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Advisory Committee

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Haifaa Abdulhaq, MD
Clinical Professor of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology Director of Hematology
UCSF Fresno
Fresno, CA

Haifaa Abdulhaq, MD, is board certified in hematology and medical oncology. She has expertise in malignant hematology, including lymphoproliferative neoplasms, myeloproliferative neoplasms, acute leukemia, multiple myeloma, and stem cell transplantation.

Dr. Abdulhaq is a member of the American Society of Hematology, the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the American Society of Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation. She is a board member of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Central California Chapter, and she is the chair of the Cancer Committee at Community Medical Centers in Fresno, CA. Dr. Abdulhaq has special interest in medical education and is a recipient of the Henry Kaiser Award for Excellence in Teaching at UCSF. She is also interested in clinical research, and she serves as the principal investigator on many clinical trials on malignant hematology.

Dr. Abdulhaq completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Western Pennsylvania Hospital and Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Melissa Cessna, MD
Hematopathologist, Department of Pathology
Intermountain Healthcare
Murray, UT

Melissa Cessna, MD, is a hematopathologist and a past medical director of the Flow Cytometry Laboratory at Intermountain Healthcare in Murray, UT. Intermountain Healthcare was an early implementer of minimal residual disease (MRD) testing, using molecular technologies and flow cytometry. Dr. Cessna has served as the system hematopathology lead in a multidisciplinary team at Intermountain, developing testing algorithms for new diagnoses and monitoring patients with hematologic malignancies.

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Calvin Chen, DO
Hematopathologist, Laboratory Medical Director
Community Regional Medical Center
Fresno, CA

Calvin Chen, DO, is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology. He serves on the management team and leads the hematopathology group for subspecialty sign out at Pathology Associates in Clovis, CA. Dr. Chen provides didactic teaching to hematology fellows and he is   currently the Director of Hematology at Community Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Chen completed a hematopathology fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and received his residency training in pathology at Tufts Medical Center. He is a graduate of Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine and a proud alumnus of University of California, Berkeley.

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Srinivas Devarakonda, MD
Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine,
Division of Hematology
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Columbus, OH

Srinivas Devarakonda, MD, is an assistant professor in the Division of Hematology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He came to OSU from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he was an assistant professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology.

Dr. Devarakonda obtained his medical degree at the Osmania Medical College in India and his Master’s in Public Health from West Virginia University. He completed his Hematology/Oncology fellowship at LSU Health Sciences Center, where he was also chief fellow. Dr. Devarakonda completed his internal medicine residency training at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital in Pennsylvania, he was a hospitalist for a year at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mississippi, and an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at LSU Health Sciences Center. He also served as the associate program director for the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program at LSU Health Sciences Center.

 

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Rashmi S. Goswami, MD, PhD, FRCPC, DABP, FCAP
Hematological Pathologist/Hematopathology Molecular Lead, Dept. of Laboratory Medicine and Molecular Diagnostics
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Toronto, CA

Rashmi Goswami, MD, PhD, FRCPC, DABP, FCAP, obtained her undergraduate degrees in genetics and medical microbiology from the University of Manitoba and her medical degree from the University of Toronto. She completed her residency in anatomical pathology at McGill University and returned to the University of Toronto to complete her PhD on the use of microRNAs as prognostic biomarkers in lymphoma. Dr. Goswami received clinical subspecialty training in hematopathology and molecular genetic pathology at the Vancouver General Hospital/British Columbia Cancer Agency and the MD Anderson Cancer Center. She holds U.S. board certification in both hematopathology and molecular genetic pathology.

Dr. Goswami is a member of the Association of Molecular Pathology (AMP), where she is the hematopathology representative on the AMP Clinical Practice Committee and serves on the AMP Molecular MRD Monitoring in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Working Group. This group is working to provide a comprehensive assessment of the clinical utility of molecular biomarkers in AML MRD monitoring in order to review available molecular test platforms and workflow considerations for clinical testing.

Dr. Goswami is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto.

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Fiona He, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN

Fiona He, MD, specializes in the treatment of patients with acute leukemias with chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and bone marrow transplantation. Her research interests include investigating immunotherapies for the treatment of acute leukemias in early-phase clinical trials and optimizing the clinical outcomes of older adults who receive intensive chemotherapy and transplantation by using geriatric assessment and testing biomarkers of accelerated aging. 

Dr. He received her MD at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, NH. She did her residency in internal medicine and did a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Minnesota.

Michael Kallen, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Michael Kallen, MD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. His areas of clinical practice are hematopathology, bone/soft tissue pathology, and general surgical pathology. His research focus is on the subclassification of rare tumors and improvements in diagnostic work. Other areas of interest include resident education.

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Madhurima (Rima) Koka, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine;
Associate Professor, Section of Hematology, Department of Pathology,
University of Maryland Medical Center
Baltimore, MD

As a pathologist, Madhurima Koka, MD, PhD, offers a unique perspective and new ideas on ongoing clinical trials based on her experience with morphology, immunophenotype, and molecular genetics. Furthermore, through her experience as a basic scientist, Dr. Koka learned the nuances of study design and data interpretation that allow for the application of scientific techniques to diagnosis and treat malignancies. She has particular interest in understanding the utility of molecular techniques in diagnosis and prognostication in lymphomas and leukemias. 

Dr. Koka works closely with hematologists and oncologists on various clinical-translational studies, which include the application of novel compounds in the treatment of acute leukemia and lymphomas. She is particularly interested in the use of immune-modulating agents and targeted immunotherapies in the treatment of these malignancies. Additionally, Dr. Koka is a co-investigator on a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded grant looking at the causes of childhood mortality in Mali, Africa. Dr. Koka has also provided pathologist support to numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded investigations through the University of Maryland cancer tissue repository.  

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Sandra E. Kurtin, PhD, ANP-C, AOCN
Nurse Practitioner, Hematology/Oncology
University of Arizona Cancer Center
Tucson, AZ

Sandra E. Kurtin, PhD, ANP-C, AOCN, is a PhD candidate, actively conducting her dissertation research on the use of mobile health applications aimed at improving health self-management among older adult cancer survivors and their caregivers. She is currently employed as a hematology/oncology nurse practitioner at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, and serves as an assistant professor of clinical medicine and adjunct clinical assistant professor of nursing at the University of Arizona.

Sandra is a member of the Advanced Practitioner Society for Hematology and Oncology (APSHO), American Society of Hematology (ASH), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), and Nightingale Honor Society. She was awarded the 2010 Arizona March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Award for Mentoring, and was recognized as the 2018 “Most Influential Nurse Mentor” in Tucson, Arizona. She has presented at numerous regional, national, and international lectures on oncology-related topics, including the pathobiology of cancer, differential diagnosis and risk adapted treatment, chemotherapy administration, symptom management, and clinical research.

She is an associate editor for The Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology, and is an editorial board member for JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics, The Oncology Nurse, Oncology: Nurse Edition, and the ASCO People Living with Cancer website. She is a founding board member and treasurer for APSHO, and has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Cancer Nursing, Clinical Leukemia, Blood, Leukemia Research, The Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology, and The Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.

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Zeba Niazi Singh, MBBS
Associate Professor, Department of Pathology
University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore
Baltimore, MD

Zeba Niazi Singh, MBBS is an Associate Professor of Pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore. Her academic and research interest is in myeloid malignancies, both acute and chronic, and specifically the progression of dysplastic, “preleukemic” marrow to overt leukemia, and therapy-related myeloid neoplasms. Her clinical and research interest is multiple myeloma and the development of secondary myeloid neoplasms occurring in the context of prior therapy for myeloma. She is interested in the genetic abnormalities and specifically in the advances in the techniques employed in evaluation of these abnormalities at the chromosome and gene level.

Dr. Singh attended The University of Chicago for her residency in Anatomic Pathology and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for a fellowship in Molecular Genetic Pathology. 

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Jeff O. Klaus, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacist, Hematologic Malignancies/Stem Cell Transplant, Department of Pharmacy
Barnes-Jewish Hospital
St. Louis, MS

Jeff Klaus, PharmD, BCPS, obtained his Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Houston College of Pharmacy and completed two years of pharmacy residency training at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Since completing residency training he has served as a clinical pharmacy specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and specializes in hematologic malignancies and hematopoietic cell transplantation. He serves as a preceptor for pharmacy residents in the Barnes-Jewish Hospital pharmacy residency programs, for pharmacy students from St. Louis College of Pharmacy and Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy, and is adjunct faculty at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, where he has delivered lectures on hematologic malignancies.

In his current role, he divides his time between direct patient care, education of pharmacy students and residents, facilitation of clinical research, and the conduct of retrospective research with a focus on the management of hematologic malignancies and infectious diseases.

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Kelly Terrell, MBA, BSN, RN, BMTCN
Patient Care Manager, Operations
Division of Leukemia and Stem Cell Transplantation
Barnes-Jewish Hospital
St. Louis, MO

Kelly Terrell, MBA, BSN, RN, BMTCN, is the nurse manager for the Stem Cell Transplant and Cell Therapy program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

She has nine years of experience in oncology, five of which have been in nursing leadership. Terrell has sat on several nurse advisory boards and has also had several abstracts published in the American Society of Hematology’s (ASH) peer-reviewed journal, Blood.

Kelly earned her bachelor of science degree from Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and her master of business administration degree from Webster University.

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Madeline Waldron, PharmD, BCOP
Pharmacy Clinical Specialist, Leukemia, Department of Pharmacy
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, OH

Madeline Waldron, PharmD, BCOP, is an oncology pharmacy specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, focusing on malignant hematology. Her clinical responsibilities include providing pharmacy services to patients with leukemia in inpatient and ambulatory settings. Dr. Waldron has been involved in clinical trial implementation and research to improve the quality of patient outcomes across transitions of care. She helped develop a collaborative practice agreement to provide additional support to patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Waldron oversees the hematology/oncology Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee at the Cleveland Clinic as well as several chemotherapy quality committees that are responsible for the review and implementation of new formulary agents, internal care path and guideline updates, and quality improvement projects. She works closely with hospital leadership to ensure cost-effective care across the continuum of cancer management.

Patient Advocacy Partner

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Nikki Yuill, LCSW
Director, Information Resource Center
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, National Office
Rye Brook, NY

Nikki Yuill is a bilingual (Spanish) Clinical Oncology Social Worker with more than 25 years of healthcare and oncology experience. She attended Purdue University in Indiana for her undergraduate degrees, and she completed her graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin.

Yuill has experience in blood cancers, solid tumors, andhematopoietic stem cell transplantation. She has extensive knowledge of and experience in advocacy, education, and support of blood cancer patients and their families. Yuill has a particular interest in adolescent and young adult cancer care, healthcare disparities, and serving the Latinx community.

Yuill is the director of the Information Resource Center at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), a global leader in the fight against cancer. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care. Yuill is a proud member of the AOSW (Association of Oncology Social Workers). In 2020 she was awarded the AOSW LLS Oncology-Hematology Lifetime Achievement Award because of her longstanding efforts on behalf of cancer patients.

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