Canary’s scientific leaders are widely respected scientists providing the experience, knowledge and expertise needed to accomplish our goals. Our leaders not only play scientific advisory roles but also lead specific projects or head multidisciplinary teams focused on particular disease sites supported by Canary Foundation.
Sanjiv “Sam” Gambhir, M.D., Ph.D. – Chair, Department of Radiology at Stanford University and Director, Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection, Stanford University
Dr. Gambhir is Chair and Professor of Radiology, the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor for Clinical Investigation in Cancer Research, Professor in Bioengineering, and Professor in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University. He serves as Director of the Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection and as the Director of the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS). He is a Principal Investigator (PI) for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence and the NCI In Vivo Cellular & Molecular Imaging Center (ICMIC), and is the Program Director for a post-doctoral fellowship molecular imaging training grant. In 2008, Dr. Gambhir was elected to the U.S. National Academies’ Institute of Medicine. His many honors include election as AAAS Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2014), American Association of Indian Scientists in Cancer Research Lifetime Achievement Award (2014), Society of Asian American Scientists in Cancer Research Award (2013), Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award, Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) (2011), Outstanding Researcher Award, Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) (2009), the Paul C. Aebersold Award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine, which is given for outstanding achievement in basic nuclear medicine science (2006), the Hounsfield Medal from Imperial College London (2005), and the Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (2004). Dr. Gambhir serves on numerous corporate scientific advisory boards and is a member of the National Cancer Institute scientific advisory board. As an expert in numerous multimodality molecular imaging modalities, Dr. Gambhir leads a team of more than 125 scientists in the molecular imaging program and directs a lab of more than 25 post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Leland “Lee” Hartwell, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate – Chief Scientist at the Center for Sustainable Health, Arizona State University and Scientific Advisor, Canary Foundation
Dr. Hartwell is the Virginia G. Piper Chair in Personalized Medicine at the Center for Sustainable Health, Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University (ASU). At ASU, Dr. Hartwell oversees projects in science education as well as projects to develop biomarkers for the clinical management of many diseases at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and University in Taipei, Taiwan. Dr. Lee Hartwell is the former President and Director of the Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, a position he held until 2010. Dr. Hartwell is the recipient of many national and international scientific awards, including the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for identifying genes that control cell division in yeast. A few of his many other honors include the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the Gairdner Foundation International Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Award in cancer research. Dr. Hartwell also is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Hartwell earned his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He completed his postdoctoral work at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies prior to serving as an assistant professor at the University of California, Irvine.
Teri Brentnall, M.D., Professor of Medicine, University of Washington and Pancreatic Team Leader, Canary Foundation
Dr. Brentnall is the Charles and Mary Ann Walters Endowed Chair and Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington, where she leads a research group that studies the growth of tumors in the gastrointestinal tract with an emphasis on pancreatic cancer. She is also an affiliate of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. A practicing gastroenterologist and passionate cancer researcher, Dr. Brentnall is the driving force behind the University of Washington’s innovative Pancreatic Cancer Surveillance Study, which has been tracking high-risk patients for over a decade in an effort to improve early detection methods. As a pancreatic cancer expert, Dr. Brentnall is actively involved in many pancreatic cancer research organizations and committees, including the GI oncology section of the American Gastroenterological Association, the NIH Progress Review Group for Pancreatic Cancer, the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Pancreatic Cancer Organization (PANCAN), and the Western Pancreas Cancer Group. She is also an invited panel member of the National Pancreatic Foundation Workshop on the Future of Research in Pancreatic Diseases. Dr. Brentnall earned an M.D. at the University of Washington in Seattle and completed her residency in Medicine at UCLA. She completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at the University of Washington.
Charles Drescher, M.D., Clinical Professor, University of Washington and Ovarian Cancer Team Co-Leader, Canary Foundation
Dr. Drescher is a practicing gynecological oncologist. His primary academic appointment is with the University of Washington as a Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, with a joint appointment as an Associate Member in the Molecular Diagnostics Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Drescher’s research interests include the application of molecular technologies to identify ovarian cancer early detection and prognostic markers. He is a co-Principal Investigator of a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Ovarian Cancer grant funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), for which he oversees the recruitment and enrollment of ovarian cancer patients into a surgical (tissue) donation program. As an expert in gynecological oncology, Dr. Drescher is also actively involved in many ovarian cancer research organizations and committees, including the NCI Gynecological Cancer Steering Committee and the Gynecological Oncology Group. Dr. Drescher earned his M.D. at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he also completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology.
Samir Hanash, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Red & Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Lung Cancer Team Leader, Canary Foundation
Dr. Hanash is Director of the Red & Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Hanash is also the Evelyn & Sol Rubenstein Distinguished Chair for Cancer Prevention, Professor of Clinical Cancer Prevention, and Research Professor of Translational Molecular Pathology at MD Anderson. Dr. Hanash was recruited to the cancer early detection initiatives at MD Anderson from his prior position as Program Head for Molecular Diagnostics at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Hanash’s interests and expertise focus on the development and application of integrated approaches to the molecular profiling of cancer, with particular emphasis on proteomics. He has been a program principal investigator (PI) for multi-investigator projects funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), PI for an NCI Director’s Challenge program that focuses on molecular profiling of lung, colon and ovarian cancer, and PI of an NCI-funded Cancer Biomarker Development program that focuses on the application of proteomics to the discovery of protein markers for the early diagnosis of lung and GI cancers. Dr. Hanash has organized and participated in several workshops sponsored by the NCI related to cancer diagnostics and molecular profiling. Dr. Hanash earned his M.D. from the American University of Beirut and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Peter Nelson, M.D., Member, Human Biology and Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Prostate Cancer Team Leader, Canary Foundation
Dr. Nelson has two academic appointments: Member of the Human Biology and Clinical Research Divisions of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Professor of Oncology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington. Dr. Nelson is a practicing medical oncologist, with a clinical specialty focused on the treatment of prostate cancer. He also has a laboratory engaged in studies of molecular changes that underlie the development and progression of prostate carcinoma. As an expert in prostate cancer, Dr. Nelson is also actively involved in many prostate cancer research organizations and committees, including the Pacific Northwest Prostate Cancer SPORE supported by the National Cancer Institute, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Institute for Prostate Cancer Research. His awards include a Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health, a Damon Runyon Scholar Award and Awards from the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Dr. Nelson earned his M.D. from the University of Kansas and served as chief resident at the University of Kansas Medical Center before completing a two-year fellowship in biotechnology at the National Cancer Institute.
Daniel Lin, M.D., Chief of Urologic Oncology, University of Washington and Canary Prostate Active Surveillance Study (PASS) Leader, Canary Foundation
Dr. Lin is the Jessie H. Bridges Endowed Professor in Prostate Cancer Research, an Associate Professor in the Department of Urology, and Chief of Urologic Oncology at the University of Washington. He is also an Associate Member in the Cancer Prevention Program of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research. He is a compassionate clinician and practices urologic oncology through the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Dr. Lin has co-authored more than 100 papers, chapters and editorials and is associate editor of three journals. He serves on various national committees, including the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guideline Panel for Renal and Testis Tumors, the Society of Urologic Oncology Executive Board, and the AUA Guideline Committees for Advanced Prostate Cancer and Renal Mass Follow-up. Dr. Lin’s research is focused on active surveillance of prostate cancer and management of high-risk prostate cancer, the molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer, and the discovery of biomarkers for prostate cancer risk and early detection. He received his M.D. at Vanderbilt University and his urology residency training and urologic oncology fellowship training at the University of Washington and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, respectively.
Ronny Drapkin, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Ovarian Cancer Research Center, University of Pennsylvania – Perelman School of Medicine (Penn) and Ovarian Cancer Team Co-Leader, Canary Foundation
Dr. Ronny Drapkin, MD, PhD, is the Franklin Payne Associate Professor of Pathology in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania – Perelman School of Medicine (Penn). He serves as the Director of the Ovarian Cancer Research Center, the Director of Gynecological Cancer Research at the Basser Center for BRCA, and the Director of the newly awarded Translational Center of Excellence in Ovarian Cancer. His research, teaching, and clinical activities focus on understanding the pathogenesis and genetic alterations involved in women’s cancers, with the intent to translate these important biological principles into clinically useful diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Research from the Drapkin lab led to the discovery that the majority of ovarian cancers actually begin in the fallopian tubes. This new concept of pathogenesis has been a paradigm shift in the field and the Drapkin lab has been at the forefront in developing novel model systems that address the role of the FT epithelium and its susceptibility to neoplastic transformation. These platforms include genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models, fallopian tube-derived cell lines, and patient-derived tumor xenografts. His lab is currently focused on utilizing these models to interrogate how genetic and epigenetic alterations influence lineage dependencies, genomic instability, replicative stress, and tumor metabolism. Dr. Drapkin received his BA from Brandeis University, followed by MD-PhD degrees from Rutgers University. He completed his residency and fellowship training at Harvard and was on the faculty of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School before joining Penn in 2015.