In This Section

Advisory Committee, Phase II

Michelle Biggs
Michelle Bigg, RN, BSN
Women's Oncology Coordinator
Sunrise Cancer Center
Las Vegas, NV

Michelle Bigg, RN, BSN, is a women's oncology coordinator at Sunrise Cancer Center. She began her medical career in 2003 as a medical research intern at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College (NYP-WMC) in New York City. During this period, she gained a passion for medicine and decided to pursue a career in medicine. While obtaining her bachelor’s in health sciences and subsequent associate degree in nursing, Michelle worked at both NYP-WMC and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a research coordinator. During this time, she helped to run several National Cancer Institute clinical and investigator initiated trials for women’s oncology and gastroenterology. She was responsible for institutional review board submissions, patient recruitment/eligibility, ensuring proper safety and compliance with protocols, documentation of all pertinent research patient information, and working closely with patients as she went through their research protocols.

Michelle obtained her nursing license in July 2010 and continued to work at NYP/WMC as a clinical practice nurse to a multidisciplinary cancer center at the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health.  She worked with a care team consisting of physicians, specialists, surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nutritionists, genetic counselors, and social workers to help specialize care plans for patients undergoing various cancer treatments and surveillance. Additionally, she saw patients with a woman’s health/genetic gastroenterologist and helped to device recommendations for gastrointestinal screening and surveillance for women in conjunction with the NYP/WMC Iris Cantor Breast Center.

 In November 2016, she transferred to the Breast Center at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas as a nurse navigator to breast and gynecological cancer patients. She assists patients during their cancer journey by providing patient-centered care with education of their disease and treatments, coordination of appointments, identifying and decreasing barriers to care with providing support and community resources, and being a support to both the patient and family members. She started her master’s in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in September 2018 and looks forward to continuing to help cancer patients throughout their journey and survivorship.

Jennifer Bires, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, FACCC
Executive Director, Life with Cancer and Patient Experience
Inova Schar Cancer Institute
Fairfax, VA

Jennifer Bires, LCSW, OSW-C, CST, is an innovative leader in the field of psychosocial oncology with over 15 years of experience building patient centered, supportive care programs for patients and families impacted by cancer. In her current role at Inova Schar Cancer Institute, Jennifer leads a team of oncology behavioral health therapists, social workers, nurse navigators and oncology dieticians, ensuring that patients and those who support them have access to psychosocial care and education, at no cost to them, to help cope with cancer and its impact on their well-being. Additionally, she oversees the Arts and Healing program which utilizes the arts as a modality of healing.

Her clinical specialties include sexual health, young adults with cancer and end of life care. Jennifer is a current PhD candidate in Palliative Care at the University of Maryland, Baltimore exploring the use of psychedelics as a behavioral health treatment modality for people impacted by cancer.

She earned her master’s degree in Social Work from Washington University in Saint Louis, and her bachelor’s degree at Clemson University. She was awarded the Oncology Social Worker of the year in 2017 from the Association of Oncology Social Workers, sits on the Leadership Council for the Association of Oncology Nurse Navigators +, and Board of Trustees for the Association of Cancer Care Centers, is a member of the American Cancer Society National Navigation Round Table and is a past chair for the Board of Oncology Social Work.

Destin Black
Destin Black, MD
Director of Gynecologic Oncology
Willis-Knighton Health System
Shreveport, LA

Dr. Black directs a busy practice, caring for women facing complex health issues. She joined Willis-Knighton’s Cancer Center team following her fellowship training at the prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where, upon graduation, she was recognized as the top surgical fellow. At Willis-Knighton, Dr. Black serves as director of gynecologic oncology at the LSU School of Medicine Shreveport. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed research papers and book chapters, and she served on the program committee for the 2008 Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting. Dr. Black is also a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Medical Association, and local and state medical societies.

Stephanie V. Blank
Stephanie V. Blank, MD
Director of Gynecologic Oncology and Professor of Gynecologic Oncology Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science
Blavatnik Family Chelsea Medical Center at Mount Sinai
New York, NY

Dr. Blank specializes in treating patients with gynecologic cancers, including ovarian, fallopian tube, primary peritoneal, uterine and cervical cancers, and in caring for women at increased risk of cancer. She has conducted extensive research on women’s cancers on topics including genetic predisposition to cancer (BRCA 1 and 2, Lynch Syndrome and others), novel treatment approaches, fertility preservation, survivorship, and quality of life.  By serving on the Ovarian Committee of the NRG, Dr. Blank is involved in the development of NCI- sponsored practice-changing clinical trials, and she has been a principal investigator for multiple trials. She also collaborates with other researchers at the Tisch Cancer Institute on translational research in fields such as immunotherapy and DNA repair. Dr. Blank is broadly published in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks, and she frequently presents at national and international conferences on women’s gynecologic oncology issues.

Dr. Blank is the recipient of many honors and awards, including Castle Connolly Top Doctors, Super Doctors, and the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology Teaching Award, among others. She serves on numerous boards and committees and is actively involved with many professional organizations, including the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, NRG Oncology, Foundation for Women’s Cancer, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Dr. Blank earned her medical degree from the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the New York Hospital – Cornell Medical Center and a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.

Manojkumar Bupathi, MD, MS
Medical Oncologist
Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers
Littleton, CO

Dr. Bupathi is a board-certified medical oncologist, and he joined Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers in 2017. He specializes in solid tumors with an advanced subspecialty expertise in breast cancers and genitourinary cancers (adrenal, bladder, kidney, penile, prostate, and testicular). Dr. Bupathi is deeply committed to personalized care, always taking the time to listen and understand what matters to his patients. He is valued by his patients, peers, and colleagues for his excellent clinical judgment. He makes it a point to be well-prepared for patient visits by reviewing charts and consulting with colleagues and team members prior to appointments. His patients have his full attention and he is devoted to their best interests.

Dr. Bupathi participates in many tumor boards, where he collaborates with other cancer specialists including surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, and radiation oncologists. This allows him to provide a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to cancer treatment recommendations such as chemotherapy, targeted therapies, and immunotherapies. Dr. Bupathi has a strong interest in the field of personalized medicine and how genomics and molecular pathways impact cancer treatment options. He serves as principal investigator for many Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III studies, and he emphasizes the importance of participating in clinical research trials whenever possible to ensure patients are receiving the most timely, cutting-edge treatment for their disease. In addition to Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, Dr. Bupathi also sees patients for Phase I clinical research trials at Sarah Canon Research Institute in Denver.

William Cliby
William Cliby, MD
Gynecologic Oncologist
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN

Dr. Cliby is a gynecologic oncologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and the Virgil S. Counseller Professor of Surgery. Dr. Cliby’s expertise is in surgical gynecologic oncology, outcomes, and translational research, and he has focused much of his clinical research on improving techniques and surgical outcomes and quality in ovarian cancer. His laboratory research is focused on the interaction between cancer and stroma in ovarian cancer. Dr. Cliby has a strong interest in education and has been the fellowship program director for 13 years, having developed the fellowship program directors’ training course for the Society of Gynecologic Oncology. He currently serves as a member of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, and as a member of the ACGME Review Committee. Dr. Cliby completed his residency training at Duke University and fellowship training at Mayo Clinic.

Charles Drescher
Charles W. Drescher, MD
Gynecologic Oncologist
Swedish Cancer Institute
Seattle, WA

Charles Drescher, MD, is a gynecologic oncologist at Swedish Cancer Institute, and has been named Seattle Magazine’s and Seattle Metro Magazine’s “Top Doctor,” Seattle Top Doctor Hall of Fame, “Best Doctors in America,” and is a recipient of numerous awards including the Patient Choice Award. Dr. Drescher participates in a number of cancer research organizations and holds positions that include—but are not limited to—joint full member of the Molecular Diagnostics Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; key investigator with the Pacific Ovarian Cancer Research Consortium; Canary Foundation Ovary Science team leader; and board member of the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research.

As a gynecologic cancer specialist, Dr. Drescher aims to provide the best possible care to all women with or at risk for gynecologic cancers, as well as women with complex benign gynecological conditions. He works with a team of skilled providers to ensure his patients have access to the full range of treatment options and supportive care.

Lauren Prescott
Lauren Prescott, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, TN

Dr. Prescott is a gynecologic oncologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Her research interests include measuring and evaluating surgical and oncologic outcomes and improving the quality of healthcare delivery through the implementation of evidence-based medicine. Dr. Prescott leads the Vanderbilt Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Program for patients undergoing gynecologic surgery.

Leigha Senter, MS, LGC, FACCC
Licensed Genetic Counselor
Professor, Internal Medicine
The Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital
Columbus, OH

Leigha Senter, MS, LGC, FACCC, is a licensed genetic counselor and clinical professor at The Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute where she specializes in cancer genetics risk assessment in women with gynecologic cancers. She is the Associate Director of the Division of Human Genetics.

Senter has more than 20 years of research experience in hereditary cancers with a primary focus in BRCA gene-related projects with more than 100 peer reviewed publications. She is currently a board member for the Association of Community Cancer Centers.

Senter earned a bachelor's degree in molecular genetics from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and a master's degree in genetic counseling from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Premal Thaker, MD, MSc
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology-Division of Gynecologic Oncology
Washington University School of Medicine
Saint Louis, MO

Premal H. Thaker, MD, MSc, is an Associate Professor in Gynecologic Oncology and Director of Gynecologic Oncology Clinical Research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Thaker is a member of the NRG Oncology’s Phase I committee and is the Chair of the Early Business Development Committee of the GOG Partners Investigator Council. She has been national PI of three GOG clinical trials as well as other national clinical trials. She served as a member of the grants and awards committee for the Foundation for Women’s Cancer. Additionally, she has served on the NRG Ovarian Cancer Committee, NCI Ovarian Task Force, NCI Gynecologic Task Force, and on the NCCN Task Force for genetics. She also serves on several Data Safety Monitoring Boards and is on the NCCN committee for Ovarian Cancer. She has published over 180 peer-reviewed publications as an author or co-author as well as 12 book chapters.

Dr. Thaker graduated from a six-year combined baccalaureate and medical degree program through Villanova University and Medical College of Pennsylvania. Subsequently she joined the obstetrics and gynecology residency program at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She then went to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, to complete a master’s degree in Cancer Biology as well as her gynecologic oncology fellowship in 2006.

Anna Yemelyanova
Anna Yemelyanova, MD
Professor of Clinical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Weill Cornell Medicine Physicians
New York, NY
Anna Yemelyanova, MD, is a pathologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. She received her medical degree from Russian State Medical University an has been in practice for more than 20 years.