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Current Fellow’s Accomplishment Highlights

Chris Nevala-Plagemann, MD/ PGY5

Chris is a second-year fellow who works closely with his mentor, Dr. Garrido-Laguna, on a number of projects with a GI oncology focus. Chris has presented abstracts utilizing real-world data in collaboration with Flatiron Health at both ASCO GI 2019 and 2020, and most recently presented work at ASCO 2020 entitled “Real-world outcomes of patients with BRAF mutated mCRC treated in the United States.” He wrote a review article in Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology entitled “From State-Of-The-Art Treatments to Novel Therapies for Advanced-Stage Pancreatic Cancer” which was published in 2020. For his second year of fellowship, Chris has enrolled in the Masters of Science Clinical Investigation program and his future research will focus on evaluating at the impact of the gut microbiome on treatment outcomes in pancreatic cancer using stool samples collected from newly diagnosed PDAC patients. 

William “Bill” McKean, MD, PhD/ PGY5

Bill is a third-year fellow (who did an expedited residency through the MD/PhD PSTP program) who works in the lab of Dr. Jared Rutter. He is interested in neuro-oncology and plans to single board in medical oncology. His research involves understanding the metabolic dependencies of adult neural stem cells.  Specifically, he is interested in how pyruvate transport and lactate formation influence the differentiation of neurons and glial cells.  These findings will have direct implications toward treatment of aggressive tumors like glioblastoma and astrocytoma. They will also provide greater insight into cancer stem cells, resistant progenitor subpopulations within these neoplasms.

Charles Goodwin, MD PhD PGY6

Charles is a third-year fellow who works in the lab of Dr. Ryan O’Connell. Charles’ research specifically focuses on dysregulated metabolism in acute myeloid leukemia and metabolic interactions between leukemic blasts and the immune cells of the bone marrow tumor microenvironment.  He and his lab hope to identify therapeutic targets in metabolic pathways that directly kill leukemic blasts while simultaneously enhancing anti-leukemic immune responses in the bone marrow tumor microenvironment. They are particularly interested in fatty acid metabolism as a promising target.  

Eric Johnson, MD PGY6

Eric is a third-year and has been involved in a number of projects throughout fellowship, but more specifically he worked on a quality improvement-based project at the VA where he holds his continuity clinic. In order to help minimize skeletal-related events and pain complications from metastatic prostate cancer, he created a “bone-modifying agents’ guideline” utilizing the current status of the veteran’s prostate cancer and FRAX score. In doing so, he created an order set algorithm to guide physician’s choice of bone modifying agents. 

Lindsey Fitzgerald, MD PGY6

Lindsey is a third-year fellow who works closely with her mentors in the lymphoma group (Drs. Martha Glenn, Debbie Stephens, and Boyu Hu) on a number of ongoing research projects. Recently, she had an abstract accepted at ASCO 2020 in which she performed a multi-institutional retrospective analysis of elderly patients (age over 70) across 5 US academic institutions who were treated with commercial CAR-T cell therapy for relapsed/refractory DLBCL to evaluate efficacy and toxicity outcomes. For her work, she was awarded the "Conquer Cancer - Loxo Oncology Endowed Merit Award" for one of the best abstracts submitted by a trainee in oncology. 

Additionally, Lindsey was accepted into an externship in the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) near Washington, D.C. in October 2019. She served in the investigational drug branch (IDB) which oversees the early development and clinical application of novel therapeutics by collaborating with academia and industry. She reviewed letters of intent (LOIs) from top academic oncology investigators across the country, presented these LOIs to select committees with analysis of pros and cons for funding considerations, sat in on meetings with pharmaceutical companies, and learned the components of a successful LOI to make a clinical trial a reality. 

Former Fellow’s Accomplishment Highlights

Katie Kerrigan, DO (class of 2020)

Katie was our former chief fellow from 2019-2020 and stayed on as HCI faculty where she subspecializes in thoracic and head & neck oncology. Under the mentorship of Drs. Wallace Akeley and Shiven Patel, Katie performed a number of real-world research projects in collaboration with Flatiron Health. Two of her real-world NSCLC outcomes projects were presented at World Conference on Lung Cancer 2019 in Barcelona. Additionally, she performed a pilot study entitled “Prognostic Significance of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Cancer” which was published in the Journal of Oncology Practice in 2020. She was awarded the Joseph M. Quagliana award in September 2019 which provided financial support for her research. Katie plans to continue to study PROs in her practice and hopes to become a clinical investigator.

Benjamin Solomon, MD (class of 2019)

Ben was our former chief fellow from 2018-2019 and stayed on as HCI faculty where he sees general oncology patients at our satellite clinic in Jackson, WY and subspecializes in GI oncology.  Under the mentorship of Dr. Garrido-Laguna, Ben applied for and was accepted into the American Society of Clinical Oncology/American Association for Cancer Research Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop, Vail, CO after his first year of fellowship.  During the Vail workshop, he developed and wrote a protocol entitled “A phase I trial to assess the safety and preliminary efficacy of FOLFOX combined with nivolumab and a TIGIT inhibitor (BMS-986207) in advanced gastrointestinal malignancies.” 

Justin Moser, MD (class of 2019)

Justin was very involved in clinical and real-world outcomes research with a specific emphasis on melanoma during his fellowship. He worked with numerous mentors including Drs. Grossman and Hu-Lieskovan from the melanoma group. His work has been both published and presented at a number of national (GI ASCO 2019) and international meetings (ESMO 2019), with his ESMO 2019 presentation entitled “Comparative-effectiveness of pembrolizumab versus nivolumab for patients with metastatic melanoma.” After graduation, Justin took an oncology position at HonorHealth in Scottsdale, AZ where he serves as an assistant professor and drug development scholar.   

David Gill, MD (class of 2019)

David was heavily involved in GU oncology research during his residency at the University of Utah and fellowship at HCI under the mentorship of Dr. Neeraj Agarwal. David has many publications in peer-reviewed journals discussing immunotherapy in RCC and in urothelial cancer, evaluating predictive biomarkers for responsiveness to VEGF inhibition in RCC, and in evaluating germline variants in prostate cancer which may be predictive to certain therapies. During his fellowship, he was awarded the Joseph M. Quagliana award in 2018. David single-boarded in medical oncology and graduated after two years of fellowship. He now practices at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, UT and is their Director of GU Oncology.

Ami Patel, MD (class of 2017)

Ami Patel published two papers in 2016 on her research with Drs. Mike Deininger and Tom O'Hare. Her research focuses on the resistance of chronic myeloid leukemia to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). She reported that inhibition of the STAT3 transcription factor blocks one mechanism of TKI resistance. This work published in Chem Med Chem highlights the potential therapeutic advantage of combinatorial treatment of CML. She published a first-author review on new strategies for therapy of BCR-ABL1-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms. This appeared in Clin Cancer Res in March of this year.

Sabarinath Venniyil Radhakrishnan, MBBS (class of 2016)

Sabarinath Radhakrishnan published a review article in the Br J Haematol on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapy for multiple myeloma. Sabarinath's research with Drs. D. Atanackovic and T. Leutkens focuses on generating new CAR T cells therapies for multiple myeloma therapy. He is making excellent progress on a new antigen for CAR therapy.

Hematology Bi-Annual Report 2017

Read the Report