Adekunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, in suit coat
Adekunle "Kunle" Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, an expert in immunotherapy and vaccine therapy for cancer, is Director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Senior Leadership

Adekunle "Kunle" Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, an expert in immunotherapy and vaccine therapy for cancer, is Director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Odunsi also serves as Biological Sciences Division Dean for Oncology and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Chicago.

Odunsi is a gynecologic oncologist whose research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of immune recognition and tolerance in ovarian cancer and translating these findings to immunotherapy clinical trials. He pioneered the development of antigen-specific vaccine therapy and “next generation” adoptive T-cell immunotherapies to prolong remission rates in women with ovarian cancer.

He came to Chicago from Buffalo, New York, where he served as Deputy Director at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. He also served as Executive Director of the Center for Immunotherapy and Chair of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at Roswell Park.

Odunsi’s honors and awards include election to the National Academy of Medicine in 2018 and the Rosalind Franklin Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Award in 2019. He has authored or co-authored more than 360 publications and contributed to several books and book chapters. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Cancer Research Institute and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation Alliance, among others. He serves or has served on 10 editorial boards and multiple NIH study sections, and held numerous visiting professorships and guest lectureships. He also holds leadership positions in several national organizations such as Co-chair of the NCI Cancer Moonshot Immuno-Oncology Translational Network and Chairperson-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research’s Cancer Immunology Working Group.

Odunsi received his medical degree from the University of Ife in Nigeria, and his PhD degree from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, United Kingdom. He completed his residencies in obstetrics and gynecology at the Rosie Maternity and Addenbrooke’s Hospitals, University of Cambridge, in the U.K., and Yale University School of Medicine, in New Haven, Connecticut. His fellowship in gynecologic oncology was at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, in Buffalo, New York, where he joined the faculty in 2001.
Walter Stadler, MD, Fred C. Buffet Professor of Medicine and Surgery, dean for clinical research, and director of the genitourinary program, is the deputy director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Stadler joined the faculty more than 20 years ago and focuses his research on innovative treatments for urological cancers as well as clinical trial design. He concentrates on the use of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, anti-angiogenic therapy, and molecularly targeted therapy for patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease. His research focuses on the development of new treatments for these urological cancers. Dr. Stadler’s recent research includes development of molecular and imaging markers for predicting response to various anti-cancer therapies.

As deputy director, Dr. Stadler assists and advises the director with strategic planning, general administration of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, and implementation of specific programs. He also participates in institutional long-range planning and maintains contact with members of the External and Internal Advisory Committees.
Habibul Ahsan, MBBS, MMedSc, Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor of Health Studies, Medicine, and Human Genetics, is the associate director for population research at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center and director of the University of Chicago Institute for Population and Precision Health.

He works closely with the director and the other program leaders in shaping and refining the population research programmatic goals and activities within the context of the overall cancer center mission. Specifically, Dr. Ahsan leads the faculty recruitment and pilot research programs for the population research division to augment the existing programmatic strengths and bridge both intra- and inter-programmatic interactions.

His research focus is on the effects of environmental agents and their interplay with genetic and other host factors in the development of cancer and other disorders.

Dr. Ahsan has been conducting a series of large epidemiological and clinical studies in Bangladesh to examiHabibune the health effects of arsenic exposure and evaluating strategies for their prevention. He also led a number of studies in the U.S. examining the role of genetic susceptibility and its interactions with environmental factors in the development of breast and other cancers.
M. Eileen Dolan, PhD, professor of medicine, chair of the committee on clinical pharmacology and pharmacogenomics, and program co-leader of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center pharmacogenomics and experimental therapeutics program, is the Comprehensive Cancer Center associate director for education.

In this role, Dr. Dolan expands, integrates and coordinates all cancer-related educational efforts in the Comprehensive Cancer Center. She coordinates a summer research program for high school and undergraduate students to perform cancer research and organizes “science boot camp” for these students. She organizes bi-monthly seminar series for faculty and students. She coordinates new cancer-related educational opportunities for graduate students and fellows.

Dr. Dolan is considered a leader in pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents. She is known for developing cell-based methods to identify genetic variants contributing to chemotherapeutic induced toxicity. Her laboratory lead the way in using International HapMap lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) to demonstrate that chemotherapeutic induced cytotoxicity is a heritable trait and demonstrated differences in gene expression and sensitivity to chemotherapy in LCLs derived from individuals of European, African, African American and Asian descent. More recently, her laboratory is employing induced pluripotent stem cell derived neuronal cells to evaluate chemotherapeutic induced neuropathy, the most common non-hematologic adverse effect of chemotherapy. She is involved in a number of clinical genome wide association studies to identify and functionally validate genetic variants/genes contributing to chemotherapeutic-induced toxicities.
Geoffrey Greene, PhD, is the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor, chair of The Ben May Department for Cancer Research, co-director of the Ludwig Center for Metastasis, and associate director for basic sciences at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Greene oversees the implementation, organization, and activities of the Comprehensive Cancer Center research programs and core facilities that support these programs. He assists and advises the Comprehensive Cancer Center director on strategic and operational decisions and participates in philanthropic fundraising efforts, especially with The University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation (UCCRF).

Dr. Greene is internationally recognized for his many contributions to the field of steroid hormone action and breast cancer. His contributions have improved not only our understanding of the nature and function of steroid receptors, but also their measurement and utility in cancer. In addition, his ongoing structural studies have helped define novel selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) that may be suitable for breast and uterine cancer prevention in women, as well as for use in promoting many of the desirable effects of estrogen, such as maintenance of bone density and cardiovascular function, while reducing undesirable side effects.
Karen Kim, MD, professor of medicine, specializes in the prevention, screening, and early detection of colorectal cancer, hepatitis B, and women’s health issues–particularly functional bowel diseases. She is skilled in the assessment of hereditary colon cancer syndromes and colon cancer risk in families.

Dr. Kim’s research explores chemoprevention for colon cancer and screening methods for populations with average and high risk. Her research interests include underserved and minority populations, understanding health disparities, cultural competency, and cancer prevention. She has also studied the education and awareness of hepatitis B in Asian Americans through screening, advocacy, treatment, and immunization for liver cancer prevention.

Dr. Kim directs the Office of Community Engagement and Cancer Health Equity and the Center for Asian Health Equity.
Mark Ratain, MD, Leon O. Jacobson Professor of Medicine, is associate director for clinical sciences at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center and leader of the Pharmacology Core Facility.

Dr. Ratain oversees the implementation, organization, and activities of the programs and core facilities that support clinical research. He advises the Comprehensive Cancer Center director on strategic planning and operational and budgetary issues in the area of clinical research. Dr. Ratain also serves as chair of the Clinical Research Advisory Committee (CRAC), which meets quarterly to review operations and policy related to clinical research, including the CCTO and PRMS.

Dr. Ratain’s research interests are in the pharmacogenetics of anticancer agents and Phase I and Phase II drug studies. Pharmacogenetics is the study of how genetic variation among individuals contributes to differences in the way they respond to medicine. Dr. Ratain’s research is focused on the metabolism of specific anticancer agents. He has demonstrated the critical importance of genetic variants in determining variability in the pharmacokinetics and toxicity of certain anticancer drugs. His research has become a model for understanding variability in response to newer targeted drugs.
Mitchell Posner, MD, is the Thomas D. Jones Professor of Surgery and chief of the Section of General Surgery and Surgical Oncology. With a reputation earned as a leading authority in the management of upper gastrointestinal cancers, Dr. Posner couples his skill as a cancer surgeon with a commitment to multidisciplinary care, providing his patients with optimal outcomes.

Dr. Posner’s work goes beyond the operating room. In the lab, he focuses on the molecular basis of malignancies, which has enabled him to design and guide groundbreaking clinical trials for cancers of the pancreas, esophagus, colon, stomach, rectum, and liver. With more than 30 years of experience, he has won dozens of awards and published 200 articles, abstracts, and book chapters.

He has won the University of Chicago’s Robert J. Baker Award for Excellence in Teaching, as well as the Basic Science and Clinical Research Award from the Society of Surgical Oncology.

Dr. Posner has held several leadership positions during his distinguished career. He is past-president of the Society of Surgical Oncology. He is deputy editor of the Annals of Surgical Oncology. He served as chairman of the Gastrointestinal Committee of the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG).
Ralph Weichselbaum, MD, is a radiation oncologist investigating tumor and host factors that limit metastasis and novel methods of treatment of metastasis. One of his most distinguished accomplishments includes when he and Samuel Hellman, dean of biological sciences at the University at the time, discovered oligometastasis, an intermediate state of metastasis that could be successfully treated and controlled. He and Hellman maintained that many patients with oligometastatic disease could be cured, depending on the extent of disease burden, with either surgery or targeted radiation therapy. This notion, the spectrum theory of metastasis, has slowly been accepted, backed by a mounting series of reports of successful treatments.
 
He has published more than 850 academic papers or reports across multiple fields. Throughout his career,  he has received numerous awards and honors. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) honored Weichselbaum as the 2018 recipient of the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and, in that same year, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) awarded him with the Gold Medal, one of its highest honors. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Association of American Physicians.
 
Weichselbaum was born in Chicago, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and attended medical school at the University of Illinois in Chicago. After medical school, he did his residency at the Joint Center for Radiation Therapy at Harvard University. He later joined the faculty there, rising quickly to associate professor status. In 1984, he was recruited to the University of Chicago to become Professor and Chair of Radiation Oncology. He is now the Daniel K. Ludwig Distinguished Service Professor, Co-Director of the Ludwig Center for Metastasis Research, and Director of the Center for Molecular Oncology.
Tara Henderson, MD, MPH, specializes in the diagnosis and medical treatment of patients with pediatric cancers. She has a particular interest in the care of childhood cancer survivors.

Dr. Henderson's research focuses on the development of and screening for second cancers in childhood cancer survivors. Although treatment of childhood malignancies has become increasingly successful, with a current overall cure rate approaching 80 percent, with it comes the long-term toxic late effects of chemotherapy and radiation during critical stages of development, including second cancers and damage to vital organ systems. Dr. Henderson is interested in the characterization of second cancers and those susceptible, so that early and appropriate screening regimens can be developed.
 
At the University of Chicago, she is the Founder and Director of the Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Survivor Center, is the Director of the Pediatric and AYA Lymphoma Program, and is the Director of Cancer Survivorship for the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research interests include the outcomes of childhood and AYA cancer survivors and the clinical trials of upfront Hodgkin lymphoma therapy.
 
Dr. Henderson serves on several national committees including Steering Committees of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Prevention Committee, the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Survivorship/Outcomes and Hodgkin Lymphoma Committees. She was the Chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Cancer Survivorship Committee and recently was elected to the ASCO Board of Directors.

Staff Leadership

Gina Curry, MPH, MBA, is an experienced community engagement specialist with over 15 years in community engaged academic research. Curry is well versed in community-academic partnership development, program development, training design and delivery, coalition building and multi-institutional collaborations.

Prior to joining the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, Curry served as the Community Campus Coordinator for Northwestern University’s Community Based Participatory Research Program for 11 years. She was instrumental in brokering more than 500 partnerships, resulting in dozens of community-engaged research projects, scientific manuscripts, as well as Foundation, PCORI and NIH funding. Curry is particularly interested in the intersection of faith and health and has been an active member of the American Public Health Association (APHA) for more than a decade, frequently moderating sessions and presenting in their Faith Caucus, Community Based Public Health Caucus, and Cancer Forum.
Rajan Gopalakrishnan, MS, is the director for informatics and information technology (IT) at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Gopalakrishnan joined in May 2011 with 16 years of experience in healthcare and public health IT consulting where he worked with several large regional hospital systems and state and public health organizations.

As the director for informatics, Gopalakrishnan is responsible for the design, maintenance, upkeep of all informatics and IT capabilities within the Cancer Center. In addition, he participates in setting future strategy and the roadmap for cancer informatics functions that will provide cutting-edge support for Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers and staff. Gopalakrishnan is a member of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) and likes to pursue interesting developments in public health informatics within the cancer domain.
Tiha M. Long, PhD, is the senior science writer and director for strategic partnerships at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Long developed her expertise in science communication through her roles as an NIH-sponsored cancer researcher and educator. She has expanded her knowledge of best practices for medical writing and publishing as an active member of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP). 

Dr. Long completed a PhD in molecular medicine and cancer biology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and her postdoctoral training at the University of Maryland, and the University of Chicago. Most recently, she was the Director of Health Science Profession Programs and a faculty member in the Department of Biology and Health Science at Roosevelt University.

In her role as senior science writer at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Long communicates the innovative research of our oncologists and researchers to a broad array of audiences. She utilizes her role as director for strategic partnerships to build internal collaborations, and to enhance the relationships with partnering institutions and cancer organizations. She is passionate about contributing to the Comprehensive Cancer Center goals of providing the best care through research, development, and implementation of advanced screening and therapies for cancer prevention and treatment.
Robyn Egan, BA, is the Director for Finance for the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Egan joined the UCCCC in June 2002 with a background in economics and biological/physical sciences and has over 15 years of specialized experience in biomedical research administration: financial management and budgeting/accounting, grant and contract administration, clinical trial development, initiation, and implementation, regulatory affairs, data management, patient advocacy and preclinical laboratory technology.

Egan oversees all fiscal operations of the Center, including pre- and post-award sponsored research finances of large, complex, multidisciplinary, multi-institutional, multi-investigator program project and center grants (type P01, P30, P50, U10, U54, UG3, SPORE, etc.) as well as non-federal grants, subcontracts, and gift & endowment activity. She manages daily operations in the areas of finance, purchasing, grants, and recharge mechanisms, and directly supervises the Center’s finance team. Egan works in partnership with University Research Administration, Financial Services, Cancer Center members and their departments, and the IT and finance teams to develop comprehensive financial statements and operating budgets.
Amanda Spratt, BS, CCRP, is the director for clinical research operations and technical director of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office (CCTO). She joined the Comprehensive Cancer Center in October 2004. Spratt is responsible for the day-to-day administrative oversight of office operations and staff, including hiring and training of new staff, and developing, updating and overseeing implementation of Standard Operating Procedures for all regulatory services. She serves as a resource to both her staff and clinical investigators in issues of clinical research operations, and federal and institutional regulations, and is responsible for the coordination of continuing education workshops.
Jane Kollmer, BA, is the director for communications at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. As a communicator with more than 15 years of experience, Kollmer is well-versed in marketing strategies that attract and engage audiences through the strategic use of compelling content.

In her role, Kollmer is responsible for elevating the UCCCC’s profile as a leading cancer research institution and raise visibility of and positive affiliation for the UCCCC among members, staff, medical and research communities, news media, and the public. She is also a member of the steering committee for the Public Affairs & Marketing Network (PAMN).

Contact the UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center Research Administration

The University of Chicago Medicine
Comprehensive Cancer Center
5841 S Maryland Ave, MC 1140, H212
Chicago, IL 60637

Phone: 773-702-6180

Fax: 773-702-9311