Scientific and Medical Advisory Board

Ronald D. Alvarez, MD
Deborah K. Armstrong, MD
Robert Clinton Bast, Jr., MD
Robert Allen Burger, MD
Robert Coleman, MD
George Coukos, MD, PhD
Daniel Cramer, MD, Sc.D.
Barbara A. Goff, MD
Beth Y. Karlan, MD
Dineo Khabele, MD
Robert J. Kurman, MD
Judith Reichman, MD
Steve Skates, PhD
Anil K. Sood, MD
Alice Spinelli, MSN, ARNP

Dr. Alvarez is Professor and Vice-Chairman in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He holds the Ellen Gregg Shook Culverhouse Chair in Gynecologic Oncology and is Senior Scientist at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Alvarez received his medical degree from the Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans. His postgraduate training included a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. Dr. Alvarez’s research interests include novel therapeutics for ovarian cancer and cervical cancer screening and prevention. He has published over 150 articles in various peer reviewed journals including the Journal of Gynecologic Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, and Molecular Therapeutics. He serves as co-chair of the Protocol Development Committee for the Gynecologic Oncology Group. Dr. Alvarez has been an active member of several scientific review panels, including the Clinical Oncology Study Section of the National Cancer Institute and the Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program.

Dr. Armstrong is Associate Professor of Oncology and Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, as well as an active staff member in the hospital’s Oncology Department. She is currently on the editorial review board and peer review panels of publications such as Gynecologic Oncology and Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Armstrong also holds positions on committees with the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Gynecologic Oncology Group. Her research interests in ovarian cancer lie in the genetic aspects of the disease as well as interperitoneal (IP) therapy, biological therapy, and immunologic means of treatment. Her contributions to the field of ovarian cancer include leading the IP therapy effort, developing new therapeutic cancer treatments, and directing a genetic counseling service at Johns Hopkins to identify and help at risk patients.

Dr. Bast is Vice President for Translational Research, Internist and Professor of Medicine, and the Harry Carothers Wiess Distinguished University Chair for Cancer Research at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Bast is currently on the editorial and advisory boards of many medical journals including Cancer and Clinical Cancer Research and co-edits Cancer Medicine, a major textbook of oncology. Dr. Bast’s research interests include understanding the molecular aspects of ovarian cancer, developing an effective strategy for early detection, and individualizing ovarian cancer treatments. His contributions to the field of ovarian cancer research involve development of the CA-125 biomarker test, the characterization of molecular abnormalities in ovarian cancer, and the discovery of ARHI and other imprinted tumor suppressor genes.

Dr. Burger is Professor of Surgical Oncology—Section of Gynecologic Oncology and Director of the Women’s Cancer Center at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. He earned his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Harvard University, received his MD at New York University, completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania and finished a four-year fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Burger’s principal research interest is in ovarian cancer therapy, reflected in many of his 73 peer-reviewed publications and seven book chapters. His current researchprogram involves studies of molecular targeted therapeutics and novel primary prevention strategies. He is principal investigator for phase II and phase III trials of anti-angiogenic therapy in patients with ovarian cancer. Dr. Burger serves on three committees of the national Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) and is co-chair for the GOG Developmental Therapeutics Committee.

Dr. Coleman was recruited back to the M.D. Anderson faculty in 2004 to help expand and coordinate the Department of Gynecologic Oncology clinical therapeutics program. Finishing the institution’s Gynecologic Oncology fellowship in 1993, he has distinguished himself as a key opinion leader in cancers of the female genital tract. He has authored and co-authored more than 400 scientific publications, including more than 130 peer-reviewed articles, numerous book chapters, monographs, invited articles and textbooks. He is a frequently invited lecturer for national and international conferences and meetings where he continues to foster global scientific collaboration. Dr. Coleman currently serves on the Editorial Board of several peer-reviewed scientific publications. He is an active member of many national organizations including the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, the American College of Surgeons, American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He also serves several international organizations, such as the International Gynecologic Cancer Society, European Society of Gynecologic Oncology and the European Society of Medical Oncology. Dr. Coleman serves as the vice-chairman of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology Clinical Research, Director of Developmental Therapeutics and Research Administration Committees, is a member of the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program Executive Committee and is a Member of the Board for the Foundation for Women’s Cancer. In June 2010 he was appointed to the Ann Rife Cox Chair in Gynecology and is a member of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA.

Dr. Coukos is a tenured Professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and the Director of the Ovarian Cancer Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned an M.D. (cum laude) from the University of Modena (Italy), and a Ph.D. (Reproductive Biology) from the University of Patras School of Medicine (Greece). He is author of more than 150 publications; recipient of numerous awards for research in ovarian cancer; executive member of national and international organizations and foundations devoted to cancer research; and continuously recognized by Best Doctors in America for Cancer since 2007. The Ovarian Cancer Research Center (OCRC) was launched in January 2007 under his leadership and with support from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The mission of the OCRC is to improve the length and quality of life of women at risk for or with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer through innovative and multidisciplinary research in the areas of detection, prevention or therapy, and through rapid clinical translation of laboratory discoveries. The OCRC has also an educational mission, to develop the next generation of ovarian cancer translational and clinical investigators.

Dr. Cramer is is Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harvard Medical School at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He heads an ovarian cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence in Boston, a program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that promotes the transfer of cancer research to the clinical setting; is a member of the Early Detection Research Network, an NCI program aimed at developing biomarker and technology for early detection; and actively researches environmental, reproductive, and genetic factors in ovarian cancer. His main research interest is the epidemiology of ovarian cancer. Dr. Cramer’s contributions include being the first to present data on use of cosmetic talc in the genital area being a risk factor for ovarian cancer and the first to suggest that immune pathways mediate many risk factors for the disease.

Dr. Goff is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Adjunct Professor of Surgery, and the Gynecologic Oncology Division Director at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She is also an affiliate investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Goff is currently on a number of boards, including the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as the editorial board of Gynecologic Oncology. Her interests in ovarian cancer include early detection, teaching and evaluating surgical skills, clinical trials for gynecologic malignancies, and biomarkers of chemoresistance. Her contributions to the field of ovarian cancer research include identifying early detection methods.

Dr. Karlan holds the Board of Governors’ Endowed Chair in Gynecologic Oncology, she is the Director of the Women’s Cancer Research Institute at the Samuel Oschin Cancer Institute, Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and the Gilda Radner Cancer Detection Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Karlan is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Karlan received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and Harvard-M.I.T. Program in Health Sciences and Technology. Her postgraduate training included a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale-New Haven Hospital, a postdoctoral research fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine and a Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship at UCLA. She has published over 150 articles in peer reviewed journals including Gynecologic Oncology, Cancer, Cancer Research and Journal of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Karlan has served as the President of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists and as a member of the Gynecologic Oncology Division of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Karlan was appointed Editor-in-Chief to the Gynecologic Oncology Journal in 2008. Her research interests include early detection, biomarker discovery, inherited susceptibility, and targeted therapy. Dr. Karlan’s contributions include early detection, recognizing the importance of awareness, and individualizing therapeutic approaches of treatment.

Dr. Khabele is Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director of Gynecologic Oncology and Director of the Women’s Cancer Research Laboratory at Meharry Medical College. She is also Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Khabele is currently on the Quality Assurance Committee and Cancer Committee at Meharry Medical College, and an advisory board member of the Witness Project, a cancer awareness program directed at African American women. Her interests in ovarian cancer include awareness, patient care and health disparities among women with cancer — particularly African American women. Her contributions include the initiation of a gynecologic oncology program at Meharry Medical College focused on patient care, research, and community outreach; and raising awareness about gynecologic cancers.

Dr. Kurman is the Richard Telinde Distinguished Professor of Gynecologic Pathology at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He is a reviewer of medical publications such as Cancer and American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, where he is also on the editorial advisory board. His research interests include pathogenesis with implications for early detection and treatment for both ovarian cancer and borderline tumors. Dr. Kurman’s contributions to the field include establishing that there are dual pathways for the development of ovarian cancer with precursor lesions and genetic changes, and clarifying the relationship between borderline tumors and invasive carcinoma.

Dr. Reichman is considered to be one of the leading voices in America on women’s health issues.  She has been a contributing editor to the TODAY Show twice each month for over a decade, covering a wide variety of subjects and health issues related to women. Currently, Dr. Reichman has a thriving practice and teaches gynecology, and menopausal care at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and UCLA in Los Angeles.  As the author of the bestsellers I’m Not In The Mood – What Every Woman Should Know About Improving Her Libido, I’m Too Young to Get Old: Health Care for Women After Forty, Relax, This Won’t Hurt: Painless Answers to Women’s Health Questions and her most recent book Slow Your Clock Down: The Complete Guide to a Healthy, Younger You. Dr Reichman is also a contributing editor for the LA Times Magazine. She has been the medical guest on several Oprah shows, was the medical commentator for “Life & Times,” KCET and Public Television and has made numerous television appearances on health segments for PBS, ABC “Evening News with Peter Jennings,” CNN, “Regis and Kathy” and ABC “Good Morning America.”  Her many appearances on such programs have established her as one of the leading voices in women’s health care today.

Dr. Reichman received her bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Barnard College in 1966, and her M.D., magna cum laude, from the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.  She completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago.  Dr. Reichman lives in Los Angeles where she has a Gynecology and Menopausal Care practice. She is married to Gil Cates, the managing director of The Geffen Playhouse. They have 6 children and one dog (who resides with them).

Dr. Skates is Associate Professor of Medicine (Biostatistics) at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a member of the MGH Cancer Center and of the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. He serves on the Trial Management Committee of the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS), and has served on grant review panels for the US National Cancer Institute, the UK Medical Research Council, and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. His research interests in ovarian cancer include developing personalized screening tests using a woman’s past test results, designing and implementing optimal screening programs, discovering new biomarkers for early detection, and developing statistical methods for combining the information in multiple biomarkers. His contributions to the field of ovarian cancer research include the risk of ovarian cancer algorithm which is currently being tested in a randomized prospective trial (UKCTOCS) for normal risk postmenopausal women, in the NCI’s Cancer Genetics Network (CGN) trial of women at elevated risk, in the UK Familial Ovarian Cancer Screening Study (UKFOCSS), and the US Normal Risk Ovarian Screening Study (NROSS), and developing methods to combine ovarian cancer biomarkers CA125 and HE4 for testing women with pelvic masses.

Dr. Sood is Professor and Vice Chair for Translational Research in the Departments of Gynecologic Oncology and Cancer Biology and co-director of the Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. He is also Director of the multi-disciplinary Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program. Dr. Sood’s research is focused in three main areas: 1) effects of neuroendocrine stress hormones on ovarian cancer growth and progression, 2) development of new strategies for in vivo siRNA delivery, and 3) development of novel anti-vascular therapeutic approaches. Dr. Sood has received major recognition for his research accomplishments including the Hunter Award, the Margaret Greenfield/Carmel Cohen Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Prize, and the GCF/Claudia Cohen Research Foundation Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Cancer Researcher. Dr. Sood is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Ms. Spinelli is a Gynecologic Oncology Nurse Practitioner with Gynecologic Oncology of Brevard in Florida. She is a past president of the Society of Gynecologic Nurse Oncologists (2002-2004), as well as a member of the Oncology Nursing Society, and the cancer control co-chair of the American Cancer Society-Brevard Unit. Her participation also extends to the Gynecologic Oncology Foundation, and Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Florida/Space Coast, a partner organization of the Alliance, where she is the co-facilitator. Ms. Spinelli’s interests in ovarian cancer include treating and caring of patients, cancer genetics and genetic mutations such as the BRCA gene (breast cancer genes 1 and 2). Among her most significant contributions is the development of a module on ovarian cancer for nursing students that utilizes ovarian cancer survivors.