Contact & Staff Bios

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Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities
National Cancer Institute 
9609 Medical Center Drive, MSC 9746 
Sixth Floor, West Tower
Bethesda, MD 20892
Office Phone: 240-276-6170
Office Fax: 240-276-7862

Email:nci-crchd@mail.nih.gov

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Learn more about CRCHD offices and branches

Staff Contacts by Offices & Branches

Office of the Director

Name Email & Office Phone Number Office Room
Sanya A. Springfield, Ph.D.
Director

springfs@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-6170

6W110
H. Nelson Aguila, D.V.M.
Deputy Director

aguilah@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-6170

6W102
Mary Ann Van Duyn, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Associate Deputy Director for Integration

vanduynm@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-6165

6W108
Jason Liu, Ph.D.
Program Director

liuj9@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-6253

6W222
Hana Odeh, Ph.D.
Program Director

odehhm@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-5572

6W252
Emmanuel Taylor, M.Sc., Dr.P.H.
Program Director

taylorem@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-6159

6W242
Tiffany Wallace, Ph.D.
Program Director

wallaceti@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-5114

6W256
Dionne Burt
Program Analyst

burtd@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-6174

6W206

Victoria Coan
Program Specialist

victoria.coan@nih.gov

(240) 276-7659

6W226
Janice Jeter (C)
Program Analyst

jeterj@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-6245

6W212
Dawn Reid (C)
Program Specialist

dawn.reid@nih.gov

(240) 276-7689

6W220
Fred Snyder, M.A. (C)
Senior Evaluation Researcher

fsnyder@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-6246

6W208
Jennifer Wiles, M.P.H. (C)
Communications Associate

jennifer.wiles@nih.gov

(240) 276-5722

6W214

Diversity Training Branch (DTB)

Name Email & Office Phone Number Office Room
Peter Ogunbiyi, Ph.D., D.V.M.
Chief

ogunbiyp@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-6176

6W106

Davyd Chung, Ph.D.
Program Director

davyd.chung@nih.gov

(240) 276-6921

6W228
Behrous Davani, Ph.D.
Program Director

behrous.davani@nih.gov

(240) 276-6098

6W240
Alison Lin, Ph.D.
Program Director

linaj@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-6177

6W236
Nicole McNeil-Ford, Ph.D.
Program Director

mcneiln@mail.nih.gov

(240-276-6674

6W246
John Ojeifo, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.
Program Director

ojeifojo@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-6186

6W234
Elena Schwartz, Ph.D., M.S.
Program Director

elena.schwartz@nih.gov

(240) 276-6186

6W206
Abigail Soyombo, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Program Director

abigail.soyombo@nih.gov

(240) 276-6553

6W256

Rita LaPointe, M.B.A
Program Analyst

rita.lapointe@nih.gov

(240) 276-5099

6W230
Susan Macharia
Program Specialist

machariasn@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-6256

6W232

Integrated Networks Branch (INB)

Name Email & Office Phone Number Office Room
LeeAnn Bailey, M.B.B.S, Ph.D., M.S.
Chief

leeann.bailey@nih.gov

(240) 276-5337

6W104

Natasha-Ann B. Knight, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Program Director

natasha.brown2@nih.gov

(240) 276-5052

6W254
Elizabeth Perruccio, Ph.D., M.S.
Program Director

liz.perruccio@nih.gov

(240) 276-6178

6W238
Sandra L. San Miguel, M.S. (C)
Program Director

sandra.sanmiguel@nih.gov

(240) 276-5977

6W218
Anil Wali, Ph.D.
Program Director

walia@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-6183

6W248
Damiya E. Whitaker, Psy.D., M.A.
Program Director

damiya.whitaker@nih.gov

(240)276-5806

6W244
Molly Boyajian (C)
Program Specialist

boyajianm@mail.nih.gov

(240) 276-6248

6W204
Casey Owens, M.P.H. (C)
Program Analyst

casey.owens@nih.gov

6W202

(C) indicates contract staff

Staff Bios

Office of the Director

Sanya A. Springfield (Ph.D.) – Director

Dr. Springfield is Director of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI's) Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD). In this role, since 2006, she provides leadership and direction to CRCHD’s mission to coordinate and strengthen NCI’s cancer research portfolio in basic, clinical, and population-based sciences addressing disparities, and leads NCI’s efforts to train students and investigators from underrepresented populations in cancer and cancer health disparities research. She serves on a number of scientific and advisory boards, is a member of the American Associate of Cancer Research (AACR), and has served as an ex officio member of the AACR Minorities in Cancer Research.

Dr. Springfield serves in a leadership position at the NCI as a member of the Scientific Program Leaders where she champions the need for continued support for diversity training and education programs. She also serves on a variety of trans-NIH scientific and programmatic committees, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (Build) initiative and the NIH Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) program. She has trained and mentored a large number of junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows, post-baccalaureate students and high school students from underrepresented backgrounds who have gone onto successful scientific careers. 

Previously, Dr. Springfield was chief of the current NCI Diversity Training Branch (DTB), where she developed and oversaw the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) program and the Minority Institution/Cancer Center Partnership (MI/CCP), now known as Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (PACHE).

Dr. Springfield received her Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and was awarded a National Research Service Award (F32) for postdoctoral studies in the Department of Pharmacology at the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine in Piscataway, N.J.

H. Nelson Aguila (D.V.M.) – Deputy Director

H. Nelson Aguila is Deputy Director of NCI’s CRCHD. In this capacity, Dr. Aguila plays a central role in coordinating the day-to-day functions of the Center and development of strategic planning, priority-setting and management of CRCHD’s disparities research, diversity training, and community education/outreach efforts.

Previously, Dr. Aguila served as chief of CRCHD's Diversity Training Branch. Prior to coming to NIH, Dr. Aguila worked at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Reviewer Toxicologist at the Center for Veterinary Medicine. Earlier in his career, Dr. Aguila held senior research scientist positions in neuropathology at the University of Miami and later in cancer gene therapy at Aventis-Gencell.

Dr. Aguila earned his doctor of veterinary medicine degree at Austral University in Chile and trained as a neurobiologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

Mary Ann S. Van Duyn (Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., L.D.) – Associate Deputy Director for Integration

Mary Ann S. Van Duyn is Associate Deputy Director for Integration of NCI’s CRCHD. In this capacity, Dr. Van Duyn provides leadership, working with extramural staff, for the integration of NCI-supported disparities research and diversity training across the NCI, and within the disparities research and outreach communities, through the Center’s network-based initiatives. She also leads CRCHD’s efforts in knowledge transfer and exchange through active dissemination of information, products, and evidence-based programs for cancer health disparities reduction to the public and scientific community.

Before joining the NIH, Dr. Van Duyn's work focused on the development, implementation, and assessment of cancer prevention programs for diverse and underserved populations, and on the development of information delivery systems at community, national, and international levels. 

Dr. Van Duyn received a B.S. from Cornell University, an M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Ph.D. in population and behavioral sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her training also includes a clinical care and delivery-focused internship from the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is the author of more than 25 articles published in the scientific literature, and has presented her work both nationally and internationally.

Emmanuel A. Taylor (M.Sc., Dr.P.H.) – Program Director

Emmanuel A. Taylor is a Program Director in the Office of the Director of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2004. In this role, Dr. Taylor provides technical and scientific expertise to the evaluation of programs within the Center.

Prior to joining CRCHD, Dr. Taylor was President and CEO of Health Information Management Associates (HIMA), Inc. While at HIMA, Inc., he served as the chief epidemiologist and director of health informatics, research and program evaluation at HIMA. He was an Associate Professor of Public Health at Morgan State University, and Senior Epidemiologist for Minority Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Taylor received his doctorate in International Health/Epidemiology from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, with a specialty in the application of epidemiological methods for planning and evaluation of public health programs; a M.Sc. in Health Education and Communications, and a B.S. in Pre-med/Biology from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Jiexin (Jason) Liu (Ph.D., M.B.A, M.S.) – Program Director

Jason Liu is a Program Director in Office of the Director of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2013. In this role, Dr. Liu contributes to the identification of performance measures, design of data collection instruments, and conducts analyses to evaluate the impact of CRCHD-funded programs aimed at reducing cancer health disparities and increasing biomedical workforce diversity. In addition, Dr. Liu contributes to the grants management of CRCHD’s Research Conference Awards (R13).

Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Liu served as a CRCHD onsite contractor as biostatistician and program evaluation researcher conducting program evaluation.

Dr. Liu received his Ph.D. in health services research, policy, and administration from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. He earned his M.S. in chemistry and M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Liu completed his B.S. in pharmacy from the Shenyang College of Pharmacy in China.

Hana Odeh (Ph.D.) – Program Director

Hana Odeh is a Program Director in the Office of the Director of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2016. In this role, Dr. Odeh’s primary responsibility is Training Navigation for the Center’s funding opportunities.

Prior to joining CRCHD, Dr. Odeh was a Project Manager in the Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research Branch at the NCI providing project management and experimental design support for projects within the Biospecimen Pre-Analytical Variables program. Before moving to the NCI, Dr. Odeh served as a Program Analyst for the NHLBI’s Office of the Scientific Director (OSD). In the OSD, she participated in the annual Board of Scientific Counselors site review process, managed the invitation of extramural ad-hoc reviewers and implemented new scientific review processes. In addition, Dr. Odeh worked directly with the chair of the Promotion and Tenure committee and other NHLBI investigators to review all staff appointments, promotions, and tenure conversion applications for scientific merit and participated in a developing a performance evaluation program for all GS-level biologists.

Dr. Odeh received her Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Michigan and completed her postdoctoral studies in the molecular analysis of breast and prostate cancer.

Tiffany Wallace (Ph.D.) – Program Director

Tiffany Wallace is a Program Director in the Office of the Director of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2014. In this role, Dr. Wallace contributes to CRCHD’s programmatic efforts to strengthen NCI’s cancer health disparity research portfolio, encompassing basic, clinical, translational, and population-based research. Additional roles include contributing to the grant management of basic cancer research in cancer health disparities and representing CRCHD in the NCI’s Provocative Questions Initiative.

Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Wallace was an Oncology Scientist at Human Genome Sciences (HGS), a biopharmaceutical corporation acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2011. While at HGS she managed oncology research programs and conducted preclinical development of promising cancer therapeutic drugs and biologics. 

Dr. Wallace received her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of Florida in Gainesville. She completed her postdoctoral training in the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis at NCI, where she conducted basic and translational research that provided novel insights on the role of biological factors as they contribute to cancer health disparities. Her research included identification of biomarkers of aggressive disease in prostate and breast cancers, with a focus on variations between different racial/ethnic groups.

Diversity Training Branch (DTB)

Peter Ogunbiyi (Ph.D., D.V.M.) – Chief

Peter Ogunbiyi is Chief of the Diversity Training Branch, formerly the Comprehensive Minority Biomedical Branch, of the NCI's CRCHD. In this capacity, he coordinates existing and establishes new training, outreach, and career development programs designed to increase the number of underrepresented individuals, including racially/ethnically diverse, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and disabled, in the cancer research workforce.

Prior to his appointment as chief, Dr. Ogunbiyi served as a program director in CRCHD’s DTB, where he managed research training programs and partnership programs between institutions working with underserved communities with cancer health disparities and cancer centers. Before joining NCI, Dr. Ogunbiyi served in academia, holding faculty positions at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria and Tuskegee University in Alabama. As a faculty member, he was actively involved in teaching, research, and training students for careers in biomedical sciences.

Dr. Ogunbiyi earned both his B.S. in biochemistry and his D.V.M. from Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria, and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in pharmacology/toxicology from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Ogunbiyi is well-published in the area of molecular and biochemical bases of free radical-induced injuries and their pharmacological modulation.

Davyd Chung (Ph.D.) – Program Director

Davyd Chung is a Program Director in the Diversity Training Branch of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2015. In this role, Dr. Chung provides technical and scientific expertise to the Cancer Research Education grants (R25 Research Experiences and Courses for Skills Development), the Minority Biomedical Research Support of Competitive Research (SCORE – SC1/SC2) program, and the Comprehensive Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (CPACHE U54) cooperative agreements.

Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Chung served as a Program Officer within the National Children’s Study (NCS) at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. While at NCS, he had the opportunity to align his training with his interests in studying the effects of the environment and genetics on health outcomes and manage a multi-site, national longitudinal study. 

Dr. Chung received his Ph.D. in physiological molecular biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Behrous Davani (Ph.D.) – Program Director

Behrous Davani is a Program Director in the Diversity Training Branch since 2014. In this role, he provides technical and scientific expertise to the Feasibility Studies to Build Collaborative Partnerships in Cancer Research (P20) and Comprehensive Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (CPACHE U54) mechanisms as part of the Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (PACHE) program.

Prior to his appointment at NCI, he served as a scientific review manager in the Peer Review Science and Management Division of SRA International. While at SRA, he oversaw and managed the scientific review process for multiple research programs for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP). Prior to that time, he worked in various scientific and administrative positions at NIH and biopharma.

Dr. Davani received his Ph.D. in molecular endocrinology from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

Alison Lin (Ph.D.) – Program Director

Alison Lin is a Program Director in the Diversity Training Branch of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2012. In this role, Dr. Lin contributes to the grants management of the NCI Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, the NCI Supplements to Promote Reentry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers, the NCI Cancer Center Supplements for Underrepresented High School and Undergraduate Student Research Experiences (P30S), the Youth Enjoy Science (YES) Research Education Program (R25), and the Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (PACHE) program (CPACHE U54 and P20).

Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Lin served as an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. While at Harvard Medical School, she conducted interdisciplinary research focused on understanding the molecular interactions of membrane proteins and their signaling mechanisms, particularly those that modulate the cytoskeleton.

Dr. Lin received her Ph.D. in physics/biophysics from the University of California, Santa Barbara for work on the optimization of non-viral cationic lipid DNA carriers in gene delivery. She received her B.S. in physics, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Nicole McNeil-Ford (Ph.D.) – Program Director

Nicole McNeil-Ford is a Program Director in the Diversity Training Branch of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2015. In this role, Dr. McNeil-Ford contributes to the grants management of the F31 Diversity Training Grants (also known as the NCI Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award NRSA for Individual Predoctoral Fellows).

Prior to joining NCI, Dr. McNeil-Ford served as a biologist at the NCI Center for Cancer Research where her research focus was in molecular cancer genetics to identify copy number alterations and genomic aberrations occurring in various types of cancers. She also has clinical industry experience as a cytogeneticist in cancer and prenatal diagnostics and served as an adjunct faculty member at Howard University in the department of Genetics and Human Genetics.

Dr. McNeil-Ford received her B.S. from Connecticut College, New London, CT, and her Ph.D. from Howard University, Washington, D.C.

John Ojeifo (M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.) – Program Director

John Ojeifo is a Program Director in the Diversity Training Branch of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2009. In this role, Dr. Ojeifo contributes to the grants management of Career Development mechanisms: NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K08) and NCI Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K23)

Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Ojeifo was an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) in Washington, D.C. While at GUMC, he worked as a cancer biologist and a principal investigator of an NIH R01-supported laboratory. He has a broad range of interests and expertise in biomedical research, public health, medical education, training, career development, mentoring early-career scientists, science communication, and health care management. His research interests include endothelial cell biology, stem cells biology, tumor angiogenesis, genetics, experimental therapeutics, tumor immunology and immunotherapy, cancer health disparities, and holistic medicine.

Dr. Ojeifo received his M.B.B.S. degree (M.D. equivalent) from the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and his Ph.D. in human anatomy and cell biology from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. He also holds an M.B.A. degree in health care management from the University of Phoenix.

Elena Schwartz (Ph.D., M.S.) – Program Director

Elena Schwartz is a Program Director in the Diversity Training Branch of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2016. In this role, Dr. Schwartz contributes to the grants management of the NCI Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, the NCI Supplements to Promote Reentry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers,and the Comprehensive Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (CPACHE U54) program.

Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Schwartz served as a director of research and development at Ami-Go-Science biotech company. She managed development diagnostic tests for cancer and neuromuscular diseases.

Dr. Schwartz received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Biochemistry, Novosibirsk, Russia.

Abigail Soyombo (Ph.D., M.B.A.) – Program Director

Abigail Soyombo is a Program Director in the Diversity Training Branch of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2016. In this role, Dr. Soyombo provides technical and scientific expertise to the NCI Mentored Research Development Award (K01), the Transition Career Development Award (K22), and Exploratory Grant Award (R21).

Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Soyombo was a Clinical Research Program Manager at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. In this role, she managed research programs in biomarkers of depression, longitudinal studies into the natural history of major depression, and developed clinical research protocols. Prior to that, Dr. Soyombo was a Senior Research Scientist and investigated the genomics of BRCA1-associated breast cancers, and the biology of induced pluripotent stem cells derived from individuals with inherited BRCA1 mutations. She has also previously directed research into lysosomal storage diseases and inherited neurodegeneration, angiogenesis, and cancer biology. 

Dr. Soyombo received her Ph.D. from the University of Wales, UK. Dr. Soyombo also has an M.B.A. from The University of Texas at Dallas, with a specialization in Healthcare and Strategic Management.

Integrated Networks Branch (INB)

LeeAnn Bailey (M.B.B.S, Ph.D., M.S.) – Chief

LeeAnn Bailey is Chief of the Integrated Networks Branch of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2016. In this role, she manages, develops, and assesses strategies for enhancing the integration and dissemination of diversity training, women’s health, and sexual and gender minority efforts within and across NCI, as well as within the scientific community and underserved communities through NCI-supported networks. She also identifies and leverages opportunities to address unmet needs in cancer health disparities research.

Prior to joining NCI, she was a healthcare consultant at Deloitte Consulting LLP. She has also been a principal investigator researching tissue engineered products and cellular inflammatory responses at the National Institute of Standards and Technology as well as an adjunct professor at Morgan State University.

Dr. Bailey received her M.B.B.S (M.D. equivalent) from the University of Adelaide Medical School with an emphasis on aboriginal health and pediatric oncology. Dr. Bailey also has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics and a M.S. in Biological and Physical Sciences from the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

Natasha-Ann B. Knight (Ph.D., M.P.H.) – Program Director

Natasha-Ann B. Knight is a Program Director in the Integrated Networks Branch of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2016. In this role, Dr. Knight provides technical and scientific expertise to the National Outreach Network program and the Geographic Management of Cancer Health Disparities Program.

Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Knight served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). While at UNCG, she conducted research examining the influences of extended family relationships on African American children’s obesity risk and related behaviors.

Dr. Knight received her Ph.D. in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity. She also has an M.P.H. in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Elizabeth Perruccio (Ph.D., M.S.) – Program Director

Elizabeth Perruccio is a Program Director in the Integrated Networks Branch of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2011. In this role, Dr. Perruccio contributes to the grants management of the Geographic Management of Cancer Health Disparities Program and the Community Networks Program Centers. She also provides technical and scientific expertise to the Comprehensive Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (CPACHE U54) program.

Prior to joining CRCHD, Dr. Perruccio was a biologist at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where she conducted independent scientific review of biological, physiological, biochemical, and toxicological data from investigational new animal drug applications.

Dr. Perruccio received her Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Anatomy and M.S. in Basic Medical Sciences from New York Medical College. She completed postdoctoral training in the Laboratory of Biochemical Pathology at NCI, where she designed and conducted experiments to elucidate cellular mechanisms of angiogenesis and cancer development.

Sandra L. San Miguel (M.S.) – Program Director

Sandra L. San Miguel is a Program Director in the Integrated Networks Branch of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2016. In this role, Ms. San Miguel contributes to the grants management of the to the National Outreach Network program. 

Prior to joining NCI, Ms. San Miguel served in academia, holding faculty positions at the Dept. of Medicine - Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas and at the Dept. of Biology and International Studies at Trinity University. Her expertise is in developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based, culturally sensitive behavioral interventions among racially/ethnically diverse populations within the U.S. and Latin America, with an emphasis on Latino cancer health disparities, patient navigation, recruitment into clinical trials/biorepositories, breast cancer genetic testing and survivorship.

Ms. San Miguel received her M.S. in counseling psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University. She received her B.A. in psychology from the University of the Incarnate Word.

Anil Wali (Ph.D.) – Program Director

Anil Wali is a Program Director in the Integrated Networks Branch of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2009. In this role, Dr. Wali contributes to the grants management of CRCHD’s Geographic Management of Cancer Health Disparities Program. He also provides technical and scientific expertise to the Comprehensive Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (CPACHE U54) program.

Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Wali served as Associate Professor in the Departments of Surgery and Pathology at the NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit Michigan. While at Wayne State University, Dr. Wali served as Principal Investigator on a Veterans Administration Merit Review award funded project on the Role of Ubiquitin-Proteasome Pathway in Mesothelioma Carcinogenesis. Dr. Wali conducted NCI Clinical trial on asbestos exposed patient populations to determine their risk for developing Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma using high throughput Genomics and Proteomics technologies.

Dr. Wali received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Kashmir, in Srinagar, India. He earned his Ph.D. at the Postgraduate Institute in Chandigarh, India. Dr. Wali completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Institute for Environmental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; at the FELS Institute for Cancer Research at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA; and in the Department of Pathology at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.

Damiya E. Whitaker (Psy.D., M.A.) – Program Director

Damiya E. Whitaker is a Program Director in the Integrated Networks Branch of the NCI’s CRCHD since 2017. In this role, Dr. Whitaker contributes technical and scientific expertise to management of the National Outreach Network program. 

Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Whitaker served as a Senior Behavioral Scientist/Science Program Manager with Kelly Services at the NIH. In this position, she contributed to strategic planning and oversight of a portfolio of projects designed to enhance scientific workforce diversity. Dr. Whitaker used her expertise to prepare technical program documents, contribute to peer/technical review, participate in/guide scientific committee activities, draft responses to stakeholder requests, and prepare recommendations/present summary statements regarding the conduct of portfolio-supported research. 

Dr. Whitaker completed her doctoral training at Forest Institute of Professional Psychology. She pursued postdoctoral research training first at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as a Drug Dependence Epidemiology Training Program fellow and then with the National Institute on Drug Abuse as an Intramural Research Training Award fellow. Dr. Whitaker’s postdoctoral clinical training focused on the biopsychosocial evaluation and treatment of youth involved with the juvenile justice system.

  • Updated: March 3, 2017