Week 9 2021
Tobias Else, MD
Section Head, Neuro-Oncology, Physician, Division of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research
University of Michigan
Dr. Else’s primary appointment is with the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes. He received his MD degree from the University of Hamburg, Germany. He pursued his clinical training at the University of Hamburg (Residency: Internal Medicine) and the University of Michigan (Residency: Internal Medicine, Fellowship: Endocrinology). His main research interests are the genetics of endocrine tumors. Dr. Else’s clinical practice focuses on the care for patients with benign and malignant endocrine tumors, particularly pheochromocytoma, adrenocortical tumors and neuroendocrine tumors as well as accompanying hormone excess syndromes (e.g Cushing syndrome, primary aldosteronism). Dr. Else has a particular interest in taking care of patients with hereditary syndromes that predispose to the development of endocrine tumors (e.g. Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (MEN) type 1, MEN2A & MEN2B, Hereditary Paraganglioma Syndrome). He attends the Multidisciplinary Endocrine Oncology Clinic, where patients with tumors receive diagnostic procedures and treatment. In addition he is part of the Cancer Genetics Clinic, which evaluates patients for hereditary syndromes and also facilitates regular exams and surveillance for patients at risk for endocrine tumors. Dr. Else serves on the Clinical Guidelines Subcommittee and the Guidelines Task Force of the Endocrine Society and is the Program Director of the Endocrine Fellowship at the University of Michigan.
Brian Shuch, MD
Director of the Kidney Cancer Program and the Alvin & Carrie Meinhardt Endowed Chair in Kidney Cancer Research
University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Brian M. Shuch’s decision to study urologic oncology was a personal one: he wanted to help others defeat cancer after watching a member of his own family succumb to the disease. “I wanted to be a surgeon in a field where patients have excellent outcomes with surgery,” he explains. “I also wanted to be involved with systemic therapy and cutting-edge research.” At Yale, Dr. Shuch runs the urologic oncology cancer research bank, where all tissue, urine, and blood is stored for future research within the Yale Cancer Center.
Dr. Shuch completed his urology residency and surgery internship at the University of California, Los Angeles and played a key role in its Kidney Cancer Program. After his residency, he completed a three-year urologic oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), focusing on clinical trials, drug development, and the comprehensive management of patients with kidney cancer. He holds a joint appointment from the Yale School of Medicine in the Urology and Diagnostic Radiology departments.
In addition to his clinical interests, which include open and robotic surgery, systemic therapy, percutaneous kidney tumor biopsies and cryoablation—the use of extreme cold to kill cancer cells—Dr. Shuch is committed to limiting over-treatment of non-aggressive urologic cancers. When appropriate, he prefers a strategy of active surveillance and the integration of genetic testing in cancer care.
Dr. Shuch is a member of two oncology clinical trial groups, the Society of Urologic Oncology and SWOG, formerly the Southwest Oncology Group, which receives support from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He helps run the multidisciplinary Yale Kidney Cancer Tumor Board and is part of the kidney cancer clinical trial team. These trials involve treatment of the disease at all stages, from small localized tumors to advanced metastatic disease. “Our improved understanding of the genetics of kidney cancer will allow the integration of molecular markers into treatment algorithms,” he explains. Studies show that molecular markers can be useful in many ways, including measuring the progress of disease and evaluating the most effective therapy for a particular cancer type.
Veda Giri, MD
Associate Professor in Medical Oncology and Cancer Biology at Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center
Thomas Jefferson University
Veda N. Giri, MD is an Associate Professor in Medical Oncology and Cancer Biology at Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University. She is a medical oncologist with a clinical and research interest in inherited cancer risk assessment. Dr. Giri has recently assumed the position of Director of Cancer Risk Assessment and Clinical Cancer Genetics at Thomas Jefferson University, where her role will be to lead an integrated and comprehensive effort in inherited cancer risk assessment and conduct studies focused on genetic evaluation of cancer risk. Her clinical efforts will be focused on genetic evaluation of inherited risk for GU cancers, specifically prostate, kidney, and upper tract urothelial cancers. Research studies will encompass genetic characterization of cancer risk using sequencing technologies, molecular signatures, and novel biomarkers to ultimately reduce cancer-related morbidity and mortality. Her research also has a strong focus in cancer disparities.
Dr. Giri received her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College, and proceeded to complete her residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Hematology-Oncology at the University of Michigan. She then completed advanced training in molecular cancer genetics at Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC). From 2006-2014, she directed prostate cancer risk assessment at FCCC, developing studies focused on evaluating the role of genetic markers in prostate cancer risk assessment. Dr. Giri has served on national committees including the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Prostate Cancer Early Detection Panel and NIH PDQ® Cancer Genetics Editorial Board, contributing expertise in cancer risk assessment and prostate cancer genetics.
Rachelle Manookian, MS, CGC
City of Hope
Rachelle Manookian, M.S., C.G.C., is a board-certified genetic counselor specializing in cancer genetics. She has a special interest in prostate and genitourinary cancers. She has an M.S. in genetic counseling from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and a B.S. in biological sciences with a focus in neurobiology from University of California Irvine, as well as minors in Spanish literature and cognitive psychology. Manookian joined City of Hope’s Division of Clinical Cancer Genomics in April 2019. Prior to City of Hope, she was a general adult genetic counselor at the Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center, where she served veterans across four VA hospitals in Southern California. Every summer, Manookian volunteers as a one-on-one counselor at Camp Sunshine during their Fanconi Anemia week. She has previous experience volunteering with victims of domestic violence, and is a California state certified domestic violence advocate. She also has special interests in education and bioethics, and her past research investigated the intersection of disability advocacy groups and prenatal genetic counseling sessions.