E-Newsletter - December 2023
New Committee Leadership


Christina L. Roland, MD, MS, and Chandrajit P. Raut, MD, MSc, have been appointed as the inaugural Co-Chairs of the Alliance Surgery Committee, under the newly formed Alliance Procedure-Based Therapy Program.

Dr. Roland is an Associate Professor of Surgery at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, specializing in the treatment of sarcomas. She serves in the roles of Section Chief for Sarcoma Surgery, Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Surgical Oncology and Associate Medical Director for the Sarcoma Center. She is also the Executive Director for Surgery for the MD Anderson Cancer Network. She previously served as Chair of the Cancer Care Standards Development Committee in the Alliance/American College of Surgeons Cancer Research Program, which was instrumental in developing operative standards for oncologic surgery. Dr. Roland’s research focuses on improving multimodality care for patient with soft tissue sarcoma including novel clinical trial design.

Dr. Raut is a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the inaugural BWH Distinguished Chair for Cancer Care, and Surgery Director of the Center for Sarcoma and Bone Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He specializes in the multidisciplinary care of patients with soft tissue sarcoma. Dr. Raut has multiple research interests, including evaluating an innovative drug-eluting film to be placed in the surgical bed to reduce tumor local recurrence rates, identification of secondary mutations conferring drug resistance after TKI therapy in patients with GIST, and novel approaches to radiation treatment in high-risk retroperitoneal sarcomas.


Priscilla Brastianos, MD, and Jann Sarkaria, MD, have been appointed Co-Chairs of the Alliance Neuro-Oncology Committee, and Howard Colman, MD, PhD, has been appointed committee Vice-Chair.

Dr. Brastianos is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Central Nervous System Metastasis Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms that drive brain metastases. Her hope is that the findings from genomic studies will provide an understanding of the molecular pathways that drive brain metastasis, which will allow the development of more rational therapeutic approaches for this common and devastating complication of cancer.

Dr. Sarkaria is a William H. Donner Professor and Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Mayo Clinic. He leads the Translational Neuro-Oncology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic that is focused on developing novel therapeutic strategies for people with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and brain cancer metastases. The global interests in the lab include understanding the basis of resistance to chemotherapy and radiation, identifying methods to overcome therapy resistance, integration of novel signal transduction inhibitors into conventional therapies for newly diagnosed or recurrent GBM, and use of next-generation sequencing and proteomics to guide individualized therapy for patients with GBM. The laboratory aims to facilitate translation of novel findings into clinical trials for patients with GBM.

Dr. Colman is a Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery, a member of the multidisciplinary Brain Tumor Research Team, and is Leader of the Center for Neurologic Cancers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah. His clinical interests include the treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors, and the diagnosis and management of neurologic complications of cancer. His clinical research is focused on the development and testing of new therapies for brain tumors. His laboratory interests include the identification of molecular markers of prognosis and treatment response in brain tumors and the role of tumors stem cells in the development and treatment resistance of brain tumors.

Of note, Frederick Barker, MD (of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center) and Paul Brown, MD (of Mayo Clinic in Florida) served as interim co-chairs of the Alliance Neuro-Oncology Committee.


Konstantin Dragnev, MD, has been appointed Co-Chair of the Alliance Prevention Committee.

Dr. Dragnev is an Irene Heinz Given Professor in Pharmacology and Professor of Medicine at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He is also Interim Deputy Director and Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Dartmouth Cancer Center. His areas of focus include molecularly targeted therapies, lung cancer prevention, and clinical trials in non-small cell and small cell lung cancer, mesothelioma, and esophageal cancer. Dr. Dragnev succeeds Isabelle Bedrosian, MD (of University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center), who now serves as Principal Investigator and Director of the newly formed Alliance Procedure-Based Therapy Program. He will co-chair the committee with Marie Wood, MD (of University of Colorado Medicine). 


Matthew Galsky, MD, and Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, have been appointed Co-Chairs of the Alliance Genitourinary (GU) Committee.

Dr. Galsky is a Professor of Medicine in Hematology and Medical Oncology, Director of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, Co-Director of the Center of Excellence for Bladder Cancer, and Associate Director of Translational Research at the Tisch Cancer Institute/Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He specializes in the care of patients with genitourinary malignancies – bladder, prostate, kidney, and testicular cancers. Dr. Galsky's research focuses on the clinical development of novel therapies for bladder cancer, dissecting the clinical basis for heterogeneity in patient outcomes, and understanding the disconnect between the efficacy and effectiveness of available treatments. He also extends these efforts to team science-based approaches focused on dissecting the mechanistic underpinnings of response and resistance to novel bladder cancer therapies with a particular focus on immunotherapeutic approaches.

Dr. Rosenberg is an Enno W. Ercklentz, Jr. Chair and Chief of the Genitourinary Oncology Service in the Division of Solid Tumor Oncology, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He has extensive experience treating urothelial cancers and his research centers on developing treatment approaches and improving care. A leader in the development of immunotherapy in metastatic urothelial cancer, Dr. Rosenberg led the clinical trial that resulted in the first new drug approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for urothelial cancer in more than 20 years. He was also principal investigator of another trial that led to the FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy Designation for a new drug for this disease.


Daniel J. George, MD, Rana McKay, MD, and Robert Grubb, MD, have been appointed Vice-Chairs of the Alliance Genitourinary (GU) Committee.

Dr. George is an Eleanor Easley Distinguished Professor in the School of Medicine, Professor of Medicine and in Surgery at Duke University, and a member of the Duke Cancer Institute. He specializes in the care of patients with urologic cancers, mainly prostate cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, and testicular cancer. Dr. George's research focuses on developing therapy and improving care and outcomes for patients with urologic cancers. His work involves both interventional trials with new and emerging therapies as well as diagnostic tests and markers of cancer biology, response and outcome. Of note, Dr. George served as interim chair of the Alliance GU Committee.

Dr. McKay is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. She specializes in treating patients with urogenital cancers, including bladder, kidney, prostate and testicular cancer. She leads a multi-disciplinary prostate cancer clinic and focuses on delivering advanced cancer care through a coordinated team approach. Dr. McKay's research interests include the design and implementation of clinical trials to including novel biomarkers and therapeutic outcomes for patients with genitourinary malignancies and she serves as principal investigator of several early phase trials in kidney and prostrate cancer.

Dr. Grubb is an Associate Professor of Urology at the Medical University of South Carolina. His areas of he His


Marina Konopleva, MD, PhD, has been appointed Vice-Chair of the Alliance Leukemia Committee and Correlative Science Leader.

Dr. Konopleva is a Professor of Oncology and Molecular Pharmacology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Director of the Leukemia Program and Co-Director of the Blood Cancer Institute at the Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her clinic focus centers on treating patients with hematologic malignancies, with an emphasis on acute myeloid (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). She has additional expertise in treating patients with high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome and chronic myeloid leukemia. Her laboratory research focuses on approaches activating cell death, metabolic inhibitors, and immune-oncology AML.


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