VCU Massey Cancer Center

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Speaker bios

Steven Grossman, M.D., Ph.D.

Deputy director, Dianne Nunnally Hoppes Endowed Chair in Cancer Research and member of the Cancer Molecular Genetics and Developmental Therapeutics research programs at VCU Massey Cancer Center; chair and professor of the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care at VCU School of Medicine

Grossman is an internationally recognized researcher and medical oncologist with specific clinical and research interests in gastrointestinal cancers. He has held multiple National Institutes of Health grants supporting his research examining the role of tumor suppressor proteins in cancer. Building on this research, he is developing a potentially new way of treating pancreatic cancer.

He joined VCU in 2011 from the University of Massachusetts, where he was the medical director of the Simonds-Sinon Regional Cancer Center and co-director of the Center for Gastrointestinal Oncology at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center.

Grossman received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his medical and doctoral degrees from the University of Chicago. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and completed a fellowship in medical oncology and postdoctoral research training at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

 

Steven Grant, M.D.

Shirley Carter Olsson and Sture Gordon Olsson Chair in Oncology Research, associate director for translational research, co-leader and member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program and member of the Cancer Cell Signaling research program at VCU Massey Cancer Center; professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care at VCU School of Medicine 

Grant is a hematologist-oncologist and world-renown expert in translational research, specializing in the development of novel chemotherapy combinations to treat a variety of blood cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Prolific in initiating early phase clinical trials, Grant works to combine existing and experimental targeted drugs that synergize to kill cancer cells by blocking their ability to escape the lethal effects of interrupting a single survival pathway. 

In addition to his various leadership roles and patient care at VCU Massey Cancer Center, Grant serves the National Cancer Institute as a member of its Investigational Drug Steering Committee (IDSC). He also serves on the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Committee and served on the Education Committee and Drug Discovery Subcommittee of the Program Committee for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2012 Annual Meeting. He is a member of the editorial board of numerous journals, including the AACR journals Cancer Research and Clinical Cancer Research. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has recognized Grant for his promising translational research through funding under its Translational Research Program, and he has been the recipient of numerous awards from the NCI/NIH for basic and clinical studies. 

Grant received his undergraduate degree from The City College of New York and earned his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

 

Amir Toor, M.D.

Member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program at VCU Massey Cancer Center; professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care at VCU School of Medicine

A hematologist-oncologist and researcher, Toor is specialized in hematopoietic cell transplantation and cellular immunotherapy. His research focuses on the immunobiology of transplantation, mathematical modeling of immune reconstitution, graft-versus-host disease and adoptive immunotherapy trials. He has led clinical trials testing new agents and treatments for hematologic malignancies and to improve hematopoietic cell transplant outcomes. He holds two patents for co-developing a method for measuring single cell biomass to predict clinical outcomes for hematopoietic cell transplant patients and for co-discovering the use of cancer testis antigens as prognostic biomarkers for breast cancer patients. Toor also pioneered the use of hypomethylating agents to induce an adaptive immune response in patients with multiple myeloma.

Toor is a member of the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and a recipient of several teaching, mentorship and scholarship awards at VCU.  

Toor earned his medical degree from the King Edward Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan. He completed his residency training at the University of Connecticut Health Center and Affiliated Hospitals and his fellowship training at University Of Minnesota Hospital and Clinics, where he had the privilege of having Dr. Ginder as one of his mentors.

 

Timothy J. Ley, M.D.

Lewis T. and Rosalind B. Apple Chair in Oncology, professor of medicine, professor of genetics and director of the Stem Cell Biology Section in the Division of Oncology in the Department of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine; member of the Siteman Cancer Center

A hematologist and cancer biologist, Ley developed approaches to reactivate fetal hemoglobin synthesis for patients with hemoglobinopathies, defined the role of the perforin/granzyme system for the function of cytotoxic and regulatory T cells and performed pioneering studies that have defined the genomic and epigenetic landscapes of acute myeloid leukemia. He has written extensively about the physician-scientist career path and was an advocate for establishing the extramural Loan Repayment Programs at the NIH. He has mentored more than 50 pre- and post-doctoral fellows in his laboratory; most hold research positions in academic medicine or pharmaceutical companies.

Ley is a past president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, past treasurer of the American Association of Physicians and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. President Obama appointed him to the National Cancer Advisory Board in 2015. 

Ley received his B.A. from Drake University and his medical degree from Washington University Medical School. He completed his internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and completed fellowships in Hematology and Oncology at the NIH and at Washington University. He joined the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis in 1986.

 

Harold J. Burstein, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School; Institute Physician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham & Women’s Hospital; member of the Breast Cancer Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Burstein is a medical oncologist and clinical investigator specialized in breast cancer. His clinical practice is devoted entirely to breast cancer patients and his clinical research interests include novel treatments for early- and advanced-stage breast cancer and studies of quality of life and health behavior among women with breast cancer. Burstein has written widely on breast cancer in both traditional medical journals and on the web. Representative publications of his can be found in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Clinical Oncology and other leading medical journals. He teaches students, house staff and fellows at Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber, Brigham & Women’s Hospital and affiliated training hospitals.

Burstein serves on international committees focusing on cancer treatments, including the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Breast Cancer Panel, The St. Gallen Breast Cancer Panel and the Alliance Breast Cancer Committee. He is co-chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology guidelines on endocrine therapy for breast cancer and associate editor for cancer education at the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Burstein attended Harvard College and earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School, where he also earned a Ph.D. in immunology. In addition, he holds a master's degree in history of science from Harvard. He trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and was a fellow in medical oncology at Dana-Farber before joining the staff.

 

Harry Bear, M.D., Ph.D.

Walter Lawrence, Jr. Distinguished Professor in Oncology, chair of the Protocol Review & Monitoring Committee and member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program at VCU Massey Cancer Center; professor and chair of the Division of Surgical Oncology and professor of microbiology and immunology at VCU School of Medicine

A surgical oncologist and researcher, Bear is an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of breast cancer. His research interests include basic tumor immunology and T cell biology, preclinical and clinical studies of immunotherapy, translational research and breast cancer clinical trials. He has played a key role in international studies of chemotherapy and hormone therapy used prior to surgery for breast cancer.

Bear served on the Board of Directors of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast & Bowel Project (NSABP) and was honored by the NSABP in 2009 with the Distinguished Investigator Lifetime Achievement Award. He is currently a deputy chair of the NRG Oncology clinical trials cooperative group, funded by the NCI. In 2017-2018, he served as president of the Richmond Academy of Medicine.

Bear completed his undergraduate degree at Yale University, his medical and Ph.D. degrees at VCU School of Medicine and his residency in surgery at Harvard Medical School-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He completed his fellowship in surgical oncology at VCU Medical Center.

 

Douglas Arthur, M.D.

Florence and Hyman Meyers Endowed Chair in Radiation Oncology, associate director for clinical affairs and member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program at VCU Massey Cancer Center; professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at VCU School of Medicine

Arthur is a radiation oncologist and physician-scientist whose primary research interests include clinical studies focusing on the treatment of breast cancer with special interest in the development and use of accelerated partial breast irradiation. He has a long history of clinical trial development and successful participation at the national level, and he is recognized as a top enroller to many trials. He is a breast committee member of the NRG Oncology national cooperative trial group, a co-chair of the loco-regional subcommittee of the NRG and is the principal investigator of a national trial and co-PI for several national breast trials. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 23 book chapters and is the lead editor of a book about accelerated radiation treatment for early-stage breast cancer.

Arthur is a fellow of both the American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) and the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

Arthur received his medical degree from Wake Forest University’s Bowman Gray School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in radiation oncology at VCU School of Medicine and his clinical fellowship training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.