Team

Meet the TRACK Team.

Investigator Team

Razelle Kurzrock, MD
Razelle Kurzrock, MD
University of California San Diego

Principal Investigator

Razelle Kurzrock, MD

  • Distinguished Professor of Medicine,
  • Associate Director, Clinical Science,
  • Director, Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy,
  • Leader, Experimental Therapeutics,
  • Director, Rare Tumor Clinic
  • University of California, San Diego,
  • Moores Cancer Center
Razelle Kurzrock, MD

Dr. Razelle Kurzrock is known for founding and building the largest Phase 1 clinical trials department in the nation/world while at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. A central theme of that program was the precision medicine strategy, embodied in a protocol called PREDICT for Profile-related Evidence Determining Individualized Cancer Therapy.

At University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center, Dr. Kurzrock’s charge is heading its newly established Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy. This center focuses on genomically-driven therapy as well as precision immunotherapy, especially in rare cancers. Dr. Kurzrock is a global leader in personalized medicine, bringing the first transcriptomic study to the clinic in an international setting spanning five countries (WINTHER), as well as the first study of individually customized combination therapy (IPREDICT) (both Nature Medicine, April 2019).

Dr. Kurzrock received her MD degree from the University of Toronto, Canada. She has >800 PubMed publications, an H-index of 117, has been named to the list of most highly cited scientists in the world and the 25 world leaders in precision medicine, and she has a uniquely strong record of competitive funding with more than 100 million dollars in lifetime funding.

Importantly, Dr Kurzrock has a special interest in Rare Cancers, a large unmet need. Dr. Kurzrock founded a Rare Tumor Clinic at UCSD and heads the Rare Cancers and Early Therapeutics Committee for the NCI cooperative group SWOG. The effort that Dr. Kurzrock is most passionate about is changing the course of disease for patients with cancer. Patients are at the heart of her work.

Dr. Kurzrock has four children and three dogs and lives with her husband, Dr. Philip Cohen, a dermatologist, in San Diego, CA.

Vivek_Subbiah-MD
Vivek Subbiah, MD
MD Anderson Cancer Center

Co-Principal Investigator

Vivek Subbiah, MD

  • Associate Professor, Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics, Division of Cancer Medicine
  • Executive Director, Medical Oncology Research, MD Anderson Cancer Network
  • Center Medical Director, Clinical Center for Targeted Therapy
  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatrics
  • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Vivek Subbiah, MD

Vivek Subbiah, M.D., is an associate professor in the Investigational Cancer Therapeutics department (a Phase 1 program). He is the Center Clinical Medical Director of the Clinical Center for Targeted Therapy, Cancer Medicine division, at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

After completing his medical school in India at Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, India he completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University, MetroHealth, Cleveland Ohio. Dr. Subbiah has a unique training background as he is one of the few physicians in the nation/world to have training in oncology in both adults and children. He is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and has completed fellowships in both adult and pediatric oncology at MD Anderson.

Dr. Vivek Subbiah is a clinical trialist and Physician Investigator in the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics at MD Anderson, which is the largest oncology drug development unit in the world. He is primarily involved in translational cancer research and the design and conduct of early-phase biomarker-driven clinical trials, with a specialist interest in anti-body drug conjugates, radio-pharmaceuticals, immunoconjugates and basket trials. Dr. Subbiah serves as the Principal Investigator in numerous trials, certainly leaving an accomplished impression on the national and international drug development community. Dr. Subbiah has skillfully led the MD Anderson effort on the international Vemurafenib Basket Trial in non-melanoma BRAF V600-mutated cancers, which pioneered a novel histology-independent clinical trial design. Vemurafenib was FDA approved in Erdheim-Chester disease based on this trial. Dabrafenib and trametinib was U.S. FDA-approved in the treatment of BRAF V600-mutant anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) based on practice changing data from the Rare Oncology Agnostic Approach (ROAR) trial lead by Dr. Subbiah. Furthermore, his novel investigator-initiated trials have also laid the foundation for therapeutic breakthroughs for additional rare cancers. Specifically, his clinical trial for Radium-223 as a treatment for relapsed osteosarcoma was singularly responsible for the inclusion of this radiopharmaceutical in the treatment algorithm of osteosarcoma in the guidelines of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN).

Dr. Subbiah is a major advocate for precision oncology. His national leadership roles continue to expand as the National PI for the BRAF non-V600 alteration arm of the NCI-MATCH Precision Medicine Clinical Trial. His trial portfolio includes trials that target BRAF, MEK, RET, CDK, WNT, VEGF, mTOR, EZH2-EED pathways, novel immunotherapy combination trials GITR, TLR7/9, PD1, WT1, several first-in-human antibody drug conjugates, oncolytic viruses, intra-tumoral therapies and radiopharmaceuticals. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed in several prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, JAMA Oncology, Cancer Discovery, Clinical Cancer Research, and Lancet Oncology.

Roman-Groisberg
Roman Groisberg, MD
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Co-Principal Investigator

Roman Groisberg, MD

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
  • Department of Sarcoma and Melanoma Medical Oncology
Roman Groisberg

I see patients as part of the Melanoma and Sarcoma Program and the Phase I/Investigational Therapeutics Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute.

Every cancer and every patient is unique and there is no “usual” treatment. Treatment decisions are made using the latest in diagnostic techniques such as next-generation DNA sequencing which gives the particular genomic profile of a tumor. I use this data in my practice to design an individualized treatment plan for each of my patients implementing a variety of tools at my disposal including targeted therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy to achieve the best possible results. I also ensure that the treatment plan fits with the patient’s lifestyle.

It is my goal to provide the latest and most advanced therapies for my patients, making sure that novel drugs are available as part of a clinical trial. I educate my patients on the importance of clinical trials and encourage them to participate not only for themselves, but for cancer patients worldwide – today and in the future. My particular interest is in drugs that target specific drivers of a tumor.

I am the author or co-author of numerous publications, reviews, book chapters, abstracts, and presentations related to targeted therapy in cancer, especially related to sarcomas. I have received the prestigious Connie and Jim Walter endowed fellowship for sarcoma research as well as the Daniel Benedict Gazan endowed sarcoma fellowship. I have also received the American Society of Clinical Oncology merit award for outstanding research in targeted sarcoma therapy as well as a top prize by the Texas state oncology society research competition. I am a member of several national and international cancer societies including ASCO, EACR, AACR, and CTOS, where I present my research.

James-Cleary-MD-PhD
James Cleary, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Co-Principal Investigator

James Cleary, MD, PhD

  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI)
  • Associate Director of Clinical Research, Division of Gastrointestinal Malignancies
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
James Cleary, MD, PhD

Dr. Cleary is a medical oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute who specializes in treating gastrointestinal cancers. Dr. Cleary has over 35 publications in such journals as The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Discovery, and Journal of Clinical Investigation. In addition to his research activities, he was won awards for his clinical care at Dana-Farber and his teaching at Harvard Medical School.

Virtual Molecular Tumor Board

The TRACK Virtual Molecular Tumor Board is comprised of the study investigators listed above, as well as the below individuals who bring additional expertise and leadership in rare cancers and precision medicine:

Pradip-De
Pradip De, MS, PhD
Avera Cancer Institute 

Pradip De, MS, PhD

  • Senior Scientist, Avera Cancer Institute Center for Precision Oncology
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
  • University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine
Pradip De, MS, PhD

Over the course of a 25-year career in cancer research that includes both industry and academia, Dr. Pradip De has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, editorials, and book chapters. He has presented his research at several international conferences with over 140 accepted abstracts. Dr. De reviews original research articles for several journals including FEBS letters, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, British Journal of Cancer, Oncologist and Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

In his role with Avera Cancer Institute as well as VieCure, and in light of his superb comprehension of oncogenic signaling pathways, Dr. De supports the development, maintenance, testing and validation of sequence-guided oncology treatment rules. These codified clinical rules enable the translation of patient specific data into actionable knowledge for physicians.

Juilia-A-Elvin-MD-PhD
Julia A. Elvin MD PhD
Foundation Medicine, Inc.

Julia A. Elvin MD PhD

  • Senior Vice President Pathology and Diagnostic Medicine
  • Foundation Medicine, Inc.
  • Cambridge, MA
Julia A. Elvin MD PhD

Julia A. Elvin, MD PhD is Senior Vice President, Pathology and Diagnostic Medicine,Foundation Medicine, Inc. Cambridge, MA. Dr. Elvin joined Foundation Medicine in January 2014 as Associate Medical Director and Senior Pathologist with 8 years of experience in diagnostic pathology, cytology and laboratory medicine as Associate Medical Director and Director of Women’s Health Pathology in a regional reference pathology laboratory (Converge Diagnostic Services). Dr. Elvin has a particular interest in both the molecular drivers of cancer and gynecologic pathology. She was a trainee in the MSTP program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX where she obtained her MD and PhD in Human and Molecular Genetics studying female reproductive system effects of TGF-beta family members using knockout mouse models. Her anatomic pathology training included an internship at the Baylor Affiliated Hospitals Pathology program, Anatomic Pathology residency and Women’s and Perinatal Pathology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA where she also served as Chief Resident.

At Foundation Medicine, Dr. Elvin explores the genomic underpinnings of a diverse array of tumor types, presenting results at national and international pathology and oncology meetings, including USCAP, SGO, ASCO, and ESMO. Dr. Elvin has authored and co-authored numerous abstracts, reviews, book chapters and peer-reviewed articles, which have appeared in such journals as Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, Nature, JAMA Oncology, Gynecologic Oncology, The Oncologist, Clinical Cancer Research, and American Journal of Surgical Pathology.

Shumei-Kato-MD
Shumei Kato, MD
University of California San Diego

Shumei Kato, MD

  • Medical Oncologist
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • University of California, San Diego, Moores Cancer Center
Shumei Kato, MD

Shumei Kato, MD, is a board-certified medical oncologist who specializes in treating rare cancers and gastrointestinal tumors. He uses numerous forms of therapy such as chemotherapy, biological therapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy to offer the best possible treatment options for his patients. Dr. Kato has a special interest in targeted molecular therapy and his approach to care emphasizes personalized medicine and experimental therapeutics.

As an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Dr. Kato instructs medical students, residents and fellows. His research interests include clinical trials and the design of new, more effective drugs for individualized therapy.

Dr. Kato has coauthored peer-reviewed articles, which have been published in Nature Cell Biology and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, among others.

Prior to joining UC San Diego Health, Dr. Kato was an assistant professor in the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics at The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Dr. Kato completed a fellowship in investigational cancer therapeutics at MD Anderson Cancer Center, a fellowship in hematology-oncology, and a fellowship in pathology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. He completed his residency training at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, Japan and at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, in New York. Dr. Kato earned his medical degree from Nippon Medical School. He is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.

He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Association for Cancer Research.

Jason-Sicklick-MD
Jason Sicklick, MD, FACS
University of California San Diego

Jason Sicklick, MD, FACS

  • Surgical Oncologist
  • Associate Professor of Surgery
  • University of California, San Diego, Moores Cancer Center
Jason Sicklick, MD, FACS

Dr. Jason Sicklick is an NIH and FDA R01 funded investigator, Professor of Surgery, Executive Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Surgery, and Co-Leader of the Sarcoma Disease Team at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. He is a board-certified general surgeon and surgical oncologist specializing in the treatment of retroperitoneal and abdominal sarcomas, including gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), as well as hepatobiliary surgery. In 2016, Dr. Sicklick was named the GIST Clinician of the Year by the Life Raft GIST Support Group, the largest GIST patient advocacy group in the world. In 2018, Dr. Sicklick was selected as a James IV Association of Surgeons fellow. This highly prestigious international traveling fellowship is designed to promote communication and collaboration in the international surgical community. In 2018 he also received the RARE Champion of Hope in Medical Care & Treatment Award from the Global Genes-Allies in Rare Disease.

He received his medical degree from the UCLA School of Medicine, completed his general surgery residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital where he was the Administrative Chief Resident, and completed a fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where he was the Chief Administrative Fellow. He joined the UC San Diego Division of Surgical Oncology at Moores Cancer Center in 2010. Dr. Sicklick is an active member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Soft Tissue Sarcoma Committee and GIST Subcommittee, and the Trans-Atlantic Australasian Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group, amongst 11 national/international committees he currently serves on. Dr. Sicklick is on the Editorial Boards of Annals of Surgical Oncology, Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery and Journal of Surgical Research. He has published in prestigious journals such as Nature Medicine, Nature, Gastroenterology, Cancer Research, Annals of Surgery, JAMA Surgery, Archives of Surgery, and Annals of Surgical Oncology. He is a member of the numerous societies including the American College of Surgeons, Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT), the Society for University Surgeons (SUS), Surgical Biology Club II (SBC2), the Association of Academic Surgery (AAS), the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS). He previously served a Cancer Liaison Physician to the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) Commission on Cancer. In addition, he is active on committees in the ACS, SUS, SSAT, AHPBA, and SSO. Dr. Sicklick has been featured in many lay press articles, including stories in ABC News, National Geographic, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Diego Union Tribune. His translational and clinical research focus on molecular mechanisms of GIST, as well as precision medicine approaches to cancer therapy.

Catherine-Skefos-MA-MS-CGC
Catherine Skefos, MA, MS, CGC
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Catherine Skefos, MA, MS, CGC

  • Genetic Counselor
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Catherine Skefos, MA, MS, CGC

Catherine Skefos is a genetic counselor at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. As a genetic counselor working with both pediatric and adult patients, she helps patients and family members understand and adapt to information about inherited cancer risk and genetic testing. She received an M.S. in Genetic Counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2019. Prior to that, she received an M.A. in Medical Anthropology from the University of South Florida, where her research focused on health care access and health disparity. Catherine has a special interest in teaching, particularly educating health care providers about the utility of genetic counseling and testing with the goal of improving patient access to genetic services.

TargetCancer Foundation Study Team

Jim-Palma

Jim Palma

Executive Director

Jim Palma

  • Executive Director
Jim Palma

Since joining TargetCancer Foundation in 2010, Jim has overseen its growth from a small start-up to a nationally recognized foundation supporting comprehensive rare cancer research programs and patient support services. Prior to joining TargetCancer Foundation, he spent eleven years at Fidelity Investments in Boston, MA.

Jim is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), and is a founding Co-Chair of the NORD Rare Cancers Coalition. In addition, Jim is a Steering Committee member at the GI Cancers Alliance, and the Global Cholangiocarcinoma Alliance. Jim completed studies at the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University, and received his B.A. from Loyola University Maryland.

Mary-Oster

Mary Oster

Clinical Operations Manager

Mary Oster

  • Clinical Operations Manager
Mary Oster

Mary Oster is a clinical research consultant whose 25 year clinical research experience includes serving as the Director of Research Operations at a major academic center (Lahey Clinic) as well as the Director of Operations for a research alliance network in Neurology (Neurocare). In addition, Ms. Oster served as the IRB Chair for the New England Independent Review Board in Needham, MA (Part of the WCG group), a position she held for ten years. Ms. Oster has worked in various therapeutic areas including oncology, cardiovascular, in vitro diagnostics, neurology, and minimally invasive surgery. Her experience includes oversight for over one thousand phase I to Phase IV clinical trials, administrative responsibility for an IACUC, Biosafety, and Technology Transfer Committee.

Additionally, Ms. Oster has co-authored scientific publications and poster presentations. Ms. Oster has partnered with the education arm of both OHRP and FDA hosting and speaking at seminars and conferences in human subject protection for academic IRBs in New England. She has been an instructor in the conduct of clinical research and human subject protection for many research practices in the span of her research career. Ms. Oster resides in Natick, Massachusetts with her husband and two children.

Marisa Palmeri

Marisa Palmeri

Clinical Operations Associate

Marisa Palmeri

  • Scribe
Mary Oster

Marisa Palmeri is a medical student at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey. Prior to attending medical school, she earned a master’s degree in biomedical sciences at Rutgers University and was employed as a research study assistant in the Phase I/Investigational Therapeutics Program at Rutgers Cancer Institute. She has a wide array of clinical research experience, ranging from recruiting patients to drafting manuscripts, and hopes to continue her research interests as a future physician. Marisa is currently an author on almost a dozen manuscripts and abstracts.

TRACK Advisory Council

Mike Dunphy

Mike Dunphy, MS

Mike Dunphy, MS

Mike Dunphy

Mike Dunphy, MS is a Senior Manager of Count Me In at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. His work is focused on operations, software product development, and technical partnerships. Prior to joining Count Me In, Mike implemented electronic medical record systems in cancer centers around the country spanning academic, community, and pediatric settings. While completing graduate studies in health services research, he developed a passion for collaborating with patients through all aspects of research study design and execution, and openly sharing data as a common good.

Deborah-Morosini

Deborah Morosini, MD, MSW

Deborah Morosini, MD, MSW

Deborah Morosini

Dr. Morosini is Executive Vice President and Chief of Clinical Affairs at Prelude Therapeutics. She previously served as Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Patient Engagement (Chief Patient Officer) at Loxo Oncology, and prior to Loxo, Dr. Morosini was Vice President of Clinical Development at Foundation Medicine. Dr. Morosini has a particular passion for the genomics of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer. Inspired by her late sister and brother-in-law, Christopher and Dana Reeve, she has devoted her energies to raising awareness and research dollars for cancer research and early detection. She has been a featured spokesperson for numerous non-profit fundraising and government events in oncology and has provided expert commentary for national television and radio broadcasts, including NBC, ABC, CNN and FOX News. Dr. Morosini received her MD from Boston University School of Medicine and completed a pathology residency at Boston Medical Center, where she was chief resident. She served on the NCI – DCLG board, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Lung Cancer Alliance, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Foundation, the NPAF Scientific Advisory Board and the Cancer Support Community in Central New Jersey.

Steven-Young

Steven Young

Steven Young

Steve Young

Steven Young presently serves as the President & CEO of SARC (Sarcoma Alliance for Research Through Collaboration). Prior to joining SARC in October 2020, he was the principal and founder of Consortium Consulting, providing strategic and tactical support to non-profit foundations (including TargetCancer Foundation) and for-profit companies, with a specific focus on accelerating ground-breaking discovery and translational research to the benefit of patients. From 2008 through 2018, Mr. Young was the inaugural President & Chief Operating Officer of the Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute and, from 2003 to 2008, the inaugural Executive Director of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium. Earlier still, he served as the Director of the National Institutes of Health-funded General Clinical Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (now Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai) and the Pediatric Clinical Research Center at Cornell University College of Medicine (now Weill Cornell Medical College), both in New York City.

Patient and Caregiver Advisory Council

Sandra Manuel

Sandy Manuel

Sandra Manuel

Sandra Manuel

Sandra resides in Tiverton, Rhode Island. She is the mother of two adult children, and recently welcomed her first grandchild.

Having a career in healthcare/medical practice management for 16 years, Sandy has experienced patient advocacy from multiple views.

In June 2014, her husband Bruce was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma. Through guidance from his oncologist and TCF they together chose clinical trials as his first course of treatment. He immediately consented to comprehensive genomic profiling of his tumor. Those results offered an opportunity to participate in a targeted therapy trial resulting in stabilizing the disease allowing him to enjoy precious time with his family.

Bruce lost his battle in January 2018 but Sandy has remained passionate about patient advocacy. She is dedicated to helping other families like theirs to navigate the difficult journey a rare cancer diagnosis presents.

“Advocating is not a burden to carry but an honor to bear!” ~SJM

Becky Sail

Becky Sail

Becky Sail

Becky Sail

Becky Sail lives in Boston, MA where she works in Corporate Marketing and Communications for a healthcare company. She was diagnosed with an extremely rare (350 reported cases in the world) pelvic sarcoma when she was 22 years old. After three major surgeries failed to get rid of what she calls the beast, the doctors turned to an experimental hormonal suppressant treatment. The treatment has kept the tumor stable for about seven years now. Her cancer will be treated as a chronic disease for the rest of her life, but that doesn’t stop her from living the heck out of life and sharing her tenacity and spunk with the world.

After several years of dealing with her disease, Becky started to share her story in an effort to help future cancer patients and families down the line. Helping others became a gift. Becky served as co-chair for Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Patient and Family Advisory Council for several years, and now she advocates for young adult cancer patients through her involvement in an organization that provides outdoor adventure trips for young adult cancer survivors called First Descents. She has two nephews under the age of four that she adores, loves spending time on the Cape with her family, and continues to take on challenges that scare her thanks to First Descents.

Susan

Susan

Susan

Susan

Susan is a thyroid cancer survivor diagnosed in 2004 then with Ntrk positive thyroid cancer in 2018 through genomic tumor sequencing. She founded the Facebook NTRK Support Group and continues as a NTRK patient advocate.

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