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Prof. Robert Ferris

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD is Hillman Professor of Oncology and Director of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. He is Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Research, and Professor of Otolaryngology, of Immunology, and of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh. As a head and neck surgical oncologist and translational tumor immunologist, his lab is uniquely positioned to investigate mechanisms of anti-tumor immunity in the tumor microenvironment (TME), as well as tumor cell escape. Dr. Ferris’s NIH-funded laboratory is focused on reversal of immune escape and immunotherapy using monoclonal antibodies and vaccines, leading to the first positive randomized phase III trial of head and cancer immunotherapy. He is Principal Investigator of the Pitt Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant for translational head and neck research and has been continuously NIH R01 funded for >15 years.

Dr. Ferris has an h-index of 96 and his >420 peer-reviewed scientific and clinical publications have garnered >36,000 citations. Dr. Ferris currently serves on the Editorial Boards of JNCI, JCO, Clinical Cancer Research, and Cancer Immunology Research. He is Editor in Chief of Oral Oncology. He is lead investigator of several practice-changing, prospective randomized trials, including Checkmate-141 published in NEJM, which led to the FDA approval of Nivolumab for head and neck cancer, ECOG 3311 (published in JCO in late 2021), testing radiation dose-deintensification after transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for HPV+ oropharynx cancer, as well as ECOG ACRIN 3132, using p53 mutational testing in HPVnegative cancer, to predict response to radiation versus chemoradiation. He recently completed a 6-year term co-chairing  the NCI Steering Committee for Head and Neck Cancer and is currently Vice President of the American Head and Neck Society.

Prof Sarah Wise

Emory University School of Medicine

Sarah K. Wise, MD, MSCR is Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the Emory Otolaryngology Residency Program Director, Rhinology Fellowship Director, and Director of Otolaryngic Allergy. Dr. Wise completed medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, residency at Emory University and rhinology fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Wise has served on the Board of Directors of the American Rhinologic Society and the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. She will become President of the American Rhinologic Society in September 2022, serving as the Society’s first female president. Her clinical interests include inflammatory rhinology, otolaryngic allergy, relationship of allergy and chronic rhinosinusitis, and cerebrospinal fluid leaks. Dr. Wise lectures nationally and internationally. Her most notable publication is the International Consensus Statement on Allergy and Rhinology: Allergic Rhinitis, where she served as first author/primary editor.

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