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SPEAKERS

SPEAKERS

Othman Al-Sawaf

Haematologist, Medical Oncologist,
University Hospital Cologne
Cologne, Germamy

Othman Al-Sawaf is a haematologist and medical oncologist at the University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany, and study physician at the German CLL Study Group (GCLLSG).

He studied medicine at the Medical School of RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany, and joined the Department I of Internal Medicine I of Professor Michael Hallek at the University Hospital of Cologne in 2016. Since 2020 he is a visiting scientist at the Francis Crick Institute and UCL Cancer Institute in London.

He works as coordinating physician and principal investigator for national and international phase I to III trials. In addition to his clinical trial work, he is interested in the principles of cancer evolution & metabolism. His research focusses on computational approaches for the discovery and development of new treatment strategies in clinical oncology.

Michael Crump, MD, FRCPC

Member, Division of Medical Oncology & Hematology 
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Professor of Medicine
University Of Toronto
Toronto, ON

Dr Michael Crump is member of the Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He was the co-chair of the Hematology Site Group of the CCTG for many years and the co-chair of the Lymphoma working group. His research interests include the development of new therapies for newly diagnosed and relapsed lymphomas including bispecific antibodies and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, and the application of autologous stem cell transplantation.

Michael Dickinson, MBBS, D Med Sc, FRACP, FRCPA

Associate Professor, University of Melbourne
Haematologist, Clinical Trial Principal Investigator,
Aggressive Lymphoma Specialist, Accredited CART-physician,
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Melbourne, AU

Associate Professor Dickinson is the Lead of the Aggressive Lymphoma stream at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and an expert in the field lymphoma and especially Aggressive Lymphoma. He is a lead investigator for the pivotal trial of the bispecific antibody glofitamab, and is recognised for his expertise in the use of CAR-T cells for lymphooma. He is the Chair of the Lymphoma Working Party of the Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group. He is interested in in drug development and as PI, treated the first patient globally in multiple first-in-human clinical trials, and taken several drugs to registration. Associate Professor Dickinson treated the first patients globally in the trials of glofitamab (bispecific antibody for lymphoma), epigenetic agents (BET inhibitors), NKX019 (CAR-NK cells), YTB323 (rapcabtagene autoleucel), ELARA (CAR-T registration trial for follicular lymphoma). His team were the first to use YESCARTA and KYMRIAH in trials and commercially in Australia. He runs a programme of national and international investigator-led clinical trials that explore the use of CAR-T cells or bispecific antibodies as first or later therapies for Diffuse Large B-cell lymphoma or mantle cell lymphoma.  He has over 100 publications including in New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Medicine, the Journal of Clinical Oncology and Blood.

Alina S. Gerrie, MD MPH FRCPC

Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia
Hematologist, Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, BC Cancer
Vancouver, BC

Dr. Alina Gerrie is a hematologist and Assistant Professor in the Divisions of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the University of British Columbia. She is a member of the Lymphoma Tumour Group at BC Cancer and a Clinician Investigator with the Centre for Lymphoid Cancer at the BC Cancer Research Centre. Dr. Gerrie earned her medical degree and internal medicine specialization at the University of Toronto, followed by a hematology specialization at the University of British Columbia. She completed a fellowship through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Clinical Investigator Program and earned a Master’s of Public Health degree from Harvard University. Dr. Gerrie currently holds a Michael Smith Health Research Investigator Award and is involved in translational, clinical trial, and outcomes-based research related to leukemia and lymphoma, particularly chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

David Scott, MBChB PhD

Hematologist, clinician-scientist
BC Cancer
Clinical Director of the Centre for Lymphoid Cancer
Vancouver, BC

David Scott is a hematologist and clinician-scientist at BC Cancer in Vancouver, Canada, where he is also the Clinical Director of the Centre for Lymphoid Cancer. His laboratory focusses on the classification of aggressive B-cell lymphoma, mechanisms of treatment resistance and development of diagnostic assays that can be deployed on routine pathology biopsies. His research is currently funded by the NIH (P01), the Lymphoma Research Foundation, Genome Canada, The Terry Fox Research Institute and Michael Smith Health Research Foundation. He is a scientific advisory board member for the Lymphoma Research Foundation, a member of the Lymphoma/Leukemia Molecular Profiling Project and Lunenburg Lymphoma Biomarker Consortium and the translational co-chair of the lymphoma committee for ECOG.

Deborah Stephens, DO

Director of the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Richter’s Program,
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center,
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC

Deborah Stephens, DO is the Director of the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)and Richter’s Program at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her internal medicine residency at Cleveland Clinic and fellowship training at The Ohio State University. Dr. Stephens leads a subspecialty clinic with a focus on patients with CLL. Her primary research interests include developing new targeted therapies for patients with CLL and lymphoma, studying resistance to current therapies, and developing supportive therapies for complications of CLL. She is the principal investigator on multiple clinical trials including the international principal investigator for the SWOG S1925 EVOLVE CLL Study (NCT04269902). Dr. Stephens is also a member of the medical board for the CLL Society, which is the largest patient-led CLL group in the country. The sum of Dr. Stephens’s experiences demonstrates her deep commitment to improve the care of patients with CLL.

Saad Z. Usmani, MBBS MD MBA FACP FRCP

Chief of Myeloma Service
Member, Myeloma, Cellular Therapy and Adult BMT Services
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York
Professor, Weill Medical College, Cornell University
New York, NY

Dr. Usmani received his medical education at Allama Iqbal Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Sinai-Grace Hospital/Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Connecticut. He joined the Myeloma Institute for Research & Therapy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, AR in 2010 as the Director of Developmental Therapeutics. He was recruited to the Levine Cancer Institute/Atrium Health in 2013 as the inaugural Division Chief of Plasma Cell Disorders and Director of Clinical Research for Hematologic Malignancies where he built an internationally renowned myeloma program. He joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 2021 as the Chief of Myeloma Service and hold a faculty position as Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University.

Dr. Usmani is board-certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology. He holds membership and leadership roles on national/international committees, including the International Myeloma Working Group, the ALLIANCE Myeloma Committee (Chair), the American Society of Hematology (ASH), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Society of Transplant & Cellular Therapy, and the National Cancer Institute Myeloma Steering Committee. Dr. Usmani has served as the Vice-Chair of the SWOG Myeloma Committee, and has served as chair for the ASH Scientific Committee on Plasma Cell Neoplasia, and the ASCO Scientific Committee on Plasma Cell Disorders.

He has received several international awards recognizing his clinical and translational research contributions to the field, including the Celgene Young Investigator Award for Clinical Research, COMY Award for Excellence in Myeloma Research, LLS Scholar in Clinical Research, the International Myeloma Society Bart Barlogie Award for Clinical and Translational Research, and the LLS CDP Achievement Award. Dr. Usmani has authored/co-authored more than 260 peer-reviewed research manuscripts (NEJM, Lancet, JCO, Cancer Cell, Blood, Leukemia, etc.).  Active in clinical and translational research, Dr. Usmani has research interests focus on plasma cell disorders—in particular, high-risk multiple myeloma.

Alissa Visram MD MPH FRCPC

Hematologist
Division of Hematology,
The Ottawa Hospital
Assistant Professor,
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON

Dr. Alissa Visram is a hematologist at the Ottawa Hospital and an assistant professor within the Department of Medicine. She completed her hematology training at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and her subspecialty clinical and research fellowship in plasma cell disorders at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Visram holds a Masters in Public Health and Epidemiology from Harvard University. She joined faculty in Ottawa in September of 2021 as a clinician investigator. Her clinical research is centered on understanding and improving health outcomes of patients with plasma cell disorders such as multiple myeloma and systemic light chain amyloidosis. Dr. Visram is also developing a translational research program in Ottawa to develop cost-effective and efficacious immunotherapies for patients with multiple myeloma

ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS PROGRAM SPEAKERS

Charlie Chen, MD, MEd, CCFP(PC), FCFP

Palliative Care Consultant
Physician Advisor
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Calgary
Calgary, AB

Dr. Charlie Chen is a palliative care consultant and is the Medical Lead for Advance Care Planning and Goals of Care for Calgary Zone. and recently transitioned out of the Medical Director role for Calgary Zone Palliative and End of Life Care. He is a Physician Advisor: Diversity, Wellness, and Development with provincial Medical Affairs for AHS and is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Calgary in the Division of Palliative Medicine. Charlie is passionate about non-violent communication, medical education, and system transformation.

In his spare time, he loves to sing, write music, and create art.

Sharon Mallon

Award Winning Broadcaster CFCW/K-97
Speaker’s Bureau of Canada

Sharon Mallon is a retired Award Winning Broadcaster. She is still very passionate about communicating with listeners. Among other things, she stays connected by writing weekly blogs and Public Speaking. As a member of the Speakers Bureau of Canada, she loves to orate on both mental and physical health. Sharon is a certified ‘story teller’ opting to share real life adventures, which she believes is the most effective way to communicate. In 2021, Sharon received a Bone Marrow Transplant. In addition to saving her life, it gave her another grand story to tell.

Edith Pituskin RN MN(NP) PhD

Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing
Associate Adjunct Professor, Dept of Oncology
Tier 2 Canada Research Chair, University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB

Dr. Pituskin is an Associate Professor with appointments in both Nursing and Medicine, and holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Chronic Disease. Over her long and diverse oncology career, she has observed the emergence of an entirely new group of survivors, those taking ‘chronic’ targeted agents, often for life. However, their needs and experiences are currently poorly understood. Dr. Pituskin recently received Tri-Council funding to study these survivors.

Cindy Railton, RN, MN

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
CancerControl
Tom Baker Cancer Centre
Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing,
University of Calgary
Calgary, AB

Cindy Railton is a nurse practitioner who works at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary. She has specialized in Breast and GU cancers for the last several years of her practice. She was worked in oncology as a nurse and nurse practitioner for over 30 years and has performed a variety of roles ranging for BMT coordinator, to educator to community liaison nurse. She has worked in a variety of places ranging from the Virgin Islands, to Nashville, to Saudi Arabia. She continues to be inspired by the amazing advances within oncology care over the decades.

Jason Tay, MD, BCh, BAO, FRCPC

Associate Professor
Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Medicine
Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute
Calgary, AB

Dr. Jason Tay is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Calgary, where he is also a hematologist and member of the Myeloma and Alberta Bone Marrow and Blood Cell Transplant Program.

Dr. Tay’s research focuses on issues surrounding supportive measures for patients undergoing Hematopoietic Stem cell transplantation including transfusion supports. Further, he is interested in improving care of patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma by facilitating patient centered research.