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Conduct Early-Phase (I/II) Clinical Trials investigators

Leonard Appleman, MD, PhD
Contact:
UPMC Cancer Pavilion
5230 Center Ave., Suite 567
Pittsburgh PA
Phone: 412-648-6507
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Kidney cancer and other genitourinary malignancies
  • experimental cancer therapeutics
Jan-Hendrik Beumer, PharmD, PhD
Contact:
G27E Hillman Cancer Center
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Pharmacokinetics and metabolism of anti-cancer drugs
  • nucleoside analogues and epigenetic drugs
Barton Branstetter, MD
Contact:
PUH South Tower
Wing 8N
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • PET/CT
  • head and neck cancer
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • imaging utilization
  • cancer imaging
  • imaging informatics
Summary
Dr. Branstetter conducts research in all areas of head and neck imaging, as well as medical student education, imaging utalization, and imaging informatics. His current focus is on utilization of PET/CT in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. His research also focuses on overutilization of imaging in head and neck disorders.

Edward Chu, MD
Contact:
5150 Centre Avenue
Fifth Floor, Room 571
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Colorectal cancer
  • cancer drug development
  • drug resistance
  • Chinese herbal medicine
  • early phase clinical trials
Summary

Dr. Edward Chu is involved in basic, clinical, and translational cancer research. His basic research interests are focused on the characterization of molecular mechanisms underlying the development of cellular drug resistance, especially as it relates to the fluoropyrimidine class of anticancer agents. His research group was the first to identify translational autoregulation as a novel regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes for controlling the expression of the folate-dependent enzymes, thymidylate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase. His clinical/translational research efforts focus on identifying novel drugs and treatment strategies for colorectal cancer and other GI cancers and in developing early phase clinical trials. He has a strong interest in integrating Chinese herbal medicine with standard cancer chemotherapy, with the goal of enhancing clinical activity and reducing toxicities.

John Comerci, MD
Contact:
9100 Babcock Boulevard
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • cervical cancer
  • ovarian cancer
Sanja Dacic, MD, PhD
Contact:
Rm. PUH C608
UPMC-PUH 200 Lothrop St.
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Lung neoplasms
  • biological tumor markers
Jan Drappatz, MD
Contact:
UPMC Cancer Pavilion
5150 Center Ave
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • CNS tumors
  • brain tumors
  • glioma
  • glioblastoma
  • angiogenesis inhibitors
  • targeted therapies
  • immunotherapy
  • neurologic complications of cancer
  • prognostic biomarkers
Summary
My research is directed towards the development of new therapies for primary and secondary brain tumors using targeted drugs, inhibitors of angiogenesis, and immunotherapies. I am also interested in the identification of molecular markers of prognosis in patients with malignant glioma and other primary brain tumors.
Dwight Heron, MD, FACRO, FACR
Contact:
UPMC Shadyside
5230 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh PA
Phone: 412-623-6720
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Radiation oncology
  • stereotactic radiosurgery
  • SRS
  • intensity-modulated radiation therapy
  • IMRT
  • stereotactic body radiation therapy
  • SBRT
  • cancer
  • radiation therapy
  • image-guided radiation therapy
  • IGRT
  • head and neck cancer
  • lung cancer
  • cancer disparities
  • stereotactic ablative radiotherapy
  • SABR
  • high-dose rate brachytherapy
  • HDR
Summary
Dr. Heron specializes in stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), high-dose rate brachytherapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), intraoperative radiotherapy, and interstitial hyperthermia. Dr. Heron has been a thought leader in advanced radiation therapy techniques and innovative use of radiosurgery in central nervous system, recurrent head & neck, prostate and pancreatic cancers.
Seungwon Kim, PhD
Contact:
200 Lothrop Street
EEI, Suite 500
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • head and neck neoplasms
Frank Lieberman, MD
Contact:
Department of Neurology
811 Kaufmann Medical Building 3471 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Neuro-oncology
  • molecular genetics and molecular neuropathology in diagnosis, prognosis, and management of CNS neoplasms
Ajay Niranjan
Contact:
UPMC Presbyterian, B400
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh PA
Phone: 412-647-9699
Ian Pollack, MD
Contact:
Rangos Research Center, 6th floor
4401 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh PA
Phone: 412-692-6580
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • pediatric neuro-oncology
  • brain tumor vaccines
  • craniofacial surgery
  • congenital spinal abnormalities
  • brain tumor clinical trials
Summary
Prior to joining the faculty of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh in 1992, Dr. Ian Pollack was awarded the 1991 Van Wagenen Traveling Fellowship, which afforded him a year of subspecialty training in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the Neuro-Oncology Laboratory of the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, and the Laboratory of Tumor Biology of the University of Uppsala in Sweden. Dr. Pollack graduated magna cum laude from Emory University in 1980, where he earned a BS degree in chemistry. He received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1984, then completed a surgical internship and neurosurgical residency at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Pollack has published more than 250 papers in refereed journals, numerous book chapters and invited papers, and has edited two books on childhood brain tumors. He is co-editor of the recently published book Principles and Practice of Pediatric Neurosurgery and an accompanying atlas Operative Techniques In Pediatric Neurosurgery. He is currently a principal investigator on numerous NIH grants focusing on novel therapies for brain tumors and evaluating molecular markers of tumor prognosis. He has co-chaired the National Cancer Institute Brain Malignancy Steering Committee since 2010.
Robert Redner, MD
Contact:
2.18A Hillman Research Pavilion
5117 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Acute promyelocytic leukemia
  • acute myeloid leukemia
  • myelodysplastic syndromes
  • malignant and non-malignant hematology
Liza Villaruz, MD
Contact:
UPMC Cancer Pavilion
5150 Centre Avenue 5th Floor
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Clinical trials in lung cancer
  • novel therapeutics
Nathan Bahary
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Novel treatment strategies for GI cancers
  • developmental biology using the zebrafish model system
  • vasculogenesis
  • hematopoiesis
Michael Boyiadzis, MD
Contact:
UPMC Cancer Pavilion
5150 Centre Avenue, Suite 564
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Hematological malignancies
Adam Brufsky, MD, PhD
Contact:
300 Halket St
Suite 4628
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Breast cancer
  • clinical trials
  • molecular biology of breast cancer
Melissa Burgess, MD
Contact:
UPMC Cancer Pavilion
5150 Centre Ave.
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Medical oncology
  • clinical and translational research
  • sarcoma
  • immunotherapy
Summary
My research is focused on clinical and translational studies of soft tissue and bone sarcomas. Currently, I am investigating an immunotherapy utilizing an anti-PD1 inhibitor for patients with advanced sarcomas. In the future, I plan to further study novel immunotherapeutic approaches for advanced sarcomas, particularly with combinatorial strategies.
David Clump, MD, PhD
Contact:
UPMC Shadyside Hospital
Department of Radiation Oncology 5230 Centre Avenue, Posner Tower
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Head and neck cancer
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • stereotactic radiosurgery
  • IMRT
  • DNA damage repair
  • normal tissue protection
  • ATM
Summary
Dr. Clump specializes in integrating his clinical practice, which focuses on the treatment of head and neck malignancies as well as stereotactic radiosurgery, with his translational laboratory interests. As part of UPCI and UPMC CancerCenter, Dr. Clump is uniquely positioned to investigate the effects of radiation on both tumor as well as normal tissues. In this regard, he studies the DNA damage response following radiation therapy and is examining the effects of these cellular changes on tumor control as well as systemic effects.
Joseph Costantino, DrPH
Contact:
201 N. Craig Street
Suite 350
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Biostatistics
  • cancer clinical trials
  • breast cancer prevention and treatment
  • colorectal cancer prevention and treatment
  • breast cancer risk assessment
  • case/control studies
Summary
Dr. Costantino's primary research interest is the design, implementation and analysis of clinical trials, particularly those evaluating treatments for the prevention and control of cancer. Collaboration in the trials of the National Surgical Breast and Bowel Project and more recently the NRG Oncology Statistics and Data Management Center has been a major focus. The development of statistical methodologies for race-specific cancer risk assessment and the risk-benefit assessment of therapies associated with multiple endpoints of potential benefit and harm has evolved from this collaboration. A previous area of research focus involved the assessment of health effects from occupational and environmental exposures to airborne pollutants. This work dealt with the study and long-term follow-up of large occupational cohorts who were exposed to work-related airborne pollution. The thrust of this effort was to quantify health risks from pollution exposure and to evaluate methodologies to lower exposure and reduce the risks of diseases associated with exposure.
Diwakar Davar, MD
Contact:
Hillman Cancer Center Research Pavilion, Suite 1.32d
5117 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh PA
Phone: 412-623-7368
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Tumor immunobiology
  • tumor microenvironment
  • checkpoint inhibition
  • early phase clinical trials
  • immunotherapy
  • melanoma
Summary
My research interests are in translational science. Specifically, I am interested in designing early-phase clinical trials based on an improved understanding of tumor immunobiology and host-tumor-microenvironment interactions. Additionally, I am interested in the mechanisms underlying non-response to checkpoint inhibition and novel approaches to overcome this non-response. My clinical interests are in the management of advanced melanoma and the development of early phase studies to test novel immunotherapeutic approaches singly and in combination in patients with advanced cancer.
Umamaheswar Duvvuri, MD, PhD
Contact:
Eye and Ear Institute, Suite 300
203 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Otolaryngology
  • translational science of head and neck cancer
Annie Im, MD
Contact:
Cancer Pavilion, Rm 554
5150 Centre Ave.
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • epigenetics
  • hypomethylating agents
  • hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)
  • bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome
Summary
1) Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in elderly patients: My research focuses on epigenetic strategies in the treatment of older patients with AML. We are running a clinical trial of a novel induction regimen using epigenetic priming by decitabine followed by cytarabine in older patients with newly diagnosed AML. Epigenetic correlatives studies are planned. 2) Epigenetic strategies to prevent relapse after hematopoietic stem cell transplant: I am interested in the role of epigenetic agents as immunomodulatory therapy to prevent relapse and graft-versus-host disease in patients with AML or MDS who are at high risk for relapse after allogeneic stem cell transplant. We are running a clinical trial using azacitidine maintenance therapy after allogeneic transplant for patients with AML and MDS. Correlative studies evaluating immune reconstitution and T-cell populations are planned. 3) Chronic graft-versus host disease (GVHD): I am interested in the study of chronic GVHD and long-term follow-up of allogeneic stem cell transplant patients. I work in collaboration with the Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch of the National Cancer Institute in the area of chronic GVHD. I study the natural history of chronic GVHD, as well as chronic GVHD-specific complications such as bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome.
James Lee, MD, PhD
Contact:
5150 Centre Ave
Fifth Floor, Room 568
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Experimental therapeutics
  • phase I clinical trials
  • colorectal cancer
Yan Lin, PhD
Contact:
130 De Soto Street
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Cancer bioinformatics
Daniel Normolle, PhD
Contact:
130 De Soto Street
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Biostatistics
  • design of dose-escalation trials
  • biomarker adaptive clinical trials
Priya Rastogi, MD
Contact:
UPMC CancerCenter at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
300 Halket Street
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Breast cancer
  • medical oncology
John Schmitz, PhD
Contact:
5117 Centre Avenue
Hillman Cancer Center G.27
Pittsburgh PA
Research Interests and Keywords:
  • Signal transduction
  • colorectal cancer
  • herbal medicine
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