TACOS 2021-2023 Board of Directors


Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD
Interim Chief, Cancer Medicine Division; Chief, Clinical Research Division
Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center

Tomislav [Tom] Dragovich, MD, PhD, is interim chief of the cancer medicine division, and chief of the clinical research division at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center. His clinical expertise is in gastrointestinal malignancies (gastric, esophageal, pancreatic, hepatobiliary, and colorectal cancers) and cancer therapeutics research.

Dr. Dragovich's current areas of focus include the effective delivery of cancer care in a patient-centered community setting, and easing access to clinical trials for patients with cancer. 


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.


Chad C. Cherington, MD
Medical Oncologist and Hematologist
Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers

Chad Cherington, MD, joined Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers in July 2016 after completing his fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Cherington has presented research at the American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Society of Hematology, and authored several research articles. He is a recipient of the Gold Humanism Award, for his personal characteristics that colleagues would look for in a physician for themselves or their family members. 

Early in his youth, Dr. Cherington developed a passion to fight cancer when a childhood friend was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor. His friend’s cancer was aggressive, and her life was ultimately lost, but her tumor cells were donated to research new therapies. Years later, Dr. Cherington spent time at Barrow Neurological Institute investigating cell lines that most likely included his friend’s saved cells. The fire that was ignited as a child was further fueled when Dr. Cherington’s step-sister lost her life to cancer as a young adult.

Immediate Past President

Mahesh Seetharam, MD, FACP, MBBS
Assistant Professor and Consultant
Mayo Clinic Arizona
Phoenix, AZ

Mahesh Seetharam, MD, FACP, MBBS, is a hematology oncologist and director of oncology for the Early Therapeutics Program at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. He specializes in sarcoma and cutaneous malignancies.

Dr. Seetharam earned his medical degree from Government Mysore Medical College in Mysore, India. He completed a year of research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, before pursuing his internal medicine residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. He completed his hematology/oncology fellowship at Stanford University.


Rajesh Bagai, MD
Medical Oncologist/Hematologist
Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers

Rajesh Bagai, MD, joined Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers in August 2013. He earned his medical degree at the age of 23 from Northeast Ohio Medical University, having completed the six-year honors program in medicine. He completed residency and fellowship training at University Hospitals of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. 

During his time at these institutions, he participated in clinical research trials to develop novel treatment strategies and has presented his findings at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.

Dr. Bagai is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, and the American Medical Association. He specializes in several solid tumors and hematologic disorders. He is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology. In 2018, Dr. Bagai was recognized as one of Phoenix Magazine’s Top Doctors.

Manpreet K. Chadha, MD
Medical Oncologist
Palo Verde Cancer Specialists
Glendale, AZ

Manpreet K. Chadha, MD, is a medical oncologist at Palo Verde Cancer Specialists in Glendale, Arizona. She has worked as an assistant investigator at TGen Clinical Research Services at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. During her time at TGen, she was the principal and co-investigator in various Phase I, II and III studies involving new therapeutics for patients with advanced cancer. She has been serving on The Arizona Community Oncology Society Board of Directors for the past 2 years.

Dr. Chadha earned her medical degree at Maulana Azad Medical College in Delhi, India. She completed her fellowship in medical oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. She is also fellowship trained in Integrative Medicine.

Ian DeRoock, MD
Medical Oncologist/Hematologist
Ironwood Cancer & Research Center

Ian DeRoock, MD, joined Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers in 2009 after completing a residency in internal medicine followed by a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of California at Davis. He previously earned his medical degree at the University of Arizona, and is board certified in internal medicine, hematology, and medical oncology.

Dr. DeRoock has been active in developing clinical trials for pancreatic cancer and lymphoma and has presented his research findings at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting as well as the Annual Pan-Pacific Lymphoma Conference. He specializes in all adult cancers and hematologic disorders.

Sharad Khurana, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of Arizona Cancer Center

Sharad Khurana, MD, MSc, is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. After obtaining his medical degree from the Grant Government Medical College in Mumbai, he trained in internal medicine from the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County in Chicago, where he simultaneously graduated from the Rush University completing a masters in clinical research. He is board certified in internal medicine and completed his hematology-oncology fellowship from the Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville campus in Florida. He is a faculty member at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, practicing as a hematologist with focus in management of Acute Leukemias and Bone Marrow transplant/Cellular therapies. Dr. Khurana is oncology and hematology board certified.

Jody Pelusi, PhD, FNP, AOCNP
Oncology Nurse Practitioner
HonorHealth Research Institute

Jody Pelusi, PhD, FNP, AOCNP, is an oncology nurse practitioner at Honor Health Research Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she cares for oncology patients undergoing phase 1 clinical trials and standard of care therapies. 

Dr. Pelusi is recognized as an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner by the National Oncology Nursing Society.  She has 47+ years of experience in oncology care in a multitude of settings. Her research focuses on long-term cancer survivorship issues, educational needs of cancer caregivers, cancer genetics, and implementation of oral chemotherapy medication programs into private practice.

Dr. Pelusi has had a 4-year appointment to the FDA’s Oncological Drug Advisory Committee where she was the first nurse and first non physician to serve on this Committee. She also served on the FDA‘s ODAC Pediatric and Quality of Life subcommittees. She has previously served on the National Oncology Nursing Society’s Board of Directors and is currently on the Governing Board of the Intercultural Cancer Council. 

Alejandro Recio Boiles, MD, FACP
Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of Arizona Comprehensive Cancer Center
Tucson, AZ

Alejandro Recio Boiles, MD, FACP, is an assistant professor of medicine and a genitourinary clinical researcher at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. He serves in the Arizona Chapter planning committee, The Arizona Clinical Oncology Society- Board of Directors, and is involved in multiple NGOs like Fundacion Mexico and Tucson Sister Cities Board, with goals to target Community Outreach and Education to impact Health Care Disparities.

Dr. Recio Boiles earned his medical degree at Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí, Mexico. He completed his internal medicine residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, New York and his fellowship at the University of Arizona WSHIP University of Arizona Hematology & Medical Oncology Training Fellowship Program.

Ruth Walker-Simelton, MBA
Practice Manager
American Oncology Network/Pinal Cancer & Surgery Center
Casa Grande, AZ


Emeritus Trustees

Patrick J. Donovan, MD, FACP

Patrick J. Donovan, MD, FACP, is certified by the American Board of Medical Oncology and American Board of Internal Medicine. He is a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American Society of Internal Medicine, and American Society of Clinical Oncology. His special interests include breast cancer, lymphomas, and melanoma.

Albert G. Wendt, MD
Medical Oncologist
Dignity Health

Albert Guy Wendt, MD, is a medical oncologist in the University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. Dr. Wendt is board certified in both internal medicine and medical oncology. His expertise includes breast cancer risk assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. He is a member of the American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He was also the  President of the Arizona Clinical Oncology Society from 2003-2007.

Appointed Fellow

Charles Gaulin, MBBS
Hematology/Oncology Fellow
Mayo Clinic, College of Medicine and Science

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