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Who We Are

Board of Directors Tony Blau, MD, Founder and Scientific Officer

Blau 'Using genomic technologies we can generate a "parts list" for any given patient's cancer. Although our ability to exploit this knowledge is in its infancy, we must do our best for today's cancer patients and, in the process, learn as much as possible for the patients of tomorrow.'
Dr. Tony Blau is Professor in the Department of Medicine/Hematology and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington (UW). He serves as attending physician on the leukemia service for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, a world-class cancer treatment center that unites doctors from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), UW Medicine and Seattle Children's Hospital.

Dr. Blau co-directs the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at the UW and the Program for Stem and Progenitor Cell Biology at the UW/FHCRC Cancer Consortium. His research centers on exploiting the latest scientific discoveries for the benefit of patients. He pioneered a method for placing transplanted cells under the “remote control” of small molecule drugs, and has a track record of bringing together laboratories with diverse types of expertise to tackle important problems.

Dr. Blau has served on numerous advisory panels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and currently chairs the Molecular and Cellular Hematology study section at NIH. He received his medical degree from Ohio State University and completed his residency in internal medicine at Duke University.

Brian Druker, MD

Druker 'There is no question that we can defeat cancer. What it requires is knowledge. When we understand what is broken, we can fix it.'
Dr. Druker is director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, associate dean for oncology of the OHSU School of Medicine, JELD-WEN chair of leukemia research at Oregon Health & Science University, and investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Upon graduating from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in 1981, Dr. Druker completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital, Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He then trained in oncology at Harvard's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Druker then returned to the lab to begin his research career studying the regulation of the growth of cancer cells and the practical application to cancer therapies. He developed 4G10, an anti-phosphotyrosine antibody that was an essential reagent to scientists at Novartis in their kinase inhibitor drug discovery program. In collaboration with Novartis, his laboratory performed pre-clinical studies that were instrumental to the development of Gleevec (imatinib), a drug that targets the molecular defect in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). After completing a series of preclinical studies, Dr. Druker spearheaded the highly successful clinical trials of imatinib for CML. Imatinib is currently FDA approved for CML, gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and five other cancers. His role in the development of imatinib and its application in the clinic have resulted in numerous awards for Dr. Druker, including the AACR-Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award, the Warren Alpert Prize from Harvard Medical School, the American Society of Hematology's Dameshek Prize, the Lance Armstrong Foundation's Pioneer of Survivorship Carpe Diem Award, the American Cancer Society's Medal of Honor, the Kettering Prize from General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, the David A. Karnofsky Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Robert-Koch Award, the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Award for Clinical Medical Research, and the 2011 Stanley J. Korsmeyer award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2003, the American Association of Physicians in 2006, and the National Academy of Sciences in 2007.

Greg Foltz, MD, Co-Founder

Foltz 'My hope is that someday soon we will have effective treatments for brain cancer, treatments that will lead to meaningful 5-year survival rates. New research, much of it originating right here in Seattle, will be the key to transforming brain cancer from a terminal disease to a chronic disease.'
Dr. Foltz is the director of the Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute. Before coming to Swedish, Dr. Foltz was an assistant professor in the departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. He brings a strong research focus to the Seattle Neuroscience Institute at Swedish. His research interests include genomics and neuro-oncology with a focus on the development of novel treatments for malignant brain tumors.
I'm a neurosurgeon with a focus on treating brain cancer. I see about 200 people with malignant brain cancer each year. These patients face a dilemma that is both frustrating to me as a doctor and heart-breaking to them as a patient. Most believe that in today's modern world of medicine, treatments are readily available for cancer when caught early. Most are shocked to find that, while this may be true for many cancers, brain cancer remains a lethal exception. The sad truth is that every one of my patients faces a terminal illness with survival measured in just 1-2 years. With few exceptions, it does not matter how young, or healthy, or optimistic the patient is, or how small the tumor is, or how aggressive we are in the treatment the disease. This is unacceptable.

Leroy Hood, MD, PhD

Hood 'We need to show that what we do is potentially transformational for people.'
'I am a determined optimist. I always have the cup half-filled.'

Dr. Hood is a pioneer in the systems approach to biology and medicine. His research has focused on the study of molecular immunology, biotechnology and genomics. Dr. Hood's professional career began at Caltech, where he and his colleagues developed the DNA gene sequencer and synthesizer and the protein synthesizer and sequencer—four instruments that paved the way for the successful mapping of the human genome and lead to him receiving the 2011 Fritz J. and Delores H. Russ Prize awarded by the Academy of Engineering for automating DNA sequencing that revolutionized biomedicine and forensic science. A pillar in the biotechnology field, Dr. Hood has played a role in founding more than fourteen biotechnology companies, including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Darwin, The Accelerator and Integrated Diagnostics. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Of the 6,000+ scientists world-wide who belong to one or more of these academies, Dr. Hood is one of only fifteen people that has been accepted to all three. He is also a member of the American Philosophical Society and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His work has been widely published, and he has coauthored numerous textbooks in biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology and genetics, as well as a popular book on the human genome project, The Code of Codes. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lasker Award, the Kyoto Prize and the Heinz Award in Technology. In addition to having received 17 honorary degrees from prestigious universities in the US and abroad, Dr. Hood has published more than 700 peer reviewed articles and currently holds 30 patents.

Glenn Kawasaki,PhD

Kawasaki Dr. Kawasaki has 24 years of experience in start-up biotechnology companies. He was the first scientist (1981) and chair of the Science Board at ZymoGenetics, Inc., today a one-billion-dollar public corporation. He has a Ph.D. in Genetics (1979), an M.B.A. (1986), and a J.D.(1995) each from the University of Washington. Dr. Kawasaki was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School from 1979-81 and was an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley, where he earned a B.S. in Genetics and an A.B. in Zoology. In 1989 he founded Aptein, Inc., which was based on Dr. Kawasaki's invention now known as "ribosome display" for engineering antibodies and other proteins. He was the President, CEO, and Research Director of this Seattle company. Aptein was sold to Cambridge Antibody Technology, a U.K. firm, in 1998. In 1999, Dr. Kawasaki founded Catch Incorporated, which developed and now sells a novel test for homocysteine, a compound linked to cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer's Disease, glaucoma, and other ailments. Dr. Kawasaki remains an executive officer and director of Catch but is not an employee of the Bothell, WA, firm. He is a founder and director of Sound Pharmaceuticals, another Seattle start-up (2001), which is focused on preventing and restoring hearing loss. Dr. Kawasaki has 14 U.S. patents and over a hundred foreign related patents.

Effie Liakopoulou, MD, PhD, FRCPath, Executive Director

Liakopoulou Dr. Liakopoulou is a specialist in Hematology with particular interests in Hematological Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation. She holds MD and PhD degrees and has studied and worked in Greece, the UK and the US. She has served in many medical, scientific and managerial capacities, and recently completed nearly seven years as Director of Stem Cell Transplantation at the Christie NHS Trust in the UK. During her tenure, Dr. Liakopoulou oversaw a period of dramatic growth, creating one of the largest transplant programs in the country. In addition, Dr. Liakopoulou devised and implemented Quality Plans and international standards excellence for Continuous Improvement, and directed the Stem Cell Processing Laboratory and Collection Facilities. Since 2006 she has served as inspector for the Joint Accreditation Committee - International Society for Cellular Therapy & European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. She is a member of several professional organizations, and in 2009 she was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, UK, in recognition of her contributions to the field of Hematology.

Dr. Liakopoulou has consulted for government and corporate institutions on Strategy and Health Care Management. She has co-authored several peer-reviewed publications and articles. Currently, she is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at the UW.

Marty Tenenbaum, PhD

Tenenbaum Dr. Marty Tenenbaum is the Chairman of CollabRx, a provider of web-based applications and services that help cancer patients and their physicians select optimal treatments and trials. Dr. Tenenbaum is also the founder of Cancer Commons, an open science community that compiles and continually refines information about cancer subtypes and treatments, based on literature and actual patient outcomes.

Dr. Tenenbaum was educated at MIT and Stanford in the 1960s. He spent the 1970s doing artificial intelligence research at SRI, the 1980s managing computer science research for Schlumberger, and the 1990s pioneering Internet commerce. He is a fellow and former board member of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, and a former consulting professor of Computer Science at Stanford. He currently serves as a director of Patients Like Me, the Public Library of Science, Efficient Finance, and Earth Analytics Group.

Administration Alex Keeney - Project Administrator
Advisors - Consultants Nick Anderson, Ph.D.

AndersonNick Anderson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioethics and Humanities, School of Medicine, and he co-directs the Biomedical Informatics Core of the Institute of Translational Health Sciences. His research interests focus on deidentified large-scale clinical data sharing for research, in particular the processes, technologies and ethical impact of sharing such data to advance "translational" science. His primary focus is on biomedicine, but many of the problems facing high-throughput data-heavy computing research in this space are relevant to other areas of science. He is particularly interested in how researchers can use collaborative computing approaches to share and leverage human and computational resources.

Bruce J. Avolio, Ph.D.

Avolio Dr. Avolio is the Marion B. Ingersoll Professor and Director, Center for Leadership & Strategic Thinking at Michael G. Foster School of Business, University of Washington.

Dr. Avolio has an international reputation as a researcher and practitioner in leadership and its development. He has consulted with public and private organizations in North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Southeast Asia. He has published 11 books and over 125 articles on leadership and related areas.

Dr. Avolio's latest interest and presentations focus on the following: How do we accelerate authentic leadership development? How do we use the positive psychological capacities of leaders to accelerate change? How do we show decision makers the 'return on development' investment in leadership?

Michael Bisesi, Ed.D. - Leadership for Nonprofit and Social Enterprise

Bisesi Dr. Bisesi is Professor and Director of the Center for Nonprofit and Social Enterprise Management at Seattle University. In this role, he directs the Executive Master of Nonprofit Leadership (MNPL) degree program and oversees undergraduate instruction leading to a Minor in Nonprofit Leadership and to a nonprofit concentration in the Bachelor of Public Affairs (BPA) degree. He also serves as Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Service (IPS), which encompasses the Master of Public Administration (MPA), MNPL, BPA, and Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Environmental Studies degree programs. He joined Seattle University in August 2001.

Previously, Dr. Bisesi served as Managing Director of Program Services at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, as Senior Vice President at the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast, and as Associate Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Houston.

Dr. Bisesi serves on the boards of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, the United Way of King County, the Washington Technology Center, and 501Commons (formerly known as Executive Service Corps of Washington).

Dr. Bisesi holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science in Education from Indiana University, and a Doctor of Education from the University of Houston.

Houda Hachad, Pharm. D, M.Res – IT Translational Operations and Infrastructure

Hachad Dr. Hachad is an entrepreneurial scientist with the experience and track record of translating scientific knowledge to useful technologies. She has co-developed two knowledge based software products licensed by the University of Washington Center for Commercialization. These include the Drug Interaction Database (DIDB at, used by the world's largest pharmaceutical firms, academic and governmental institutions.

John P. Braislin - Legal Affairs

Hachad John P. Braislin is a Shareholder with the Seattle law firm of Betts Patterson & Mines, P.S. Mr. Braislin heads the firm's Business Transactions practice group. He is an experienced business attorney with over 30 years of practice devoted to the formation, development, and representation of corporations, partnerships, and other business entities , including non-profit organizations. Mr. Braislin serves as general counsel to privately held or family-owned corporations and also represents national and international corporations with Pacific Northwest interests. His extensive background in business and real estate has enabled him to manage challenging projects involving multiple complex issues. In 2006, Mr. Braislin was voted by his peers to be included in Washington CEO magazine's "League of Justice." In 2007, he was also named a 'Top Attorney' in Business Law in Washington CEO magazine's "Top Washington 2007" Book of Lists. He received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Washington and his Juris Doctorate from Willamette University.

Clinical and Scientific Experts - We are initially building our network around three tumor types. Once established we will extend to other cancers Breast Cancer J. David Beatty, MD

Beatty Dr. Beatty specializes in breast cancer surgery at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. He both received his degree and completed residency in Toronto. Since 1978, Dr. Beatty's clinical activities have focused on cancer care, research and education. He has held academic and administrative appointments at a number of universities (Manitoba, California, Toronto, Vermont) and has been the principal investigator for a number of translational research grants from the National Cancer Institute. At the City of Hope National Cancer Center, he established and led the surgical oncology training program. In 2004, he joined the Swedish Cancer Institute in a leadership capacity. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Beatty's practice and academic activities have been focused on breast cancer. His clinical practice emphasizes management of patients with complex breast care and breast cancer problems. He leads and participates in a variety of innovative pilot and collaborative research trials focused on developing new technology, translating new technology into optimal clinical practice and standardizing breast cancer quality of care evaluation. Dr. Beatty believes in excellent care for all patients, patient participation in individualized decision-making, compassion and commitment.

Sibel Blau, MD

Blau Dr. Blau is a Clinical Oncologist with interest in Breast Oncology and Personalized Oncology. She received her medical degree from Istanbul University in 1987 and completed her internship, residency and chief residency at MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University in 1995 in Cleveland, Ohio. She completed her Hematology-Oncology fellowship at CWRU in 1998 and Stem Cell Transplant fellowship at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) in 1999. She worked as a staff physician, being involved in clinical research on Graft Versus Host Disease at LTFU department of FHCRC. Dr. Blau has been in private practice at Rainier Hematology Oncology since 2001 and medical director of the practice in 2005. She lead the successful merge of the practice with Northwest Medical Specialties (NWMS) in 2007. Dr. Blau has served as a medical director of inpatient oncology and helped found the multidisciplinary breast program of Good Samaritan Hospital in 2004.

Dr. Blau has been very active in clinical research, working closely with CCOP, and has been involved with the development and functionality of the Clinical Research Program at NWMS that includes Phase I trials. As part of NWMS, she is actively involved in Cancer Clinics of Excellence (CCE) and as a member of CCE's Breast User Group, developing evidenced based treatment protocols for breast cancer for all member clinics in the US.

In collaboration with eminent colleagues, she has been designing protocols for personalized treatment for breast cancer and cost effective models for treating cancer patients in general.

Julie R. Gralow, MD


Dr. Gralow is a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer. She is actively involved in clinical care, education, and research, and is the Principle Investigator on numerous local and national clinical trials related to breast cancer treatment, prevention, and survivorship. Her area of research specialization is the relationship between breast cancer and the bone. She has considerable experience in the design and conduct of clinical trials. She serves as Vice-Chair of the Southwest Oncology Group's Breast Cancer Committee, and is the UW Principle Investigator for the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC). She is the director of the Clinical Core of the FHCRC/UW Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant. Dr. Gralow was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians in 2008, and has received the American Society of Clinical Oncology Statesman Award. She serves as co-Secretariat for the Global Task Force on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in the Developing World and is a member of the National Scientific Advisory Council for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Joe Gray, PhD.


Dr. Joe W. Gray, a physicist and an engineer by training, is known for breakthroughs that have changed clinical practices for patients. He has held several influential leadership positions throughout his distinguished career. He received undergraduate training in Engineering Physics from the Colorado School of Mines and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from Kansas State University in 1972. He joined the Biomedical Sciences Division of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he became increasingly active in cancer research, specifically in the development of a broad range of analytic techniques useful in the study of human and model cancers. He then moved to the University of California, San Francisco as Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Radiation Oncology in 1991 to pursue his interest in clinical applications of these tools. He established and headed the Division of Molecular Cytometry in the Department of Laboratory Medicine until 1997 when this unit merged with the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was Interim Director at the Cancer Center from 1995 to 1997 and became Program Leader for Cancer Genetics and Breast Oncology at the Cancer Center. Appointed in 2003, until 2010 he was Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences and Director of the Life Sciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In 2011, he was recruited by the Oregon Health and Science University to be the Gordon Moore Endowed Chair and the Chair of Biomedical Engineering, Director of the new Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine, and Associate Director for Translational Research of the Knight Cancer Institute.

Dr. Gray’s research program explores mechanisms by which genomic, transcriptional and proteomic abnormalities occur in selected cancers, elucidates how these abnormalities contribute to cancer pathophysiology and assesses the ways in which these abnormalities influence responses to gene targeted therapies.

Frank Senecal, MD, FACP, MBA

Senecal Dr. Frank Senecal has over 25 years' experience as a medical oncologist and hematologist in the south Puget Sound region with clinical focus primarily breast cancer. He is a founding physician of Northwest Medical Specialties/ Hematology Oncology Northwest and is a consultant to the American Cancer Society. He graduated with honors from Indiana University Medical School, finished his post-graduate medical training at the University of Washington, and completed his fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. He holds a triple Board Certification in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology and is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Dr. Senecal has served as St. Joseph's Director of Oncology, Medical Director of Hospice of Tacoma, Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Chief of Staff at St. Francis Hospital. Active in cancer research, he co-founded the South Sound C.A.R.E. Foundation in 2008 to help with local clinical trial participation. He recently was awarded "2011 Healthcare Champion" by the Business Examiner and the Pierce County Medical Society, honoring his years of dedication treating cancer patients in the South Sound region.

Glioblastoma Greg Foltz, MD

Foltz Dr. Foltz is the director of the Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute. Before coming to Swedish, Dr. Foltz was an assistant professor in the departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. He brings a strong research focus to the Seattle Neuroscience Institute at Swedish. His research interests include genomics and neuro-oncology with a focus on the development of novel treatments for malignant brain tumors.

Sarcoma Robin Jones, MD, MRCP

Jones My aim is to provide patients and families with high quality care in a compassionate and caring manner. It is important for patients with rare diseases to be provided with up-to-date information in order to make decisions regarding treatment. I wish to provide such information in an understandable way.

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