James L. Cox, MD
Dr. Cox trained in Cardiothoracic Surgery under Dr. David Sabiston at Duke University, where he remained on the faculty as an Assistant Professor, then Associate Professor of Surgery. Dr. Cox subsequently became the first Evarts A. Graham Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, a position he held for 14-years. In July of 2000, he retired as the Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Georgetown University Medical Center. On July 1, 2006, Jim became the Emeritus Evarts A. Graham Professor of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine. He has been the President of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Editor of the Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Editor of Operative Techniques in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Chairman of the Residency Review Committee for Thoracic Surgery, a Director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and a member of the Surgical Study Section at the NIH. Dr. Cox is best known for his work in the field of cardiac arrhythmia surgery and the development of the Cox-Maze Procedure which is considered the “gold standard’ for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. Dr. Cox has trained many prominent surgeons in America, Europe and Asia and has served as the Guest Lecturer, Visiting Professor or Guest Surgeon over 200 times and in over 30 countries. Dr. Cox was honored in Paris, France as one of only thirty “Pioneers in Cardiothoracic Surgery” for the First 50 Years of the Specialty. In April 2005, Dr. Cox joined Dr. Michael DeBakey as only the second American cardiac surgeon ever elected into the Russian Academy of Medical Science.
Robert Farmer, MD
Currently serving as Medical Director for the Southern Illinois Division of HSHS Medical Group, Dr. Farmer has over twenty years of experience in family medicine. Dr. Farmer attended Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed a family practice residency at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana.
Keith Fleming, MD
Dr. Fleming is a founding member and president of Tejas Anesthesia in San Antonio, Texas. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Fleming completed his medical training at Baylor College of Medicine, and residency at UT Health Center in San Antonio. Dr. Fleming is a Diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology and belongs to the San Antonio Division of the American Board of Anesthesiology.
Preethi H. Gunaratne, PhD
Dr. Preethi Gunaratne brings extensive experience in genomics, analytics and personalized medicine. Following a stint as Assistant Director of the Baylor College of Medicine DNA Diagnostic laboratory. In 1999 she joined the International Human Genome Project through which she directly contributed to the sequencing and annotation of Human Chromosomes 3, 12 and X. In 2000 she was appointed Director of gene (cDNA) sequencing at the Baylor Human Genome Sequencing Center (Baylor-HGSC). In 2005 she lead her team to make the largest single contribution of 15,000 sequences each to the National Cancer Institutes’ (NCI) Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) in Phase I and the National Institute for Diabetes & Digestive Kidney Disease (NIDDK) - Stem Cell Genome Anatomy Project (SCGAP). Dr. Gunaratne joined the University of Houston in 2006 and went on to establish one of the first comprehensive functional genomics platforms to rationally define genetic signatures that accurately stratify and predict responsive and non-responsive host genomes to externally administered microRNAs and drugs. She collaborated with teams from Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) to pioneer methods for discovering strong tumor suppressor microRNAs for ovarian, colorectal, metastatic breast, skin and kidney cancers, multiple myeloma, and pediatric neuroblastoma and osteosarcoma. Through this work Dr. Gunaratne’s group has also established a framework for defining unique microRNA-regulated gene signatures that can be used for personalizing cancer treatments based on underlying genetic mutations in tumors as defined by Whole Exome or Whole Genome sequencing (WES or WGS). To rapidly translate their findings into clinical practice Dr. Gunaratne co-founded NEXTmiRNA Technologies a company dedicated to harnessing tumor suppressor microRNAs as the Next Generation cancer drugs – acting as circuit breakers of multiple oncogenic pathways driving cancer. Preclinical work for a tumor suppressor microRNA for ovarian cancer.
Jonathan Heinlen, MD
Dr. Heinlen is a board-certified urologist with fellowship training in Urologic Oncology and minimally invasive surgery. He specializes in the treatment of urologic cancers, with a particular focus on prostate and kidney cancer. In addition to cancer, Dr. Heinlen offers minimally invasive solutions for complicated urinary stone disease and benign prostatic hypertrophy. Dr. Heinlen elected to pursue medical training at the University of Oklahoma and continued on in urology residency in Oklahoma. He then trained at the City of Hope National Cancer Center in Los Angeles.
Dr. Heinlen has a particular interest in improving the way physicians interact with their patients to create better healthcare outcomes. This includes a focus on cost-efficiency, patient-centered decision making, and evidence-based practice. Dr. Heinlen has ongoing research studies in urologic clinical practice and also participates in multiple cancer trials.
Henrikas Juknis, MD
Dr. Juknis has over twenty years of experience practicing nephrology and internal medicine. Dr. Juknis graduated medical school at Kaunas Medical Institute and completed a residency at Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, Rhode Island. He went on to serve as a fellow at the University of Minnesota Minneapolis.
Tara Kaufmann, MD
Dr. Kaufmann completed her undergraduate education in Biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. She sub-matriculated during her undergraduate years to also complete a Masters Degree in Chemistry. She received her medical degree at the University of California –San Francisco and completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of North Carolina. She then completed a palliative care fellowship at Duke before moving back to UPenn for a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology. Her research interest is in patient-reported outcomes and advanced analytics in aiding treatment decisions and targeting supportive care services for patients diagnosed with cancer.
George Lundberg, MS, MD, ScD (hon)
George Lundberg, MS, MD, ScD (hon) is an American board-certified pathologist, speaker, writer, and editor. Dr. Lundberg is the former (1982-1999) Editor in Chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and he is currently the Editor in Chief of Cancer Commons; Editor at Large, at Medscape, a Clinical Professor of Pathology at Northwestern University, and President and Board Chair of The Lundberg Institute. Dr. Lundberg served as President of the American Society for Clinical Pathology; Professor of Pathology at University of Southern California for 10 years; and for 5 years was Professor and Chair of Pathology at the University of California, Davis. A frequent lecturer, radio, and webcasting guest and host, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Lundberg was also a professor at Harvard from 1993 to 2008 and at Stanford from 2006 to 2018. Dr. Lundberg is a Vietnam Era Veteran, having served in the US Army for 11-years, leaving active duty as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Michael Papagikos, MD
Dr. Papagikos is a radiation oncologist in Wilmington, North Carolina specializing in the management of lung and prostate cancer. He is very committed to offering and conducting high-quality clinical cancer research in the community setting and underserved populations through physician initiated and national cooperative group studies. He is affiliated with the New Hanover Regional Medical Center and serves as the Director of the Multi-Disciplinary Lung Program. He received his medical degree and residency training from Wake Forest School of Medicine.