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Developmental Therapeutics Clinic (DTC)
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Last Updated: 09/14/18

Our Team — Faces of the DTC

Staff photo of the DTC Team

Top Row – Left to Right: Laura Corado, Kathleen Pogonowski, Amisha Shah, Sharon Allison, Jennifer Zlott, Nancy Moore, Ashley Bruns, Corey Evans

Bottom Row – Left to Right: Geraldine O’Sullivan Coyne, MD, PhD, Sheila Prindiville, MD, Naoko Takebe, MD, PhD, Sabrina Khan, MD, Arjun Mittra, MD, Alice Chen, MD, Chris St-Clair, Cecilia Monge Bonilla, MD, James Doroshow, MD

Primary Investigators

  • Image of James H. Doroshow, MDJames H. Doroshow, MD, is the Deputy Director for Clinical and Translational Research of the National Cancer Institute and the Director of NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis. He is the author of over 400 full-length publications in the areas of molecular pharmacology, the role of oxidant stress in tumor cell signal transduction, and novel therapeutic approaches to solid tumors; he is also the Associate Editor for Oncology of the 25th Edition of the Cecil Textbook of Medicine. Following an Internal Medicine residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, he completed a fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology Branches of the National Cancer Institute, NIH.
  • Image of Alice Chen, MDAlice Chen, MD, has wide-ranging experience in medical oncology and hematology over a 25+ year career. In 2015, she became the Head of the Early Clinical Trials Development Program and the Developmental Therapeutics Clinic. Her clinical experience of almost three decades includes over 15+ years as a clinical researcher participating both as primary and associate investigator of many early phase trials, including the first ever phase "0" trial performed under the FDA's Exploratory IND as well as "first in man" phase 1 trials. During her time in private practice in Corpus Christi, TX, she was voted Super Doctor by Texas Magazine in 2004 and 2005. She is currently the primary investigator for the Molecular Profiling-based Assignment of Cancer Therapy (MPACT) and co-primary investigator for the nationwide Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (MATCH) trial, both part of the NCI Precision Medicine Initiative. She has co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications. She is the recipient of 8 NIH Awards of Merit for her contribution to international relationships, adverse event reporting, CTCAE, PRO-CTCAE, and NCI-MATCH.
  • Image of Geraldine O’Sullivan Coyne, MD, PhDGeraldine O’Sullivan Coyne, MD, PhD is a Staff Clinician in the Early Clinical Trials Development Program and a Faculty member since joining DTC in 2016. She obtained exceptional clinical training at several excellent programs and institutions prior to joining the team. She was awarded her PhD in Molecular Medicine from University College Cork, Ireland, in 2010, and she also holds a diploma in Health Care Management from the Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin. She is a member of the NCI Exceptional Responder Initiative, and an associate investigator for NCI-MPACT. She has authored and co-authored various translational papers and clinical reviews, and leads a number of phase I/first-in-human clinical trials in the DTC. At DTC she continues to pursue her interest in developing novel cancer therapies using pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic tools to impulse drug development.
  • Image of Naoko Takebe, MD, PhDNaoko Takebe, MD, PhD, joined the Developmental Therapeutics Clinic as an Associate Chief, Translational Science Section Head of the Early Clinical Trials Development Program in June 2017. Prior to this, she was a Senior Investigator at the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) for nearly 10 years, where she implemented early clinical trials under CRADA with pharmaceutical and bio-venture companies. Prior to joining NCI, she was a faculty member in the Department of Medicine and Pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Blood and Stem Cell Transplant Program, conducted clinical trials, and worked as a laboratory principal investigator (PI). Dr. Takebe received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Hirosaki University School of Medicine, Japan. She completed internal medicine residency programs (U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Keio University Hospital in Tokyo and California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco) and medical and post-doctoral fellowships (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center). Currently, she is also a Translational Science PI for the NCI Exceptional Responder Initiative, a NCI co-investigator for NCI-MATCH and Pediatric MATCH, and a member of the NCI Provocative Question team and Cancer Moonshot Initiatives. She is board certified in Hematology and Medical Oncology.
  • Image of Cecilia Monge Bonilla, MDCecilia Monge Bonilla, MD, joined the Early Clinical Trials Development Program and the Developmental Therapeutics Clinic as a second-year medical oncology fellow in July 2018. Dr. Monge Bonilla received her MD degree from University of Costa Rica and completed her residency in internal medicine at Georgetown University Hospital - Washington Hospital Center. She holds a Masters of Public Health from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and was part of the Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Program at Harvard School of Medicine. Dr. Monge Bonilla is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Her research interest lies in innovative early phase clinical trials.
  • Image of Arjun Mittra, MDArjun Mittra, MD joined the Early Clinical Trials Development Program and the Developmental Therapeutics Clinic in July 2018 as an advanced fellow. After receiving his medical degree in India, Dr. Mittra pursued laboratory research training in Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and at the University of Southern California. He completed residency training at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and specialty clinical training in Hematology/Oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Mittra brings his experience in laboratory research and clinical oncology to the DTC and will be pursuing his interest in drug development and early phase clinical trials.
  • Image of Sabrina Khan MD, MPHSabrina Khan MD, MPH is a hematology and oncology fellow at the National Institutes of Health. She received her BS in Physics from Yale University and her MD from the Yale School of Medicine. She completed Internal Medicine residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Khan also has a strong interest in global health and received an MPH from the University of London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Khan’s previous research has been in bioinformatics and an early phase clinical trial in breast cancer. Her career interest is in drug development.

Associate Investigators

  • Image of Elad Sharon, MD, MPHElad Sharon, MD, MPH, joined the NCI Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) in December 2011 as a Senior Investigator in the Investigational Drug Branch, where he works with academia and industry to develop promising cancer therapies. His portfolio includes antibody-drug conjugates, immune checkpoint inhibitors and other agents. Dr. Sharon co-directs immunotherapy trials at CTEP and serves as an attending physician in NCI's Developmental Therapeutics Clinic. Dr. Sharon is on program committees for several major oncology meetings. Dr. Sharon received his M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas in 2003. He completed his internal medicine residency at Emory University in 2006 and his Hematology/Oncology Fellowship at the NIH in 2011, while obtaining a Master of Public Health degree at the Harvard University in 2009. His fellowship research focused on clinical trials in mesothelioma. Dr. Sharon works on patterns of care projects with NCI’s Healthcare Delivery Research Program using SEER data and with NCI's Surveillance Research Program to evaluate emerging practice patterns and the economics of cancer care. He previously worked as a guest at the Brookings Institution. He is as an associate editor of JNCI Cancer Spectrum and on the editorial board of JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics.
  • Image of Howard Streicher, MDHoward Streicher, MD, received his Applied Baccalaureate degree in physics from Cornell University and his medical degree from New York University. He completed an internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at the New York University-Bellevue Medical Center and New York Veterans Hospital. He was on active duty with the United States Naval Reserve and a faculty member at the John Burns School of Medicine . He completed training in immunology at the University of Colorado and the Metabolism Branch of the National Cancer Institute before joining the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology National Cancer Institute. As a member of the Investigational Drug Branch of the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) his portfolio centers on immunotherapeutic agents including vaccines, cytokines, and immune modulating agents for the treatment of cancer.
  • Image of Richard Piekarz, MD, PhDRichard Piekarz, MD, PhD, is a Medical Officer in the Investigational Therapeutics 3 Section of the Investigational Drug Branch of the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP). Dr. Piekarz is a graduate of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he received a PhD in Molecular Pharmacology in addition to an MD. He did his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University Hospitals of Cleveland. Dr. Piekarz served as a Medical Oncology Fellow and then Senior Fellow at the NCI-Navy Medical Oncology program where he also served as a Staff Clinician prior to joining IDB. He is also a Preceptor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) Department of Pharmacology. Dr. Piekarz background includes the development of the HDAC inhibitors. This included demonstration of their efficacy in patients with T-cell lymphoma, conduction of a thorough analysis of its cardiac effects, and laboratory work to define their molecular effects and potential mechanisms of resistance.

Nurse Practitioners

  • Lamin Juwara is a Nurse Practitioner on the Developmental Therapeutics Team. Lamin received his Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at George Washington University and his Nurse Practitioner certification at the University of Maryland. Lamin has been at NIH since 2001.
  • Chris St. Clair, Nurse Practitioner on the Developmental Therapeutics Team since February 2018, received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor, and Master’s degrees in Systems Management from the University of Southern California and in Nursing from The Catholic University of America. Her previous experience includes nursing in gynecology/oncology, hospice, primary care and obstetrics, modeling/simulation of health care system usage and costs, evaluation of medical insurance claims, creation of medical care quality tools from electronic medical systems, and medical research for over 10 years. Ms. St. Clair worked in primary care with LifeBridge Potomac Physicians and Mercy Health Clinic and pediatric and adult cancer survivorship programs at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Research Nurses

  • Ashley Bruns, RN, MSN, received her Bachelor's and Master's degree in nursing from the University of South Alabama in Mobile AL. Ashley has been a nurse since 2004 and an oncology research nurse since 2011.
  • Nancy Moore RN, MSN, is a Clinical Research Nurse on the Developmental Therapeutics Team. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Villanova University, PA and her graduate degree from Adelphi University in Long Island NY. She has been practicing in the area of clinical research trials for 20+ years.
  • Jennifer Zlott, RN, OCN is an oncology certified nurse. Her experience prior to joining the Developmental Therapeutics team includes working with intermediate cardiac care patients, as well as hematopoietic stem cell transplant and hematology/oncology patients.
  • Kathleen Pogonowski, BSN, RN, received her BS from Cornell University and her BSN from University at Buffalo in New York. She has prior hematology/oncology experience as a pediatric inpatient and adult infusion center nurse. She has prior research experience in hematology/oncology, specializing in multiple myeloma and bone marrow transplant clinical trials.
  • Laura Corado RN, BSN, is a Clinical Research nurse on the Developmental Therapeutics Team. She is currently working on her Master’s degree in Public Health. Laura has been a nurse for 23 years with a 10 year research focus, including infectious disease and oncology.

Social Workers

  • Marie “Elaine” De Benedetto has been our team social worker for over six years. Ms. De Benedetto has worked in the field of oncology social work at the NIH since March of 2000. She serves on the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis Developmental Therapeutics Clinic General Safety Monitoring Committee. Ms. De Benedetto is bilingual in English and Spanish. She is licensed in the State of Maryland as a Clinical-Certified Social Worker. She received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Social Work from George Mason University and her Masters of Social Work Degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Ms. De Benedetto conducts psychosocial screenings and assessments, hospice referrals, resource referrals and discharge planning.

Referral Coordinators

  • Debbie Childs is a Clinical Research Coordinator with the Early Phase Developmental Therapeutic Team at NCI. Debbie graduated from the Graduate School with honors, majoring in Administrative Procedures Management. She is a Certified Nursing Assistant and a Certified Dental Assistant. Debbie has a total of 34 years of combined service in the Federal and District Government providing patient care. Sixteen of those years were here, at NIH in the Interventional Radiology Department as the Coordinator. She has received numerous awards for her service in Customer Service.
  • Amisha Shah is a Clinical Protocol Coordinator with the Developmental Therapeutics Team, assisting with audit preparation and helping to ensure protocol compliance. She received her master’s degree in biomedical sciences from the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey. Prior to joining the DTC team, she worked as a clinical research associate.  

PK/PD Specimen Laboratory Supervisor

  • Corey Evans is the PK/PD Specimen laboratory supervisor for DTC. Corey worked on the laboratory team in the Research Nexus, a GCRC lab supporting clinical trials and other basic research at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Prior to MUSC, he completed graduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he worked in neuroscience with a concentration in traumatic brain injury. He is originally from South Carolina and completed his undergraduate coursework at Clemson University.
  • Sharon Allison is a Research Technician at the PK/PD support laboratory for DTC. She has worked in Cytopathology labs before coming to NIH. Sharon is fluent in English and Spanish, and is certified in phlebotomy. Sharon completed her undergraduate studies in Health Science and Laboratory Management at the University of Maryland.