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2021 Task Force

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Jonathan Abbas, MD
Director, Acute Leukemia Program
Tennessee Oncology
Ascension St. Thomas Midtown Hospital

Nashville, TN

Dr. Abbas is the director of the Acute Leukemia and Blood Cancer Program at Tennessee Oncology at St. Thomas Midtown Hospital in Nashville. He completed medical school at the Medical College of Georgia, and he did his internship, residency, and fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Abbas practiced in hematologic malignancies, stem cell transplant, and cellular therapy in Arizona for seven years before joining Tennessee Oncology in 2020. He is an investigator in more than 50 clinical trials in various hematologic malignancies through Tennessee Oncology and Sarah Cannon.

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John N. Allan, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology
Weill Cornell Medicine
New York, NY

Dr. Allan completed his undergraduate education at the University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and finance. He subsequently obtained his medical degree from Saint Louis University. Seeking an internal medicine residency program with particular strength in oncology, Dr. Allan moved to New York in 2009 to train at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Campus, where he also completed his hematology and medical oncology fellowship. Dr. Allan treats all lymphoid malignancies and has a particular interest in improving therapies for patients with CLL and Richter’s Syndrome, which is the focus of his research. 

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Ehab Atallah, MD
Professor of Medicine; Section Head, Hematologic Malignancies
Division of Hematology & Oncology
Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI

Dr. Atallah graduated from Cairo University School of Medicine in 1994, completed an internal medicine residency at the Cleveland Clinic Health System, and completed a fellowship in hematology/oncology at the Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit, where he also served as chief fellow. Dr. Atallah went on to complete a leukemia fellowship at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Dr. Atallah is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology. He has authored numerous publications, including journal articles, meeting abstracts, and a book chapter. In 2007, Dr. Atallah received the American Society of Clinical Oncology Foundation Merit Award. His current research interests are the treatment of patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, myeloproliferative neoplasms, and myelodysplastic syndromes. 

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Mark J. Fesler, MD
Hematology Oncologist; Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
St. Luke’s Hospital; Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO

Mark J. Fesler, MD, is a hematology oncologist in his eleventh year as associate professor of internal medicine at Saint Louis University. He was formerly the director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at SSM Saint Louis University hospital. He is a member of the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Transplant and Cellular Therapy and has expertise in hematological malignancies including Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, and myelodysplastic syndrome. 

Dr. Fesler earned a medical degree from Saint Louis University School of Medicine, followed by internal medicine residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where he was chief resident in his final year. He completed a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and is board-certified in both hematology and medical oncology. 

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Susannah P. Friemel, MD
Owner/President
Iowa Cancer Specialists, PC
Davenport, IA

Dr. Friemel earned her medical degree from Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine residency at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, and her fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She is board certified in internal medicine, hematology, and medical oncology.

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Parameswaran Hari, MD, MRCP, MS
Armand J. Quick/William F. Stapp Professor of Hematology
Chief, Division of Hematology Oncology,
Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI

Dr. Hari is the Armand J. Quick/William F. Stapp Professor of Hematology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he is also a chief in the Division of Hematology and Oncology in the Department of Medicine. After attending medical school in India, Dr. Hari completed his training in internal medicine and hematology in the United Kingdom and then in the Medical Oncology and Transplantation Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Hari’s primary clinical interests are in cellular therapies and plasma cell disorders, including multiple myeloma, amyloidosis, and other monoclonal gammopathies.

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Catherine Lai, MD, MPH
Director of Leukemia; Assistant Professor
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Georgetown University Medical Center

Washington, DC

Dr. Lai specializes in detecting, monitoring, and treating acute leukemia in adults. Previously at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), she focused on clinical trials in acute leukemias and lymphomas. Under Dr. Lai’s leadership, the leukemia program at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center offers acute leukemia patients advanced and highly specialized care, including clinical trials with novel agents and immunotherapy. Dr. Lai’s clinical expertise complements a multidisciplinary team of specialists dedicated to MedStar Georgetown’s Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy Program. Dr. Lai’s research focuses on novel therapeutics, designing and conducting clinical trials, and health outcomes for leukemia patients.

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Sean T. Powell, MSW, LCSW, CCM, OSW-C
Director, Social Work and Patient Support Services
Moffitt Cancer Center
Tampa, FL

Sean Powell is the director of Department of Social Work and Patient Support Services at Moffitt Cancer Center, where he is responsible for administrative oversight of the departments of Social Work and Chaplaincy Care, Tobacco Cessation, Arts in Medicine, and Lodging. Powell has previously served in leadership positions at St. Vincent’s HealthCare, New Directions Behavioral Health, and the American Cancer Society. He has served in clinical roles at the Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center and the American Cancer Society. Powell earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in social work from Radford University. He possesses board certifications in oncology social work and clinical case management from the Association of Oncology Social Work and the Commission for Case Management Certification. Powell’s clinical interests include end-of-life care and issues facing long-term cancer survivors. 

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Adriana Rossi, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Center of Excellence for Multiple Myeloma
Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital
New York, NY

Dr. Adriana Rossi is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Center of Excellence for Multiple Myeloma at the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital. Previously, she was Associate Director of the Myeloma Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, where she participated in a number of clinical trials, from first in human drug development to multicenter phase III studies. Her research interests include renal disease in plasma cell dyscrasias, and she is a member of the International Kidney and Monoclonal Gammopathy Research Group. Dr. Rossi also headed the Autologous Stem Cell Transplant service, and worked to develop more effective and less toxic alternatives for patients with multiple myeloma. She is a reviewer for Leukemia and Lymphoma, Hematology/Oncology and Stem cell Therapy, and Annals of Hematology. Dr. Rossi has given a number of invited talks, including ASCO and international conferences in Brazil and France.

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Jessica Unzaga, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP
Clinical Pharmacy Coordinator
Miami Cancer Institute
Baptist Health South Florida
Miami, FL

Jessica Unzaga, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, is a clinical pharmacy coordinator at the Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida. Dr. Unzaga carries dual board certification in pharmacotherapy (BCPS) and oncology pharmacy (BCOP). She has served many roles in the inpatient and outpatient oncology service lines including inpatient malignant hematology, outpatient oral chemotherapy clinic for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies, and outpatient bone marrow transplantation.

Dr. Unzaga is an active preceptor and mentor for pharmacy students and residents on clinical rotations in hematology and bone marrow transplantation. She is a courtesy clinical assistant professor for the University of Florida College of Pharmacy and invited lecturer for pharmacotherapy of lymphomas and multiple myeloma for the Larkin University College of Pharmacy. Additionally, she is an active member of the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA), American Society of Hematology (ASH), American Society of Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT), Florida Society of Clinical Oncology (FLASCO), and Florida Society of Health System Pharmacists Southeast Society (SE-FSHP).

She is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Pharmacy and completed her post-graduate year (PGY) 1 and 2 residencies at the Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (VA TVHS) in Nashville, Tennessee, at Methodist University Hospital and the West Cancer Center, respectively.

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David Vesole, MD, PhD, FACP
Co-Division Chief, Director of Research
Multiple Myeloma Division​
John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center​
Hackensack, NJ

David H. Vesole, MD, PhD, FACP, is co-chief, Myeloma Division, director, Myeloma Research at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center; professor of Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine and Seton Hall University School of Medicine; director, Myeloma Program, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. He is a member of the Stem Cell Transplant & Cellular Immunotherapy Program at both Hackensack UMC and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

Dr. Vesole’s research interests involve all aspects of the management of plasma cell dyscrasias (multiple myeloma, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, amyloidosis, Waldenstrom’s macroglolinemia). Dr. Vesole has had more than 25 years of clinical research experience in plasma cell dyscrasias and stem cell transplant and has over 200 peer reviewed publications in these areas. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Myeloma Foundation and a member of the International Myeloma Working Group.

Dr. Vesole earned his bachelor of sciences degree at the University of Iowa; his PhD in Immunology and Microbiology at the Medical University of South Carolina; his medical degree at Northwestern University and completed his hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of Iowa.

Shannon Woerner
Shannon L. Woerner, APN-BC, AOCNP, MBA
Director of Clinical Operations
Astera Cancer Care
East Brunswick, NJ

Shannon L. Woerner is an adult nurse practitioner specializing in the care of adult oncology patients in Central New Jersey. She is also the director of clinical operations at Astera Cancer Care. Woerner has been an oncology nurse for 10 years in both inpatient and outpatient settings.