Executive Committee


Sigrun Hallmeyer, MD
Medical Director, ALGH Cancer Service Line
Medical Director, ALGH Cancer Survivorship Center
Co-Director, Medical Research Advocate Aurora Health
Park Ridge, IL

Dr. Hallmeyer was born and raised in East Berlin, Germany.  Due to limited opportunities, a few weeks after her eighteenth birthday, she risked her life to escape to West Germany, where she completed her high school education in the West German system. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, she returned to her family in Berlin and was accepted to the medical faculty of the Humboldt University of Berlin.

During her medical studies, she visited the United States for several clinical clerkships and was impressed with the high level of academic education as well as the administration of medical care. These rotations laid the foundation for her desire to pursue a career in America.

Dr. Hallmeyer completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Pinnacle Health Hospitals, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and completed her fellowship in hematology and oncology in Pennsylvania, and came to Chicago in 2002 to train at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus as a fellow in hematology/oncology at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

She joined Oncology Specialists, a private practice, in 2005 and is proud to be a member of a team of physicians and nurses who offer the highest quality of patient care. The atmosphere in the practice is very team oriented; everybody is focused on one common goal: provision of state-of-the-art, compassionate and complete care for patients and their family members.  Dr. Hallmeyer has specialized in the care of patients with breast cancer and melanoma. She has an avid interest in immuno-oncology, as well as a deep interest in cancer survivorship. In 2017, Oncology Specialists joined the Advocate Health Care system, the largest integrated healthcare system in Illinois, and was re-named the Advocate Medical Group.

Most recently, Dr. Hallmeyer served on the American Society of Clinical Oncology expert panels for management of immunotherapy-related toxicities and for sexual dysfunction in cancer survivors.

In 2017, Oncology Specialists joined the Advocate Health Care system, the largest integrated healthcare system in Illinois, and was re-named the Advocate Medical Group.

Dr. Hallmeyer adds, “I feel that I have the privilege of treating a very special group of patients, and I am honored to be able to provide help and support at a very difficult juncture in a patient’s life. By working here at Advocate Medical Group, I feel that my childhood dream from East Germany has come true.”

Executive Committee

Ivo Abraham, PhD, RN
Professor of Pharmacy & Medicine
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

Ivo Abraham, PhD, a nurse by profession and an outcomes and effectiveness researcher by trade, is a professor of Pharmacy and Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he is also affiliated with the Center for Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomic Research, the Arizona Cancer Center, and the Center for Applied Genomics and Genetic Medicine. Dr. Abraham has served as a regular or visiting professor at universities in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He currently serves as the associate editor for quantitative methods for JAMA Dermatology, and has co-authored more than 350 articles, 75 chapters, and 30 books and monographs.

Dr. Abraham’s research program has been funded continuously since 1984 by governmental agencies, foundations, and corporations worldwide. In the U.S., he has served as an appointed and ad hoc reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute for Mental Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Veterans Administration. He has also been an expert advisor to the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a joint undertaking of the European Union and the biopharmaceutical industry, to stimulate innovation in human therapeutics.

A native of Belgium, he received his BS (psychiatric nursing) from the Catholic University of Leuven and his MS (psychiatric-mental health nursing) and PhD (clinical research) from the University of Michigan.

Sanjiv Agarwala, MD
Professor of Medicine; CMO
Temple University; Cancer Expert Now
Philadelphia, PA

Sanjiv Agarwala, MD, is the chief of medical oncology & hematology at St. Luke’s Cancer Center and professor of medicine at Temple University School of Medicine, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Agarwala is nationally and internationally recognized as an expert in the research and treatment of melanoma and immunotherapy of cancer and has presented and led numerous conferences and meetings across the globe.

Dr. Agarwala received his undergraduate education and medical degree from Bombay University.  He completed his medical training through residencies and fellowships at the University of Bombay in India, Otago University in New Zealand, and the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Agarwala has written and contributed to over 150 publications and book chapters on melanoma and other research areas. He is board certified in oncology, hematology, and internal medicine, and is an active member of several professional and scientific societies, including the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), and the Society for Melanoma Research. Dr. Agarwala has been the principal investigator for multiple clinical trials involving immunotherapy and targeted therapy for melanoma and other malignancies, and has special interest and expertise in immunotherapy for cancer. As a result of his dedication to melanoma and immunotherapy research, Dr. Agarwala has received several honors, including listings as one of America’s top doctors for cancer and best doctors in the United States.

Steven L. D'Amato, BScPharm
Executive Director, New England Cancer Specialists
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Tufts College of Medicine
Scarborough, ME

Steven D'Amato, BSPharm, BCOP, is the Executive Director and clinical pharmacy specialist at New England Cancer Specialists in Scarborough, Maine. He is a clinical associate professor at the University of Tufts College of Medicine. He is a member of ASCO, ACCP, ACCC, and HOPA.

A member of the Maine Medical Center Institutional Review Board in Portland, Maine, Mr. D’Amato has 30 years of experience in clinical oncology in both the hospital and private practice settings. He has extensive knowledge of EMR implementation, utilization, and practice management.

He has lectured extensively on pain management, end-of-life care, and oncology practice. He is a board member of the Community Cancer Center in South Portland, Maine, a non-profit organization providing education and support to cancer patients.

He is a past President of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), and is the ACCC Delegate Representative for New England Cancer Specialists. He earned his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston, Mass.

David S. Ettinger, MD, FACP, FCCP
Alex Glass Professor of Oncology
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
Baltimore, MD

Dr. Ettinger is the Alex Grass Professor of Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. He is also a professor of medicine, otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, gynecology and obstetrics, and radiation oncology and molecular radiation sciences.

Dr. Ettinger received his medical degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He completed his medical internship and residency at the Albany Medical Center and Mayo Clinic, respectively. Dr. Ettinger completed his training in medical oncology at Johns Hopkins in 1975, and since then has been on the faculty of the School of Medicine. He was chairman of the Thoracic Committee of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) from 1980 to 1982. From 1990 to 2010, he was chairman of the Medical Oncology Lung Subcommittee of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG).

Dr. Ettinger is a member of the board of directors of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) as well as a member of the NCCN Guidelines Steering Committee. In addition, he has served as chair of the NCCN non-small cell lung cancer practice guidelines panel, antiemetic practice guidelines panel, and occult primary tumor practice guidelines panel. From 1982 through 1990, he was principal investigator of the phase I studies of new anticancer agents, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Ettinger’s research interests are in new drug development and innovative multidisciplinary treatment strategies in lung cancer and sarcomas. He is also interested in improving supportive care measures associated with cancer and its treatment. Dr. Ettinger has authored or co-authored over 200 articles and serves as an editor for Current Treatment Options in Oncology. He has edited three books: Thoracic Oncology, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001; Current Cancer Therapeutics, 5th Edition, Springer, 2009; and Supportive Care in Cancer Therapy, Humana Press, 2009.

A former president of the Maryland Division of the American Cancer Society, in 1997, Dr. Ettinger received the American Cancer Society’s highest national divisional award, the St. George Medal.

Dr. Ettinger has experience in oncology internationally both through Johns Hopkins international (JHI) and NCCN. He is the associate medical director for Johns Hopkins Singapore since 2000. He was involved in the development of oncology for JHI at the Tawam Hospital in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. In addition, Dr. Ettinger has been to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and India for JHI, assessing oncology programs there. He has presented the NSCLC Guidelines in China, the Middle East and Brazil for the NCCN as well as assessing research opportunities in China.

He is the medical director of the Johns Hopkins Home Care Group and serves on a number of committees both in the Kimmel Cancer Center, including its Promotions Committee, and in the Johns Hopkins Hospital, including the Risk Management Committee and Credentials Committee.

Mark Faries, MD
Co-director, Melanoma Program and head of Surgical Oncology
The Angeles Clinic & Research Institute
Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Faries is a surgical oncologist and the co-director of the Melanoma Program and head of Surgical Oncology at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute in Los Angeles. He also is the surgical director for Experimental Therapeutics at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He received his undergraduate education at Haverford College and completed medical school at Cornell. He completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Pennsylvania and a surgical oncology fellowship at the John Wayne Cancer Institute.

Dr. Faries is principal investigator (PI) for the second Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial, an international trial including more than 4,000 subjects. He serves on the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Melanoma Staging Committee and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)/Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) Melanoma Guidelines panel and is a member of the editorial board of the Annals of Surgical Oncology. His research focuses on surgical treatment of melanoma and immunotherapy.

Jeffrey Gregg, MD
Senior Director, Clinical Pathology; Director, Molecular Diagnostics; Professor of Pathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
University of California, Davis Medical Center
Sacramento, CA
Dr. Jeffrey Gregg is senior director of Clinical Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics and professor of Pathology at the University of California Davis School of Medicine and UC Davis Health. He is director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Genomics Shared Resource where he uses next generation sequencing and genomic technologies for analysis of tumors and biomarker discovery. He is a member of the UC Davis Molecular Tumor Board and participates in other Molecular Tumor Boards throughout the United States. His clinical and research focus is on developing liquid biopsy as a high-value clinical tool for cancer screening, diagnosis, and surveillance.
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Una Hopkins, RN, FNP-BC, DNP
Director for Research and Evidence Based Practice
Montefiore Medical Center
Bronx, NY

Una Hopkins, RN, FNP-BC, DNP, is a registered nurse with more than 30 years of experience in oncology, 25 as a nurse practitioner. Dr. Hopkins is currently the director for research and evidence-based practice at the Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, where she is responsible for the oversight and management of nurse engagement in programs of research and evidence-based practice, academic and affiliations, nursing internet and intranet development, and presentations and publications for the department of nursing. This includes the management of selected staff and operations, academic affiliations and funded educational projects, survey preparation, specialized training initiatives, education related to promotion of nursing research and evidence-based practice, oversight of project management, and funding attainment. 

Dr. Hopkins has received numerous awards for her accomplishments in clinical and research work and since 1927, has published over 20 articles in various medical journals. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Nursing Science from the College of New Rochelle where she also studied to become a family nurse practitioner. She received her doctorate from Pace University in New York City. Dr. Hopkins serves on the Advisory Committee for the ACCC Institute for Clinical Immuno-Oncology.

Nikesh Kotecha, PhD
VP Informatics
Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
San Francisco, CA

Nikesh Kotecha, PhD, currently serves as Vice President of Informatics at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI). He leads informatics efforts to realize the institute’s mission to accelerate the development of breakthrough immune therapies and turn cancer into a curable disease. Dr. Kotecha’s focus on delivering computational and molecular technologies to the healthcare community drives him to work at the intersection of medicine, informatics, entrepreneurship, and education.

Prior to joining PICI, Dr. Kotecha was the CEO & Co-founder of Cytobank Inc. (part of Danaher Life Sciences), an analytics company that builds solutions around single-cell proteomics and cytometry, two technologies that are revolutionizing how we understand disease mechanisms. Dr. Kotecha is also a consulting faculty member in the Computational and Systems Immunology Program at Stanford University and an advisor at StartXMed, a Stanford startup accelerator.

Dr. Kotech earned a PhD in biomedical informatics from Stanford University and a BS in biomedical engineering from Boston University. He has more than 15 years of experience building analytic applications to address scientific and informatics problems in healthcare.

David R. Penberthy, MD, MBA
Medical Director, Radiation Oncology
Bon Secours - Southside Medical Center
Petersburg, VA

David R. Penberthy, MD, MBA, is Medical Director, Radiation Oncology, of Bon Secours - Southside Medical Center based in Petersburg, Virginia. After completing his MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia in 2011, Dr. Penberthy has served as the Medical Director of Radiation Oncology and Cancer Committee Chairman at Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC) in Petersburg, Virginia. During his tenure as chairman, Dr. Penberthy led SRMC’s oncology program through two American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer accreditation surveys resulting in cancer program accreditation, each time earning an Outstanding Achievement Award, an accolade achieved by only a small fraction of community oncology programs in the country.

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Penberthy completed a surgical internship at Bethesda Naval Hospital. He then served as a U.S. Navy Flight Surgeon with Fighter Squadron 101 in Oceana, Virginia. His strong interest and knowledge of technology eventually led him to the field of Radiation Oncology. In this field, Dr. Penberthy applies sophisticated medical technologies to alleviate the suffering caused by cancer, one of the most pressing medical issues of our generation.

Dr. Penberthy is enthusiastic about patient care and he is intensely engaged in providing state of the art, patient centered, compassionate oncology care.

Joshua Raff, MD
Director of the Digestive Cancer Program
White Plains Hospital
White Plains, NY

Joshua Raff, M.D. is the Director of the Digestive Cancer Program at White Plains Hospital.  Dr. Raff received his medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in 1997. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, and was a fellow of hematology and oncology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine from 2000-2003. 

Dr. Raff is board certified in  Hematology and Medical Oncology. His professional experience and interests include: Cancers of the digestive system, lung cancer, prostate cancer; anemia, platelet disorders, and lymphoma. Dr Raff is actively involved in clinical research, and is the Principal Investigator for several therapeutic clinical trials at WPH. 

Dr. Raff has been nominated by his colleagues and has been the recipient of Castle & Connolly’s Top Doctor Award in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. 



Raju Vaddepally, MD
Yuma Regional Medical Center Cancer Center
Yuma, AZ

Raju K. Vaddepally, MD, is a medical hematology oncologist at the Yuma Regional Cancer Center. He serves as the director-at-large for The Arizona Clinical Oncology Society (TACOS), an ASCO state-regional affiliate program. Dr. Vaddepally is a member of the Scientific and Administrative Research Committee (SARC) committee for the Academic and Community Research United at Mayo Clinic, developing protocols and design clinical trials to advance cancer therapeutics. He is also a member of the American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Vaddepally received his medical degree at Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad, India. He completed his residency in internal medicine at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan.