Dr. Ghassan Abou-Alfa is an Attending Physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical School at Cornell University. Professor Abou-Alfa specializes in in the treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies and in particular, hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, gallbladder cancer, and fibrolamellar carcinoma. Professor Abou-Alfa is the immediate previous Chair of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Hepatobiliary Task Force and member of the NCI AIDS Malignancy Consortium Steering Committee. Professor Abou-alfa is a member of the International Affairs Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and is the President-Elect for the International Society of Gastrointestinal Oncology (ISGIO). Professor Abou-Alfa majored in biology, earned his medical degree, and now serves as a trustee on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater the American University in Beirut. Professor Abou-Alfa completed his postdoctoral training in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology at Yale University, and received his MBA from Columbia University.
Professor Abou-Alfa’s research focuses on incorporating small biological molecules into standard cancer therapies. In recent years, his group at MSK led the initial efforts evaluating sorafenib in HCC. Sorafenib was ultimately approved by the FDA for that indication in 2007. Professor Abou-Alfa more recently his group at MSK led the efforts evaluating cabozantinib which was approved by the FDA for HCC indication in January 2019. He now focuses on determining the right CAR-T antigens for HCC and analyzing world wide data to help analyze the genetic profile of patients with HCC and help determine the appropriate targeted therapy that will be most valuable. Professor Abou-Alfa has also championed key work in determining novel targeted therapies for cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder cancer, targeting IDH-1, FGR-2, and Her-2. He lately led the efforts of pemigatinib, which was approved by the FDA in May 2020, for patients with cholangiocarcinoma and FGFR2 alterations.
Professor Abou-Alfa strongly advocates for greater awareness of cancer’s global impact; and continues to lead several international educational and research efforts with different institutions worldwide.
Dr. Sharlene Gill is a Medical Oncologist specializing in gastrointestinal malignancies at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver, BC. She received a BSc. in Pharmacy, and MD from the University of British Columbia in 1996 followed by residencies in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology at UBC, subsequently completing a fellowship in Gl Oncology at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) and a Masters of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health (Boston, MA) before returning to Vancouver where she is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. She earned an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina in 2017 and has completed certification from the CMA Physician Leadership Institute. She is actively engaged in education, physician engagement and research, with over 100 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters to her credit. Sharlene is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Association of Medical Oncologists, and currently serves as the Chair for the GI Disease Site Committee of the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG).
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