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Home / Multidisciplinary Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Care / 2019 – 2020 Advisory Committee

2019 – 2020 Advisory Committee

Michael Borowitz, MD, PhD
Director, Division of Hematologic Pathology
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Baltimore, MD
Jane Dabney
Jane Dabney, LISW-S, OSW-C
Social Worker, Blood and Marrow Transplant Program
The Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, OH
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Firas El Chaer, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Hematology and Oncology
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

Firas El Chaer, MD, is a hematology and medical oncology specialist, and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Virginia, Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center.

In addition to infectious diseases in immunocompromised patients with cancer, Dr. El Chaer specializes in hematologic malignancies and stem cell transplantation, and has been working on improving the outcomes for acute leukemias in adults by focusing on targeted therapies and overcoming resistance mechanisms.

Dr. El Chaer completed a dedicated fellowship in infectious diseases—in which he is board certified—at Baylor College of Medicine and MD Anderson Cancer Center joint program. He is a recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Humanism Honor Society Award for role model physician teacher and excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion, and dedication to service.

Ashkan Emadi
Ashkan Emadi, MD, PhD
Professor, Medicine and Pharmacology
Associate Director for Clinical Research; Director, Clinical Research Shared Service
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Ashkan Emadi, MD, PhD, is a hematologist/medical oncologist, organic chemist, and professor of medicine and pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Marlene & Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC).

He has been working on changing the outcomes for acute leukemias in adults by designing, conducting, and analyzing rationally-based innovative strategies that will positively affect cures and translate into prolongation of meaningful survival. His in-depth knowledge and experience in organic chemistry and drug design, pre-clinical and clinical development, and drug approval covers the entire spectrum of drug development.

Dr. Emadi developed novel methodologies for the regiospecific synthesis of multiple naphthoquinone derivatives related to the natural product conocurvone, which exhibit HIV integrase inhibitory activity as well as anti-neoplastic activity. His clinical translational research is focused on exploiting and targeting glutamine and glucose metabolic pathways in neoplastic cells. He is the principal investigator of fully funded investigator-initiated clinical trials for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) involving tryptophan and glutamine metabolisms.

Dr. Emadi is a recipient of the Martin and Mary Kilpatrick Award for exceptional ability and promise in chemistry and outstanding achievement in chemical research.

Jeffrey Kendall (2)
Jeffrey Kendall, PsyD
Director, Oncology Support Services
University of Minnesota Cancer Care
Minneapolis, MN

Jeffrey Kendall, PsyD, has directed oncology supportive care departments within NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, academic medical centers, and community cancer centers for the past 20 years. He joined the University of Minnesota Cancer Care program in 2016 where he is dedicated to addressing the impact of cancer on individuals and families. Currently, his professional time is divided among direct patient care, program administration, program development, and research collaboration.

To raise awareness of the needs of cancer patients, he speaks nationally and internationally, and has published 38 journal articles and abstracts on topics related to psychosocial oncology and cancer survivorship. As a nationally recognized thought leader in his field, Dr. Kendall serves on committees for the American Psychosocial Oncology Society, the Association of Community Cancer Centers, the American Cancer Society as well as on the board of Suite Hope and A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation.

Dr. Kendall earned his degree from Indiana State University and completed his post-doctoral fellowship in psychosocial oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York.

Sandy Kurtin
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.

Jeff Klaus
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.

Patient Advocacy Partner

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Meredith Barnhart, PhD, LCSW-R, OSW-C
Director, Information Resource Center
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Rye Brook, NY

Meredith Barnhart, PhD, LCSW-R, OSW-C, is the director of the Information Resource Center at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). In her role, Dr. Barnhart oversees a team of information specialists who field inquiries from blood cancer patients and their loved ones. She and her team provide comprehensive, personalized, and up-to-date information on the blood cancers, treatment options that can include clinical trials, and support and financial resources.

Meredith has been awarded a Master's degree from Columbia University and a Doctor of Philosophy in social work from the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University. Her research focuses on the experiences and needs of families with multiple incidences of cancers. 

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