Past educational events

November 14-15, 2019

Emory Conference Center Hotel
1615 Clifton Road,
Atlanta, GA

Dean Sukhatme Intro to IEDN Conference

Dean Sukhatme’s introductory remarks at the Innovating with Existing Drugs and Nutraceuticals Conference on 11/14/2019

Conference Agenda (PDF)

Conference Speakers & Presenters

Thomas P. Ahern, PhD, MP

Thomas P. Ahern, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Surgery and Biochemistry at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. He earned Master of Public Health and PhD degrees in epidemiology from Boston University, after which he completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cancer epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Much of his current research uses Denmark's immense population-based medical and social registries to measure the impact of drug regimens and patient molecular factors on breast cancer outcomes.

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Thomas P. Ahern

Jack Arbiser, MD, PhD

Jack Arbiser, MD, PhD is Professor and Thomas J Lawley Chair in Dermatology. Dr. Arbiser's lab is engaged in bringing small molecules from bench to bedside. He is cofounder of two startups, Accuitis, which has completed a phase 2a trial of a novel proteasome inhibitor for rosacea, and ABBY, which has developed a novel NADPH oxidase inhibitor for glioblastoma and medulloblastoma. Dr. Arbiser discovered that gentian violet, a drug with a century of human use, inhibits NADPH oxidase. This discovery led to the development of imipramine blue, the lead compound of ABBY in the treatment of adult and pediatric brain tumors. In addition, the discovery of the mode of action of gentian violet has allowed it to be rediscovered in medicine, with efficacy against both traditional uses (gram positive infections including MRSA), and novel uses, including atopic dermatitis, warts, hemangiomas and cutaneous T cell lymphoma.

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Jack Arbiser

Rebecca Ann C. Auer, B.Sc., M.D., M.Sc., FRCSC, FACS

Rebecca Ann C. Auer, B.Sc., M.D., M.Sc., FRCSC, FACS is the Scientific Director for the Cancer Therapeutics Program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. She is a Surgical Oncologist specializing in Colorectal Surgery and Retroperitoneal Sarcomas at The Ottawa Hospital and an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery and the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Auer's translational research program focuses on understanding the promotion of metastatic disease in the perioperative period, following surgical stress, and how to counteract these effects with novel immunotherapies, including oncolytic viruses. She runs a research laboratory that studies these therapies in pre-clinical models and is the principle investigator on three related clinical trials of perioperative cancer therapies. She holds a Tier 2 Clinical Research Chair in Perioperative Cancer Therapeutics.

Rebecca Ann C. Auer

Steve Bigelsen, MD

Steve Bigelsen, MD is a physician specializing in Allergy and Asthma, who in July 2016 was diagnosed with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. He had tumors in the head and the tail with scattered peritoneal metastases and a CA19-9 of 11,575 U/ml. Working with physicians from Weill-Cornell and Johns Hopkins, he began treatment with gemcitabine and capecitabine, plus IV paricalcitol (an analog of Vitamin D) and hydroxychloroquine (an old malaria drug). Both of these are in clinical trials separately, however, no one had ever combined them. Both are relatively safe, inexpensive, and may be prescribed by any oncologist as they are already on the market for other conditions. He has now enjoyed a complete response with his latest CA19-9 of just 18 U/ml and no evidence of active disease for the past 2 years.

As a physician who does not practice alternative or complementary treatments, he is aware of the hurdles and arguments against recommending non-FDA approved treatments and has several concerns himself. He believes that if these concerns are adequately addressed, we can fill a void that is sorely lacking between patients looking for something experimental to improve their odds of survival (many of whom turn to inappropriate, futile alternative treatments) and the legitimate scientific community who has real hope to offer.

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Steve Bigelsen

Julie Blatt, MD

Julie Blatt, MD is a Professor in the Division of Pediatric Hematology Oncology at the University of North Carolina where she has been since 1997. Her research efforts and scholarly activities, while somewhat eclectic and broad-based, most recently have focused on vascular anomalies and drug repurposing in pediatric hematology oncology. With colleagues at several institutions she has maintained a database of drugs used in children, the Children's Pharmacy Collaborative, to promote research in these areas-most of which are orphan disorders. She have been a grant reviewer for the EU (cancer therapeutics) and for the Université Catholique de Louvain (vascular malformations), ongoing reviewer for the Department of Defense's Rare Disease submissions related to vascular malformations, is a member of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology's Special Interest Group in vascular anomalies, the International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies, UNC Lineberger Cancer Center's DSMC protocol regulatory committee, and has participated in numerous therapy and translational biology studies.

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Julie Blatt

Bruce Bloom, DDS, JD

Bruce Bloom, DDS, JD is the Chief Collaboration Officer of Healx, Limited, a Cambridge UK based biotech using AI to create sensibly priced therapies for rare disease patients using drug and nutraceutical repurposing technology. Dr. Bloom is the founder and former CEO of Cures Within Reach, a leading global non-profit saving lives by unleashing the untapped potential of human approved drugs, devices, diagnostics and nutraceuticals, testing new uses for them to quickly deliver safe and affordable treatments and cures for diseases that have no currently effective therapy. Dr. Bloom envisioned and created CureAccelerator®, the only online repurposing research collaboration platform, to bring together clinicians, researchers, funders, and industry to create and conduct proof of concept repurposing clinical trials. Dr. Bloom is an Ashoka Social Entrepreneur Fellow, the Patient Advisory Board Chair for the Institute for Translational Medicine, board member of the Drug Discovery Center and Chair of the Cancer Center Advancement Advisory Boards at the University of Illinois Chicago, member of the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research External Advisory Board, and is on the Science Advisory Boards of Rediscovery Life Sciences, the Dr. Ralph and Marian Falk Medical Research Trust Awards Programs, the Findacure Fundamental Disease Charity, the Rare Disease Research Hub of the Westchester Biotech Project, OneThree Biotech, and Cures Within Reach for Cancer, and a member of the editorial board of ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies.

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Bruce Bloom

Gauthier Bouche, MD, MPH

Gauthier Bouche, MD, MPH is the director of clinical research of the Anticancer Fund, a non-profit organization that has supported 14 repurposing clinical trials since 2010. Gauthier's main role is to ensure that high-quality repurposing trials are conducted efficiently to ultimately improve patients' outcomes.

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Gauthier Bouche

Yves Boucher, PhD

Yves Boucher, PhD is an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School and Associate Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is a recognized expert in tumor pathophysiology and experimental therapeutics. He has made major contributions to the fields of vascular and extracellular matrix remodeling, and transvascular and interstitial transport in tumors. Dr. Boucher co-discovered with his collaborators that angiotensin system inhibitors (e.g. losartan) remodel the tumor microenvironment and improve the intratumoral delivery and effectiveness of anti-cancer agents.

Yves Boucher

Jing Chen, PhD

Jing Chen, PhD is Professor and R. Randall Rollins Chair in Oncology, and serves as Director of the Division of Basic & Translational Science in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Chen also serves as Co-Leader of the Cancer Cell Biology research program at Winship Cancer Institute.

Dr. Chen is interested in the metabolic reprogramming and rewiring in cancer cells and the mechanism-based understanding of the pathogenic links between diet and cancer.

Dr. Chen's team is interested in elucidating the mechanistic basis of diet-fueled ""metabolic rewiring"" that is specifically required by oncogenic mutations for tumor growth, and the underlying mechanisms by which diet-derived nutrients and metabolic abnormalities associated with metabolic disorders/diseases influence cancer initiation, progression, and responses to therapies. These studies will provide mechanistic insights that inform not only reliable diet advice for lower cancer risk, but also development of novel anti-metabolism targeted therapies for cancer treatment.

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Jing Chen

Veronika Fedirko, PhD, MPH

Veronika Fedirko, PhD, MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University. Dr. Fedirko is also a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program at Winship Cancer Institute. Her resarch interests include etiology, epidemiology and outcomes of gastrointestinal cancers. She is also interested in nutrition and cancer prevention. Dr. Fedirko received her PhD and her MPH from Emory University.

Veronika Fedirko

Haian Fu, PhD

Haian Fu, PhD, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Fu also serves as the Director of the Emory Chemical Biology Discovery Center and Leader of the Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics Research Program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

Dr. Fu serves on two national steering committees in the US, the National Cancer Institute's Chemical Biology Consortium Steering Committee (2009-2015) and the NCI Cancer Target Discovery & Development Network Steering Committee (2012-2017). Dr. Fu served as the President of the International Chemical Biology Society (2012-2013).

Dr. Fu earned his PhD in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI. He completed a fellowship in microbiology and molecular genetics at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Fu's research focuses on protein-protein interactions in signal transduction, targeting these interactions for drug discovery, and collaborating with physician scientists to translate such bench research to clinical applications.

Haian Fu

Joshua J. Gagne, PharmD, ScD

Joshua J. Gagne, PharmD, ScD is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School and an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard Chan). Josh is Co-Lead of the Methods Core of the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Sentinel program, Director of the Pharmacoepidemiology Program at Harvard Chan, and Director of the Harvard-Brigham Drug Safety and Risk Management Research Center funded by the FDA. His research centers on methods for generating comparative safety and effectiveness evidence for drugs and other medical products. Josh teaches courses in pharmacoepidemiology and comparative effectiveness research at Harvard Chan and directs a course through Harvard Catalyst, the Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center. His research is supported by the FDA, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Reagan-Udall Foundation, and pharmaceutical companies. Josh is a recipient of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research Award for Excellence in Application of Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes Research. He serves on the editorial boards of Drug Safety and Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety and is an Associate Editor for PCORI.

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Joshua J. Gagne

Robert A. Gatenby, MD

Robert A. Gatenby, MD spearheaded the formation of a new program at Moffitt titled Integrative Mathematical Oncology (IMO). The IMO brings to the Cancer Center a cadre of applied mathematicians to collaborate with tumor biologists and clinical oncologists. The goal is to use the mathematics developed for other nonlinear dynamical systems to examine the physiology of a tumor incorporating factors such as phenotypic evolution, intracellular communication pathways and interactions with microenvironmental factors including therapies. The program fosters continuous interaction between mathematicians and experimentalists as they form explicit comprehensive theoretical models to serve as a framework for understanding cancer's development, progression and treatment. The IMO, led by Dr. Gatenby, represents an experiment in rethinking paradigms in medical research. A key purpose of the IMO is to provide the quantitative methods that will allow experimentalists and clinicians to frame their hypotheses, simulate their experimental design in-silico, and identify first principles that govern cancer growth and treatment. Dr. Gatenby aims to make progress using methods that have been successful in the physical sciences for centuries - an iterative partnership between mathematically-oriented theoreticians, biologists and clinical physicians.

Robert A. Gatenby

Richard E. Kast, MD

Richard E. Kast, MD is a General Practitioner and psychiatrist, having been the village doctor in Barrow Alaska and practiced Emergency Medicine in a South Chicago Hospital before retraining in psychiatry at the University of Vermont Hospital. He has published over 140 articles on repurposing drugs since his first work in 1974. Since 2010, 41 of these papers have been on complex, polydrug regimens to treat glioblastoma, one on using methylene blue to treat myelodysplasia, one polydrug regimen to treat breast cancer, and one polydrug regimen to treat ovarian cancer. He is the lead author of the CUSP9v3 regimen for recurrent glioblastoma that recently completed phase 1 clinical trial.

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Richard E. Kast

Timothy L. Lash, DSc, MPH

Timothy L. Lash, DSc, MPH is the Rollins Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, and Cancer Prevention and Control Program Leader at Emory's Winship Cancer Institute. His research focuses on predictive and prognostic markers of breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer recurrence. His longstanding collaborations in Denmark have involved multiple projects to study molecular markers of recurrence and to study whether concomitant use of prescription drugs affect recurrence risk. He is currently funded by the US NCI to begin adding recurrence data to the Georgia Cancer Registry. Dr. Lash's methodological interest focuses on developing and implementing methods to quantify the influence of systematic errors on epidemiologic research. Funding from the National Library of Medicine supports his work to develop methods that quantify the influence of systematic errors on the reproducibility of epidemiologic study results. He teaches a course on quantitative bias analysis and co-instructs a required second-level methods course, and he developed a course in public health applications of molecular epidemiology. He is Editor-in-Chief of EPIDEMIOLOGY, a leading general interest epidemiology journal, and coauthor of two epidemiology textbooks: Applying Quantitative Bias Analysis to Epidemiologic Researchand Modern Epidemiology, 3rd edition.

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Timothy L. Lash

Allen Levey, MD, PhD

Allan Levey, MD, PhD is the Goizueta Foundation Endowed Chair for Alzheimer's Disease Research, Betty Gage Holland Chair, and Chair of the Department of Neurology at Emory University. He is also Executive Associate Dean for Research at the School of Medicine and Director of the Goizueta Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.

Dr. Levey received a BS from University of Michigan and an MD and PhD (Immunology) from the University of Chicago. He then trained in Neurology at Johns Hopkins, and joined their faculty prior to moving to Emory in 1991.

Dr. Levey is a neurologist and neuroscientist internationally recognized for his work in neurodegenerative disease, with more than 400 research publications. His work in Alzheimer's Disease and related neurodegenerative disorders has contributed to understanding mechanisms involved in these conditions and translation to new therapeutic strategies and biomarkers. He has received numerous awards and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Allen Levey

Viraj Master, MD, PhD, FACS

Viraj Master, MD, PhD, FACS is Professor of Urology at the Emory University School of Medicine, Associate Chair for Clinical Affairs and Quality, and Director of Clinical Research Unit. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Urology and a Fellow of the American College of Surgery.

Dr. Master's primary clinical interest is urologic oncology, in particular kidney cancer, adrenal tumors, testicular cancer, high-risk prostate cancer and penile cancers.

As Director of Clinical Research in the Department of Urology, he is active in investigating the role of inflammation in cancers and in researching ""host"" (patient) interaction with the disease. In his role as Associate Chair for Clinical Affairs and Quality, he works closely with all faculty members towards a common goal of providing the highest quality of care to our patients. Emory University Hospital ranks as the number one hospital, out of 187, in both Georgia and metro Atlanta (U.S. News & World Report), and the Department of Urology ranks as one of Emory's top ten high-performing adult specialty areas.

Dr. Master serves as an expert advisor to the American Cancer Society on prostate cancer and to the International Consultation on Urologic Diseases on kidney cancer. He has lectured both nationally and internationally. He is closely involved in teaching and mentoring medical students, urology residents and post-graduate fellows.

In addition to his dedication to Emory patients, Dr. Master is also involved in humanitarianism outside Emory. On an annual basis, he volunteers his time to join a team of Emory medical students to Haiti. The team provides free urologic care including surgical treatment to indigent Haitian patients with urologic conditions.

Viraj Master

Lydie Meheus, PhD

Lydie Meheus, PhD is Managing Director of the Anticancer Fund (ACF), a Belgian Foundation of Public Utility dedicated to the development of cancer treatments regardless of their commercial value. She was co-founder of ACF in 2013 after leading an alike Swiss organization, Reliable Cancer Therapies, initiated in 2009 by Luc Verelst. She obtained a PhD in Sciences at the University of Ghent (1986). From 1987 until 2008 she worked at Innogenetics (Belgium) where her final position was VP R&D of GENimmune, a daughter company focused on immune therapeutics.

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Lydie Meheus

Allyson Ocean, MD

Allyson Ocean, MD is a medical oncologist and attending physician in gastrointestinal oncology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center; Associate Professor of Medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University; and medical oncologist at The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health. Dr. Ocean is a principal investigator on clinical trials with novel therapeutics, radiolabeled therapies, antibody-drug conjugates, and targeted therapies.

Dr. Ocean graduated cum laude from Tufts University. She also graduated with honors from the Tufts University School of Medicine and completed residency in internal medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Ocean was chief fellow during her fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Dr. Ocean is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and abstracts and is an active member of several professional societies, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, and American Association for Cancer Research. Dr. Ocean is a co-founder and chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Let's Win PC! (, a not-for-profit and digital platform to connect patients to physicians and scientists and educate about novel therapeutic options that go beyond standard of care. Dr. Ocean is also a co-founder of Michaels Mission, a not-for-profit to support patients with colorectal cancer through education, research, and support. Dr. Ocean has served as an advisor to the Lustgarten Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer, and multiple pharmaceutical companies.

Allyson Ocean

Mark Hyman Rapaport, MD

Mark Hyman Rapaport, MD is the Reunette W. Harris Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Rapaport is also the Chief of Psychiatric Services for Emory Healthcare. Before coming to Emory, he was the Polier Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a Professor and Vice Chair of Psychiatry at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

A board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Rapaport has written over 185 articles for such peer-reviewed publications as American Journal of Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and Neuropsychopharmacology. He is the founder of the New Investigators' Program for the ASCP annual meeting (formerly NCDEU) and the editor of 5 "Focus" workbooks. He is the founding-Editor and Chief of FOCUS: The Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry, published by American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. and the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Dr. Rapaport is a member of the American College of Psychiatrists, American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Anxiety Disorders Association of America, the Psychiatric Research Society and the Collegium International Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP). He is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and a fellow of ACP, CINP, and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. He is Past-President of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology and the Past-President of the American Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry. He is the Chair of the APA Council on Medical Education and Lifelong Learning.

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Mark Hyman Rapaport

Vikas P. Sukhatme, MD, ScD

Vikas P. Sukhatme, MD, ScD is the Director and Co-founder of the Morningside Center for Innovative and Affordable Medicine. Dr. Sukhatme has made outstanding contributions in basic science, translational studies, and clinical research. He has over 200 scientific publications that have been cited more than 40,000 times.

His longstanding interest in cancer currently centers around tumor metabolism, tumor immunology, and outside-of-the-box approaches for treating advanced disease and preventing cancer recurrence.

Now dean of Emory School of Medicine and the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Medicine, Dr. Sukhatme co-founded GlobalCures, Inc., a nonprofit medical research foundation.

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Vikas P. Sukhatme

Daqing Wu, PhD

Daqing Wu, PhD is a Professor in the Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development at Clark Atlanta University. His research is aimed at understanding the biology of tumor metastasis and developing effective prevention and treatment for this lethal disease. Specific areas of interest include: role of EPLIN in prostate cancer metastasis, novel targeted therapy for prostate cancer bone metastasis, and preventing and treating prostate cancer metastasis with natural compounds.

Daqing Wu