Onsite Networking

Trainee and Early-Career Networking Luncheon

Thursday, January 18: 12:00 PM-1:00 PM

The Trainee and Early-Career Networking Luncheon offers attendees an invaluable opportunity to speak with and learn from some of the most respected members of the gastrointestinal cancer care community in an informal setting. As an attendee, you will gain meaningful insight into career paths and development to help you cultivate your own place in the medical community. A list of participating faculty has been provided below:

Shishir Maithel, MD, FACP - Chair
Emory University Winship Cancer Institute

Dr. Maithel is a Surgical Oncologist and HepatoPancreatoBiliary Surgeon at Emory University. His research program is based on clinical and translational investigation and outcomes analysis of GI and hepatopancreatobiliary tumors. Dr. Maithel has initiated a program to assess molecular biomarker predictors of patient outcome and treatment response. This research is possible through a healthy collaborative relationship with my colleagues in genomics, pathology, and medical oncology.  He has also organized and directed several multi-institutional research collaborations aimed at studying GI and HPB malignancy. Dr. Maithel is currently working to open an international randomized Phase III trial on the treatment of incidentally diagnosed gallbladder cancer.

Wells A. Messersmith, MD, FACP - Chair
University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Messersmith joined the University of Colorado Cancer Center faculty in 2007 as the Director of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, and was appointed co-leader of Developmental Therapeutics Program in 2010 as well as Head of the Division of Medical Oncology in 2014 after serving as co-Head since 2012.    Dr. Messersmith leads a division of >55 faculty and >90 trainees/staff, with basic, translational, and clinical research efforts.  He has guided the Developmental Therapeutics program through two NCI CCSG renewals, and currently serves as Director of the Phase I Program as well as Associate Director for Translational Research (University of Colorado Cancer Center).  He has also led the development of community oncology clinics as the UCHealth system has grown significantly in the past several years.

Dr. Messersmith trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School and did his Medical Oncology / Drug Development Fellowship at Johns Hopkins, where he was awarded an ASCO Young Investigator Award and Passano Clinician-Scientist Award.  He was on the Hopkins faculty from 2004-2007 as Assistant Professor in the GI Oncology and Drug Development programs.  

Jaffer Ajani, MD
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Laura Dawson, MD
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Dr Laura Dawson is a radiation oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and a Professor the Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto.  She completed her medical school and radiation oncology residency at the University of Toronto and a fellowship in high precision radiation therapy at the University of Michigan, where she stayed on as a faculty member until 2003, at which time she returned to Canada to develop a hepatobiliary radiation therapy program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.  She is an internationally recognized leader in hepatobiliary cancers and liver metastases and in the use of advanced radiation technologies, including stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and image guided radiation therapy (IGRT).  She is the principal investigator of several phase III clinical trials, including RTOG1112, an international randomized trial of SBRT for locally advanced hepatocellular carcinoma and HE.1, a Canadian randomized trial of low dose whole liver radiation therapy to treat painful primary and metastatic liver cancers.  She has published over 150 scientific papers.  She was a recipient of an ASCO career development award, and her research has been funded by the NIH, CIHR, NCIC CTG, and the Canadian Cancer Society.  

Ronald Dematteo, MD
University of Pennsylvania Hospital

Ronald P. DeMatteo, MD, FACS is the John Rhea Barton Professor of Surgery, and Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. DeMatteo is a surgical oncologist who is nationally recognized for his expertise in treating diseases of the liver, bile duct, gallbladder, pancreas, abdominal sarcomas, and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). His clinical research is focused on liver, bile duct, gallbladder, and pancreas cancers. Dr. DeMatteo completed his surgical residency and two postdoctoral fellowships at Penn Medicine – in Molecular Biology and Virology with Steven E. Raper, MD and James M. Wilson, MD, PhD; and in Immunology and Transplantation with Clyde F. Barker, MD – and returned in July 2017 as Chair of Surgery, after 20 years spent at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). He most recently served as Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery and Head of the Division of General Surgical Oncology at MSKCC. He was also Professor of Surgery and Associate Dean at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. At Penn, Dr. DeMatteo leads 130 faculty across 11 divisions who provide advanced patient care and conduct a robust portfolio of basic and clinical research. 

Ryan Fields, MD, FACS
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Ryan C. Fields, M.D., F.A.C.S. is an Associate Professor of Hepato-pancreato-biliary, Gastrointestinal, and Oncologic Surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.  He also serves as an Associate Program Director for the General Surgery Residency Program, is Director of Resident Research, and Assistant Program Director for the HPB and Advanced GI Surgery Fellowship.  Dr. Fields completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan where he was mentored in Cancer Immunology and Biology by Drs. Alfred Chang, Vernon Sondak, and James Mulé.  He received his MD degree from Duke University where he was mentored by Dr. Douglas Tyler and completed a General Surgery Residency at Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he worked with Drs. Timothy Eberlein, David Linehan, William Hawkins, and Jeffrey Moley.  After completing a Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center under the leadership of Drs. Murray Brennan and Ronald DeMatteo, Dr. Fields joined the faculty at Washington University.  His clinical interests include the treatment of primary and secondary/metastatic liver tumors, pancreatic cancer, gastric cancer, sarcoma, and melanoma/skin cancer.  Dr. Fields runs an NIH-funded translational research laboratory that focuses on the biology and genetics of cancer metastases and novel models to study cancer biology and immunobiology.  He directs the Solid Tumor Tissue Bank and Registry and is the PI of the Biospecimen and PDX cores for the Washington University SPORE in Pancreatic Cancer and the Washington University U54 in PDX Trial Networks.  

MIchael Hall, MD, MS
Fox Chase Cancer Center

Dr. Hall is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Fox Chase Cancer Center in the gastrointestinal oncology and cancer prevention and control programs. He is a trained health services researcher and clinical cancer geneticist. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Columbia University in New York City. He went on to complete an internal medicine residency at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s hospital and a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Chicago where he established a clinical and research focus in GI cancers and genetic risk and earned a master’s degree in health services research. His current research includes the study of patient attitudes and preferences toward hereditary risk assessment and testing, novel methods to communicate of high risk information within families, and collaborative research in gene discovery and large testing database analyses. He is the recipient of individual and collaborative research funding from the Chemotherapy Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the National Cancer Institute.

Sarah Hoffe, MD
Moffitt Cancer Center

Robin Kate Kelley, MD
University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Robin Kate Kelley is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) with clinical and research focus on cancers of the liver and biliary tract.  She is the Principal Investigator for multiple clinical trials of novel agents and combinations including immunotherapies. She also leads the UCSF Hepatobiliary Tissue Bank and Registry, which collects annotated tumor and blood specimens along with longitudinal clinical data for translational and epidemiologic research.   

Philip A. Phililp, MD, PhD, FRCP
Karmanos Cancer Institute

Philip is a Professor of Oncology and Pharmacology and Kathryn Cramer endowed chair in cancer research at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, MI. He is the director of GI and Neuroendocrine Oncology at the Karmanos Cancer Centre and vice president of medical affairs at the cancer hospital. He also heads the pancreatic cancer subcommittee at the Southwest Oncology Group and is a member of the Pancreatic Cancer Task Force. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Medical Oncology. He has been a principal investigator on numerous Phase I-III studies in GI malignancies. He serves a member of the scientific advisory board for the Pancreatic Action Network (PanCan). He also served on planning committees for American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meetings and is an invited speaker to several international meetings. Dr Philip actively mentors fellows and junior faculty.  He has authored over 200 publications that include peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and invited review articles. He also co-edited a book on pancreatic cancer. 

Juan Valle, MD
The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Juan Valle is a Professor of Medical Oncology in the University of Manchester (Division of Cancer Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health); part of the Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre (MAHSC).  He is based at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust within the Gastrointestinal Disease Group and treats cancers of the pancreas, liver and biliary tract, and neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). He is the lead for The Christie Neuroendocrine European Neuroendocrine Tumour Society (ENETS) Centre of Excellence. 

Professor Valle is a member of the following subgroups of the National cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Upper GI Clinical Studies Group: hepatobiliary, pancreatic and neuroendocrine (which he Chaired between 2013 – 2017). He is Secretary of the UK and Ireland NET Society (UKINETS); member of the EORTC Hepatobiliary Task Force; EORTC Gastrointestinal Tract Cancer Group; the National Cancer Institute Hepatobiliary Task Force [USA]; and Vice-Chair of the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation Medical Advisory Board [USA]. He has been awarded a number of grants for research leading to numerous publications and presentations and national and international meetings and is a peer-reviewer for a number of international medical journals.  He is a member of ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology), ESMO (European Society of Medical Oncology), UKI NETS (UK and Ireland Neuroendocrine Tumour Society) and ENETS (European Neuroendocrine Tumour Society).  

Networking Receptions

  • Thursday, January 18: 5:30 PM-6:30 PM
  • Friday, January 19: 5:30 PM-6:30 PM

Attend the evening Poster Session and Networking Reception. Take this time to view posters, chat with poster presenters, and network with colleagues.

Poster Walks

  • Thursday, January 18: 5:45 PM-6:30 PM
  • Friday, January 19: 12:00 PM- 12:45 PM
  • Saturday, January 20: 1:00 PM- 1:45 PM

Led by an expert in the field, Poster Walks are interactive, small-group tours of posters deemed novel, scientifically intriguing, or otherwise interesting to the Poster Walk leader. Poster Walk leaders listings are available in the Program. Poster Walks are not ticketed. Please meet at the Poster Assistance Desk to attend a Poster Walk.

Career Opportunities Board

Are you looking for a new career opportunity? Do you have an open position at your organization? Take advantage of this feature and find information on job openings around the world. The Career Opportunities Board is located in the Posters, Exhibits, and Food Service Room on Level 1. All postings must be approved by Symposium staff. If you are interested in posting a job, visit the staff at the Registration and Customer Service Desk in the Level 1 lobby.

Find additional career opportunities from the cosponsors online

Email us for more information regarding this opportunity.

Find a Colleague

Use the Find a Colleague directory in the Attendee Resource Center to search for registered attendees and send a direct, private email to connect while onsite.