Jeffrey S. Aroy
Charles River Associates
Jeff is Managing Director at Charles River Associates. Prior to joining CRA, Jeff was Head of Leerink Swann Consulting. He has over 20 years of experience as a consultant and executive in life sciences. In his six years with Leerink Swann, Mr. Aroy has helped life sciences companies develop and implement growth strategies in a variety of therapeutic areas.
Prior to joining Leerink, with The Wilkerson Group/IBM Healthcare Consulting, Mr. Aroy was the Practice Leader for Medical Device and Diagnostic Consulting as well as the head of the West Coast Practice. Mr. Aroy also served as COO of Cholestech, an $85M diagnostics company sold to Inverness Medical for $326M and served as General Manager of Berkeley HeartLab, a $65MM advanced cardiovascular diagnostics company sold to Celera for $195M. Prior to his executive roles, Mr. Aroy worked for four years in life sciences for Deloitte Consulting.
Mr. Aroy received his BA in Economics from Harvard University and his MBA in Strategic Management from The Wharton School.
Highbrace Advisors, LLC
Doug currently manages separate accounts for individual and corporate investors. Previously, Doug was a Partner at Highbrace Capital, where he co-managed a fund of hedge funds, a senior equity analyst at Oppenheimer & Co./CIBC (1989-2002), Dean Witter Reynolds (1987-1989) and EF Hutton (1980-1987) and began his investment career at Moody’s Investors Service rating municipal bonds. During his sell-side career, Doug covered the environmental, industrial biotechnology and technology sectors and on numerous occasions was named to the Institutional Investor All American Research Team and as a Wall Street Journal All-Star. Doug has a B.S. degree in Finance from Boston College and an M.S. in Investment Management from Pace University. He is also a CFA charterholder and a CFP® Certificant.
Mark B. Bardorf, JD
Bardorf & Bardorf
Mark is an attorney with the firm Bardorf & Bardorf in Newport, RI. He was admitted to the New York bar in 1991 and to Massachusetts and Rhode Island Bar in 1998. Mark received his B.A. from Lehigh University and his law degree from Boston University. He is a member of the Newport County and Rhode Island Bar Associations.
Elsa Beyer Krall, Ph.D.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dr. Beyer Krall is a Hope Funds alumn Fellow, and is a post doc at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in the laboratory of William Hahn, M.D., Ph.D. She describes her work by noting that while tumors are generally classified by the tissue in which they arise, for instance breast versus lung, advances in cancer genomics have increasingly allowed for the identification of the specific genetic alterations in a given tumor. The success of some targeted therapies have further argued for classifying tumors by mutation status and choosing treatment strategies accordingly. Rather than focusing on cancers in a particular tissue, this project centers on cancers with inappropriate activation of the STAT3 protein. Because STAT3 itself has been difficult to target therapeutically, the study aims to identify other weaknesses in these cancers that may be more “druggable” targets. This study will involve several hundred cancer lines from different tissue types, allowing us to determine how common STAT3 activation is different types of cancer and to identify novel drug targets in these tumors.
Melissa’s career spans Silicon Valley and Wall Street. She spent seven years at Apple Computer and at a start-up software company in sales and marketing. She moved to Oppenheimer as the firm’s senior software analyst for nine years, then became president of Palladian Research, an independent equity research firm, and subsequently worked as a hedge fund consultant. A lifelong cellist, she currently performs solo, chamber and orchestral concerts in New York. In the not-for-profit arena, she is on the Board of the New York Youth Symphony, where she serves on the Finance Committee and works on program-related projects. Melissa received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and her MBA & MA from the Wharton School and Penn’s Lauder Institute.
Elizaveta Freinkman, Ph.D.
Whitehead Institute, MIT
Dr. Freinkman joined the laboratory of David Sabatini, M.D., Ph.D. at the Whitehead Institute in 2012, as a postdoctoral Fellow, after receiving her Ph.D. in Chemical Biology from Harvard University. While at Harvard, Dr. Freinkman was honored as the Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellow. She received an M.S., B.S in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University in 2007. Lisa received a Hope Funds for Cancer Research Fellowship in 2013. Her project explored the observation that many of the diverse metabolic enzymes expressed in the normal pancreas are absent in PDAC cells. Her worked studied which of these metabolic changes specifically promote the process of malignant transformation, as well as how this occurs. In April 2014, Dr. Freinkman was appointed manager of the recently established metabolite profiling core facility at the Whitehead Institute. The metabolite profiling facility collaborates with researchers at the Whitehead Institute and beyond whose studies require the measurement of small molecule metabolites in biological samples, such as cells, media, serum, and tissues.
Elizaveta was a Hope Funds Fellow from 2013-2014.
Jurre Kamphorst, Ph.D.
Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, University of Glasgow
Dr. Kamphorst joined the laboratory of Joshua Rabinowitz, M.D., Ph.D. at Princeton University in 2009, as a postdoctoral Fellow, after having received his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry and systems biology from Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Leiden, The Netherlands. In January 2014, Dr. Kamphorst started a faculty appointment at the prestigious Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow. Jurre received a Hope Funds for Cancer Research Fellowship in 2011. His project explored how tumor cells make specific metabolic adaptations to supply the energy and building blocks for their rapid growth.
Jurre was a Hope Funds Fellow from 2011 – 2014.
Debra Kennedy, M.D.
Debbie Kennedy is the Therapeutic Head for Coagulation in Clinical Research & Development at CSL Behring. Prior to joing CSL Behring, Dr. Kennedy was Medical Director of Clinical Research Oncology for Cephalon Corporation, were she was responsible for leading the clinical development of multiple investigational agents in oncology.
Debbie received her B.S. degree in Chemistry from American University, Washington DC in 1992, and her M.D. from Medical College of Virginia, VA in 1997. Upon graduating, Dr. Kennedy trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and then completed her fellowship training in Medical Oncology, Hematology and Transfusion Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, MD. She is also continues to work towards her Ph.D. in Clinical Investigation at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, MD. She was on the faculty at LSU, New Orleans as an Assistant Professor in Oncology and Pathology from 2005-2006. Prior to joining Cephalon, Dr. Kennedy’s research spanned from benchtop carbohydrate synthesis to transfusion support in hematologic malignancies. Currently, Dr. Kennedy is responsible for five active clinical trials targeting kinase inhibition with study sites worldwide.
John has been with Colgate for 13 years and has had management posts within USA and Nordic Group. John has an MBA from Harvard Business School. He serves on the Marketing Committee of International House and was a Trustee of International House from 1999-2001.
Jordan Krall, PhD
Whitehead Institute, MIT
Jordan Krall, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral Fellow at the Whitehead Institute at MIT, in the laboratory of Robert Weinberg, Ph.D. Dr. Krall received his PhD from Harvard University, a Masters of Science by Research from University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, with High Distinction in Chemistry from Amherst College. Jordan was a Hope Funds for Cancer Research Fellow from 2010 to 2013. Dr. Krall and Dr. Weinberg are investigating the mechanism of systemic tumor promotion in a manner that addresses the basic biology and reveals new therapeutic approaches.
Jordan was a Hope Funds Fellow from 2010 – 2013.
Simon Knott, Ph.D.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Dr. Knott is a Hope Funds Alumni Fellow and is post doc in the laboratory of Gregory Hannon, Ph.D. Dr. Knott research notes that loss-of-function RNAi screens that target tumorgenic genomic factors are a powerful and commonly drawn weapon in the war on cancer. However, using current tools, these screens often produce less than industrial strength results. Dr. Knott’s research is aimed at improving the quality and robustness of these tools, thus he does not focus on a specific cancer per se. With that said, the model Dr. Knott has chosen to develop these tools in is Pancreatic Cancer.
RNAi screens, as they pertain to cancer research, are driven by the premise that oncogenic changes alter the dependencies of cells, making them vulnerable to the loss of driving oncogenes and to addictions that the transformed state creates. There are cases where this paradigm has proven successful, like Gleevec, Tarceva and B-RAF inhibitors. However, there are inevitably patients who fail to respond or, more commonly and perhaps predominately, initially respond but later acquire resistance to single-target therapies. The reasons for initial and outright resistance are several-fold. Chief among them is heterogeny in cancer cell populations due to additional mutations acquired between the time of the initial driver mutation and the time of treatment. For example, the chronic myeloid leukemia drug Gleevec, which targets the tyrosine kinase enzyme ABL, is rendered ineffective in patients with additional mutations in the BCR-ABL enzyme. The mechanisms behind delayed and/or acquired resistance appear to be more complex. Cellular pathways are dense, highly connected and adaptable. Following the exposure of cancer cells to a targeted therapy, the pathways involved is typically up- or down-regulated as anticipated. However, having rapid rate of proliferation and anti-apoptotic tendencies, these cells can overcome this initial therapeutic onslaught by taking advantage of pathway plasticity. Up- or down-regulating parallel or related pathways, tumor cells are able to compensate for the loss of targeted gene/pathway. To overcome the shortfalls of single-target therapeutics, it is necessary to turn towards combinatorial agents targeting critical notes of multiple pathways. Dr. Knott’s research is building methods to identify high efficacy multi-targeted therapeutics.
Joo-Hyeon Lee, PhD
Children’s Hospital Boston
Dr. Lee is a Hope Funds Alumni Fellow and received faculty appointment at Cambridge University in January 2016. She was a Hope Funds Fellows while a post doc at Children’s Hospital Boston, in the laboratory of Carla Kim, Ph.D. Dr. Lee is working to bring new technological approaches to lung cancer research by working to understand the role of the microenvironment and the molecules that regulate lung tumor growth. Using new techniques she previously developed, her work will help to determine which of the many mutations identified in human cancers are truly important therapeutic targets. This work will accelerate the discovery of novel therapeutic strategies for lung cancer patients.
She was a Hope Funds Fellow from 2011 – 2014, working in Lung cancer.
Bluma Lesch, M.D., Ph.D.
The Whitehead Institite at MIT
Dr. Lesch is a Hope Funds Alumae Fellow and is a post doc in the laboratory of David Page, M.D. Dr. Lesch describes her work as focusing on myeloid and lymphoid leukemias, and on medulloblastoma, a pediatric brain tumor. Although hematologic malignancies and medulloblastomas represent very different types of cancer, both have been associated with mutations in the histone demethylase gene Utx. I will use loss-of-function mutations in Utx to induce an altered epigenetic state in the germline, and determine the risk of developing leukemia or medulloblastoma in offspring inheriting this altered epigenetic state. Cancer frequently runs in families. This observation has driven the discovery of many genes crucial to the initiation and progression of malignancy in both familial and spontaneous tumors. Importantly, identification of inherited mutations in cancer-prone families has also had a profound impact on the lives of the people carrying them. Once aware that he or she is carrying a cancer-associated mutation, a person can take highly effective preventive measures to avoid developing the disease. Despite these important genetic discoveries, however, most of the risk associated with heritable cancers remains unexplained: currently, known gene mutations account for only a minority of familial cancer cases. As a Hope Funds Fellow, I will test the hypothesis that some of this inherited risk can be explained by epigenetic changes passed from generation to generation through the sperm or egg. Like genetic mutations, epigenetic changes alert the molecular state of the cell and can drastically alter a cell’s behavior, but unlike genetic mutations, they do not directly alter gene sequence. The possibility that inherited epigenetic defects contribute to familial cancer risk has not been seriously examined up to this point. If true, it will open the way to better understanding of general cancer mechanisms, and may also allow individuals with a family history of cancer to preempt development of the disease in themselves and their families.
Pedro P. Medina, Ph.D.
Centre for Genomics and Oncological Research and University of Granada
Dr. Medina, a Hope Funds Alumni Fellow, is a group leader at Centre for Genomics and Oncology Research and Associate professor at the University of Granada (Spain). He received his Degree in Biological Sciences from University of Granada and his PhD in Cancer Molecular Biology at National Cancer Center of Spain. Dr. Medina developed his postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Frank Slack, in the department of Molecular, Cellular & Development Biology at Yale University from 2007 to the end of 2011. Using experimental models, Drs. Medina and Slack collaborated to unveil the importance of microRNAs in tumor development and established the first in vivo model that develops a tumor phenotype with addiction to a non-protein coding gene. Pedro continues his cancer research in his own laboratory in the Centre for Genomics and Oncological Research (Granada, Spain) as group leader and he is Associate professor at the University of Granada.
Pedro was a Hope Funds Fellow from 2008 – 2011.
Andrew Mullen, Ph.D.
Dr. Mullen is a Hope Funds alumni Fellow, who was at the Whitehead Institute, in the laboratory of David Sabatini, M.D., Ph.D. While in Dr. Sabatini’s lab, he studied Multiple myeloma, a malignancy of antibody secreting cells in the bone marrow and accounts for 1% of cancer incidences in the United States. Due to a lack of effective and durable treatment options, most patients with this disease cannot be cured. Dr. Mullen received his B.A. in environmental science from Ithaca College, NY and his Ph.D. in Genetics and Development from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Thales Papagiannakopoulos, Ph.D.
NYU Medical School
Dr. Papagiannakopoulos is a Hope Funds Alumni Fellow and received a faculty appointment at NYU Medical School in October 2015. While a Hope Funds Fellow, Thales was at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, in the laboratory of Tyler Jacks, Ph.D. His research focused on lung cancer, which is a leading cause of deaths worldwide. Using a well-defined lung cancer mouse model developed in the Jacks Lab Dr. Papagiannakopoulos’ work investigated whether circadian rhythm disruption contributes to lung tumor initiation and progression. Circadian Rhythms are highly conserved daily oscillations that align physiological functions with the day/night cycles. Disruption of circadian rhythms is a major consequence of a modern lifestyle. Loss of circadian clock synchrony is associated with the range of diseases, including cancer. Epidemiological studies have revealed that the risk for many types of cancer is significantly higher in industrialized societies, particularly among shift-workers. In 2010, the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer published an assessment on carcinogenicity of shift-work, which concluded: “shift-work that involves circadian disruption is probably carcinogenic to humans.” This raises many concerns, since the United States alone, it is estimated that 20% of the work force is subjected to shifting work schedules. Thales’ studies aim to uncover the functional importance and provide molecular insight into circadian rhythm disruption in lung tumor initiation and progression. He published his findings in the October 22, 2014 issue of the journal Nature. Thales received an appointment as an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU School of Medicine in September 2015.
Dr. Papagiannakopoulos was a Hope Funds Fellow from 2012 – 2015.
Alessandro Papa, M.D.
Alex is a hematologist/oncologist practicing at Newport Hospital in Newport, RI. Dr. Papa received his BS and MD from Brown University.
Brooke Weibel Pinault
AEW Capital Management, LP
Mrs. Pinault is an Associate in AEW Capital Management’s Investor Relations Group with responsibility for providing broad marketing and client service support to the senior team members. In this capacity, she is responsible for working with the investment teams to assist in the creation and management of marketing materials and investor presentations; providing in-house support to the sales team; and responding to the information needs of clients and consultants. One of the world’s leading real estate investment advisors, AEW and its affiliates manage over $51 billion of property across the public and private property markets. Mrs. Pinault joined AEW in 2010 from Miller Buckfire & Co., where she worked as an assistant to the Chief Financial Officer in New York City. She earned her B.A. from Fairfield University
Kelly Willette Powers
Salve Regina University
Kelly became active with the Hope Funds Junior Committee in 2007 and has been a very active member of the Hope Funds Development Committee since 2009, and has been acting Development Coordinator on a volunteer basis during that time.
Mrs. Powers is Director of Community Service at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, and a real estate sales associate at Libby Kirwin Real Estate in Newport. She has a Masters Degree from Springfield College in Massachusetts. Kelly is an accomplished triathlete.
Nathan Robison, M.D.
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
After completing his residency and fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Dr. Robison completed an additional fellowship in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology at the Dana-Farber / Children’s Hospital Cancer Center in Boston. He served as clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and attending staff in the Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital from 2010 to 2013. In April 2013 he joined the faculty of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine as assistant professor of pediatrics, and now serves as attending staff in the Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
In addition to his work at Children’s Hospital, Dr. Robison has done two volunteer tours in Rwanda. Dr. Robinson is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha honor society, Association of Pathology, Christian Medical Association, American Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, American Association of Cancer Research, and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplant. Nathan was a Hope Funds for Cancer Research Postdoctoral Fellow in 2008 and has served on the Hope Funds Council of Advisors since 2009.
Eric T. Sawey, Ph.D.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Eric Sawey is an Editor for the scientific journal Genes & Development at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. Dr. Sawey received his doctorate degree from Stony Brook University and his B.S. degree from the University at Buffalo. From 2008-2011, Eric was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the laboratory of Scott Powers, PhD. From 2009-2011, Eric was a Hope Funds for Cancer Research Fellow. His findings were published in the journal Cancer Cell in 2011. Eric is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). He also volunteers as a judge for the Long Island Science & Engineering Fair (LISEF).
Wasserstein & Co.
Michael Struble is a Managing Director at Wasserstein & Co. in New York City. Mr. Struble joined W&Co. in 2003. He has primarily focused on W&Co.’s media and communications investment activities. His historical and current investment responsibilities have included Penton Media, ALM Media, Real Estate Media, New York Media and The Deal. Mr. Struble serves on the Boards of Directors of Recorded Books and Penton Media and as an officer of New York Media. Previously, Mr. Struble worked at UBS in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group, where he focused primarily on media, consumer products and healthcare transactions. Mr. Struble received his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Kansas. Michael has been an active member of the Hope Funds Finance Committee since 2009.
Manuel Valiente, Ph.D.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Dr. Valiente is a postdoctoral Fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in the laboratory of Joan Massague, Ph.D. He received his PhD in Neuroscience from Instituto de Neurociencias, licante, Spain, and his Degree in Veterinary Science from University of Zaragoza. Manuel was a Hope Funds for Cancer Research Fellow from 2010 to 2013. Using experimental mouse models, Drs. Valiente and Massague discovered that a number of genes are specifically expressed on human cancer cell lines from breast and lung adenocarcinomas that preferentially metastasize in the brain. They used this opportunity to evaluate which of these genes play fundamental roles in the establishment of brain metastasis.
Manuel was a Hope Funds Fellow from 2010 – 2013.
Xiaoxing Wang, Ph.D.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute & The Broad Institute
Dr. Wang is working at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the laboratory of William Hahn, MD, PhD. She is studying treatment options for metastatic pancreatic and colorectal cancers. Dr. Wang is an alumae Hope Funds Fellow. She received a postdoctoral fellowships from Hope Funds in 2009. Today, she is continuing the work she started with Hope Funds under a grant from the US government.
Xiaoxing was a Hope Funds Fellow from 2009 -2010.
Orest Zaklynsky, M.D.
Dr. Zaklynsky is a retired general surgeon who practiced in Newport, RI. Orest grew up in New York and trained at New York Hospital. He is Chief of Surgery at Newport Hospital and a member of the Lifespan system, which also includes RI Hospital and Brown University. Dr. Zaklynsky has cared for many cancer patients in the Newport Community.
Lucylee Chiles, EdD (1941 – 2013)
Lucylee Chiles held a doctorate in Art and Education from Columbia University and had extensive experience in non-profit governance. She served as the Director of a non-profit institution for many years. These include having been the Director of the Isabel O’Neil Studio Workshop and Foundation from 1994 – 2002; having served as adjunct Art faculty at Kean University from 2003-2005; and having served on the Board of Trustees of International House in New York and the University Council for Arts Education. Dr. Chiles served on the Hope Funds Council of Advisors and several committees of the Board of Trustees from 2008 – 2013.