost seven years. Within her own research, she is co-founder of the HoLISTIC Consortium (Hodgkin Lymphoma International Study for Individual Care) with the goal of enhancing patient-provider communication on treatment trade-offs in HL. Dr. Parsons is a Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, Director of the Center for Health Solutions within the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, and founding Medical Director of the Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Program at Tufts Medical Center, providing survivorship care to AYA-aged survivors diagnosed in childhood, adolescence or young adulthood.
Jacqueline Casillas, MD, MSHS
Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Dr. Jacqueline Casillas is a pediatric oncologist, health services researcher, and Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Her clinical roles include the following: Director of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivorship Program at UCLA, the Medical Director of the UCLA Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program at UCLA Health and the Medical Director of the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute at Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital, MemorialCare. The focus of her research includes development and evaluation of interventions aimed at improving the quality and receipt of cancer survivorship care for AYA cancer survivors with a special focus on reducing racial/ethnic disparities in cancer care through community-academic partnerships. Dr. Casillas’ research focuses on empowering AYA survivors to take charge of their own health through mobile health interventions including text messaging self-management toolkits and through the use of innovative educational interventions for LatinX survivors through the use of a photonovela (talking picture books) aimed at improving the survivors’ knowledge regarding risks for late effects and the need to seek survivorship-focused care.
Damon Reed, MD
Pediatric and AYA hematologist/oncologist and Director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Program at Moffitt Cancer Center
As an evolutionary oncologist, I focus on translating agents, combinations and strategies for pediatric, adolescent and young adult sarcoma patients through clinical trials. Most importantly, I wish to develop a trial framework that allows more robust measures of perturbation of tumors and anticipates how cancers resist and evolve in response to therapies. I am a team scientist and have the good fortune of being the Vice Chair of the Bone Tumor Committee at the Children’s Oncology Group and the Leader of the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation’s Sunshine Project where I lead and participate in many investigator initiated clinical trials. I work with excellent researchers throughout Moffitt and other institutions on basic science, translational, and health outcome and behavioral trials in AYA populations and sarcoma.
Gary Kupfer, MD
Professor of oncology and pediatrics at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University
Dr Gary Kupfer is a professor of oncology and pediatrics at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University. Dr Kupfer work in an academic medical center revolves around the directorship and clinical care at the Hemophilia Treatment Center, attending physician in the Pediatric Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology program, director of the Cancer Biology scientific program at Lombardi, and the direct supervision of his laboratory at Lombardi, which focuses on genome stability, DNA repair, and the application of this basic science to improved cancer therapy.
Dr Kupfer has also been devoted to the building of programs that aim to help the wider care of patients and their issues for many years. Prior to coming to Georgetown, while at Yale, Dr Kupfer started an AYA oncology program in collaboration with Teen Cancer America. In addition, Dr Kupfer has been a director on the board for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which brings a summer camp and family camp experience to oncology patients of all ages. In particular, Dr Kupfer was instrumental in the creation of programming to address the unique recreational and developmental needs of older teen agers and young adults so that Camp now serves campers into the 3rd decade of life.
Julie Wolfson, MD
Associate Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and the Institute for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship
Dr. Wolfson is an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and the Institute for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship. She is also a health services researcher whose program focuses on healthcare inequities, with particular attention to outcome disparities among adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer. Her work has examined the impact of treatment site and other aspects of cancer care delivery on relapse and survival among AYA cancer patients. She also serves pediatric and adult oncology patients across UAB as the Director of the AYA Oncology and Oncofertility Program. After an undergraduate degree in English from Harvard, she completed medical school at the University of Florida, pediatrics residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and fellowship training at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles during which she completed additional research training (MSHS) in health services research at the UCLA School of Public Health.
Lauren Lux, LCSW
Adolescent and Young Adult Program Director at Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Lauren directs the AYA Oncology Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work as Program Director focuses on patient care, psychosocial research, programming, provider education, quality improvement, and advocacy. Along with her fabulous partners, she leads efforts to improve care for AYAs around the state of North Carolina and is involved in the advancement of the AYA oncology field in the United States. She has worked as a clinical social worker in the field of oncology throughout her career and her clinical practice and program work is inspired and informed by the incredible young people she meets every day.
Mark A. Lewis, MD
Director of Gastrointestinal Oncology at Intermountain Healthcare
Dr. Mark A. Lewis is the director of gastrointestinal oncology at Intermountain Healthcare. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation, as vice president of American Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Support, and as co-chair of the communications committee for the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society. Dr. Lewis received his medical degree, completed his internal medicine residency, and served as chief resident at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. After completing a hematology/oncology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he served as chief fellow, he returned to Houston where he worked at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center with a dual appointment in general and gastrointestinal medical oncology. He has been in his current role at Intermountain since 2016 when its AYA program was founded.
Michael Roth, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics Co-Director, Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program Director, Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Michael Roth is a pediatric oncologist and AYA research investigator at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. His research focuses on improving care and outcomes for children, adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer with a specific interest in improving the long-term health, quality of life and survival for these patients. He is the co-director of the AYA Program and director of the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program at MD Anderson. In addition he is the current chair of the AYA Oncology Discipline Committee in the Children’s Oncology Group and he leads the AYA Responsible Investigators Network, whose mission is to optimize enrollment of AYAs onto cancer clinical trials.
Dr. Joseph M. Flynn, DO, MPH, FACP
Chief Administrative Officer, Norton Medical Group and Physician-in-Chief, Norton Cancer Institute
Dr. Joseph M. Flynn, DO, MPH, FACP, Chief Administrative Officer, Norton Medical Group and Physician-in-Chief, Norton Cancer Institute (a part of Norton Healthcare, Louisville, Kentucky).
Dr. Flynn served in several capacities with Ohio State University prior to accepting the lead role with Norton Cancer Institute, including co-director, division of hematology; medical director, James Cancer Network, Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute; and associate professor of medicine, School of Public Health.
Dr. Flynn earned his undergraduate degree from Skidmore College, and an MBA from Babson College. He is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and he received a master of public health degree from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He has been extremely active in community education on a wide variety of cancer related topics, and has remained a dedicated advocate in the study of adolescent and young adult cancers and the impact. Dr. Flynn has contributed to more than 100 medical publications.