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Meet the Speakers

Metastatic Breast Cancer Network Annual Conference

UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
September 20-21, 2014

Mimi Alvarez, RN, MSN, PMHCNS-BC is a clinical nurse specialist with the UNC Comprehensive Cancer Support Program. Mimi provides counseling to patients and their families.  She sees patients of all ages and in all clinical programs from pediatric oncology to geriatric oncology.


Carey K. Anders, MD is a clinician-scientist and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine, a member of both the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UNC Breast Center, co-director of the multi-disciplinary brain metastases clinic at UNC, and the leader of the UNC breast cancer clinical trials program. Dr. Anders’ research focuses on the biology of triple negative breast cancer and brain metastases.  She serves as the principal investigator for multiple clinical trials evaluating novel anti-cancer agents to more effectively treat patients with advanced triple negative breast cancer and brain metastases.  In parallel and supported by the UNC Chapel Hill Hematology Oncology K12, NIH/NCI K23, and Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award, she has developed multiple intracranial breast cancer tumor models to test novel therapies, including small molecule and nanoparticle chemotherapeutics in the laboratory. Her ultimate goal is to uncover genetic and genomic underpinnings of triple negative breast cancer and brain metastases with the goal of translating findings into rationally-designed therapeutics to treat this aggressive disease.


Delma Armstrong, BSN, RN, OCN is a Nurse Navigator for the UNC Breast Center at the N.C. Cancer Hospital. Delma has worked at UNC for 20 years - spending the past 12 in the breast center program - and has held numerous offices in state and national nursing organizations. In 2011, she received a Nursing Recognition Award, presented by the UNC medical staff, for her contributions to patient care, teaching and research.


Gary Asher, MD, MPH. As Director of Integrative Medicine Services, Dr. Asher oversees the delivery of complementary and alternative therapies at the N.C. Cancer Hospital and its outpatient Survivorship Center. He also provides integrative medicine consultations for patients. Dr. Asher’s research focuses on the cancer chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic potential of curcumin in colorectal cancer. Currently, Dr. Asher is conducting early phase clinical trials to test the comparative bioavailability and tissue deposition of different


Katherine R. Birchard, MD. Dr. Birchard trained as a Department resident from 2002-2006, serving as Associate Chief Resident from 2004-2005. As a 4th-year Department resident, she received the RSNA Roentgen Resident Research Award in 2006. After completing a one-year Thoracic Imaging fellowship at Duke University Medical Center, Dr. Birchard returned to the Department in 2007 as an Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Imaging. She is board-certified in Diagnostic Radiology. Dr. Birchard authored a book chapter on pulmonary MRI in 2005 and has several other chapters in progress.


Ben Calvo, MD is a professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology, Endocrine Surgery at UNCDr. Calvo’s research focuses on the EGFR family of receptor tyrosine kinases as they relate to solid malignancies, more specifically colorectal tumors.  In the clinical arena, Dr. Calvo focuses his efforts on the treatment of primary as well as metastatic tumors to the liver. Treatment modalities championed by Dr. Calvo include percutaneous as well as laparoscopic microwave ablation of tumors. In an effort to reduce the invasiveness of opera liver resections, he has started robotic resections of hepatic tumors.


Lisa A. Carey, MD is the Richardson and Marilyn Jacobs Preyer Distinguished Professor in Breast Cancer Research in the UNC Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology. Dr. Carey joined the UNC faculty and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1998. In 2012, she was appointed Chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology and Physician-in-Chief of North Carolina Cancer Hospital. Dr. Carey is Medical Director of the UNC Breast Center. Dr. Carey has a longstanding research interest in the clinical application of laboratory findings in breast cancer, with a particular interest in the clinical implications of different molecular subtypes of breast cancer.


Elizabeth Claire Dees, MD, ScM has been a medical oncologist treating breast cancer patients and conducting clinical trials of new treatments for metastatic breast cancer for over 15 years. In addition to her MD degree, she has a Masters in Clinical Investigation from Johns Hopkins with a focus in novel trial design. She leads the phase I trials group at UNC Lineberger and is also the co-leader of the Clinical Research Program, overseeing the core resource that supports clinical trials operations.  She has been the principal investigator for over 50 clinical trials.


Nancy DeMore, MD is an associate professor of surgery at UNC and a member of the UNC Breast Center. With Cam Patterson, MD, MBA, she co-founded Enci Therapeutics, Inc., a start-up company that is developing a monoclonal antibody therapy for cancer. She has studied angiogenesis since her undergraduate days at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. After earning her medical degree from the University of Health Sciences, Chicago Medical School and completing her internship and residency at Boston University, Dr. DeMore completed a surgical research fellowship in the lab of renowned physician-scientist Judah Folkman, MD, of Children’s Hospital Boston.


Amy DePue, BS, RN, OCN. As a Nurse Navigator working with the UNC Breast Center, Amy offers critical support and guidance to patients. Much of Amy's job involves making sure patients have everything they need to access their treatments and care after they have been diagnosed with breast cancer.  She teaches patients about chemotherapy and how to manage its side effects and also provides information about what to expect during and after treatment. She is the recipient of a 2013 UNC Nursing Recognition Award.


Marc Hurlbert, Ph.D serves as the Executive Director of the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade. Dr. Hurlbert is a pharmacologist by training and has extensive experience in managing medical research programs and grants administration in the voluntary health agency and patient-advocacy arena. Dr. Hurlbert holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the New School University. He received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Kansas and his doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He completed his training with a fellowship at New York University Medical Center, Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine.


Trevor Jolly, MD, is an assistant professor in the UNC Department of Medicine, Divisions of Geriatric Medicine and Hematology/Oncology and care provider in the Geriatric Oncology Specialty Clinic. He earned his medical degree from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and completed subspecialty training at the University of Alabama, Birmingham and UNC Chapel Hill. He is a prior Ruth L. Kirschstein National Service Research Award appointee and a current Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine Scholar. His research focuses on the value of geriatric assessment to guide interventions and treatment decisions in older adults with cancer. He has collaborated on several studies which incorporate a concise geriatric assessment and was involved in the conduct of preliminary research that established the feasibility of geriatric assessment in a busy multidisciplinary tertiary referral cancer center clinic and community oncology practices. His long-term goal is to become a leader in field with expertise in research and care of older cancer patients.


Lawrence B. Marks, MD is the Dr. Sidney K. Simon Distinguished Professor of Oncology Research Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Marks received his medical degree from the University of Rochester in New York and completed an internship at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore in Maryland and a residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.  His interests include clinical trials in breast and lung cancer, and understanding the determinants of radiation associated normal tissue injury.   Dr. Marks’ work assesses the use of advanced technologies to improve the therapeutic ratio for patients with cancers of the breast and lung.  He is also interested in ‘errors in medicine’ and applies industrial engineering concepts to improve clinical operations and safety.


Deborah Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN is the UNC Lineberger Director of Cancer Survivorship, professor at the UNC School of Nursing and adult nurse practitioner. Dr. Mayer currently is serving as Editor of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. She is a member of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Survivorship committee and chair of the ASCO Survivorship Care Plan Work Group. She is a former president of the Oncology Nursing Society and has held appointments on the National Cancer Institute’s National Cancer Advisory Board and their Board of Scientific Advisors. She provides survivorship care to women with breast cancer and is survivor herself.


Hyman B. Muss, MD is currently a Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Director of Geriatric Oncology at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. His major research interests are breast cancer, with emphasis on the treatment of older women, issues related to treatment of all older cancer patients, and providing education in geriatrics to fellows in training. Dr. Muss is currently Co-Chair of the Cancer in the Elderly Committee for the Alliance, a National Cancer Institute sponsored cooperative group, which endeavors to increase awareness and clinical trials opportunities for older patients.


Anna Kate Owens, MSN, RN, FNP is a nurse practitioner in the Breast Center in the division of Medical Oncology. She received her MSN degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and her BSN degree from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Her clinical interests include medical treatment for breast cancer and breast cancer survivorship.


Eliza “Leeza” Park, MD is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine and a member of the UNC Comprehensive Cancer Support Program. She completed her residency training at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Program and fellowship in Psychosomatic medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Park’s clinical and research interests include the effects of medical illness on parenting and families and the supportive care needs of patients living with advanced cancer.

Katherine Reeder-Hayes, MD, MBA, MSCR
Dr. Reeder-Hayes is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the UNC Division of Hematology/Oncology specializing in breast cancer, and a health services researcher with expertise in breast cancer treatment disparities and the comparative effectiveness of treatments for vulnerable women with breast cancer.  She holds a medical degree from the University of Alabama, a masters’ degree in business administration from Auburn University, and a Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) degree from UNC’s School of Public Health.  She is currently the leader of a multi-disciplinary research team examining adherence to tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors among women with early stage breast cancer using large registry and pharmacy claims databases. She also works on projects using patient-reported information to understand reasons for hormonal therapy non-adherence and to design and test interventions that help patients stay on their hormonal therapies. 


Donald L. Rosenstein, MD is Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is Director of the UNC Comprehensive Cancer Support Program. He is also Director of the Division of Hospital Psychiatry and the Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship Training Director in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Rosenstein’s awards include the NIH Director's Award and the NIMH Director's Career Award for Significant Scientific Achievement. He is currently Director of the LIVESTRONG Center of Excellence for Cancer Survivorship at UNC and past president of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine.


Kathy Roundtree, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker and case manager with more than 15 years of professional experience, including 7-1/2 years in oncology social work.  She was awarded the UNC Oncology Employee of the month in July of 2013.  She serves on the Patient Education and Advocacy Group for the National Marrow Donor Program and is a board member for the Bone Marrow Foundation.  She has presented at multiple national conferences.  Kathy enjoys helping patients and families as they cope with the challenges of illness and treatment and is currently assigned to the UNC Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation Program.


Liz Sherwood, RN, MS, ANP-C is the coordinator for Carolina Well's survivorship programs. She helps provide programs that empower cancer survivors and their families to have the highest possible quality of life. The programs include integrative medicine (yoga, massage and acupuncture), exercise and nutrition, and emotional support for moving towards wellness after cancer including addressing body image concerns, stress management, and dealing with uncertainty.


Valarie Clark Worthy, RN, BSN, President, Sisters Network Triangle NC, has been a registered nurse for over 31 years and has been employed by Duke University Health System for 10 years. Currently she is a Patient Navigator at the Duke Cancer Institute. In 2003, she along with five breast cancer survivors organized the local chapter of Sisters Network, Inc., a survivorship organization for African American women with breast cancer. She is the recipient of the American Cancer Society’s 2012 Lane Adams Quality of Life Award.


Justin M. Yopp, PhD is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is co-director of the Single Fathers Due to Cancer program.   He is a member of the UNC Comprehensive Cancer Support Program where his clinical practice focuses on providing psychosocial services to both pediatric and adult patients. Dr. Yopp has a special interest in working with patients diagnosed with cancer who are parents and have children in the home.


Timothy Zagar, MD is an assistant professor of radiation oncology. His research interest focuses on agents that enhance the effectiveness of radiation treatment, including chemotherapy and hyperthermia. He is a member of the UNC Breast Center and the multidisciplinary thoracic oncology program. Dr. Zagar graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University and earned his MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He completed his radiation oncology residency at Duke University.


Denniz Zolnoun, MD, MPH is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UNC School of Medicine.  She is also Director of the Pelvic Pain Research Center at UNC and Medical Director of the UNC Center for Pain Research & Innovation (CPRI).  Dr. Zolnoun is a specialist in pelvic pain. Dr. Zolnoun received her medical degree from The University of Illinois School of Medicine in Peoria and did her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Rochester General Hospital in New York.   She did a fellowship in Advanced Laparoscopy and Gynecologic Pain in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She also received a Masters of Public Health at UNC.




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