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Global Cancer Research and Control Seminar Series

This seminar series features talks by researchers and cancer control experts working in global oncology. The seminars provide opportunities for discussion and collaboration around impactful and innovative work that addresses cancer morbidity and mortality worldwide.    

Upcoming Seminars

Cancer Prevention and Control in Mexico:  Epidemiologic Research and Program Implementation 

Martin Lajous, M.D., Sc.D.
August 8, 2024 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM ET

Headshot of Dr. Martin Lajous

Martin Lajous, M.D., Sc.D.

Martin Lajous, M.D., Sc.D., is a medical doctor and cancer epidemiologist at the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Mexico. In this seminar, Dr. Lajous will review how researchers at INSP, as well as other institutions in Mexico, are tackling the burden of gynecologic, breast, colorectal, and liver cancers through epidemiologic research and program development.  

Dr. Lajous received his medical degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and Master’s and Doctoral degrees in epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Lajous acts as a Faculty-Researcher at INSP in Mexico since his appointment in 2004. In addition, he is an adjunct professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. At INSP he helped design and develop the Mexican Teachers’ Cohort (MTC) and now serves as its principal investigator. MTC has since become part of the U.S. National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Cancer Cohort Consortium. Dr. Lajous teaches courses at INSP on cancer epidemiology, causal inference (methodologies and strategies that allow researchers to draw causal conclusions based on data), and implementation science. His research interests are cancer epidemiology and implementation of cancer prevention and control programs.


Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention in South Africa 

Jennifer Moodley 
October 10, 2024 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM ET

Tobacco Control in Armenia and Georgia 

Carla Berg 
November 14, 2024 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM ET

NCI Cooperative Trials Group (SWOG) Expansion in Latin America 

Marian Chavez-MacGregor
December 12, 2024 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM ET

Past Seminars

CAR T-Cell Therapy Development in India

Gaurav Narula, M.D., D.N.B. and Hasmukh Jain, M.D., D.M.
June 13, 2024 

CAR T-Cell Therapy Development in India

In this seminar, Gaurav Narula, M.D., D.N.B. and Hasmukh Jain, M.D., D.M., discussed the initiation and development of India's first CAR T-cell program. Drs. Narula and Jain covered early collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, development and results of the pediatric and adult trials, and commercial approval and roll-out. 

Dr. (Surgeon Commander) Gaurav Narula is Professor of Pediatric Oncology & Health Sciences at the Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) and Homi Bhabha National Institute in Mumbai. He graduated from the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune in 1987, and later completed his M.D. in pediatrics from the same institution in 1995. Followed by a Fellowship in hematology oncology from Tata Memorial Hospital in 2003. A veteran of the Indian Navy, Dr. Narula, served for 25 years as a Medical Officer in various Naval ships and hospitals. In 2012, he retired as Professor of Pediatrics & Hematology at INHS Asvini—the Apex referral multi-specialty hospital of the Indian Navy—and joined Tata Memorial Centre in his current appointment. Dr. Narula was convener of the Pediatric Hematolymphoid Group at TMC from 2015-18. This group manages more than 1,200 new cases of children with blood and lymphoid cancers every year. His interests are in immunotherapy and collaborative clinical trials for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), Hodgkin lymphoma & histiocytosis. He was principal investigator and part of the core team for ICiCLe 1 and 2—collaborative multi-center randomized clinical trials for childhood ALL. He is also Study Chair for a nation-wide multi-center randomized clinical trial in Pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma. Since 2015, Dr. Narula has been collaborating with IIT-B at Mumbai to develop the first CAR T product in India, which is now approved by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization to ImmunoACT. He was a member of the Clinical Advisory Group for the WHO Classification of Hematolymphoid Tumors (2022) and a co-author in the chapter on histiocytic disorders. He founded the Immuno-Oncology Society of India and serves as Treasurer. Dr. Narula was also the Founder of the Pediatric Hematology Oncology Journal (PHOJ)—the official journal of the PHO Chapter of Indian Academy of Pediatrics and was Editor-in-Chief from its inception in 2015, until 2021. 

Dr. Hasmukh Jain is a Medical Oncologist in the Adult Hematolymphoid and Cell Therapy Unit at Tata Memorial Hospital. Dr. Jain obtained a M.D. in general medicine from Kasturba Medical College and D.M. in medical oncology from Tata Memorial Centre. His primary research focus is acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), Hodgkin lymphoma, cell therapy, and supportive care. He is a clinical primary investigator (PI) on several investigator-initiated trials and was the PI on the clinical trials that led to approval of the first CAR T-cell therapy product in India, in October 2023. His group is now working on ways to improve access of CAR T-cell therapy to Indian patients. Dr. Jain has taken part in numerous national and international conferences as a speaker and expert panelist.


Colorectal Cancer Screening, Biology, and Treatment in Nigeria

Isaac Alatise, M.D. and Peter Kingham, M.D.
April 11, 2024 

Colorectal Cancer Screening, Biology, and Treatment in Nigeria

In this seminar, Professor Olusegun Isaac Alatise, M.D. and T. Peter Kingham, M.D., discussed their research in colorectal cancer screening, biology, and treatment in Nigeria. Drs. Alatise and Kingham have conducted multiple prospective studies on cancer in Nigeria. Together they received a D43 grant in support of expanding cancer research capacity in Nigeria using team science. Drs. Alatise and Kingham also co-founded the African Research Group for Oncology (ARGO) in 2013, which runs a clinical database and biobank for colorectal and breast cancer.

Dr. Isaac Alatise is a Professor of Surgery in the College of Health Sciences at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Nigeria, he also acts as a Consultant General Surgeon at the OAU Teaching Hospital. He trained in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Dr. Alatise is a leader in surgical oncology and gastroenterology in Nigeria and has trained over thirty general surgeons interested in surgical oncology. He holds multiple positions in various cancer organizations and associations including—Secretary General of the Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Nigeria; Secretary General of the Nigeria Chapter of the International Hepatopancreatobiliary Association; Vice President (West Africa) of the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer; Membership on the American Society of Clinical Oncology African Regional Council; and Membership on The Lancet Oncology Commission on Global Cancer Surgery. In 2016, Dr. Alatise was selected as one of the “50 for 50” future cancer research leaders by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. He was awarded the prestigious Professor T.A.I. Grillo ‘Excellence in Research’ Award (2017) and a ‘Excellence in Grantsmanship’ award (2023) by Obafemi Awolowo University in recognition of his work. He has over 170 peer-reviewed publications and four book chapters. 

Dr. Peter Kingham obtained his undergraduate degree from Yale University and M.D. from SUNY Stony Brook Medical School. He completed his general surgery residency at New York University before he undertook a research fellowship in hepatic immunology in the DeMatteo Laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center in New York. After finishing residency, Dr. Kingham completed a two-year fellowship in surgical oncology at MSK prior to being appointed on the Hepatopancreatobiliary Service. Dr. Kingham acts as Director of the International Surgical Oncology Fellowship and the Global Oncology Fellowship. In 2015, he was appointed Director of Global Cancer Disparity Initiatives. In 2022, he was promoted to Professor. Dr Kingham’s primary research interest is determining how to improve cancer care for patients in low- and middle-income countries and colorectal cancer liver metastasis management. He has over 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals and authored 18 chapters.


Constructing a Culturally-Sensitive Palliative Care System:  The Importance and Methodology of Collaborative Design with Rwandan Community

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Constructing a Culturally-Sensitive Palliative Care System: Collaborative Design in Rwanda

Christian Ntizimira, M.D., MMSc., is the author of “The Safari Concept: An African Framework on End-of-Life Care” and Founder/Executive Director of the African Center for Research on End-of-Life Care

(ACREOL), a non-profit organization to bring socio-cultural equality through “Ubuntu in End-of-life Care” in Africa. He is a Fulbright alumni and graduated from Harvard Medical School, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. Dr. Ntizimira is also an alumnus of the Kofi Annan Global Health Leadership Programme, which aims to bring selected Africans to strategize, manage and lead public health programs that will transform public health in Africa.

Dr. Ntizimira is the winner of the prestigious Tällberg-Stervos Niarcos Foundation-Eliasson Global Leadership Prize 2021 for his passionate advocacy for palliative care in Rwanda and elsewhere in Africa, based on his deeply held belief that dignified end-of-life care is a human right.


Improving Diagnosis of Burkitt’s Lymphoma in East Africa

Thursday, November 16, 2023 

Improving Diagnosis of Burkitt’s Lymphoma in East Africa

Professor Anna Schuh, M.D., Ph.D., FRCP, FRCPath, completed academic and clinical hematology training in Oxford, United Kingdom. From 2006 to 2014, she acted as the clinical director of the hematology laboratories including molecular diagnostics of Oxford University NHS Hospital Trust, one of the largest NHS trusts in the UK. 

Since 2006, she has led over 50 early and late phase clinical trials in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) as a principle or chief investigator. A number of these have changed clinical practice for patients in the UK and worldwide. She served as chair of the UK CLL forum from 2015 to 2018, and as chair of the National Cancer Research Institute Collaborative Group for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia from 2018 to 2022, and was asked to join the board of the iwCLL in 2019 where she established the Global Partnership Committee.

Her main laboratory research interest is with the development, evaluation, and implementation of new technologies for precision diagnostics. Her research group published the first genome-wide longitudinal study of the changes in the genomic landscape of patients undergoing treatment for leukemia (Schuh A et al, Blood 2012) and subsequently led pivotal whole genome sequencing studies in collaboration with Genomics England (Klintman J et al, Blood 2021; Robbe P et al, Nat Genetics 2022).

In the last five years, her group has focused on evaluating whole genome sequencing of liquid biopsies for early cancer detection. She published the first ever deep whole genome analysis of circulating tumour DNA in solid tumours (Cutts A et al, Genomic Medicine 2017) and now oversees research programmes evaluating the clinical utility of liquid biopsies for early cancer diagnosis in the UK, Uganda and Tanzania.

Recognizing the lack of understanding of molecular diagnostics in the clinical community, she spearheaded the creation of an online and part-time Oxford Master’s Programme in Precision Cancer Medicine. She became a member of MUHAS faculty in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 2019 and actively contributes in their haematology MMed programme. In this role, she is the principle investigator of a 5 years programme funded by the UK’s National Institute of Health Global Health on Improving diagnosis of aggressive infection-related lymphomas in East Africa (AI-REAL).

Professor Schuh has authored or co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications. Her h-index is 49 with over 8000 citations since 2017. She holds a patent in non-invasive prenatal diagnosis of sickle cell disease, has been a co-founder of two biotechnology start-ups and most recently of Seren, a social enterprise to improve access to DNA-based diagnostic in sub-Saharan Africa. 


Genetics of Breast Cancer in Women of Latin American Heritage

Thursday, October 12, 2023 

Genetics of Breast Cancer in Women of Latin American Heritage

In this presentation, Dr. Laura Fejerman describes research that has linked genetic ancestry in women of Latin American origin with breast cancer risk, breast cancer subtype, and mortality and discuss genetic and non-genetic contributions to the observed patterns. She also highlighted the need for additional work to improve our understanding of the genetic contribution to breast cancer risk in diverse Latin American communities.

Laura Fejerman, Ph.D., is the Placer Breast Cancer Endowed Chair and Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine at the University of California Davis. She is the Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement, co-Director of the Women’s Cancer Care and Research Program (WeCARE), and co-Director of the Latinos United for Cancer Health Advancement (LUCHA) initiative at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. She completed her undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina and earned her Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology and M.Sc. in Human Biology at the University of Oxford, England.

Dr. Fejerman’s research focuses on the discovery of genetic and non-genetic factors that contribute to breast cancer risk and prognosis in Hispanic/Latina women. She built the Peruvian Genetics/Genomics of Breast Cancer (PEGEN-BC) Study collaborating with the Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Neoplasicas, Lima, Peru, which includes ~2,000 women with breast cancer. She also leads the Latin America Genetics and Genomics of Breast Cancer Consortium (LAGENO-BC) which brings together researchers from the U.S. and Latin American countries to study the genetics of breast cancer in women of Latin American heritage. Dr. Fejerman is passionate about eliminating cancer health disparities and dedicates part of her time to the development and implementation of cancer education and navigation programs tailored to underserved and under resourced communities in California.


Implementation Science to Improve Childhood Cancer Survival in LMICs

Thursday, September 28, 2023 

Global Cancer Research and Control Seminar: Implementation Science to Improve Childhood Cancer Survival in LMICs

This presentation describes the challenge of treatment-related mortality in resource-limited settings and explores the use of implementation science to improve childhood cancer survival in these settings. Drs. Agulnik, Acuña, and McKay will focus on work to implement and sustain one supportive care intervention (Pediatric Early Warning System—PEWS) to reduce mortality related to cancer treatment in resource-limited settings.

Asya Agulnik, M.D., M.P.H., is an Associate Member at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine, with a joint appointment in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Critical Care. Agulnik is the Director of the St. Jude Global Critical Care Program, Euro Regional Program, and SAFER Ukraine.

Dr. Agulnik obtained her undergraduate degree from Harvard University. She earned a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Berkeley and obtained her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Agulnik completed her residency in pediatrics through the Boston Combined Residency Program and pediatric critical care fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital. 

Dr. Agulnik is a clinician scientist, with clinical expertise in pediatric onco-critical care and research focused on how to implement, scale-up, and sustain interventions to hospital care and outcomes for children with cancer in resource-limited settings. She leads Proyecto EVAT, a quality improvement collaborative in Latin America to support implementation of Pediatric Early Warning Systems (PEWS)—an intervention to improve early identification of clinical deterioration in hospitalized children with cancer. Along with MPI Dr. Virginia McKay, was recently awarded an R37 to study sustainability of PEWS in resource-limited hospitals.

Carlos Acuña, M.D.,  is a pediatric intensivist and Chief of the Pediatric and Neonatal intensive care unit at Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital in Santiago, Chile. In addition, he serves as ECMO Program Director at the Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital in Santiago and Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics and Surgery at the University of Chile, ,Chile. Dr. Acuña is also a member of the steering committee, EVAT program, Global Critical Care Medicine Program at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 

Dr. Acuña  obtained his undergraduate and medical degree from the University of Chile where he also completed his residency in pediatrics and pediatric critical care. Dr Acuña  completed his training with a Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Tennessee Health Science Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Hospital in Memphis. 

Dr. Virginia McKay is assistant faculty in the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research focuses on the dissemination and implementation (D&I) of evidence-based practices, especially the sustainability and de-implementation of interventions. She serves as a principal and co-investigator on a wide mix of funding from the National Institutes of Health, Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality, and private foundations. She is a member of the leadership team for the Dissemination and Implementation Research Core at the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences at the Washington University School of Medicine and is the Assistant Director of Research with the Center for Public Health System Science at the Brown School. 


Development of Systemic Therapy in Head and Neck Cancer in the Indian Context

Thursday, June 8th, 2023

Development of Systemic Therapy in Head and Neck Cancer in the Indian Context

The development of systemic therapy in India provides unique challenges and also allows us opportunities to give unique solutions. These solutions need to be effective and easily accessible to our patients. In this seminar, Dr. Prabhash discussed work from his group around these opportunities and solutions. 

Dr. Kumar Prabhash, M.D., D.M. is a medical oncologist and Professor at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, India. His interests lie in head and neck cancer and lung cancer, especially the development of cost-effective treatments. Dr. Prabhash has approximately 400 publications. 


Tobacco Control Research in the Middle East and North Africa Region

Thursday, May 11th, 2023 

Tobacco Control Research in the Middle East and North Africa Region Video

In this seminar, Drs. Salloum and Nakkash discussed lessons learned from conducting tobacco control research in the Middle East and North Africa. The talk covered how research has supported progress in tobacco control implementation efforts and shared recommendations for approaches to address persisting challenges. 

Ramzi Salloum, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics at the University of Florida College of Medicine and the Director of the Learning Health System Program at the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. He received a Ph.D. in economics from Wayne State University and completed NCI-supported postdoctoral training in public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Salloum specializes in studying the implementation of evidence-based programs and policies in tobacco control and cancer prevention and control. Dr. Salloum’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Cancer Research UK, the International Research Development Centre, Florida Department of Health, and the Aetna Foundation. He is an author of over 170 peer-reviewed publications. Over the past decade, he has led an active research program in tobacco control in the US and internationally, with a special emphasis on the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Dr. Salloum currently serves as co-chair of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco’s Global Research Network. He is an expert panel member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Tobacco Consortium and a member of the State of Florida Cancer Control and Research Advisory Council.

Dr. Nakkash is a Professor at the Global and Community Health Department at the College of Public Health at George Mason University. She received her Dr.PH in Public Health Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Before coming to George Mason University in 2021 Dr. Nakkash was at the Health Promotion and Community Health Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, at the American University of Beirut. She coordinated the AUB Tobacco Control research group, was co-director of the WHO FCTC waterpipe tobacco smoking knowledge hub, and Associate Director of the Knowledge to Policy Center. Dr. Nakkash is a prevention science expert with global experience in tobacco control. Her publications range the local, regional, and international scope, focusing on the Eastern Mediterranean region. Her areas of expertise are tobacco, alcohol, and mental health promotion with a focus on youth and vulnerable populations. She has published on community-based participatory research as well as process evaluation and implementation research. In her work, she promotes civic and citizen engagement in health policymaking, and knowledge translation of evidence-based public health to inform interventions and policy. Dr. Nakkash’s research is supported by agencies such as the International Development Research Center (Canada), Wellcome Trust, (U.K), Cancer Research U.K, the National Institute of Mental Health (U.S), and the National Cancer Institute. 


The TRUST Cohort and Anal HPV and Cancer Control in Nigeria

Thursday, March 9th, 2023 

The TRUST Cohort and Anal HPV and Cancer Control in Nigeria

Rebecca Nowak, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor and an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB). She is also an Associate Member of the Population Science Program at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Sylvia Adebajo, MBBS, Ph.D. is a public health physician focused on communicable disease (primarily HIV) epidemiology. Dr. Adebajo is also the Country Director at the Maryland Global Initiative Corporation, Nigeria which is an affiliate of UMB and has a dual appointment with the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN). Drs. Nowak and Adebajo have been working together with IHVN to support the TRUST study, one of the largest cohorts of sexual and gender minorities (SGM) in sub-Saharan Africa. The TRUST cohort was initiated in 2012 in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria, and has made seminal contributions to key population research with 50 publications. Dr. Nowak focuses on HIV, human papillomavirus (HPV), and the prevention of anal cancer and Dr. Adebajo focuses on social determinants of HIV service delivery and health systems strengthening among SGM.

Drs. Nowak and Adebajo are building off the HIV prevention and care work of TRUST to bring cancer prevention through the IMPACT study, short for Integrated Model for the Prevention of Anal cancer using screen and Treat for HSIL. IMPACT will use implementation science to accelerate the rollout of a proven efficacious cancer-prevention strategy to a low-to-middle-income resource setting. Their long-term goals are to bring public health prevention strategies for SGM who are living longer with their HIV because of effective antiretroviral therapy but need a “trusted”-community venue to access healthcare professionals.

In this talk, Drs. Nowak and Adebajo described the TRUST cohort and key infrastructure that supported the introduction of cancer prevention. They provided background on the prevalence and persistence of HR-HPV for members of the cohort. Lastly, they described a 1-year anal cancer screening and treatment program nested within TRUST and how that led to the development of the IMPACT study.


Technologies to Improve Early Cancer Detection in Low Resource Settings:  From Idea to Field Evaluation

Friday, December 9, 2022 

Technologies to Improve Early Cancer Detection in Low Resource Settings: From Idea to Field Evaluation

Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ph.D. is the Rice University Malcolm Gillis University Professor of Bioengineering, the Director of Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health, and serves as the special advisor to the Provost on health-related research and educational initiatives. Her research has been instrumental in improving early detection of cancers and other diseases, especially in low-resources settings. She is currently working with colleagues and undergraduate students to develop a Nursery of the Future to provide technologies necessary to reduce neonatal death in sub-Saharan Africa to rates equivalent to the United States.

Richards-Kortum’s research has led to the development of 40 patents. She is author of the textbook Biomedical Engineering for Global Health (Cambridge University Press, 2010), more than 230 refereed research papers and 11 book chapters. Her teaching programs, research and collaborations have been supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (with more NIH grants than any other Rice professor), National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Defense, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Whitaker Foundation, and the Virginia and L.E. Simmons Family Foundation.

She is a member of numerous academic associations including the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, she has the rare distinction of dual membership in the National Academies. In 2016, The American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering (AIMBE) presented its highest honor, the Pierre Galletti Award to Dr. Richards-Kortum.

In 2008, she was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor and subsequently received a grant for the undergraduate global health program at Rice. This program won the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction from Science magazine and the Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation.

In this talk, Dr. Richards-Kortum describes lessons learned developing molecular and imaging-based technologies to improve the early detection of epithelial cancers in low-resource settings and recommendations for how to accelerate the translation of novel technologies to achieve global impact.


Palliative Care Research in India

Thursday, November 10, 2022 

Palliative Care Research in India

Dr. M.R. Rajagopal is the Director of Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Science, WHO Collaborating Center at Trivandrum, and Founder/Chairman of Pallium India. His initiatives to remove regulatory barriers to the availability of oral morphine for pain relief have contributed to the simplification of narcotic regulations and the amendment of the NDPS Act of India in 2014. His initiative has also contributed to the development of a government policy on palliative care in the state of Kerala in 2008 and the Government of India's National Palliative Care Strategy in 2012. 

In 2017, a documentary film titled "Hippocratic: 18 experiments in gently shaking the world" based on Dr. Rajagopal’s contributions to palliative care was released by Moonshine Agency, Australia.

Dr. Rajagopal’s honors include:

  • the Padma Shri, the third highest civilian award given annually by the Republic of India
  • the Alison Des Forges award by the “Human Rights Watch”
  • named one of the 30 most influential leaders in hospice and palliative medicine by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in 2017

Most recently, Dr. Rajagopal published his memoir, “Walk with the Weary,” describing his palliative care journey in 2022. 


Cervical Cancer Research and Control Efforts in South Africa

Thursday, October 6, 2022 

Cervical Cancer Research and Control Efforts in South Africa

Lynette Denny, MBChB, MMED (O&G), FCOG (SA), PhD, FRCOG (Ad Eud), Grand Councellor of Baobab (silver) is a gynecologic oncologist working in the field of cervical cancer prevention in collaboration with colleagues from Columbia University, New York since 1995. Dr. Denny began her collaboration with the intention of evaluating alternative strategies for the prevention of cervical cancer in low-resource settings. Cervical cancer was and remains the commonest cancer diagnosed among women living in poor countries due to the failure to either initiate or sustain cytology-based screening programs. Her group pioneered the search for alternative protocols for the prevention of cervical cancer in community-based research sites in townships just outside of Cape Town. Since that time, she has had extensive research experience in cervical cancer prevention, including three cross-sectional studies comparing different screening tests (such as HPV testing and VIA to cytology), a prophylactic HPV vaccine trial in HIV-positive women, and a therapeutic vaccine trial in HPV-negative women. She is currently engaged in an NCI-funded trial evaluating screen and treat with the HPV Xpert Cepheid HPV test and has added evaluation of Automated Visual Evaluation of the cervix in addition to point of care HPV testing in a screen and treat approach. Dr. Denny was appointed the director of the South Africa (SA) Medical Research Council Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre, with 5 years of guaranteed funding. Her team is now in the next phase of the development of the Centre and has another 3 years of funding. She became head of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology in 2013 and handed over the leadership of the Gynaecological Cancer Unit to Dr. Nomonde Mbatani who was second in charge. Dr. Denny's tenure as Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Cape Town, ended April 2022 and she is now a Professor, Special Projects, Department of O&G, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT. In November she was awarded the Order of the Baobab by the President of SA for ‘distinguished service’ to her country. She was a participant in the WHO Clinical Guidelines Group designed to produce recommendations for secondary prevention of cervical cancer and the use of HPV DNA/HPV mRNA testing as a primary screening test.


Models of Care and Implementation of Geriatric Oncology Care in Resource-Limited Settings

Thursday, September 8, 2022 

Models of Care and Implementation of Geriatric Oncology Care in Resource-Limited Settings

Enrique Soto Perez de Celis M.D., Ph.D., FASCO, is a researcher in medical science at the Department of Geriatrics of the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition (INCMNSZ) in Mexico City. There he leads the Cancer Care in the Elderly Clinic, the first multidisciplinary Geriatric Oncology clinic in Mexico. Dr. Soto is a past recipient of the Young Investigator Award (YIA) from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the CCF in 2015, and an ASCO Career Development Award (CDA) in 2019. He serves as the national representative of Mexico for the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) and is a member of the ASCO Board of Directors for the 2020-2025 period.


Transforming Global Access to Cancer Diagnostics: Report of the Lancet Commission on Diagnostics

Thursday, June 9, 2022 

Transforming Global Access to Cancer Diagnostics: Report of the Lancet Commission on Diagnostics

Susan Horton, Ph.D. is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She has held faculty appointments at the University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Waterloo in the area of global health economics. Her earlier work on the economics of nutrition is well known, and currently, she is focusing on non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries, particularly on cancer and diagnostics. She is co-Deputy Chair of the Lancet Commission on Diagnostics, which was published in October 2021. Her work on cancer includes several articles on the cost-effectiveness of childhood cancer treatment in various low- and middle-income countries, co-editing the volume on cancer in the Disease Control Priorities series, and a recent paper on the cost-effectiveness of multi-cancer early detection published in Cancer Volume 128 Supplement, 2022. Dr. Horton has worked in more than twenty low- and middle-income countries including Kenya, Tanzania, and Ghana, and consulted for over a dozen UN organizations, international development banks, and international research organizations. According to Google Scholar, there have been more than 20,000 citations of her work to date.

Shahin Sayed, MMed, FCPath-ECSA, FRCPath, is an Associate Professor & Consultant in anatomical pathology and cytology, in the Department of Pathology, Medical College, and the current Chair and Laboratory Director of Pathology at the Aga Khan University in Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. Sayed graduated from the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree. She holds a Master of Medicine in general pathology from the University of Nairobi where she was awarded the best student in pathology prize. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, United Kingdom, and a Fellow of the College of Pathologists of East Central and Southern Africa. Dr. Sayed is also the Secretary-General of the College of Pathologists of East Central and Southern Africa, Chair of the Academic Committee of the Senate - East Central and Southern African (ECSA) College of Health Sciences, Chair of the Board of Directors of African Strategies for Advancing Pathology (ASAP), and co-chair of the Technical Working Group (TWG) on Diagnostics for the Cancer Control Programme – Ministry of Health, Kenya (MoH). She serves as a steering committee member and Commissioner for the Lancet Commission on Diagnostics and a member of the Lancet Oncology Commission for Sub-Saharan Africa. She has also been a recent member of the WHO-SAGE IVD Committee (2019-2020). Dr. Sayed is a member of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). 

Dr. Sayed is in charge of the breast service at AKUHN. Her research interest spans onco-pathology with a special focus in breast cancer and solid haematolymphoid malignancies. She has recently been appointed as a standing member of the WHO Classification of Tumours Editorial Board. She has several grants and peer-reviewed publications in her area of research interest. She has also led research initiatives and interventions that have developed a sustainable model of community-based engagement to improve breast cancer screening and diagnosis.


Every Child, Everywhere: A Global Movement for Childhood Cancer

Thursday, May 12, 2022 

Every Child, Everywhere: A Global Movement for Childhood Cancer

Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, M.D., serves as director of St. Jude Global and chair of the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine. He is also an executive vice president and holds the Four Stars of Chicago Endowed Chair in International Pediatric Research. 

Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo is leading an effort by St. Jude to ensure childhood cancer patients have access to quality care no matter where they live. 

A native of Barcelona, Spain, Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo first came to St. Jude in 1994 as a postdoctoral fellow. He went on to serve as a clinical researcher and faculty member for more than a decade before accepting a position in Boston. At the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital, he was director of the Pediatric Solid Tumor Program, medical director of the Clinical and Translational Investigations Program, and director of the Global Health Initiative in Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders. He also served as professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. 

In 2015, Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo returned to Memphis to lead a new Department of Global Pediatric Medicine and a new initiative, St. Jude Global. At that time, St. Jude had 24 partner sites in 17 countries and addressed 2.4% of the global childhood cancer burden. Under Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo’s leadership, the program aims to expand St. Jude’s reach to 30% in the next decade and to develop intervention models to ensure access to quality care for all children with cancer in the world. At present, the St. Jude Global Alliance includes more than 170 institutions from more than 60 countries. Additionally, Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo led an institutional effort to become the first World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Childhood Cancer. As part of this partnership, the World Health Organization and St. Jude are collaborating with other organizations on the Global Initiative in Childhood Cancer. 

Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo’s areas of clinical research and expertise include retinoblastoma, sarcomas, rare cancers, and histiocytic disorders. He has served as chair of the Rare Tumor Committee of the Children’s Oncology Group and the president of the Histiocyte Society and has been the principal investigator of several institutional, national, and international trials. Dr. Rodriguez-Galindo earned his medical degree from the Autonomous University of Barcelona.


Towards Cervical Cancer Elimination: Implementation and Scale-Up of a Single-Visit, Screen-and-Treat Approach with Thermal Ablation for Sustainable Cervical Cancer Prevention Services in Kenya

Thursday, April 14, 2022 

Towards Cervical Cancer Elimination: Implementation and Scale-Up of a Single-Visit, Screen-and-Treat Approach with Thermal Ablation for Sustainable Cervical Cancer Prevention Services in Kenya

Professor Nelly Mugo is a reproductive health specialist with over 27 years of clinical experience and two decades in clinical research. She is actively engaged in clinical trial research, with a focus on HIV and cervical cancer prevention research. Dr. Mugo has worked on HIV and cervical cancer prevention research for over two decades. Dr. Mugo is the principal investigator on a five-year NIH-funded grant: Towards Cervical Cancer Elimination: Implementation and Scale-Up of a Single-Visit, Screen-and-Treat Approach with Thermal Ablation for Sustainable Cervical Cancer Prevention Services in Kenya. She was an investigator for the Partners PrEP studies, which informed the change in indication for Truvada as HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis. At the Kenyatta National Hospital, she provided clinical services and trained specialists on clinical techniques for the management of cervical intraepithelial lesions for over 12 years. Dr. Mugo has conducted observational HPV studies among sex workers in Kenya, evaluation of cervical cancer screening and treatment interventions among HIV-infected women, HPV vaccine trials among adolescents, and is currently a principal investigator in a study in Kenya evaluating "single-dose HPV vaccine" KENSHE. Dr. Mugo leads a clinical trial unit, PHRD-CCR-KEMRI, in Thika, Kenya. She holds a dual position as an associate research professor at the Department of Global Health, University of Washington, and is a senior principal clinical research scientist at the Center for Clinical Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute.


Financial Toxicity Following Cancer in Low- and Middle-income Countries

Thursday, February 10, 2022 

Financial Toxicity Following Cancer in Low- and Middle-income Countries

Dr. Nirmala Bhoo Pathy works as an associate professor of epidemiology in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, and practices as a public health physician at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre, Malaysia. She is also a visiting scholar at Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom since 2014. Dr. Bhoo Pathy’s career is focused on optimizing life after cancer in resource-limited settings through research and advocacy. She is particularly interested in the state of cancer control in low- and middle-income countries and enhancing treatment outcomes and patient-centered outcomes in these settings.

Notably, Dr. Bhoo Pathy was the principal investigator of phase 3 of the Asean CosTs In ONcology (ACTION) study, comprising close to 10,000 cancer patients from eight low- and middle-income member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations. The study has been crucial in providing country-specific evidence for Southeast Asian nations to prioritize policies and develop local solutions to reduce the financial loss and premature deaths associated with cancer.

Dr. Bhoo Pathy currently serves on two Lancet Commissions, namely the Lancet Commission on Women and Cancer, and the Lancet Commission on Cancer and Health Systems. Besides her involvement in these commissions, she is a member of the COVID-19 and Cancer Taskforce, a globally representative group of cancer leaders who are gravely concerned that decisions made under the duress of the pandemic will have momentous consequences for cancer mortality for years to come.


The Challenge of Early Detection of Breast Cancer in Mexico

Thursday, January 13, 2022 

The Challenge of Early Detection of Breast Cancer in Mexico

Dr. Karla Unger-Saldaña is a Mexican National Council of Science and Technology researcher working at the National Cancer Institute of Mexico in Mexico City since 2014. She is also currently a remote fellow in International Health (2020–2022) at the Takemi Program, Harvard School of Public Health. After her postgraduate studies in Health Systems, she worked for five years with a local nongovernmental organization where she designed and operated programs to promote breast cancer awareness and facilitate access to screening in highly marginalized settings across Mexico. Her research has focused on understanding late diagnosis and delayed access to treatment of breast cancer in Mexico, where the majority of cases start treatment in advanced stages. Her findings suggest that the largest proportion of delay is not due to the patients’ postponement of seeking care but to quality problems and access barriers that hinder the diagnostic and referral processes after the patient’s first contact with medical services.


Advancing Tobacco Use Treatment in Viet Nam: Health Systems and Population-Based Research

November 2nd, 2021 

Advancing Tobacco Use Treatment in Viet Nam: Health Systems and Population-Based Research

Drs. Donna Shelley and Nam Nguyen will present a community health center study and findings from an R21 grant award that developed a text messaging program. 

Dr. Donna Shelley is a professor of public health policy and management, vice chair for research, and director of the Global Center for Implementation Science in the Department of Public Health Policy and Management at the New York University School of Global Public Health. She is also colead of the Epidemiology and Cancer Control Program for the New York University Perlmutter Cancer Center. Dr. Shelley has built a program of translational, population-based, and policy-relevant research that aims to optimize dissemination, implementation, and scale-up of tobacco use treatment in safety-net health care delivery systems in the United States and Viet Nam. She applies implementation research methods to study the influence of organizational and individual-level factors on implementation of evidence-based tobacco policies and practices and tests strategies for addressing barriers to implementation in a wide range of settings, including health care systems, communities, and public housing. Dr. Shelley received her medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and M.P.H. in Health Policy and Management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Dr. Nam Nguyen is the founder and director of the Institute of Social and Medical Studies, a research institute based in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, with expertise in conducting public health research to provide evidence to inform developing, planning, and implementing strategies, policies, and programs to advance public health in Viet Nam. Dr. Nguyen received his medical degree from Hanoi Medical University and his Master of Public Health and Doctor of Public Health degrees from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Nguyen’s research interests include, but are not limited to HIV/AIDs, sexual and reproductive health, gender and sexuality, communicable diseases, noncommunicable disease, and tobacco cessation. He has served as principal or co-investigator for more than 35 large-scale quantitative and qualitative studies employing a broad spectrum of research methodologies and with funding from a wide range of donors such as Atlantic Philanthropies, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, FHI360, International Food Policy Research Institute, Population Council, PATH, the World Bank, USAID/PEPFAR, and the National Institutes of Health.


Introduction of HPV Testing and HPV Self-Collection in Argentina: Results From the Evidence

September 14th, 2021

Global Cancer Research and Control Seminar Series - Introduction of HPV Testing and HPV Self-Collection in Argentina: Results From the Evidence

Silvina Arrossi, M.Sc., Ph.D., is a senior researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technological Research and at the Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad, Argentina. From 2008–2018 she served as the scientific coordinator of the National Program on Cervical Cancer Prevention, Argentina, and since 2019 as a member of its Scientific Committee. Dr. Arrossi is the principal investigator of several national and international research projects aimed at improving the prevention of cervical cancer. Currently, she serves as a consultant to the World Health Organization in the area of cancer control program organization and management. In addition, she serves as a member of the American Association for Cancer Research Regional Advisory Board for Latin America and of the “Initiative for a global data repository on Cancer Screening in 5 Continents (CanScreen5)” Advisory Board led by IARC-WHO. Dr. Arrossi also serves as an adviser of ministries of health of several Latin American countries.

Dr. Arrossi's main areas of research include the organization of cancer prevention and control programs, the analysis of social inequalities in access to health services, and the social and economic cost of cancer. Her publications include papers in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and programmatic materials.


The National Cancer Grid, India: Eliminating Disparities in Cancer Care 

July 13th, 2021

Global Cancer Research and Control Seminar Series - The National Cancer Grid, India

Dr. C. S. Pramesh is the director of the Tata Memorial Hospital and the professor and head of thoracic surgery at the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Union for International Cancer Control. He is the convener for the National Cancer Grid, a large network of 244 cancer centers in India. The mandate of the National Cancer Grid is to provide uniform standards of cancer care across the country. Dr. Pramesh is highly committed to efforts towards reducing inequities in cancer care and making cancer treatment accessible to all geographic regions and strata of society. He is also a visiting professor at the Division of Cancer Studies, King’s College London and the Institute of Cancer Policy, King’s Health Partners, London.

His clinical interests include the management of esophageal and lung cancers and minimally invasive surgery. He is the principal investigator in several investigator-initiated research studies including randomized trials on cancer screening, surgical techniques, neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment of thoracic cancers. His broader research interests include cancer policy, health equity, value-based care, and health services research. He has more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, abstracts, and book chapters on various topics including thoracic oncology, clinical research methods, translational research, health equity, and cancer policy.

Professor Pramesh has strong interests in clinical trial designs, surgical trials, comparative effectiveness research, promoting collaborative research, and cancer policy. He has completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Trials offered by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London. He is keen on promoting training in clinical research methods and conducts several courses on clinical research methodology, biostatistics, and scientific writing. He serves on the advisory boards of several national and international research organizations and granting agencies.


Breast Cancer Survival in Sub-Saharan Africa

May 4th, 2021

Global Cancer Research and Control Seminar Series – Breast Cancer Survival in sub-Saharan Africa

Dr. Valerie McCormack and Mr. Steady Chasimpha are epidemiologists based at the International Agency for Research on Cancer and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine respectively. Their research is focused mostly on cancer epidemiology in sub-Saharan Africa, including on cancers contributing to excessive premature mortality in the region. This work includes contextual studies of the reasons—biological, societal, and health systems—for low breast cancer survival as well as etiological research on esophageal cancer.

The African Breast Cancer Disparities in Outcomes study is a breast cancer cohort initiated in 2014 across 5 sub-Saharan African countries and has quantified the factors that need to be tackled to avoid breast cancers. The study also provides unique information on quality of life and the intergenerational impact of cancer deaths.

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