Who Leads SWOG Cancer Research Network
Our leaders are distinguished cancer researchers and clinicians from some of the nation's most respected universities and cancer centers.
Our Senior Leaders
Charles D. Blanke, MD
Professor of Medicine
Knight Cancer Institute
Oregon Health & Science University
Blanke holds SWOG's highest office, an elected post, and oversees the science, statistics, data management and operations of the network.
Primo Nery Lara, Jr., MD
Deputy Chair and Vice Chair for Operations
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
Lara holds SWOG's second-highest office, assists in setting scientific and operational strategy, and oversees SWOG's treatment trials through the NCTN.
Michael LeBlanc, PhD
Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Research Professor, University of Washington
LeBlanc is SWOG's senior statistician and oversees the group's Statistics and Data Management Center, which provides expertise in the design, implementation, monitoring, analysis, and interpretation of SWOG trials and translational medicine studies.
Kathy S. Albain, MD
Vice Chair for Clinical Trials Partnerships
Huizenga Family Endowed Chair in Oncology Research
Professor of Medicine
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
Albain oversees SWOG's Clinical Trials Partnerships, or CTP, formerly the Clinical Trials Initiative. Studies run through the CTP are non-federal trials, with special attention to preferred industry partnerships and those that focus on comprehensive pipelines.
Don S. Dizon, MD
Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Professional Integrity
Professor of Medicine and Professor of Surgery
Brown University, Lifespan Cancer Institute, and Legorreta Cancer Center
Dizon provides strategic direction in identifying and achieving DEI goals to make SWOG group leadership and membership more diverse and to enroll more representative groups of participants to SWOG's clinical trials.
Lee M. Ellis, MD
Vice Chair for Translational Medicine
Professor of Surgical Oncology and Molecular and Cellular Oncology
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Ellis oversees SWOG's basic and translational medicine research, including biomarker driven trials.
Dawn Hershman, MD, MS
Vice Chair of the NCI's Community Oncology Research Program Research
Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
Hershman oversees the NCORP research portfolio, which includes prevention and epidemiology, cancer care delivery, palliative and end-of-life care, symptom control and quality of life, and survivorship trials and also serves as co-chair of the cancer care delivery committee.
Our Executive Officers
These are SWOG's executive officers, who oversee the development of clinical trials in their specific area of responsibility and report on progress to the SWOG chair. They serve as key advisors to the chair, and act as liaisons to the National Cancer Institute.
Katherine Crew, MD, MS
Executive Officer for Prevention & Epidemiology, Symptom Control & Quality of Life, and Cancer Care Delivery Research
Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Columbia University
Anne Chiang, MD, PhD
Executive Officer for Breast and Lung Cancer Research
Associate Professor, Yale School of Medicine
Chief Network Officer and Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Smilow Cancer Network
Lisa A. Kachnic, MD
Executive Officer for Multi-Modality Research
Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, Columbia University
Virginia Sun, PhD, MSN, RN
Executive Officer for Palliative & End-of-Life Care and Cancer Survivorship Research
Associate Professor of Nursing Research and Education, Departments of Population Sciences and Surgery, City of Hope
Mariana Chavez Mac Gregor, MD, MSc
Executive Officer for International Affairs
Associate Professor of Health Services Research and Breast Medical Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Susan M. O'Brien, MD
Executive Officer for Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma Research
Director, Sue and Ralph Stern Center for Cancer Clinical Trials and Research, UC Irvine Health
James M. Rae, PhD
Executive Officer for Translational Medicine
Thomas H Simpson Collegiate Professor of Cancer Research, Associate Professor of Pharmacology, University of Michigan Medical School
Christopher W. Ryan, MD
Executive Officer for Gastrointestinal, Genitourinary, Melanoma, and Early Therapeutics Research
Professor of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University