Adekunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, in suit coat
Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, an expert in immunotherapy and vaccine therapy for cancer, is Director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Senior Leadership

Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, an expert in immunotherapy and vaccine therapy for cancer, is Director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Odunsi also serves as Biological Sciences Division Dean for Oncology and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Chicago.

Odunsi is a gynecologic oncologist whose research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of immune recognition and tolerance in ovarian cancer and translating these findings to immunotherapy clinical trials. He pioneered the development of antigen-specific vaccine therapy and “next generation” adoptive T-cell immunotherapies to prolong remission rates in women with ovarian cancer.

He came to Chicago from Buffalo, New York, where he served as Deputy Director at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. He also served as Executive Director of the Center for Immunotherapy and Chair of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at Roswell Park.

Odunsi’s honors and awards include election to the National Academy of Medicine in 2018 and the Rosalind Franklin Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Award in 2019. He has authored or co-authored more than 360 publications and contributed to several books and book chapters. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Cancer Research Institute and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation Alliance, among others. He serves or has served on 10 editorial boards and multiple NIH study sections, and held numerous visiting professorships and guest lectureships. He also holds leadership positions in several national organizations such as Co-chair of the NCI Cancer Moonshot Immuno-Oncology Translational Network and Chairperson-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research’s Cancer Immunology Working Group.

Odunsi received his medical degree from the University of Ife in Nigeria, and his PhD degree from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, United Kingdom. He completed his residencies in obstetrics and gynecology at the Rosie Maternity and Addenbrooke’s Hospitals, University of Cambridge, in the U.K., and Yale University School of Medicine, in New Haven, Connecticut. His fellowship in gynecologic oncology was at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, in Buffalo, New York, where he joined the faculty in 2001.

M. Eileen Dolan, PhD, professor of medicine, is the Deputy Director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center.

In this role, Dolan works closely with Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, the Cancer Center’s Director and Dean of Oncology, on the organization’s vision, mission and strategy. She is responsible for monitoring strategic research-related initiatives and milestones, ensuring widespread faculty involvement in center initiatives and supporting team science efforts.

Previously, she was the long-time co-leader of the center’s Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics Program. She also served as the Associate Director for Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination, working to expand, integrate and coordinate all cancer-related educational efforts in the Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Dolan is considered a leader in pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents. She is known for developing cell-based methods to identify genetic variants contributing to chemotherapeutic induced toxicity. Her laboratory lead the way in using International HapMap lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) to demonstrate that chemotherapeutic induced cytotoxicity is a heritable trait and demonstrated differences in gene expression and sensitivity to chemotherapy in LCLs derived from individuals of European, African, African American and Asian descent. More recently, her laboratory is employing induced pluripotent stem cell derived neuronal cells to evaluate chemotherapeutic induced neuropathy, the most common non-hematologic adverse effect of chemotherapy. She is involved in a number of clinical genome wide association studies to identify and functionally validate genetic variants/genes contributing to chemotherapeutic-induced toxicities.

Jasmin A. Tiro, PhD, MPH, is the associate director of cancer prevention and population sciences for the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. As a recognized leader in HPV vaccination and cancer screening, Dr. Tiro brings the experience and skillset needed to expand the program’s strengths to include the design and implementation of health behavior interventions that address well-documented disparities on the South Side of Chicago. With her arrival, we will be able to accomplish our vision to lead comprehensive efforts locally and nationally to reduce the burden of cancer, and reduce cancer health disparities, especially for people living in our catchment area.
 
She works closely with cancer center leadership in shaping and refining the population research programmatic goals and activities within the context of the overall cancer center mission. Dr. Tiro leads faculty recruitment and pilot research programs to augment existing programmatic strengths, catalyze new innovative programs, and bridge intra- and inter-programmatic interactions. She also partners with the Office of Community Engagement and Cancer Health Equity led by Drs. Karen Kim and Nita K. Lee to translate cancer prevention and control discoveries into outreach programs that benefit the community. 
Geoffrey Greene, PhD, is the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor, chair of The Ben May Department for Cancer Research, co-director of the Ludwig Center for Metastasis, and associate director for basic sciences at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Greene oversees the implementation, organization, and activities of the Comprehensive Cancer Center research programs and core facilities that support these programs. He assists and advises the Comprehensive Cancer Center director on strategic and operational decisions and participates in philanthropic fundraising efforts, especially with The University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation (UCCRF).

Dr. Greene is internationally recognized for his many contributions to the field of steroid hormone action and breast cancer. His contributions have improved not only our understanding of the nature and function of steroid receptors, but also their measurement and utility in cancer. In addition, his ongoing structural studies have helped define novel selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) that may be suitable for breast and uterine cancer prevention in women, as well as for use in promoting many of the desirable effects of estrogen, such as maintenance of bone density and cardiovascular function, while reducing undesirable side effects.
Karen Kim, MD, professor of medicine, specializes in the prevention, screening, and early detection of colorectal cancer, hepatitis B, and women’s health issues–particularly functional bowel diseases. She is skilled in the assessment of hereditary colon cancer syndromes and colon cancer risk in families.

Dr. Kim’s research explores chemoprevention for colon cancer and screening methods for populations with average and high risk. Her research interests include underserved and minority populations, understanding health disparities, cultural competency, and cancer prevention. She has also studied the education and awareness of hepatitis B in Asian Americans through screening, advocacy, treatment, and immunization for liver cancer prevention.

Dr. Kim directs the Office of Community Engagement and Cancer Health Equity and the Center for Asian Health Equity.
Drew Memmott leads the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center administrative unit. He joined the leadership team in 2021. He has extensive experience in scientific administration and managing NCI designated Cancer Centers. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, he oversaw all research administrative functions for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and served as Associate Director for Administration for the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. He was previously the Associate Director for Administration at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and Director of Research Administration at Columbia University Medical Center. He currently serves on the External Advisory Board of several national Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Drew has graduate degrees from the University of Washington and Columbia University.  
 
As Associate Director for Administration at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, he has broad oversight for the administrative and fiscal management of the center, including financial management, personnel, IT infrastructure to support clinical trials operations, pre- and post-awards for the Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) and multiple interdepartmental grants, Cancer Center public relations and communications, and philanthropic activities. In addition, he works collaboratively with Cancer Center leadership in strategic planning activities and implementation of plans for programmatic growth.  
Mark Ratain, MD, Leon O. Jacobson Professor of Medicine, is an Executive Committee Member and Strategic Advisor at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center and leader of the Pharmacology Core Facility.

Dr. Ratain oversees the implementation, organization, and activities of the programs and core facilities that support clinical research. He advises the Comprehensive Cancer Center director on strategic planning and operational and budgetary issues in the area of clinical research. Dr. Ratain also serves as chair of the Clinical Research Advisory Committee (CRAC), which meets quarterly to review operations and policy related to clinical research, including the CCTO and PRMS.

Dr. Ratain’s research interests are in the pharmacogenetics of anticancer agents and Phase I and Phase II drug studies. Pharmacogenetics is the study of how genetic variation among individuals contributes to differences in the way they respond to medicine. Dr. Ratain’s research is focused on the metabolism of specific anticancer agents. He has demonstrated the critical importance of genetic variants in determining variability in the pharmacokinetics and toxicity of certain anticancer drugs. His research has become a model for understanding variability in response to newer targeted drugs.
Yu-Ying He, PhD, Professor of Medicine in the Section of Dermatology, focuses her research on the molecular mechanisms in skin carcinogenesis induced by environmental ultraviolet (UV) radiation and the development of chemopreventive and therapeutic strategies to reduce the skin cancer burden. Her current research focuses on identifying previously unrecognized novel molecular/cellular processes that determine susceptibility to skin carcinogenesis. Her laboratory uses molecular, genetic, and translational approaches in cell culture models and clinically relevant animal models to investigate how DNA repair and DNA damage responses of skin cells are regulated in vivo and what their impact is on skin carcinogenesis.
 
She completed her PhD in Organic Chemistry at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Iris Romero, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, is a highly skilled obstetrician and gynecologist with expertise in cancer prevention. Dr. Romero has formal and clinical training in the assessment and management of hereditary cancers. Her clinical practice includes individuals with a family history of gynecologic or breast cancer and patients with genetic mutations that predispose to gynecologic cancers, including BRCA mutations and others. To reduce the risk of cancer Dr. Romero works closely with her patients to integrate risk assessment, screening, and prevention. Dr. Romero also provides the full spectrum of general OB/GYN care including management of abnormal periods, fibroid treatment, contraception, and routine obstetrical care.
 
Dr. Romero's clinical practice complements her active research program, which focuses on developing new agents for gynecologic cancer prevention and treatment. Her research program is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and nonprofit foundations.
Russell Szmulewitz, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Genitourinary Oncology Program, is the UCCCC Interim Associate Director for Clinical Investigation and member of the UCCCC Executive Committee. He is also a co-leader of the UCCCC Clinical and Experimental Therapeutic Program. His research bridges the clinic and laboratory and focuses on the development of novel therapeutic strategies for advanced prostate cancer. In particular, his translational laboratory explores resistance mechanisms to hormonal therapies and efforts to develop new therapeutics coupled with predictive biomarkers to target therapy resistance with precision.
 
Dr. Szmulewitz is the principal investigator of many clinical research trials across the phases of clinical research and has led multiple high-impact investigator-initiated therapeutic trials. He was recently funded by the U.S. Department of Defense to establish The University of Chicago Prostate Cancer Clinical Research Program. In his role as Interim AD for Clinical Investigation, he oversees the Clinical Protocol and Data Management (CPDM), Data Safety Monitoring Committee (DSMC), and Protocol Review and Monitoring System (PRMS), which are Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) components critical to the success of our clinical trials program.
Mitchell Posner, MD, is the Thomas D. Jones Professor of Surgery and chief of the Section of General Surgery and Surgical Oncology. With a reputation earned as a leading authority in the management of upper gastrointestinal cancers, Dr. Posner couples his skill as a cancer surgeon with a commitment to multidisciplinary care, providing his patients with optimal outcomes.

Dr. Posner’s work goes beyond the operating room. In the lab, he focuses on the molecular basis of malignancies, which has enabled him to design and guide groundbreaking clinical trials for cancers of the pancreas, esophagus, colon, stomach, rectum, and liver. With more than 30 years of experience, he has won dozens of awards and published 200 articles, abstracts, and book chapters.

He has won the University of Chicago’s Robert J. Baker Award for Excellence in Teaching, as well as the Basic Science and Clinical Research Award from the Society of Surgical Oncology.

Dr. Posner has held several leadership positions during his distinguished career. He is past-president of the Society of Surgical Oncology. He is deputy editor of the Annals of Surgical Oncology. He served as chairman of the Gastrointestinal Committee of the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG).
Walter Stadler, MD, Fred C. Buffet Professor of Medicine and Surgery, dean for clinical research, and director of the genitourinary program, is a senior advisor on the executive committee of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Stadler joined the faculty more than 20 years ago and focuses his research on innovative treatments for urological cancers as well as clinical trial design. He concentrates on the use of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, anti-angiogenic therapy, and molecularly targeted therapy for patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease. His research focuses on the development of new treatments for these urological cancers. Dr. Stadler’s recent research includes development of molecular and imaging markers for predicting response to various anti-cancer therapies.

Dr. Sonali M. Smith, Elwood V. Jensen Professorship of Medicine and Section Chief of Hematology/Oncology at UChicago Medicine, is an expert in the care and treatment of adults with all types of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She has a special interest in new agents for lymphoma, as well as stem cell transplantation and its role in improving the survival of patients with relapsed lymphomas.
 
An active researcher, Dr. Smith is involved in the development of promising agents for patients with non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma. She is principal investigator on a number of innovative clinical trials. Many of the trials incorporate the collection of tumor and blood samples to study the effects of treatment on cancer cells through collaborative laboratories.
 
Dr. Smith frequently lectures to both physicians and patient groups on these topics. She serves on several national committees charged with improving treatment options for patients with lymphoma, providing physician education, and providing reliable information for patients through established websites. Dr. Smith also frequently performs peer reviews of research being considered for publication in major medical journals. Additionally, she has won several teaching awards at the University of Chicago.
 
Ralph Weichselbaum, MD, is a radiation oncologist investigating tumor and host factors that limit metastasis and novel methods of treatment of metastasis. One of his most distinguished accomplishments includes when he and Samuel Hellman, dean of biological sciences at the University at the time, discovered oligometastasis, an intermediate state of metastasis that could be successfully treated and controlled. He and Hellman maintained that many patients with oligometastatic disease could be cured, depending on the extent of disease burden, with either surgery or targeted radiation therapy. This notion, the spectrum theory of metastasis, has slowly been accepted, backed by a mounting series of reports of successful treatments.
 
He has published more than 850 academic papers or reports across multiple fields. Throughout his career,  he has received numerous awards and honors. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) honored Weichselbaum as the 2018 recipient of the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and, in that same year, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) awarded him with the Gold Medal, one of its highest honors. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Association of American Physicians.
 
Weichselbaum was born in Chicago, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and attended medical school at the University of Illinois in Chicago. After medical school, he did his residency at the Joint Center for Radiation Therapy at Harvard University. He later joined the faculty there, rising quickly to associate professor status. In 1984, he was recruited to the University of Chicago to become Professor and Chair of Radiation Oncology. He is now the Daniel K. Ludwig Distinguished Service Professor, Co-Director of the Ludwig Center for Metastasis Research, and Director of the Center for Molecular Oncology.
Tara Henderson, MD, MPH, specializes in the diagnosis and medical treatment of patients with pediatric cancers. She has a particular interest in the care of childhood cancer survivors.

Dr. Henderson's research focuses on the development of and screening for second cancers in childhood cancer survivors. Although treatment of childhood malignancies has become increasingly successful, with a current overall cure rate approaching 80 percent, with it comes the long-term toxic late effects of chemotherapy and radiation during critical stages of development, including second cancers and damage to vital organ systems. Dr. Henderson is interested in the characterization of second cancers and those susceptible, so that early and appropriate screening regimens can be developed.
 
At the University of Chicago, she is the Founder and Director of the Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Survivor Center, is the Director of the Pediatric and AYA Lymphoma Program, and is the Director of Cancer Survivorship for the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research interests include the outcomes of childhood and AYA cancer survivors and the clinical trials of upfront Hodgkin lymphoma therapy.
 
Dr. Henderson serves on several national committees including Steering Committees of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Prevention Committee, the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Survivorship/Outcomes and Hodgkin Lymphoma Committees. She was the Chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Cancer Survivorship Committee and recently was elected to the ASCO Board of Directors.
Dr. Diane Yamada, Joseph Bolivar De Lee Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chief of the Section of Gynecologic Oncology at UChicago Medicine. She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic cancers. She is the principal investigator at the University of Chicago for the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG), a cooperative clinical trials group supported by the National Cancer Institute.
 
Her areas of interest include: Surgery for gynecologic malignancies including ovarian, uterine and cervical cancers, as well as minimally invasive surgery; Prophylactic surgery for women at high risk for the development of hereditary ovarian and endometrial cancers; Management of high grade uterine cancers; Intraperitoneal chemotherapy; and Clinical trials. Her recent research focuses on the regulation and radiologic imaging of ovarian cancer metastasis and the unique biology of aggressive uterine cancers. She conducts clinical trials targeting ovarian cancer as well as endometrial and cervical cancer through the GOG.
 
Dr. Yamada is an editorial reviewer for a number of academic medical journals, including the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gynecologic Oncology and Cancer. She is also the author or co-author of numerous book chapters and reviews concerning gynecologic cancers.

Staff Leadership

Gina Curry, MPH, MBA, is an experienced community engagement specialist with over 15 years in community engaged academic research. Curry is well versed in community-academic partnership development, program development, training design and delivery, coalition building and multi-institutional collaborations.

Prior to joining the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, Curry served as the Community Campus Coordinator for Northwestern University’s Community Based Participatory Research Program for 11 years. She was instrumental in brokering more than 500 partnerships, resulting in dozens of community-engaged research projects, scientific manuscripts, as well as Foundation, PCORI and NIH funding. Curry is particularly interested in the intersection of faith and health and has been an active member of the American Public Health Association (APHA) for more than a decade, frequently moderating sessions and presenting in their Faith Caucus, Community Based Public Health Caucus, and Cancer Forum.
Robyn Egan, BA, is the Director for Finance for the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Egan joined the UCCCC in June 2002 with a background in economics and biological/physical sciences and has over 15 years of specialized experience in biomedical research administration: financial management and budgeting/accounting, grant and contract administration, clinical trial development, initiation, and implementation, regulatory affairs, data management, patient advocacy and preclinical laboratory technology.

Egan oversees all fiscal operations of the Center, including pre- and post-award sponsored research finances of large, complex, multidisciplinary, multi-institutional, multi-investigator program project and center grants (type P01, P30, P50, U10, U54, UG3, SPORE, etc.) as well as non-federal grants, subcontracts, and gift & endowment activity. She manages daily operations in the areas of finance, purchasing, grants, and recharge mechanisms, and directly supervises the Center’s finance team. Egan works in partnership with University Research Administration, Financial Services, Cancer Center members and their departments, and the IT and finance teams to develop comprehensive financial statements and operating budgets.
Rajan Gopalakrishnan, MS, is the director for informatics and information technology (IT) at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Gopalakrishnan joined in May 2011 with 16 years of experience in healthcare and public health IT consulting where he worked with several large regional hospital systems and state and public health organizations.

As the director for informatics, Gopalakrishnan is responsible for the design, maintenance, upkeep of all informatics and IT capabilities within the Cancer Center. In addition, he participates in setting future strategy and the roadmap for cancer informatics functions that will provide cutting-edge support for Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers and staff. Gopalakrishnan is a member of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) and likes to pursue interesting developments in public health informatics within the cancer domain.
Jane Kollmer, BA, is the director for communications at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. As a communicator with more than 15 years of experience, Kollmer is well-versed in marketing strategies that attract and engage audiences through the strategic use of compelling content.

In her role, Kollmer is responsible for elevating the UCCCC’s profile as a leading cancer research institution and raise visibility of and positive affiliation for the UCCCC among members, staff, medical and research communities, news media, and the public. She is also a member of the steering committee for the Public Affairs & Marketing Network (PAMN).
Amanda Spratt, BS, CCRP, is the director for clinical research operations and technical director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office (CCTO). She joined the Comprehensive Cancer Center in October 2004. Spratt is responsible for the day-to-day administrative oversight of office operations and staff, including hiring and training of new staff, and developing, updating and overseeing implementation of Standard Operating Procedures for all regulatory services. She serves as a resource to both her staff and clinical investigators in issues of clinical research operations, and federal and institutional regulations, and is responsible for the coordination of continuing education workshops.

Contact the UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center Research Administration

The University of Chicago Medicine
Comprehensive Cancer Center
5841 S Maryland Ave, MC 1140, H212
Chicago, IL 60637

Phone: 773-702-6180

Fax: 773-702-9311