2019 Research Workshop Attendees - Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation
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2019 Research Workshop Attendees

Benjamin Alman, MD, Professor & Chair, Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Health System

Dr. Alman is an orthopaedic clinician-scientist, whose research focuses on understanding role of developmentally important processes in pathologic and reparative process involving the musculoskeletal system. The long-term goal of his work is to use this knowledge to identify improved therapeutic approaches to orthopaedic disorders. He makes extensive use of genetically modified mice to model human disease, and has used this approach to identify new drug therapies for musculoskeletal tumors and to improve the repair process in cartilage, skin, and bone. He also works on cellular heterogeneity in sarcomas, and has identified a subpopulation of tumor initiating cells in musculoskeletal tumors. In this work, he also has identified specific cell populations that are responsible for joint and bone development. He has was recently recruited from the University of Toronto to Duke University to chair the department of orthopaedics, which was established in 2010, and includes a large musculoskeletal research component. He has half his time protected for his research work.  Dr. Alman is the Principal Investigator in the DTRF-funded collaborative project, “Collaboration for a Cure: Identifying new therapeutic targets for desmoid tumors.” Profile here.

Steven Attia, DO, Assistant Professor of Oncology, Mayo Clinic

Dr. Steven Attia is a medical oncologist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. He is fellowship trained at the University of Wisconsin. His sole clinical and research focus is patients with desmoid tumor, sarcomas of soft tissue and bone including gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), as well as chordoma, epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EHE) and other locally aggressive or malignant tumors of soft tissue and bone. He is the research chair for the Mayo Clinic Sarcoma Disease Oriented Group. Aside from clinical trials and patient care, Dr. Attia has an interest in optimizing the way patients with rare tumors are discussed. He chairs a first-in-kind, CME accredited, weekly international sarcoma tumor board which he founded in 2010 that connects 10 sarcoma centers in the United States and Europe by videoconference to review challenging cases seen at these centers. Profile here.

Bernd Kasper, MD, PhD, Professor, Mannheim University Medical Center, Interdisciplinary Tumor Center, Sarcoma Unit

Prof. Bernd Kasper studied Medicine at the University of Heidelberg. In 2001, he finalised his thesis at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) dealing with new treatment strategies for chronic myelogenous leukaemia patients using the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib. To deepen his training, he stayed in London (Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Department of Haematology) and Brussels (Jules Bordet Institute, Medical Oncology Clinic). In 2007 and 2008, he specialized in Internal Medicine and Medical Haematology/Oncology at the Department of Internal Medicine V at the University of Heidelberg. Currently, he works together with Prof. Peter Hohenberger at the Sarcoma Unit at the Interdisciplinary Tumor Center Mannheim (ITM) at the Mannheim University Medical Center, University of Heidelberg. Since 2011, he is leading the ITM. His special interest lies in the treatment of patients with bone and soft tissue sarcomas including GIST and desmoids. He is head of the study center of the German Interdisciplinary Sarcoma Group (GISG) and Secretary of the Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group (STBSG) of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). Bernd Kasper is actively involved in patient advocacy work on the national as well as international level as a board member of Sarcoma Patients EuroNet (SPAEN). Profile here.

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