Chordoma Foundation

Medical Advisory Board

Our Medical Advisory Board (MAB) is comprised of some of the world’s leading chordoma specialists representing multiple disciplines and institutions. The MAB guides the development of our community services and clinical research strategies and plays an ongoing role in vetting and overseeing our investments in clinical research.

Shreyas Patel, MD – Chair

Dr. Patel is the Robert R. Herring Distinguished Professor of Clinical Research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Medical Director of the MD Anderson Sarcoma Center and the Deputy Chairman of the Department of Sarcoma Medical Oncology. Additionally, he is president of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society, and a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Clinical Research Committee for the Sarcoma Alliance for Research Through Collaboration.

Greg Cote, MD, PhD

Dr. Cote is a medical oncologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in the Henri and Belinda Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies (Phase I), the Center for Sarcoma and Connective Tissue Oncology and the Stephan L. Harris Center for Chordoma Care. His primary research interest is in developing novel agents for sarcomas through early phase clinical trials and translational laboratory collaborations. He is the principal investigator for 10 clinical trials for sarcoma patients and DF/HCC MGH site PI on 2 additional clinical trials. He has collaborated with pathology and molecular biology colleagues on several studies, including evaluating EZH2 inhibitors in chordoma, developing angiosarcoma patient-derived xenografts (ongoing) and ATR inhibition in ALT-positive tumors (ongoing). Dr. Cote received his MD and PhD from Boston University School of Medicine, completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and his fellowship at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Paul A. Gardner, MD

Dr. Gardner is Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Director of the UPMC Center for Cranial Base Surgery. Dr. Gardner is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of endoscopic endonasal surgery, a minimally invasive surgical approach to the skull base. Other surgical interests include pituitary tumors, open cranial base surgery, and vascular surgery. His research has focused on evaluating patient outcomes following these surgeries and more recently on molecular phenotyping of chordomas. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and lectures frequently at local, national, and international scientific meetings.

Hans Gelderblom, MD, PhD

Prof. Gelderblom is a medical oncologist and chair of the department of medical oncology at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) in the Netherlands. The LUMC is a national center specialised in bone sarcoma including chordoma and home of the Netherlands Bone Tumour Committee. Prof Gelderblom is a member of the executive board of the EORTC-Soft tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group and is leading the experimental pharmacology in the oncology programme at the LUMC.

Ziya Gokaslan, MD

Dr. Gokaslan is Chief of Neurosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital and the Neurosurgery Chair at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. His clinical practice focuses on the surgical treatment of primary and metastatic spinal tumors, sacral neoplasms, and spinal cord tumors, including chordoma. He developed many novel approaches for resection of spinal neoplasms and sacral tumors. Dr. Gokaslan’s research uses animal models to develop local chemotherapeutic delivery systems for primary and metastatic spinal tumors. In addition, he oversees clinical trials assessing the efficacy of surgery and spinal reconstruction for spinal column tumors.

Mrinal Gounder, MD

Dr. Gounder is a medical oncologist specializing in the care of patients with sarcomas of soft tissue and bone at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His research interest is to unravel the complexity of each type of sarcoma and develop new drugs in order to move away from the “one size fits all” paradigm. Currently, he is the lead investigator on several clinical trials and is also an attending physician in the Phase I Clinical Trials program, where he focuses on discovering and developing new and exciting compounds that are more effective in treating all solid tumors and that are less toxic for the patient. He is currently involved in personalized medicine for chordoma patients by sequencing genetic information in real time in order to treat patients with chordoma with the right drug.

Chris Heery, MD

Christopher Heery, MD

Dr. Heery is the Chief Medical Officer for Precision BioSciences, Inc. Dr. Heery was previously the Chief Medical Officer for Bavarian Nordic where he oversaw preclinical and clinical development of the company’s infectious disease and immuno-oncology portfolio. Prior to that he was the Director of the Clinical Trials Group of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the National Cancer Institute. His clinical research was focused on the use of novel agents capable of inducing the immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells, including chordoma. Dr. Heery is a graduate of Duke University and received his MD from East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine. He is board-certified in Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine.

Fran Hornicek, MD, PhD

Dr. Hornicek is Chair of the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He served most recently as Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UCLA, and was previously a professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Orthopaedic Oncology Service at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was also Co-Director of the Center for Sarcoma and Connective Tissue Oncology and director of the Stephan L. Harris Center for Chordoma Care at MGH. In these roles, he leads a coordinated, cross-disciplinary chordoma research effort.

Shaan Raza

Shaan Raza, MD

Dr. Raza is a faculty member in the Department of Neurosurgery at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he treats patients with skull base chordoma. He is one of a handful of surgeons in the country with fellowship training in the full spectrum of surgical techniques for the management of skull base and brain tumors. His research focuses on identifying factors that affect outcomes of chordoma patients with the goal of improving the way that chordoma is managed. He also he serves as Co-Chair of the Research Committee for the North American Skull Base Society.

Chandra Sen, MD

Dr. Sen is a professor of neurosurgery at NYU Langone Medical Center and is a pioneer in the field of skull base surgery. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a founding member of the North American Skull Base Society, and a current member and former president of the New York Society of Neurosurgery. He has published several papers and book chapters on skull base and cervical spine chordomas, and frequently lectures on chordoma at international conferences. Dr. Sen cares deeply for his chordoma patients and describes improving the treatment of chordoma as one of his life goals.

Joseph Schwab, MD

Dr. Schwab is an Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School and the Chief of Orthopaedic Spine Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he is the Director of the Spine Oncology program and Co-Director of the Stephan L. Harris Chordoma Center. In addition to caring for patients with chordomas of the spine and sacrum, he is spearheading clinical research focused on improving patient quality of life and leads laboratory research focused on developing immunotherapies for chordoma.

Silvia Stacchiotti, MD

Dr. Stacchiotti is a medical oncologist at the Istituto Nazionale Tumori in Milan, Italy. She specializes in the treatment of patients with sarcoma, including chordoma. Aside from having one of the most active chordoma practices in the world, she leads a network of expert physicians throughout Europe dedicated to working together to provide high quality and coordinated care to chordoma patients. Working with this group, she spearheaded the creation of consensus guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of chordoma published in the Lancet Oncology. She has also been instrumental in planning a multi-institutional European patient registry as well as several multi-institutional clinical trials.

Josh Yamada, MD

Dr. Yamada is a radiation oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center with expertise in treating cancers, including chordoma, with brachytherapy (radiation placed inside of tumors) and image-guided radiation (using advanced medical imaging technology to deliver precise beams of radiation to safely destroy tumors). He is also involved in clinical research that involves using image-guided technologies to treat tumors in all sites of the body, including adult brain and spine tumors, as well as liver tumors.

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