Ethan Basch, MD, MSc, FASCO is a medical oncologist and distinguished professor in the UNC School of Medicine Division of Hematology/Oncology and a professor in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He also is director of UNC Lineberger’s cancer outcomes research program. He was also recently elected to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Board of Directors.
He is a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute, a federally appointed member of the Methodology Committee of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), Co-Chair of the Cancer Care Delivery Research Committee of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, and Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). He has led multiple national guidelines and clinical trials in prostate cancer and has pioneered research on patient self-reporting of symptoms during cancer treatment.
Director, Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Doris Howell has an extensive clinical background in cancer care. As a researcher, her main goal is to optimize the quality of cancer care and empower patients as co-producers of health and well-being. At U of T Nursing, Dr. Howell developed the Clinical Nursing Stream – Oncology curriculum in the master’s program.
Her clinical research aims to understand the role of a patient’s central perception and evaluation of complex symptoms – such as fatigue, pain and breathlessness – on symptom response and behaviour to inform the development of theory and behavioural self-management intervention trials.
Dr. Howell holds the RBC Chair, Oncology Nursing Research and Education, University Health Network. She is a Senior Scientist with the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network. She is an Adjunct Scientist, Division of Preventive Oncology, Cancer Care Ontario; and an Adjunct Scientist with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. Dr. Howell is cross-appointed to U of T’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health and its Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation within the Faculty of Medicine.
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Dr. Alberto Montero is a staff physician and the quality improvement officer at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute. He is also an Associate Professor of Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. His clinical work focuses on breast cancer. Prior to joining the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Montero was breast cancer site disease co-leader at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Montero earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, after which he completed a residency in internal medicine on the physician-scientist track at the University of Texas Houston Health Science Center. He then completed his fellowship training in hematology/oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Montero’s research interests include improvement of clinical outcomes in patients with breast cancer through the development of novel targeted therapies.
He has been the principal investigator in over 30 clinical trials and has co-authored over 70 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Montero has also published several studies examining the cost-effectiveness of several targeted therapies currently utilized for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.
Watch Dr. Montero: “Introduction to MACRA and the Future of Value-Based Care”
Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
Deborah K. Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN is an advanced practice oncology nurse (ANP-BC) who has consulted with organizations on issues to improve cancer care and has over 40 years of cancer nursing practice, education, research, and management experience. Dr. Mayer earned a PhD from the University of Utah, her MSN from Yale University, her BSN from Excelsior College, her Nurse Practitioner Certificate from the University of Maryland, and her diploma from Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing.
Dr. Mayer is past president of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), was a member of the National Cancer Institute’s National Cancer Advisory Board (a Presidential appointment) and Board of Scientific Advisors. Dr. Mayer was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She is active in ONS and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). She served as the Editor for the ONS’ Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON) from 2007-2015 and has published over 150 articles, book chapters and editorials on cancer related issues. She was awarded the ONS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 and, in 2016, was appointed as the only nurse to Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel. In 2018, she began her role as Interim Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship with the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences.
Dr. Mayer is on faculty at the School of Nursing at UNC and is the UNC Lineberger Director of Cancer Survivorship. Her program of research focuses on the issues facing cancer survivors and improving cancer care. She has a clinical practice working with breast cancer survivors. As a nurse who works “frontline” with cancer survivors, and as a cancer survivor herself, she brings a unique perspective to her clinical, research and health policy collaborations with cancer survivors and advocates, primary care providers, cancer specialists and researchers.
Dr. Jeannine M. Brant is an oncology clinical nurse specialist, pain consultant, and nurse scientist for the Billings Clinic in Montana. Dr. Brant’s repertoire blends her clinical expertise in pain and symptom management with her program of research that includes improving patient symptoms and focusing on nursing-sensitive indicators that lead to quality nursing and interdisciplinary care.
In 1990, Dr. Brant developed the Women Reaching for Wellness Program, an American Indian outreach education program, on seven Indian reservations in Montana and one in Wyoming focused on cancer prevention in American Indian women. When the project began, American Indians were reluctant to discuss cancer for fear they would get the disease. Over a 15-year period, an award-winning film called “Standing Strong Against the Cancer Enemy” was produced (more than 400 copies distributed nationwide), cancer prevention and education were offered to more than 20,000 women per year, and a screening program was added through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Initially, only five women received mammograms per year and the five-year breast cancer survival rate was approximately 65 percent. The program enrolled more than 200 women per year for mammograms when screening started and the breast cancer survival rates have increased.
Ari Gnanasakthy, MBA, MSc, is Head of Patient-Reported Outcomes at RTI-HS. Prior to RTI-HS, Mr. Gnanasakthy was the Executive Director and Head of the Patient-Reported Outcomes Center of Excellence at Novartis Pharmaceuticals. He has almost 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. At Novartis, he worked in several departments, including Biostatistics, Health Economics, Pricing, and Outcomes Research. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, and computing, Mr. Gnanasakthy joined Rothamsted Experimental Station (UK), where he was responsible for the statistical analysis of survey data of agricultural soil in England and Wales. He then joined the Milk Marketing Board (UK), where he was a part of the team responsible for modeling lactation curves of dairy cows.
Mr. Gnanasakthy’s extensive experience in the field of statistics and outcome research has resulted in numerous abstracts and almost 40 publications. Throughout his career, Mr. Gnanasakthy has developed and validated over a dozen patient-reported outcomes instruments and currently serves in the editorial board of Cancer Clinical Trials and a reviewer for many professional journals, including Value in Health.
RTI Health Solutions
Mary Lou Smith, JD, MBA, FASCO is a Co-founder of the Research Advocacy Network. She is a two-time breast cancer survivor and an ovarian and colon cancer survivor and serves as Chair of the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Advocates Committee. She also serves on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Breast Cancer Screening and Treatment Guidelines Committees. She is a member of the Mayo Breast SPORE and the NCI Breast Steering Committee’s BOLD Task Force. Mary Lou serves on the boards of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and Gateway for Cancer Research. She was a community member of the Rush University Medical Center Institutional Review Board for 10 years. Mary Lou is a past president of Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization and has served on the Cancer Leadership Council and the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Board of Directors.
Mary Lou has worked in health care for over 20 years in both hospital administration and consulting. She was involved in the development of numerous managed care products for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, including a Pediatric Cancer Network. Mary Lou has a Juris Doctorate with a Health Law Certification and a master’s degree in Business Administration.
Research Advocacy Network
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