All invited speakers to GAP 2018 are introduced here (page updated continuously). Click “+ Show more” to read the full introduction of a speaker and his/her engagements during the conference.

Banu K. Arun

Banu K. Arun, MD, PhD

Dr. Banu Arun is Professor in Department of Breast Medical Oncology, Co-Medical Director of the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program and Section Chief Breast Genetics, Prevention and Screening at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her research focuses on identifying risk biomarkers for breast cancer and prevention, and characterizing risk factors in a cohort of high-risk women with hereditary gene mutations (BRCA and others) as well as assessing breast cancer biology in these patients. She has served as the Principal Investigator on several clinical trials evaluating agents such as letrozole, imatinib, gemcitabine, R115777 and PARP inhibitors for metastatic breast cancer (including BRCA positive,) and celecoxib, atorvastatin and dasatinib in short-term breast cancer prevention trials.

Given her national and international expertise she has served in several committees, including ASCO Prevention and currently serves as the Co-Chair for the SWOG Prevention and Epidemiology Committee and member of the NCCN Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Guideline Committee, member of the ASCO BOLD task force, member of ASCO IDEA committee, and member of the NCI Cancer Prevention Steering Committee. She served as grant reviewer for Susan Komen and NCI P01 and reviewed for journal including JCO, Cancer, BMJ, Cancer Prevention and Epidemiology, amongst others. She has more than 200 peer reviewed publications.

Participates in the following events:
Tuesday 5/15 3:30 PM-5:30 PM - WS 6: Breast Cancer
Tuesday 5/15 3:55 PM-4:20 PM - Keynote: Recent advances in BRCA positive breast cancer

Karen Basen-Enquist

Karen Basen-Engquist, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Basen-Engquist is the Annie Laurie Howard Research Distinguished Professor in the department of Behavioral Science and the Director of the Center for Energy Balance in Cancer Prevention and Survivorship at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.  Her research investigates the role of exercise and weight management interventions in improving physical functioning, optimizing quality of life and reducing risk of cancer, cancer recurrence, and other chronic diseases. She also studies intervention methods for behavior change with a focus on distance-based and mHealth interventions. Her research on the benefits of physical activity for cancer survivors has been translated into a community program to increase physical activity among medically underserved cancer survivors in Houston and El Paso, Texas. She is a member of the National Cancer Policy Forum at the National Academy of Medicine, and recently served as an organizer of an NCPF’s workshop on incorporating physical activity and weight management programs throughout the cancer continuum.

Participates in the following events:
Thursday 5/17 10:00 AM-10:30 AM - Obesity, nutrition and exercise

Giulio Draetta

Giulio F. Draetta, MD, PhD

Giulio F. Draetta is Senior Vice President, Discovery Therapeutics, Chief Academic Officer ad interim, and he is Professor and holds the Sewell Family Chair in the Department of Genomic Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He additionally serves as the co-leader of the institution’s Moon Shots Program. Dr. Draetta’s laboratory focuses on using functional genomics approaches to identify cancer-specific dependencies and their underlying mechanisms within defined genetic contexts, particularly in pancreatic and brain cancer. Specific areas of emphasis include cancer cell metabolism, epigenetics, and translational cancer biology. Before joining MD Anderson in 2011, he was Dana-Farber Presidential Scholar, Chief Research Business Development Officer and Deputy Director of the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Prior to returning full-time to academic endeavors, Dr. Draetta spent many years in the pharmaceutical industry, including serving as Executive Director at Pharmacia and Merck, where he developed his passion for addressing the opportunities and challenges inherent within oncology drug discovery. Since 2012, his team at MD Anderson has advanced to clinical development, two novel therapeutic antibodies and IACS-10759, a novel small molecule inhibitor of oxidative phosphorylation that is currently being tested in leukemia and solid tumors indications, with a host of molecules positioned along the drug discovery/development continuum. Through his administrative service, Dr. Draetta is responsible for fostering the institutional scientific mission and leveraging multi-disciplinary team science opportunities to serve patients with cancer by improving the speed of delivery and impact of novel cancer therapeutics.

Participates in the following events:
Wednesday 5/16 1:30 PM-2:00 PM - Keynote: Targeting functional dependencies in pancreatic cancer
Wednesday 5/16 1:30 PM-3:30 PM - WS 10: Clinical trials in cancer

Jeffrey E. Lee

Jeffrey E. Lee, MD, PhD

Dr. Jeffrey E. Lee is Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, where he holds the Irving and Nadine Mansfield and Robert David Levitt Cancer Research Chair.  Dr. Lee also serves as Executive Director for the Division of Surgery for M.D. Anderson’s Regional, National and International Cancer Network. 

Dr. Lee received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his medical degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine.  Continuing his post-graduate training at Stanford, Dr. Lee completed an internship and residency in surgery and a research fellowship in tumor immunology at Stanford.  He completed his clinical fellowship in surgical oncology at MD Anderson in 1993, following which he joined the faculty at MD Anderson. 

A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Lee’s clinical interests include the surgical management of patient with pancreatic cancer, endocrine tumors, and melanoma.  Particular areas of clinical research interest include the management of borderline resectable pancreatic cancer, vascular resection in pancreatic surgery, surgical management of patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia, surgical treatment of adrenal cancer, neoadjuvant therapy for pancreas and adrenal cancer, minimally invasive adrenal surgery, and surgery for metastatic melanoma. 

Prior to becoming Department Chair in 2010, Dr. Lee served for 17 years as Medical Director of the Ben Love/El Paso Corporation Melanoma and Skin Center; he continues to serve as Co-Director of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Research Program, and he has been Co-Director of MD Anderson’s NCI-sponsored Melanoma SPORE grant for more than a decade.  He has had a longstanding peer-review funded collaborative laboratory research effort focused on melanoma genetics, the role of immune and inflammatory blood biomarkers in melanoma, and the development of novel antibody-based therapeutics for melanoma and other cancers.  These investigations are directed towards more accurate identification of high-risk patients for adjuvant therapies, more precise selection of systemic therapies for patients with recurrence, and development of novel treatment strategies.

Participates in the following events:
Tuesday 5/15 1:00 PM-1:30 PM - Keynote:Evolution of treatment of resectable pancreatic cancer over the past 25 years: The MD Anderson experience
Tuesday 5/15 1:00 PM-3:00 PM - WS 2: Pancreatic Cancer

Marianne Farnebo
Marianne Farnebo, PhD

Dr Marianne Farnebo is head of a research group located at Karolinska Institutet, focused on exploring the mechanisms of DNA damage response, the involvement of RNA molecules in this process and whether their disruptions contributes to persistent cell damage and cancer.

Marianne Farnebo is Swedish and obtained her first degree in biomedicine at the Karolinska Institutet (1999). In 2003 she was awarded a PhD from Karolinska Institutet for her studies in cancer genetics and antisense RNA-mediated gene regulation. She performed a postdoc with Professor Klas Wiman at the same institute studying the p53 tumor suppressor gene. During these studies, she discovered the WRAP53 gene that encodes both an antisense transcript (WRAP53?) that stabilizes p53 and the protein WRAP53? involved in the maintenance of Cajal bodies, telomere elongation and genome integrity, which formed the basis for her subsequent independent research line. As a consequence of these investigations, Marianne filed two patents, one of which has been sold to the biotech company APREA AB. Alongside the postdoc studies, Marianne Farnebo worked as a project manager for a multinational EU project focused on exploring anti-cancer therapies. 

In 2009, Marianne received a research fellowship from the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation and set up her own laboratory at Karolinska Institutet. In 2011, she became an Associate Professor at this same institute and was thereafter awarded three Young Investigator Awards by Cancerfonden, StratCan and Vetenskapsrådet. More recently, Marianne was awarded a Young Investigator Award from the Center for innovative medicin (CIMED) and three Senior Investigator Awards by Karolinska Institutet, StratCan and Cancerfonden. During the past 7 years, Marianne have given over 30 invited presentations at international conferences and institutes in 10 countries.


Participates in the following events:
Thursday 5/17 1:30 PM-3:30 PM - WS 14: DNA repair
Thursday 5/17 2:00 PM-2:30 PM - Keynote: RNA-guided repair of DNA double-strand breaks

Prue Francis

Prudence Francis, MD

Dr Prue Francis is Clinical Head of Breast Medical Oncology at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia. She received her medical degree from the University of Melbourne, and completed her Medical Oncology training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Dr Francis is chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Breast Cancer Trials Australia and New Zealand (BCT-ANZ) cooperative group. She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG). She is a member of the St. Gallen International Expert Consensus Panel on the Primary Therapy of Early Breast Cancer, and the Advanced Breast Cancer (ABC) International Consensus Panel.

She is an international study chair for the SOFT trial, and chairs the Steering Committee for the TEXT and SOFT trials.

Participates in the following events:
Tuesday 5/15 3:30 PM-5:30 PM - WS 6: Breast Cancer

Peter Friedl

Peter Friedl, MD, PhD

Dr. Friedl was born and raised in Germany, received his M.D. degree from the University of Bochum in 1992 and the Ph.D. degree from the McGill University, Montreal in 1996. Since 2007 he is directing the Microscopical Imaging Centre of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands and since 2011 holds a joint-faculty position at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX for preclinical intravital imaging of cancer lesions and their response to molecular targeted and immunotherapy.

His research interest is the mechanisms and plasticity of cell migration in immune regulation and cancer metastasis, with emphasis on cell-matrix adhesion, pericellular proteolysis and cell-cell communication during migration. His laboratory identified pathways determining diversity and plasticity of cell migration, collective cancer cell invasion, and the contribution of migration pathways to immune defense and cancer resistance. His discoveries have provided a nomenclature for the different types of cell migration and their roles in building and (re)shaping tissue, with emphasis on inflammation, regeneration and cancer. His therapeutic preclinical studies focus on the intravital visualization of niches and mechanisms and strategies to overcome therapy resistance.

Participates in the following events:
Thursday 5/17 11:00 AM-11:30 AM - Plasticity of cancer metastasis

Kaisa Fritzell

Kaisa Fritzel, Nurse, PhD

Kaisa Fritzell is a registred nurse and holds a master in Genetic counseling and a PhD in hereditary colorectal cancer. She has been working in the gastroenterology field at the Karolinska University Hospital since 1992. Currently she is doing her post doc position at the national project “Screening of Swedish Colons – SCREESCO”, with the overall aim of of investigating whether screening can reduce incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer (CRC) among the Swedish population and to find the best suitable screening method. Kaisa and colleagues are specifically studying how individuals reason when they make decisions about participation in CRC screening.  

Participates in the following events:
Thursday 5/17 9:00 AM-9:30 AM - Needs for information and decision making – when participating in screening for colorectal cancer in Sweden

Douglas Hanahan

Douglas Hanahan, MD, PhD

Dr. Hanahan is Director of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), and Vice-Director of the new multi-institutional Swiss Cancer Center that is based in Lausanne. Hanahan trained at MIT and Harvard University.  He worked at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as a graduate student and then as a faculty member. Subsequently he spent twenty-one years in the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics at UCSF before moving to EPFL in 2009. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a member of the US National Academies of Medicine and of Science, and the European Molecular Biology Organization. He received an honorary degree from the University of Dundee (2011) and an award for distinguished cancer research from the Fondazione San Salvatore (Lugano, Switzerland). In 2014, he was elected as a fellow of the Academy of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and honored with the AACR’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  The Hanahan lab’s research is focused on elucidating mechanisms of tumor development and progression in genetically engineered mouse models of human cancer, a field Hanahan has helped pioneer, with a particular focus on functional contributions of the disparate cell types of the tumor microenvironment, and on applying such knowledge of mechanism to guide combinatorial therapeutic strategies with promise to improve the treatment of human cancers.

Participates in the following events:
Thursday 5/17 8:30 AM-9:15 AM - Hallmarks of cancer: lessons for cancer medicine?

Thomas Helleday
Thomas Helleday, PhD

Professor Thomas Helleday is the Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg Professor of Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

He heads a large multidisciplinary translational research group focusing on understanding basic DNA repair and DNA-damage and developing novel drugs for anti-cancer treatments. The group was first to demonstrate a novel concept for treating cancer called “synthetic lethality” established by the selective killing of BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutated breast and ovarian cancers by PARP inhibitors (now EMA/FDA approved). The research covers both basic and translational work including academic-driven clinical trials, based on basic science findings in his laboratory.

Participates in the following events:
Thursday 5/17 1:30 PM-2:00 PM - Keynote: Targeting MTHFD2 by cancer phenotypic lethality

Sten Eirik Jacobsen

Sten Eirik W Jacobsen, MD PhD

Professor Sten Eirik W Jacobsen earned his MD (1987) and PhD (1992; based on research conducted at NIH, USA) at the University of Bergen, Norway. At Lund University, in 2000, he became the first Professor of Stem Cell Biology in Sweden. In 2003, he received a personal grant from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research and matching support from Lund University and Lund University Hospital (exceeding 20 million Euro), to establish and lead one of the first six Swedish Strategic Centers of Excellence in Life Sciences, the Lund Stem Cell Center. In 2006, he was appointed to an endowed chair at the University of Oxford, The Anne T and Robert M Bass Chair and Professorship in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology as applied to Medicine, and at the Weatherall Institute of Medicine (WIMM) he established a new Laboratory of Haematopoietic Stem Cell Biology. In 2010, he was appointed as a Guest Professor in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Karolinska Institutet, and was part of establishing a new Center for Hematology and Regenerative Medicine. In 2014, he was awarded an international recruitment grant from the Swedish Research Council, and accepted a full professorship (commencing 2015) in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Since 2015, he also sustains a part-time Professorship and research programme at the WIMM.

Jacobsen’s research has identified extrinsic and intrinsic regulators of hematopoiesis and hematopoietic stem cells, and novel lineage commitment steps and stem cell subsets in normal hematopoiesis as well as the identity and therapy-responsiveness of stem cells required and sufficient for propagating hematological malignancies (Cell 2005; Nature Medicine 2005; Cell Stem Cell 2007; Immunity 2007; N Engl J Med, 2010; Cancer Cell 2011; N Engl J Med 2012; Nature Immunology 2012; Cell Stem Cell 2013; Nature 2013;Cancer Cell 2014; Nature Cell Biol 2016; Nature Immunology 2016x2; Nature Medicine 2017).

Professor Jacobsen is the recipient of a number of Scandinavian prizes including the Fernström Prize for young investigators (2000), Göran Gustafsson Prize in Medicine (2005), and the Tobias Prize (2014). He is a member of advisory boards of centres of excellence in Sweden and internationally, organising committees of international meetings, prize/award committees, and international research/grant review panels.

Contact information:

Sten Eirik W Jacobsen

E-mail: or

Personal Assistant, Dimitra Vasileiadi


Phone: 00-46-72-8583119

Olli Kallioniemi

Olli Kallioniemi, MD, PhD

Olli Kallioniemi is Professor in Molecular Precision Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet and Director of the Science for Life Laboratory (, a national infrastructure for life sciences in Sweden since 2015.

Professor Kallioniemi received his M.D. in 1984, Ph.D. in 1988 and specialty training in laboratory medicine at the University of Tampere in Finland. He undertook a postdoc at UC San Francisco in 1990-1992 and was appointed faculty at the National Human Genome Research Institute, at the NIH (1995-2002). He was the founding director of the Medical Biotechnology unit at Turku, Finland at the VTT Technical Research Centre and University of Turku (2002-2008). He was the Founding Director of FIMM – the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland ( and professor at the University of Helsinki in 2007-2015. FIMM is part of the Nordic EMBL partnership in Molecular Medicine.

Professor Kallioniemi is an author of 358 publications, a member of the editorial board of six journals and has been an invited key note lecturer in over 150 meetings during the past five years. He has supervised 23 doctoral theses and has been an advisor to 27 postdocs.

Professor Kallioniemi is an inventor and co-inventor of 24 issued patents, with a focus on diagnostic technology development, such as FISH, CGH, tissue microarrays, cell-based RNAi microarrays and bioinformatic methods. His current research is focussing on individualized systems medicine to promote precision care of cancer patients.

Professor Kallioniemi is a member of EMBO, the National Academy of Sciences (Finland), European Academy of Cancer Sciences and an elected member of The Nobel Assembly.

Participates in the following events:
Tuesday 5/15 3:30 PM-4:00 PM - Keynote: Precision Systems Medicine to Tailor Cancer Treatments
Tuesday 5/15 3:30 PM-5:30 PM - WS 9: Precision Medicine
Wednesday 5/16 12:22 PM-12:29 PM - Precision systems medicine from leukemia to solid tumors

Pernilla Lagergren

Pernilla Lagergren, PhD, Professor of Surgical Care Sciences

Pernilla Lagergren is professor of Surgical Care Sciences at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden and at Imperial College London, United Kingdom. She also holds a visiting professorship at King’s College London, United Kingdom. Professor Lagergren is a registered nurse and holds a PhD in surgery.

Professor Lagergren leads a multidisciplinary research group at Karolinska Institutet. Her main research area is cancer survivorship in patients with cancer of the upper gastrointestinal tract, with a focus on health-related quality of life and other patient-reported outcomes in patients who undergo surgery for oesophageal cancer. In her newly appointed position as professor at Imperial College London she aims to develop the research area of survivorship in gastrointestinal cancer patients.

In 2015 she was the recipient of Anders Jahre’s prize in medicine for younger researchers, a Nordic prize from University of Oslo, Norway. She is an elected member of the  European Academy of Cancer Sciences (EACS). She is chairing the priority committee of care sciences at the Swedish Cancer Society and member of their research committee of this society. Professor Lagergren is a member of the National and the Regional Care Program Group of the Guidelines for Oesophageal and Gastric Cancer.

Participates in the following events:
Wednesday 5/16 4:45 PM-5:15 PM - Developing a research program around supportive care needs after surgery for patients with esophageal cancer

Stephan Mielke
Stephan Mielke, MD, Professor of Hematology and Cellular Therapy

Stephan Mielke was born in 1969 in Bielefeld, West Germany. In 1999 he graduated from Medical School and received his doctoral degree from Georg-August University in Göttingen. In the same year, he started his residency and fellowship program at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg. From 2004 to 2007 Mielke carried out his postdoctoral research at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, subsequently joining the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg where he has been Professor of Medicine since 2014.

In connection with his move to KI, Mielke has been appointed Scientific Director for the Theme Cancer and as head of CAST at Karolinska University Hospital.  On 1 January 2017, Stephan Mielke was appointed Professor of Haematology and Cellular Therapy at Karolinska Institutet.

Foto: Creo Media Group. Text: Anders Nilsson.

Participates in the following events:
Thursday 5/17 1:30 PM-1:50 PM - Keynote: Cancer immunotherapy balancing robustness and sophistication

Jeffrey J. Molldrem

Jeffrey Molldrem, MD

Dr. Molldrem received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Moorhead State University in 1986 and his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in 1990. After serving his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles, he completed his fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at the National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins. He joined the faculty of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1997 and is professor of medicine and Virginia H. Cockrell Distinguished Professor in Immunology, as well as section chief of Transplantation Immunology.

Dr. Molldrem has made major contributions to MD Anderson’s stem cell transplantation and immunology programs. His research seeks to identify target molecules on leukemia cells that are recognized by donor lymphocytes that mediate graft-versus-leukemia, understand mechanisms of immune tolerance, and develop novel immunotherapies for leukemia. This research fuels the Evolution of Cancer, Leukemia and Immunity Project (ECLIPSE), of which he also serves as leader. His team was responsible for inventing 8F4, a humanized T cell receptor-like monoclonal antibody, which allowed his team to partner with Astellas Pharma to develop 8F4 as a new treatment for patients with acute myeloid leukemia.

He is a Fellow in the American Society for Clinical Investigation and a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Most recently he was awarded the Division of Cancer Medicine Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship. 

In 2014, he was named scientific director of MD Anderson’s Oncology Research for Biologics and Immunotherapy Translation (ORBIT) platform. Part of the institution’s Moon Shots ProgramTM, ORBIT coordinates development and production of clinical immunotherapeutic antibodies based on novel targets originating at MD Anderson, including the 8F4 antibody.

Participates in the following events:
Wednesday 5/16 8:30 AM-12:00 PM - PLENARY SESSION 2
Wednesday 5/16 9:00 AM-9:45 AM - Harnessing alloimmunity to treat cancer

Helena Nordenstedt

Helena Nordenstedt, MD, PhD

Dr. Nordenstedt has a background working for Médecins Sans Frontières in Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2014 she holds a position as Assistant Professor of Global health at Karolinska Institutet, where she has focused on teaching Global health to undergraduate and graduate students. In 2015-16 she worked closely with Professor Hans Rosling launching a massive open online course in Global health. She regularly gives lectures for the Gapminder Foundation.

Participates in the following events:
Tuesday 5/15 11:15 AM-12:00 PM - “Global Health”-Hans Rosling in memoriam (Talk + audience test)

Qiang Pan-Hammarström

Qiang Pan-Hammarström, MD, PhD

Dr. Qiang Pan-Hammarström is a professor of clinical immunology at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet and a visiting professor at Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Centre and Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute in China.

Dr. Qiang Pan-Hammarström was trained as a medical doctor and graduated from Sun Yat-Sen Medical University in 1993. During 1993 and 1994 she worked as a physician at the Guangzhou Respiratory Disease Research Institute. She obtained her PhD degree in molecular immunology at the Karolinska Institutet in 1999 and carried out her postdoc training at Harvard Medical School in 2000. In 2001 she came back to the Karolinska Institutet where she became an associate professor and group leader in 2004. She was a guest professor at Beijing University from 2005 to 2009, a visiting scientist in Harvard Medical School in 2012, a visiting professor at Rockefeller University from 2013-2015, a visiting scientist in the Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT from 2016 to 2017. She was appointed professor of clinical immunology at the Karolinska Institutet in 2011.

Dr. Qiang Pan-Hammarström has published 114 papers in areas of immunoglobulin gene diversifications, primary immunodeficiencies, genome instability and B cell malignancies.

Participates in the following events:
Thursday 5/17 1:50 PM-2:10 PM - Keynote: Genetic landscape of hepatitis B virus-assoicated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: insights for novel targeted therapies

Sir Richard Peto

Sir Richard Peto, FRS
Richard Peto is Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford. His epidemiological studies in Europe, America, India, China and Russia have shown that in many populations the importance of major causes such as tobacco, blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol has been much underestimated. He has also helped widen international perspectives on the main ways of reducing premature death.

Participates in the following events:
Tuesday 5/15 10:30 AM-11:15 AM - “Halving premature death”

Caroline Robert

Caroline Robert, MD, PhD

Caroline Robert is the Head of the Dermatology Service at Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus and co-director of the Melanoma Research Unit at INSERM 981 Paris-Sud University. She trained at the Paris V University, France and completed a research fellowship at Harvard, Brigham & Women’s hospital in Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy. She chairs the Melanoma group of the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and is board member for the European Association of Onco-Dermatology (EADO), the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), the European Association of Dermato-Venereology (EADV) the French society of Dermatology and Venereology (SFD), the American Society of Oncology (ASCO) and the American Association of Clinical Research (AACR). Her main focuses of interest are clinical and translational Research on Melanoma: immunotherapy and targeted therapy, as well as the study of the cutaneous adverse events of anticancer agents. She is national and international coordinator of many clinical trials of targeted therapy and immunotherapy for melanoma patients, from phase I to III. She has authored more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including a number of publications on new treatments for metastatic melanoma

Her recent work has focused on identification of new biomarkers for immunotherapy and targeted therapies of patients with melanoma.

Participates in the following events:
Tuesday 5/15 3:30 PM-4:00 PM - Keynote: Metastatic melanoma treatment: progresses, challenges and hopes

Kenny A. Rodriguez Wallberg

Kenny A. Rodriguez Wallberg, MD, PhD

Dr. Kenny A. Rodriguez Wallberg completed her medical education and her residency in obstetrics and gynecology in her home country, Colombia. As specialist, Dr Rodriguez-Wallberg was then awarded a fellowship from the Groupement Français de Gynécologie de l’Enfant et de l’Adolescence and completed her training in Pediatric Gynecology at Hôpital Necker Enfant Malades in Paris, as well as in Reproductive Endocrinology, Infertility and Assisted Reproduction at Cochin-Baudelocque. In 2005 she earned her PhD degree at Uppsala University in Sweden and since 2007, she is a Senior Consultant in Reproductive Medicine at Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm and Head of the Program for Fertility Preservation.
Dr Rodriguez-Wallberg is currently sharing her clinical work with both clinical and translational research, supported by the Clinical Investigator’s grant from Stockholm county council, the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, Radiumhemmet's Research Grants, the Nordic Cancer Union, Cancerfonden and Karolinska Institutet. Since 2013, Dr Rodriguez-Wallberg is Associate Professor at Karolinska Institutet and in January 2017 she was promoted to the position of University Lecturer in Reproductive Oncology at the Department of Oncology-Pathology of Karolinska Institutet.

Participates in the following events:
Tuesday 5/15 2:00 PM-2:45 PM - Fertility after treatment for cancer

Richard Rosenquist Brandell

Richard Rosenquist Brandell, MD, PhD

Richard Rosenquist Brandell was recently appointed Professor of Clinical Genetics at the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet and Senior Physician in Clinical Genetics at Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden. He received his medical degree (1996) and PhD degree (1998) at Umeå University, Sweden, undertook a postdoctoral period at the Department of Pathology, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and became specialist in Clinical Genetics 2004.

Richard Rosenquist Brandell started his own research group at Uppsala University in 2000, focusing on molecular characterization of lymphoid malignancies, and his group rapidly became internationally renowned. He became Professor of Molecular Hematology in 2007 at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University. He has initiated and led the SciLifeLab Clinical Genomics Facility in Uppsala between 2013-2017 and is currently Platform Director for the national Diagnostics Development Platform within SciLifeLab. More recently, he is coordinating the Genomics Medicine Sweden initiative that aims to build a new type of infrastructure within Swedish healthcare that implements precision medicine at a national level.

By employing a translational approach and utilizing cutting‐edge molecular tools, including next-generation sequencing technologies, Richard Rosenquist Brandell has made outstanding contributions to our understanding of the mechanisms behind the development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common adult leukemia. His studies have identified novel prognostic and predictive markers, defined new clinically relevant CLL subgroups, as well as provided significantly improved risk stratification at the individual patient level. Even more importantly, Rosenquist Brandell’s team has presented compelling evidence for a role of antigens (both autoantigens and microbial antigens) in the pathogenesis of CLL, which has generated great interest internationally. He has also built competitive networks at the national, European and international level. He is one of five founding members of an eminent European network of CLL researcher with an impressive combined cohort of more than 34,000 CLL patients from 24 academic institutions.

Richard Rosenquist Brandell has successfully supervised 23 PhD students as well as seven postdocs, and his research has resulted in more than 200 peer-reviewed papers. He was recently selected as Wallenberg Clinical Scholars 2017 by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

Participates in the following events:
Thursday 5/17 9:15 AM-9:45 AM - Cancer genetics

George Simon

George Simon, MD, PhD

With more than 20 years of professional experience in medicine, Dr. Simon has served as a professor in the Department of Thoracic, Head and Neck Medical Oncology with the Division of Cancer Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center since 2012. Prior to obtaining his current role, he was an associate professor of medicine with the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina from 2010 to 2012, also serving as the Burtschy Family Endowed Chair of Cancer Research. From 2008 to 2010, he was the director of the Fox Chase Cancer Center thoracic oncology program, and he was an assistant professor with the Moffitt Cancer Center from 2000 to 2008. Earlier in his career, he worked as an assistant professor of medicine with the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, having served as chief fellow with the institution from 1996 to 1997.

Dr. Simon was inspired to enter medicine from an early age, and had been proficient in the sciences; particularly, biology and physics. He began his career as a student at the Christian Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana, India, obtaining a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery in 1986, simultaneously serving as an intern. He remained with the school for a residency in internal medicine until 1990, when he earned a Doctor of Medicine. He traveled to the United States to join the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center as a fellow until 1993, subsequently serving in a residency with St. Joseph's Hospital from 1993 to 1995. He then rejoined the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center as a fellow of oncology and hematology until 1997. He is certified by the American Board of Hematology (1997-2007), the American Board of Medical Oncology (1997-2027), and the American Board of Internal Medicine (1997-2017).

Dr. Simon's research interests include DNA repair, tumor metabolism and epigenetic modulation of cancer targeting these for therapeutic gain. Some of his research has been funded by the National Cancer Institute (R21, R01), Department of Defense (IDEA Award) and other institutional funding mechanisms. Dr. Simon was also a part of a team of physicians who competed successfully for a Lung Cancer SPORE (a multi-investigator NCI grant).

Participates in the following events:
Tuesday 5/15 1:00 PM-1:30 PM - Keynote: “Prospective Advanced Non-small Cell lung cancerHolistic Registry (ANCHoR Project)”
Tuesday 5/15 1:00 PM-3:00 PM - WS 1: Lung cancer
Wednesday 5/16 1:04 PM-1:11 PM - Prospective Advanced Non-small Cell lung cancer Holistic Registry (ANCHoR Project)

Anil Sood

Anil K. Sood, MD, PhD

Dr. Anil K. Sood is Professor and Vice Chair for Translational Research in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. He holds a joint appointment in Cancer Biology and is 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 and co-leads the Ovarian Cancer Moonshot Program.

Dr. Sood received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A major and consistent theme of his scientific research has been on understanding human cancer biology and converting lab discoveries into novel therapeutics. His research group has made several seminal research contributions in the fields of tumor microenvironment, nanomedicine, and neuroendocrine effects on cancer biology. Dr. Sood has received 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. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Association of American Physicians (AAP). Dr. Sood was selected as an American Cancer Society Research Professor in 2017.



Participates in the following events:
Tuesday 5/15 1:00 PM-1:30 PM - Keynote: Overcoming adaptive changes in the tumor microenvironment
Tuesday 5/15 1:00 PM-3:00 PM - WS 5: Ovarian Cancer

Giske Ursin
Giske Ursin, MD, PhD

Dr. Giske Ursin is Director of the Cancer Registry of Norway. She is Professor II at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Oslo, and Professor Emerita at the Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. The Cancer Registry of Norway is a research institution that runs the cancer registry, the clinical registries on cancer, as well as the national cancer screening programs. Dr. Ursin’s expertise is within cancer epidemiology, in particular epidemiology of breast and gynecologic cancers. She also conducts large epidemiological studies linking several Norwegian registries.

Participates in the following events:
Wednesday 5/16 10:45 AM-11:30 AM - Population based cancer studies in the Nordic countries

Yvonne Wengström

Yvonne Wengström, PhD, Professor in Nursing

Yvonne Wengström is an oncology nurse and has worked at the Department of Oncology with breast cancer practice since 1989, and holds a PhD in oncology and Professor in Nursing. She is a senior researcher at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden and leads a research team at the Division of Nursing. Dr Wengström has developed her research career with focus on breast cancer and is now recognised as a nurse leader in the development of innovative interventions using e-health in cancer care, physical activity during treatment for cancer, experience based co-design and is an advocate of transferring research outcomes into practice.  She is also a member of several international committees and has been the President of the European Oncology Nursing Society, has participated as invited speaker at many international conferences, and is widely published. She is one of the founding members of the global network for collaboration around Fundamentals of care research the International Learning Committee (ILC). is an oncology nurse and has worked at the Department of Oncology with breast cancer practice since 1989, and holds a PhD in oncology and Professor in Nursing. She is a senior researcher at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden and leads a research team at the Division of Nursing. Dr Wengström has developed her research career with focus on breast cancer and is now recognised as a nurse leader in the development of innovative interventions using e-health in cancer care, physical activity during treatment for cancer, experience based co-design and is an advocate of transferring research outcomes into practice.  She is also a member of several international committees and has been the President of the European Oncology Nursing Society, has participated as invited speaker at many international conferences, and is widely published. She is one of the founding members of the global network for collaboration around Fundamentals of care research the International Learning Committee (ILC).

Participates in the following events:
Tuesday 5/15 1:00 PM-1:05 PM - Welcome
Tuesday 5/15 1:00 PM-3:45 PM - NURSING - PLENARY SESSION 1
Wednesday 5/16 11:30 AM-12:00 PM - Physical exercise and cancer (lectures + short physical activity)
Thursday 5/17 12:15 PM-12:22 PM - High intensity training optimizes health outcomes during chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer
Thursday 5/17 1:00 PM-3:30 PM - Plenary session 4: Nursing Leadership

Klas Wiman

Klas G. Wiman, MD, PhD

Klas G. Wiman is Professor of Molecular Cell and Tumor Biology at Karolinska Institutet. Wiman got a Ph.D. degree at Uppsala University in 1981 and post doc training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York 1982-85. After returning to Sweden and completing his M.D. degree, he worked with Georg Klein at Karolinska Institutet. Since 1999 he is full professor at the Dept. of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet. His main research interests are tumor biology, the tumor suppressor p53, apoptosis and cancer drug discovery. He has published more than 160 original and review articles. Wiman and colleagues discovered small molecules that reactivate mutant p53, including PRIMA-1 and APR-246 (PRIMA-1Met). Together with his colleagues, Wiman founded the company Aprea AB in 2003. APR-246 has been tested in a first-in-man phase I/IIa clinical trial in patients with hematological malignancies or prostate cancer. A phase II clinical trial with APR-246 in patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer sponsored by Aprea Therapeutics AB is ongoing. Klas Wiman has coordinated an EU Integrated project (“Mutp53”) with 23 participating research groups and a budget of 8 M Euros 2004-9. He has also co-edited two books on p53 published by Springer in 2005 and 2012. Wiman is a member of the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, which awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.



Contact information:

Klas G. Wiman

Office: +46 8 5177 9342

Mobile: +46 73 986 6586



Participates in the following events:
Tuesday 5/15 1:00 PM-1:15 PM - Keynote: Mutant p53 as a therapeutic target in cancer - from molecular biology to clinical trials
Tuesday 5/15 1:00 PM-3:00 PM - WS 3: Targeting p53 in cancer
Tuesday 5/15 2:00 PM-2:15 PM - APR-246/MQ reactivates mutant p53 by binding to Cys124 and Cys277

Joe Y. Chang

Joe Y. Chang, MD, PhD

Dr. Joe Y. Chang is currently a tenured Professor, Director of Stereotactic Radiotherapy Program, MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is chair for American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriate criteria Lung cancer expert panel and Chair of Thoracic subcommittee of international Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG).  He served as a senior associate editor for International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics (Red Journal) and is an editorial board members for several international medical journals.   He is also the past president of Sino-American Network of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (SANTRO).  He was awarded as Best Doctors of America, American Top Physician/Oncologist several times. He is an international known expert in radiotherapy and one of the pioneers in the field of proton therapy and stereotactic radiotherapy in lung cancer.  He is PI or Co-PI for many institutional, national and international clinical trials in lung cancer. He published more than 200 peer-reviewed SCI articles in the top oncology journals including Lancet Oncology, Nature Review Clinical Oncology, JAMA Oncology, Cancer etc., 24 book chapters related to image-guided radiation therapy, stereotactic ablative radiation therapy, intensity-modulated radiotherapy, proton therapy and combined immunotherapy with radiotherapy. 

Participates in the following events:
Wednesday 5/16 1:30 PM-2:00 PM - Keynote: Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy: Combined Biology and Technology to Conquer Cancer
Wednesday 5/16 1:30 PM-3:30 PM - WS 13: Stereotactic radiotherapy

Nancy You

Nancy You, MD, MHSc

Y. Nancy You, MD, MHSc is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology and the medical director of the Familial High Risk Gastrointestinal Cancer Clinic at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.  Her clinical focus is personalized surgical care for colorectal cancer, emphasizing sphincter-preservation, quality-of-life, and long-term cancer survivorship.  She performs both open and minimally-invasive surgery for complex pelvic cancers.   She has a special interest in patients with hereditary cancer syndromes and with young age-of-onset colorectal cancer. 

She received her college degree from Harvard University and her medical degree from Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.  She completed her General Surgery and Fellowship in Colorectal Surgery at the Mayo Clinic.  She holds a Masters Degree in Health Sciences from Duke University, where she was a fellow in Clinical Surgical Oncology with the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG, now ALLIANCE for Clinical Trials in Oncology). She is currently a member of the NCI Colon Cancer Task Force.

Participates in the following events:
Thursday 5/17 1:30 PM-2:00 PM - Keynote: Colorectal cancer under age 50: Time to make a difference
Thursday 5/17 1:30 PM-3:30 PM - WS 16: Colorectal Cancer

Harald zur Hausen

Harald zur Hausen, MD, PhD

Harald zur Hausen studied medicine from 1955-60. After two years of medical internship he received the license to practice medicine. Subsequently, he went into research and worked in Düsseldorf, Philadelphia, and Würzburg for about 3 ½ years, respectively. In 1972 he was appointed as founding Director of the Institute of Virology at the University of Erlangen and moved 5 years later to a similar position at the University of Freiburg from 1983-2003. He was Director of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. In 2008, he has been awarded with the Nobel Price for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of specific human papillomavirus types and their role in cervical cancer. At present he heads a Division at the Heidelberg Cancer Research Center.

Participates in the following events:
Tuesday 5/15 9:05 AM-9:50 AM - Specific Infections as Trigger of Random Mutations - Their Role in Human Colon and Breast Cancers