Medical Advisory Board

Medical Advisory Board

CLL Society’s Medical Advisory Board is comprised of leading experts in their fields. Members volunteer their time and talent to the organization and receive no compensation for their generous support. As a group, they advise CLL Society on a wide range of activities including our educational programming, research efforts, and medical initiatives.

Anthony Mato, MD, MSCE

Director, CLL Program
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, NY

Anthony R Mato, MD, MSCE, is an Associate Member at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Director of the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) Program at MSKCC. He received his medical degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo and completed his internal medicine residency and hematology/oncology fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn, Dr. Mato also earned a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics. His research on the development of clinical and translational trials for patients with CLL and lymphoproliferative disorders focuses on novel immunotherapies, signal transduction inhibitors, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and immunotherapy agents. His outcomes-related research explores a wide variety of health indicators among CLL patients in real world settings. He has been the principal investigator on numerous clinical trials for patients with CLL and is currently overseeing several ongoing clinical trials, some of which are actively enrolling patients. A well-published scholar, he regularly contributes articles to peer-reviewed journals, including Blood, JCO, Lancet, Lancet Oncology, and NEJM. Dr. Mato is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology, and the American College of Physician Executives. He is also the chairman of the medical advisory board of CLL Society, a patient-centric, physician-curated nonprofit organization focused on patient education and support.

Alexey V. Danilov MD, PhD

Professor, Department of Hematology
Associate Director, Lymphoma Center
City of Hope National Medical Center
Duarte, CA

Dr. Danilov earned his medical degree and PhD at Yaroslavl State Medical Academy in Russia and completed a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a physician-scientist with a background in molecular biology and oncologic drug development and expertise in cancer cell signaling. He leads an independent research program in B-cell malignancies, which bridges the understanding of B-cell biology with early clinical evaluation of novel therapeutics.

As a leader of the Lymphoma Center at the City of Hope National Medical Center, Dr. Danilov guides an effort in experimental therapeutics in lymphoid malignancies. In addition to pre-clinical focus on evaluation of novel targets in the ubiquitin-proteasome system (1) and oncogenic role of cyclin-dependent kinase-9 (2), his group performs correlative science on multiple clinical trials. He received peer-reviewed funding from the National Cancer Institute, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, American Society of Hematology, Lymphoma Research Foundation and SWOG, and serves as Translational Medicine Chair at SWOG Lymphoma Committee.

Clinically, Dr. Danilov is a practicing medical oncologist specializing in the care of patients with CLL and lymphoma. Building on his pre-clinical discoveries, he launched multiple early-phase clinical trials with novel agents targeting Nedd8-activating enzyme, BTK, PI3K, and SYK. As a member of industry and SWOG committees, he participates in drug development on a global scale.

Matthew S. Davids, MD, MMSc

Associate Director, Center for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, MA

After obtaining an A.B. cum laude in chemistry at Harvard College, Dr. Davids completed his M.D. cum laude at Yale University School of Medicine. He served as an intern, resident, and assistant chief resident in internal medicine at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He then completed his fellowship in hematology and oncology in Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare, and a Masters in Medical Science (M.M.S.c.) at Harvard Medical School. He is an attending physician in the Division of Lymphoma, where he serves as the Director of Clinical Research, as well as Associate Director of the DFCI CLL Center. He is also an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and attends on the inpatient hematologic malignancies service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Davids has an active translational research program in CLL, focusing on studying apoptosis (in particular Bcl-2 biology) in his laboratory, and leading clinical trials to evaluate novel therapeutic strategies in patients. Much of his work has focused on the clinical development of new therapeutic regimens in CLL utilizing combinations of targeted inhibitors of Bcl-2, B cell receptor pathway kinases, and other novel agents.

Brian Hill, MD, PhD

Taussig Cancer Center
Cleveland Clinic

Dr. Hill is the Director of the Lymphoid Malignancies Program and a Staff Physician in the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute.  His clinical and research focus is in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and lymphoma. He is the principal investigator of multiple on-going clinical trials of new cancer treatments including novel cellular therapies and has published extensive research articles pertaining to these topics.  In addition to being an active researcher, he is a proponent of empowering patients and participates regularly in patient education forums including CLL Society events.

Nicole Lamanna, MD

Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical College
Division of Hematology Oncology
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine

Dr. Nicole Lamanna serves as an Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) Program on the Leukemia Service for the Hematologic Malignancies Section in the Hematology/Oncology Division at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). Dr. Lamanna specializes in the treatment of adult patients with acute and chronic leukemias. Her area of clinical expertise is in treatment of patients with lymphoid leukemias, specifically chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Her clinical research focus has been the development of novel combination therapies that include chemo-immunotherapy, immune-modulatory drugs, kinase inhibitors, bcl-2 inhibitors, and monoclonal antibodies. Her research aims have also encompassed the development of safer and more effective therapies for older patients with CLL and the investigation of novel agents for all patients with this disease. She has lectured at international and national meetings and has published in various scientific journals, including Blood, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Susan J. Leclair, Ph.D., CLS (NCA)

Chancellor Professor Emerita
University of Massachusetts
Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Senior Scientist, Forensic DNA Associates, LLC
Dartmouth, Massachusetts

Dr. Susan Leclair recently retired from the University of Massachusetts at the distinguished professor rank of Chancellor Professor. Her teaching portfolio was the most eclectic on the campus in that she not only taught Hematology and Genetics at the undergraduate and graduate levels, but also courses for non-science majors which had the largest course enrollments on the campus, Bioethics for students in various health majors, and Philosophy. She represented her campus to the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees as President of the Faculty Senate for three years. Beginning in the mid 1990s, she worked with the late Barbara Lackritz to develop the CLL listserv out of the Association for Cancer Online Resources. Active in her professional organization, she was Editor in Chief of the society’s professional journal for three terms and a member of the national Board of Directors. She has received the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science Lifetime Achievement Award and the Heroes of Medicine award sponsored by Incyte, Inc. and Cure magazine. She has over 300 scientific and public presentations, scientific articles, and book chapters.

She lives with her husband and serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra in addition to cooking, reading, and supporting her grandchildren’s extracurricular activities.

Sameer Parikh, MBBS, MD

Assistant Professor, Hematology
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN

Sameer A. Parikh, MBBS, is a Consultant and an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Oncology in the Division of Hematology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. After completing his medical school training from Seth G.S. Medical School in Mumbai, India, Dr. Parikh pursued his internal medicine residency training from St. Francis Hospital, Evanston, IL, and a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. He also spent one year as a research trainee in the Department of Leukemia at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Subsequently, he was invited to serve as faculty in the Division of Hematology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester; and is a very active and enthusiastic researcher within the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) Disease Oriented Group.

He is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Shannon Timmins Leukemia Fellowship Award, Mayo Clinic Department of Medicine Career Development Award, Lymphoma SPORE Career Development Award, Mayo Clinic Paul Calabresi Program in Translational Research Scholar Award (K12 CA090628), and the Mayo Clinic K2R Career Development Award.

His research is focused in evaluating the role of prognostic factors and novel agents in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He is a Principal Investigator of several investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored clinical trials. He is also the Principal Investigator of the Mayo Clinic CLL database, which includes all patients with a diagnosis of CLL seen in the Division of Hematology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN since 1995 who permit their records be used for research purposes and which is linked to the Mayo Clinic CLL tissue bank. Finally, he is also a co-investigator in many R01 studies that are funded by the National Institutes of Health.

He is a passionate educator and has presented his work both at national and international forums. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious journals including New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Blood, Leukemia, Haematologica, American Journal of Hematology and British Journal of Hematology. He is an active member of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and the Eastern Co-operative Oncology (ECOG-ACRIN).

Alan Skarbnik, MD

Director of the Lymphoproliferative Disorders Program and Experimental Therapeutics, Malignant Hematology
Novant Health
Charlotte, NC

Dr Alan Skarbnik is a native of Brazil, where he completed his medical education at the University of Sao Paulo, where he also completed a residency in Internal Medicine. Subsequently, he moved to the United States, where he completed a residency in Internal Medicine at St.Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center/Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, followed by a fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and a fellowship in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. Dr Skarbnik then worked as the Director of the CLL Program at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center in NJ. Currently, Dr Skarbnik is the Director of the Lymphoma and CLL Program as well as the Director of the Immune Effector Cell and Experimental Therapeutics Program at Novant Health Cancer Institute in North Carolina. Dr Skarbnik’s clinical practice and research endeavors focus on the care of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and lymphomas.

During his free time, Dr Skarbnik spends time with his wife and three kids, plays in a rock band (keyboards, guitar and saxophone) and enjoys grilling, cooking, and brewing beer.

Deborah Stephens, DO

Assistant Professor of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies
The University of Utah Health/The Huntsman Cancer Institute
Salt Lake City, UT

Deborah Stephens, DO is the Director of the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)/Lymphoma Program at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. She completed her internal medicine residency at Cleveland Clinic and fellowship training at The Ohio State University. Dr. Stephens leads a subspecialty clinic with a focus on patients with CLL and lymphoma. Her primary research interests include developing new targeted therapies for patients with CLL and lymphoma, studying resistance to current therapies, and developing supportive therapies for complications of CLL. She is the Physician Leader of the Hematology Clinical Trials Division at Huntsman Cancer Institute and is the principal investigator on multiple clinical trials including the international principal investigator for the SWOG S1925 EVOLVE CLL Study (NCT04269902). She is an expert panelist for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) CLL Guidelines Panel, which establishes and publishes the most widely referenced guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of patients with CLL. Dr. Stephens is also a member of the medical board for CLL Society, which is the largest patient-led CLL group in the country. The sum of Dr. Stephens’s experiences demonstrates her deep commitment to improve the care of patients with CLL and lymphoma.


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