Medical Advisory Board
Hope's Stomach Cancer Medical Advisory Board
Hope For Stomach Cancer’s Medical Advisory Board is made up of exemplary experts from many specialized fields.
Our Medical Advisory Board is diverse in that it’s comprised of leaders from every stomach cancer discipline. Because no single doctor can tackle the disease alone.
In fact, it takes a variety of doctors, oncologists, surgeons, scientists, researchers, advocates, and nutritionists to fight stomach cancer.
And, just like stomach cancer patients need a team of professionals to help them fight the disease. We make sure our Medical Advisory Board includes a voice from each of the those specialized fields.
Medical Advisory Board Chairs
Sam Klempner, MD
Dr. Sam Klempner co-chairs Hope For Stomach Cancer’s Medical Advisory Board. His vast education includes receiving his MD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
His residency was completed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. And Dr. Klempner had a fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Additionally, Dr. Klempner’s American Board Certifications include:
- Medical Oncology, American Board of Internal Medicine
- Internal Medicine, American Board Internal Medicine
- Hematology, American Board of Internal Medicine
Dr. Klemper is currently a Medical Oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Yanghee Woo, MD
Dr. Yanghee Woo co-chairs Hope for Stomach Cancer’s Medical Advisory Board. Dr. Woo is recognized internationally as a surgeon scientist with expertise in gastric cancer and robotic surgery.
Her residency in general surgery was completed at Columbia University. Dr. Woo had a research fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. And a clinical fellowship at Severance Hospital, Yonsei University, Seoul.
She started her career in the Division of GI and Endocrine Surgery at CUMC. And while there she initiated its robotic surgery program for complex abdominal cancers.
Dr. Woo is currently a Surgical Oncologist at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Jaffer Ajani, MD
Dr. Jaffer Ajani’s MD was received from the Government Medical College in Nagpur, India where he also had a residency. And that was followed by two additional residencies. One from Altoona General Hospital, Pennsylvania State University. Plus another at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA.
He also had two fellowships at the Univeristy of Texas MD Anderson Center in Houston – clinical and research.
Dr. Ajani is currently a Professor in the Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology department at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Jordan D. Berlin, MD
Dr. Jordan Berlin received his MD from the University of Illinois Chicago. His Residency was at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. And his fellowship was at the University of Wisconsin Hospital.
His areas of expertise include cancer, gastroenterology, hematology/oncology, stomach, colon and pancreatic cancer, esophageal disease, GI, and medical oncology.
Dr. Berlin is currently a Professor of Medicine, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, and Director of Vanderbilt Health’s Phase I Program.
Joseph Chao, MD
Dr. Joseph Chao earned his MD at the University of Illinois at Chicago. And he continued training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
He’s been recognized by the NIH Paul Calabresi Career Development Award in Clinical Oncology. And he’s contributed to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network panels for Gastric and Esophageal Cancers.
Dr. Chao is currently a Medical Oncologist at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center.
J. Randolph Hecht, MD
Dr. J. Randolph Hecht earned his MD at Easter Virgina Medical School. His residency was at Northwestern University.
And he completed one fellowship in gastroenterology research at the University of Chicago. Plus another fellowship in gastroenterology and medical oncology at UCLA.
Dr. Hecht is currently Director of the UCLA Gastrointestinal Oncology Program and Professor of Clinical Medicine for the David Geffen School of Medicin at UCLA.
Gregory M. Heestand, MD
Dr. Gregory Heestand earned his MD at the University of Southern California Keck Schook of Medicine. Then his residency was at the University of California Davis. Followed by his fellowship from Stanford University in hematology and oncology.
He focuses on gastrointestinal cancers. Specifically hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma, and gallbladder cancer.
Dr. Heestand is currently a clinical associate professor in medical oncology at Standford Medicine. And an oncology fellowship director for Stanford University.
Yelena Y. Janjigan, MD
Dr. Yelena Janjigan’s MD was earned at the New York University School of Medicine. Her residency was in internal medicine, also at New York Univerisity’s School of Medicine, Bellevue Hospital.
She specializes in gastrointestinal cancers. And her clinical practice and research focus on improving outcomes for patients with esophageal and stomach cancers.
Dr. Janjigian is currently the Chief of Gastrointestinal Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Steven Maron, MD, MSc
Dr. Steven Maron’s MD was received from the Jefferson Medical College. And his MSc is in Biomedical Informatics from the University of Chicago.
His Residency in internal medicine was completed at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Followed by a fellowship in hematology/oncology at the University of Chicago.
He specializes in gastrointestinal malignancies, esophageal and gastric cancers. Plus targeted therapies.
Dr. Maron is currently a Medical Oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Paul E. Oberstein, MD
Dr. Paul E. Oberstein earned his MD from Ohio State University. That was followed by his residency at Temple University Hospital in Internal Medicine. And then his fellowship in hematology/oncology from Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York.
He focuses on GI cancers including; stomach, pancreatic, colorectal, bile duct, and liver.
Dr. Oberstein is currently a medical oncology specialist at New York University Langone Health.
Eirini Pectasides, MD, PhD
Dr. Eirini Pectasides received her MD and PhD from the University of Athens Medical School. She followed that with a residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/ Montefiore Medical Center. And then her fellowship from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
As a medical oncologist and clinical investigator, she conducts research in gastric and esophageal cancers. And that focuses on gastrointestinal biomarkers and novel therapeutics.
Dr. Pectasides is currently a medical oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Manish A. Shah, MD
Dr. Manish A. Shah’s MD was received from Harvard Medical School/Health Sciences And Tech. His residency was at Duke University Medical Center in Internal Medicine. After he was a fellow at Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College. And he’s been a fellow and chief fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer.
As both a clinician and academic Dr. Shah focuses on cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
Dr. Shah is currently the Director of Gastrointestinal Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine. And he’s the Chief of Solid Tumor Service as well as Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Digestive Disease at New York-Presbyterian.
Zev Wainberg, MD
Dr. Zev Wainberg received his MD from the Sackler School of Medicine. His residency was at the Montefiore Medical Center Moses Division. And his fellowship at the UCLA School of Medicine.
He’s involved in a variety of clinical trials. And those cover multiple gastrointestinal cancers – pancreas, colon, gastric and esophageal.
Dr. Wainberg is currently the Professor of Medicin at UCLA and co-director of the UCLA GI Oncology Program.
Waddah B. Al-Refaie, MD
Dr. Waddah B. Al-Refaie earned his MD from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. His residency was at the University of California San Diego. And his fellowship was completed at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
His focus areas include GI cancers, gastric cancer, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, surgical oncology, malignant melanoma, pancreatic cancer geriatric surgical oncology, and surgical outcome research.
Dr. Al-Refaie is currently the founding Chief of Surgical Oncology for MedStar Health.
Brian D. Badgwell, MD
Dr. Brian D. Badgwell’s MD was earned at Texas A&M University. His residency in general surgery was at the Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus. And he had two fellowships. First a research fellowship in surgical oncology from the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Research Institute, Columbus, Ohio. And the second, clinical fellowship in surgical oncology from the University of Texas MD Aderson Cancer Center.
His focus is on gastric and gastroesophageal cancer and he incorporates the latest laparoscopic surgery and intraperitoneal chemotherapy treatments for his patients.
Dr. Badgwell is currently a surgeon at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Darryl T. Hiyama, MD
Dr. Darryl T. Hiyama’s MD is from John A. Burns School of Medicine. His residency was at the University of Cincinnati Hospital. And his fellowship was at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
He concentrates on surgical treatment of diseases including the stomach, esophagus, hepatobiliary system, small bowel, colon spleen, and rectum.
Dr. Hiyama is currently a surgeon at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Adam Bass, MD
Dr. Adam Bass received his MD from Duke University School of Medicine. Then he pursued internal medicine clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Partners Cancer Center.
He is a leading physician-scientist in cancer genomics and gastrointestinal cancer.
Dr. Bass is currently a Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Emil Lou, MD, PhD, FACP
Dr. Emil Lou earned his MD from the State University of New York and followed with a residency at Duke University Medical Center. Then he had a fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and another at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center At Duke.
Dr. Lou is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation of the University of Minnesota Medical School.
James R. Hillard, MD
Dr. James R. (Randy) Hillard received his MD at Standford University School of Medicine and followed with a residency at Duke University Hospital.
He’s a Stage IV stomach cancer survivor and a founding boarding member of Hope For Stomach Cancer.
Dr. Hillard is currently an Inpatient Psychiatrist at St. Joseph Mercy in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Nancee Jaffe, MS, RD
Nancee Jaffe received her MS and RD at California State University in Los Angeles.
Ms. Jaffe developed the comprehensive GI nutrition program that GI fellows, gastroenterologists, and other healthcare experts follow at UCLA.
Nancee Jaffe is currently the chief dietitian at the UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases.
Joo Ha Hwang, MD, PhD
Dr. Joo Ha Hwang received his MD from Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago and his PhD in bioengineering from the University of Washginton. Plus he completed two residencies and fellowships from the University of Washington as well.
He focuses on the early detection of gastrointestinal malignancies. These include gastric, esophageal, pancreatic bile duct and colon cancers.
Dr. Hwang is currently a Professor of Medicine, Gastroenterology, and Hepatology at Standford University Medicine.