Distinguished Speakers in Oncology at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

The UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Distinguished Speakers in Oncology is a monthly lecture series held during the academic year that brings nationally and internationally recognized luminaries from all disciplines of cancer research to discuss their vision of how their respective fields might unfold in the future and share their pathway to a fulfilling career in cancer research.

Register for the 2023-2024 Distinguished Speakers in Oncology series here


Oct. 31, 2023, 12–1 p.m.
Mark R. Gilbert, M.D.

Mark R. Gilbert, M.D.

Chief, Neuro-Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

 “Applying Translational Science to Neuro-Oncology”

(Recording Available)

Nov. 28, 2023, 12–1 p.m.(virtual)
Christopher Peters, FRCS (General Surgeon), Ph.D.

Christopher Peters, FRCS (General Surgeon), Ph.D.

Clinical Senior Lecturer, Consultant Upper GI and General Surgeon, Imperial College London

 “When 99% of Biomarkers fail is it time to give up or change how we do things?”

(Recording Available)

Fed. 27, 2024, 12–1 p.m.
Juanita L. Merchant

Juanita L. Merchant, M.D., Ph.D.

Regents Professor, Professor of Medicine, Chief, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Research Member, Cancer Biology Program, Associate Director for Basic Sciences, University of Arizona Cancer Center Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

"Role of cGMP-dependent Phosphodiesterase Inhibition as a Neoadjuvant in Gastric Cancer"

(Recording Available)

March. 26, 2024, 12–1 p.m.
Joann Trejo, Ph.D., MBA

Joann Trejo, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Professor, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Assistant Vice Chancellor Health Sciences Faculty Affairs, Director, San Diego IRACDA Scholars Program, University of California, San Diego

"Tumor Suppressor “α-arrestin ARRDC3 regulates GPCR divergent functions"

April 30, 2024, 12–1 p.m.
Michael Birrer, Ph.D., M.D.

Michael Birrer, Ph.D., M.D.

Vice Chancellor and Director, Winthrop P. 
Rockefeller Cancer Institute, University of Arkansas 

May 21, 2023, 12–1 p.m.
Cigal Kadoch, Ph.D.

Cigal Kadoch, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Institute Member and Epigenomics Program Co-Director, Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University

"Structure and Function of Mammalian SWI/SNF Chromatin Remodeling Complexes in Health and Disease"

June 25, 2024, 12–1 p.m.
Amy L. Cummings, M.D., Ph.D.

Amy L. Cummings, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

"Pathways to Progress: the Evidence Behind Incorporating Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Cancer"

Oct. 11, 2022, 12–1 p.m.
Robert W. Carlson, MD

Robert W. Carlson, M.D.

Chief Executive Officer, National Comprehensive Cancer Network

"A Selective Overview of NCCN Programs and Opportunities"

Nov. 29, 2022, 12–1 p.m.
Jeff Burgess, MD, MS, MPH

Jeff Burgess, M.D., M.S., M.P.H.

Director, Center for Firefighter Health Collaborative Research; Professor, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona

"The Fire Fighter Cancer Cohort Study (FFCCS): Community-Engaged Research"
(Recording Available)

Derek Urwin, PhD

With Special Guest:

Derek Urwin, Ph.D.

Engineer, Los Angeles County Fire Department; Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles


Jan. 31, 2023, 12–1 p.m.
Beth Y. Karlan, MD

Beth Y. Karlan, M.D.

Professor and Vice Chair, Women's Health Research; Director, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Director, Cancer Population Genetics, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles

"Inherited cancer susceptibility, genetic testing and targeted therapy: Delivering on our discoveries"
(Recording Available)
Feb. 28, 2023, 12–1 p.m.
Lindsay Frazier, MD, ScM

Lindsay Frazier, M.D., Sc.M.

Institute Physician, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School in Health Disparities Research, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research

"Germ Cell Tumors: A Lens on How to Innovate Care for Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer"
(Recording Available)

March 28, 2023, 12–1 p.m.
Gloria Coronado, PhD

Gloria Coronado, Ph.D.

Distinguished Investigator; Mitch Greenlick Endowed Investigator in Health Disparities Research, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research

"Precision-directed Patient Navigation Program for Follow-up Colonoscopy Completion"
(Recording Available)

April 25, 2023, 12–1 p.m.
Katherine Van Loon, MD, MPH

Katherine Van Loon, M.D., M.P.H.

Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Gastrointestinal Oncology; Director, Global Cancer Program, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco

"Multidisciplinary Management of Pregnancy-Associated Cancers in a Post-Roe Era"
(Recording Available)

May 23, 2023, 12–1 p.m.
Kavitha Ramchandran, MD

Kavitha Ramchandran, M.D.

Clinical Associate Professor, Oncology and Palliative Care; Medical Director, Cancer Care Services, Stanford Cancer Center
Stanford Cancer Institute and Stanford University

"Developing Care Delivery Models that Incorporate Patient/Family/Care Giver Values"
(Recording Available)

June 27, 2023, 12–1 p.m.
Nicola Mason BVetMed, PhD, DACVIM (Internal Medicine), FCPP, MRCVS

Nicola Mason, BVetMed, Ph.D., DACVIM (Internal Medicine), FCPP, MRCVS

Paul A. James and Charles A. Gilmore Endowed Chair Professorship; Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

"A Comparative Approach to Inform Next-Generation Cell-Based Therapies"


May 31, 2022
Franklin Huang, M.D., Ph.D.

Franklin Huang, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

"Advancing Precision Oncology by Investigating the Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Disparities"
(Recording Available)

April 26, 2022
Larry Norton, M.D.

Larry Norton, M.D.

Senior Vice President, Office of the President; Medical Director, Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

"Rethinking the Nature of Neoplasia"
(Recording Available)

March 29, 2022
Marcia Cruz-Correa, M.D., Ph.D.

Marcia Cruz-Correa, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Surgery, Centro Comprensivo de Cancer, Universidad de Puerto Rico

“Molecular Diversity in Colorectal Cancer among Hispanics”
(Recording Available)
February 22, 2022
Charles M. Perou, Ph.D.

Charles M. Perou, Ph.D.

The May Goldman Shaw Distinguished Professor of Molecular Oncology; Co-Director, Computational Medicine Program; Professor in the Department of Genetics, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"Quantitative Medicine for Breast Cancer Patients"
(Recording Available)
January 25, 2022
Priyadip Ray, Ph.D.

Priyadip Ray, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

"Accelerated Growth of Artificial Intelligence in Oncology"
(Recording Available)
November 30, 2021
Ned Sharpless, M.D.

Ned Sharpless, M.D.

Director, National Cancer Institute

"Working Together to End Cancer as We Know It"
(Recording Available)
October 26, 2021
Melissa Bondy, Ph.D.

Melissa Bondy, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor, Epidemiology and Population Health; Stanford Medicine Discovery Professor

Associate Director, Population Sciences, Stanford Cancer Institute

Co-Director, Center for Population Health Sciences, Stanford University

"Epidemiology of Glioma: Insights from Molecular Epidemiology to Functional Validation"
(Recording Available)
May 25, 2021
Antoni Ribas

Antoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine, Professor of Surgery, and Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the University of California Los Angeles, UCLA

Director of the Tumor Immunology Program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA

Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Center, UCLA

“Emerging Therapeutic Strategies in Melanoma”
(Recording Available)
April 27, 2021
Marco Marra

Marco Marra, O.B.C., Ph.D., F.R.S.C., F.C.A.H.S.

Director, Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre at BC Cancer

Professor and Head of the Department of Medical Genetics at University of British Columbia

BC Node Leader for the Terry Fox Research Institute

“Towards a Canadian National Program for Comprehensive Genomic Profiling of Treatment Resistant Cancers”
(Recording Available)
March 30, 2021
Primo Lara

Primo Lara, M.D.

Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center

Codman-Radke Endowed Chair in Cancer Research

Executive Associate Dean for Cancer Programs, School of Medicine Professor of Medicine

University of California, Davis

“Cancer Center Overview: Highlights from the NCI 2021 Site Visit” (Recording Available)
February 23, 2021
Elektra Paskett

Electra Paskett, Ph.D.

Marion N. Rowley Professor of Cancer Research and Director, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine

Professor, Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health

Associate Director for Population Sciences and Community Outreach, Comprehensive Cancer Center

Director, Center for Cancer Health Equity, Ohio State University

“A Multi-Level Model to Address Cervical Cancer Disparities in Appalachia” (Recording Available)
January 26, 2021
Robert Winn

Robert Winn, M.D.

Virginia Commonwealth University  Massey Cancer Center

Professor, Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine, VCU School of Medicine

“Making Impact: Cancer Centers in the 21st Century”
November 17, 2020
Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson, Jr., M.D.

President and Regional Vice President, Oncology, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Medical Center

Professor Emeritus, University of Texas

“Implications from Prostate Cancer Prevention Science on Diagnosis and Treatment of Prostate Cancer”
October 27, 2020
Ryan Fields

Ryan Fields, M.D., FACS

Professor of Surgery, Chief, Section of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery

Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Alvin J. Siteman Comprehensive Cancer Center

Washington University School of Medicine

“The Clonal Evolution of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer”
September 29, 2020
H. Michael Shepard

H. Michael Shepard, Ph.D.

2019 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award

2006 Warren Alpert Prize from Harvard Medical School

Chief Scientific Officer, Biooncology Consultants and Enosi Life Sciences

“Walking from cancer to autoimmunity...Or, How I just can't seem to stay out of trouble”