CASI Pharmeceuticals

Clinical Advisory Board

Members of CASI’s Clinical Advisory Board (CAB) have led landmark clinical research in cancer care and are some of the country’s top clinicians.

Lead Scientific Advisor

Dr. Tak W. Mak,
Dr. Mak served as a Director of the Company from February 2012 – May 2016. Dr. Mak is currently the Director of the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at the Princess Margaret Hospital and a University Professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics and Department of Immunology, University of Toronto. Dr. Mak’s career includes serving as VP of Research at Amgen, Inc. and Director of the Amgen Institute in Toronto from 1993-2002. He is best known as the leading scientist of the group that first cloned the genes of the human T cell antigen receptor. Dr. Mak is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and has been elected a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), a Foreign Associate of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (UK). He was recently awarded the Order of Ontario and has won international recognition in the form of the Emil von Behring Prize, the King Faisal Prize for Medicine, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Sloan Prize of the General Motors Cancer Foundation, the Novartis Prize in Immunology and the Paul Ehrlich Prize and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize of Germany.

CAB Members

Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, M.D.,
Dr. Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa is an associate professor of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. Dr. Abou-Alfa specializes in the treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies and in particular, hepatocellular carcinoma, fibrolamellar carcinoma, and biliary cancers. Dr. Abou-Alfa received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and completed his post-doctoral training at Yale University School of Medicine. His research is dedicated to finding novel therapies and improving the effectiveness of current therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma and biliary cancers, while continuing to understand the basic mechanisms of the diseases and their therapies. Dr Abou-Alfa has many publications in the field. He led on many occasions, international teams of investigators, and published the first report on the effective role of the novel agent sorafenib in the treatment of primary liver cancer. One of Dr. Abou-Alfa’s key interests is developing therapeutic strategies that help overcome resistance to sorafenib. Dr Abou-Alfa founded with colleagues nationwide the Fibrolamellar Consortium that helped establish the first joint clinical trial in fibrolamellar carcinoma. Dr. Abou-Alfa serves as the chair of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Task Force for Hepatobiliary Cancers and the chair of the AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC) Non-AIDS Defining Malignancies (NADC) Liver/GI Task Force. Dr Abou-Alfa also chairs the hepatocellular carcinoma subgroup of the Alliance cooperative group, and is a cadre member of both the gastrointestinal cancers and pharmacogenomics and population pharmacology committees. Dr Abou-Alfa who has lectured worldwide on the subject on gastrointestinal malignancies, is also a strong advocate for raising awareness and support for improving the outcome of patients with this disease, and enhancing oncologic education worldwide.

S. Gail Eckhardt, M.D.,
S. Gail Eckhardt, MD, is a visionary cancer leader, educator and research innovator, and is the inaugural director of the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes of the Dell Medical School. She is overseeing the creation of a transdisciplinary cancer research program at UT Austin, one that will lead to new models of prevention, treatment, patient-centered cancer care; and new models of teaching and training future doctors. Prior to joining the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes of the Dell Medical School, Dr. Eckhardt was a professor in the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine where she held the Stapp/Harlow Endowed Chair for Cancer Research. Dr. Eckhardt received her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston followed by an internship and residency at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the Scripps Research Foundation, she completed her training in Medical Oncology at the University of California San Diego. In 1999, Dr. Eckhardt joined the faculty of the University of Colorado to initiate and lead the Phase I program and was Division Head of Medical Oncology from 2006-2014. Dr. Eckhardt has served on numerous committees/study sections, including the ASCO Molecular Oncology Task Force, the ASCO Board of Directors, the FDA Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee, and the NCI Cancer Centers Study Section. She is a member of the NCI Investigational Drug Steering Committee and the NCI Colorectal Cancer Task Force and serves on several External Advisory Boards of NCI designated Cancer Centers. Dr. Eckhardt is the Principal Investigator on grants involving early clinical trials and colorectal cancer research, has conducted numerous Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials and has published over 190 manuscripts. Her area of interest is in the preclinical and early clinical development of combinations of molecularly targeted compounds, with a laboratory focus on colorectal cancer.

Robert J. Mayer, M.D.,
Dr. Mayer is Faculty Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Senior Physician at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Stephen B. Kay Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School where he is also the Faculty Associate Dean for Admissions. He directed the Institute’s Medical Oncology Fellowship Program for 36 years, overseeing the training of several hundred oncologists. Dr. Mayer’s research interests focus on gastrointestinal cancer, a subject about which he has published extensively. Dr. Mayer established the Center for Gastrointestinal Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and is the past Chair of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Committee of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B, a cooperative group sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. He has served as an Associate Editor for the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Oncology, is a past President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and is a former member of the Executive Committee of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Mayer is a graduate of Williams College and the Harvard Medical School.

Alexander A. Zukiwski, M.D.,
Dr. Zukiwski joined CASI Pharmaceuticals in April 2017 as Chief Medical Officer. Prior to joining CASI Pharmaceuticals Dr. Zukiwski was Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer of Arno Therapeutics and has been a Director of Arno Therapeutics since 2014. At Arno his responsibilities included leading the clinical development and regulatory affairs teams to support the company’s pipeline of cancer therapies. Prior to Arno in 2007, Dr. Zukiwski served as Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Clinical Research at MedImmune. Prior to MedImmune, Dr. Zukiwski held several roles of increasing responsibility at Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J,) medical affairs and clinical development functions at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development LLC (J&JPRD); Centocor R&D and Ortho Biotech. Before joining J&J, he served in clinical oncology positions at pharmaceutical companies such as Hoffmann-LaRoche, Glaxo Wellcome and Rhone- Poulenc Rorer. Dr. Zukiwski has more than 15 years of experience in global oncology drug development and supported the clinical evaluation and registration of many successful therapeutic agents, including Taxotere®, Xeloda®, Procrit®/Eprex®, Velcade®, Yondelis®, and Doxil®. He serves as a Member of Medical Advisory Board at Gem Pharmaceuticals, LLC and served as a Director of Ambit Biosciences Corporation. Dr. Zukiwski holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Alberta and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Calgary. He conducted his post-graduate training at St. Thomas Hospital Medical Center in Akron, Ohio and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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