Guest Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Martin Makary, MD, MPH, FACS
Dr. Marty Makary is a New York Times bestselling author and health care expert at Johns Hopkins University. He writes for The Wall Street Journal and served in leadership at the World Health Organization. Marty is the recipient of the 2020 Business Book of the Year Award for his most recent book, The Price We Pay, which has been described by Steve Forbes as “A must-read for every American”.

A public health researcher, Dr. Makary leads efforts to improve the health of populations and focuses on the “re-design of health care” to make the health care more reliable, more holistic, and more coordinated. He leads national efforts to cut the waste in the system and lower health care costs for everyday businesses and consumers.

Clinically, Dr. Makary is the chief of Islet Transplant Surgery at Johns Hopkins and is the recipient of the Nobility in Science Award from the National Pancreas Foundation. He has been a visiting professor at over 25 medical schools, has published over 250 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine.  A graduate of Bucknell, Thomas Jefferson, and Harvard Universities, he completed his surgical residency at Georgetown University and his specialty training at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Anokhi Jambusaria-Pahlajani, MD
Dr. Jambusaria-Pahlajani is an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Dell Medical School. Dr. Jambusaria earned her medical degree from the Temple University School of Medicine, completed her internship at the Drexel University College of Medicine and completed a dermatology residency at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She went on to work at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville building a transplant dermatology program
before relocating to Austin.

As an epidemiologist, Jambusaria has a strong research interest in high-risk skin cancer and transplant dermatology. She was the recipient of the prestigious Dermatology Foundation Career Development Award in Public Policy in the early stages of her career. The results of her research in squamous cell carcinoma outcomes was incorporated in the American Joint Committee on Cancer staging for cutaneous SCC in 2018. She continues to study patients with extensive actinic damage, multiple skin cancers and high-risk tumors, particularly in people who are immunosuppressed, to better understand their disease and study the best treatment practices. She actively particulates in multiple clinical trials at Dell Medical School.

Giorgos C. Karakousis, MD
Dr. Karakousis is Associate Professor of Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, and his Medical Degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His translational research primarily focuses on identifying and validating new biomarkers for melanoma. These include immune prognostic markers in the lymph system in the context of new and emerging immunotherapies.

Dr. Karakousis is also involved in studies evaluating the use of photoacoustic imaging for detecting micrometastases from melanoma and the prognostic significance of circulating melanoma cells and DNA in patients with advanced melanoma. Finally, he is involved in numerous clinical research projects involving, sarcomas, melanomas, gastric cancer, and advanced peritoneal malignancies.

Shlomo A. Koyfman, MD
Dr. Koyfman is an assistant professor in the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Bioethics at Cleveland Clinic. He graduated from Yale Medical School and completed his radiation oncology training at Cleveland Clinic. He specializes in head and neck and skin cancers as well as advanced radiation planning techniques. He served on the NCI steering committee task force for head and neck cancer and is a member of the Head and Neck Cancer Committee of the NRG Oncology cooperative group.

J. Nicholas Lukens, MD
Dr. Lukens serves as Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He received his BA, with a distinction in History, from Yale University, and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Dr. Lukens' clinical expertise is in the treatment of head and neck cancers and gastrointestinal cancers. Additionally he has specialized training in brachytherapy, which consists of placing radioactive sources within, or directly adjacent to a tumor, as a means of delivering highly targeted radiation, as well as experience in head and neck, prostate, gastrointestinal brachytherapy, and intra-operative radiotherapy. Dr. Lukens has a particular clinical interest in the re-treatment of patients who have undergone a prior course of radiation, through the integration of highly targeted techniques such as proton therapy and brachytherapy. He believes strongly in the importance of an interdisciplinary approach, and work closely with my surgical and medical oncology colleagues to optimize patient outcomes.

Dr. Lukens' research focuses on the multidisciplinary management of head and neck cancers, in particular novel strategies to understand and mitigate the toxicities associated with head and neck radiotherapy. Additionally, he is interested in identifying subsets of patients with HPV+ cancer who may benefit from treatment deintensification, and conversely, those with high-risk disease who may benefit from novel targeted therapy and/or immunotherapy.

Tara C. Mitchell, MD
Dr. Tara Mitchell is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and an independent clinical and translational research investigator at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center's National Cancer Institute approved Melanoma and Cutaneous Malignancies Research Program. She serves as the principal investigator of several clinical trials in both the Melanoma/Skin Cancers Program and the Developmental Therapeutics Program, with a focus on immune therapy and neoadjuvant therapy in melanoma. She is the leader for the Melanoma Clinical Trials program at Penn and has developed several successful translational collaborations with colleagues both at Penn and at outside institutions. She has recently served as the scientific program track leader for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting Melanoma and Skin Cancers Track and also serves as an associate editor for the ASCO-SEP textbook. She has authored over 80 peer reviewed publications as well as book chapters. Dr. Mitchell is board certified in both medical oncology and clinical pharmacology.

Jason G. Newman, MD
Dr. Newman is an Associate Professor of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, Director of the Cancer Service Line at Pennsylvania Hospital, Co-Director of the Cranial Base Center, Director of Head & Neck Surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital, and Director of the Head and Neck Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Newman received his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University Medical School in 1997 and completed residencies in Otolaryngology at Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital, New York, NY, (1998-1999), New York Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (1999-2002). Following residency, Dr. Newman completed his fellowship in Head and Neck Surgery/Oncology and Microvascular Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in 2005. Dr. Newman is board certified in Otorhinolaryngology and holds membership in the American Academy of Otolaryngology. His areas of expertise include head and neck mucosal and cutaneous cancer surgery, robotic surgery, anterior cranial base surgery and complex thyroid surgery with special interest in minimally invasive approaches, robotics surgery, and endoscopic cranial base surgery. Dr. Newman also is actively involved in research focused on head and neck cancer clinical trials, genetic signatures for head and neck Cancer, and quality of life for head and neck cancer and cranial base patients. As the Director of the Cancer Service Line of the Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital, Dr. Newman has helped to create a disease-based team approach to cancer care delivery and research. This has helped to strengthen the delivery of cancer care, improve patient outcomes, create leadership pathways, increase patient volumes, increase access to clinical trials, and minimize variations in the delivery of care.

Karthik Rajasekaran, MD, FACS

Dr. Karthik Rajasekaran is a head & neck oncologic and reconstructive surgeon.  He specializes in treating benign and malignant tumors of the nose, sinuses, oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx, thyroid, skin and salivary glands.  Seeking to ensure the best possible care, Dr. Raj’s particular expertise is working with patients on individualized treatment plans.

Dr. Raj’s surgery skills encompass endoscopic, minimally invasive and traditional techniques.  He also has special expertise in transoral robotic surgery (TORS), endoscopic approaches for skull base and nasal tumors, sentinel lymph node biopsy, and state of the art reconstructive options following cancer surgery, injury from radiation therapy and trauma.  He is committed to treating his patients as he would his own family and prides himself on being as accessible as possible to his patients.

Dr. Raj’s research interests include outcomes for patients treated with advanced head and neck cancer, decreasing opioid use in head and neck cancer patients, and investigating methods to optimize perioperative care.  Dr. Raj has published over 90 scientific publications and textbook chapters.  His research has won several national awards and he also has been awarded several research grants.  His most valuable asset is that he focuses on providing care in a patient centric and compassionate manner that meets the goals and values of his patients and their caregivers.