Past Scientific Advisory Board Leadership

Latest News

Past Scientific Advisory Board Chairs

The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) has been chaired since 1996 by a number of distinguished experts in lymphoma research and care.  These individuals have contributed to significant growth and development of LRF’s research program and other initiatives.


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Term: 2019-2021

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York

Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, is the Medical Director of Quality Informatics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Prior to that, he had held the positions of Vice Chair, Medical Informatics from January 2013 to May 2016 and Chief, Lymphoma Service in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at MSKCC from 1994-December 2012. He is also a Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Zelenetz was elected Chair-Elect of the SAB in 2017, and assumed the Chair in 2019.

He has helped develop several agents now approved to treat lymphoma — including 131I-tosituomab/tositumomab, bortezomib, and pralatrexate — and through clinical studies he is evaluating the benefits of novel combinations of agents. Dr. Zelenetz has also published more than 100 papers on lymphoma research in journals such as Blood, Journal of Clinical Oncology and Clinical Cancer Research.


Thomas Habermann, MD, SAB ChairTHOMAS M. HABERMANN, MD

Mayo Clinic, Rochester

Term: 2017-2019

Dr. Habermann is Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester. He received his MD from Creighton University before completing his residency and fellowship at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He is a member of the University of Iowa/Mayo Clinic Lymphoma Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant and has previously served as chair of the Mayo Clinic Lymphoma Group. Dr. Habermann was elected Chair-Elect of the SAB in 2015, and assumed the Chair in 2017.

A long-time member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Habermann is Chair of the Foundation’s annual Minnesota Lymphoma Workshop, a one-day patient education program which serves over 300 patients each year, and has served as faculty for a number of LRF’s other patient education programs. In 2016, he served as Co-Chair for the North American Educational Forum on Lymphoma. He is also a member of LRF’s Mantle Cell Lymphoma Consortium, and received a Mantle Cell Lymphoma Clinical Studies Correlative Research Grant from LRF in 2007. Dr. Habermann has been involved in many aspects of research in lymphoma with collaborations that include clinical trials, epidemiology, risk factors, new risk predictive models, and genomic studies.



Northwestern University Medical School
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University

Term: 2015-2017

Dr. Gordon is the Abby and John Friend Professor of Oncology Research, Professor in Medicine and Director of the Lymphoma Program at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Centre of Northwestern University. A long-time member of the Lymphoma Research Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), Dr. Gordon was elected Chair-Elect in 2012, assuming the Chair in July 2015. He remains on the SAB as a general member.

Dr. Gordon’s leadership has been instrumental in the continued success of LRF’s Mantle Cell Lymphoma Consortium (MCLC), as a member of the MCLC’s Executive Committee since 2009, and its Chair from 2010 to 2014. As SAB Chair-Elect and Chair, Dr. Gordon oversaw the continued development of LRF’s research portfolio to address scientific issues specific to adolescent and young adult (AYA) lymphoma, including a scientific workshop in fall 2015 and the development of Disease Focus Area grant mechanisms focused on AYA lymphoma research.

He has also been an active participant in LRF’s patient education initiatives, serving as Co-Chair of the 2014 and 2015 North American Educational Forum on Lymphoma, as well as and faculty for regional and local programs including the Chicago Lymphoma Workshop and Ask the Doctor programs. In addition to these activities, Dr. Gordon has served on the steering committee of Chicago Lymphoma Rounds, a continuing medical education (CME) program, since its inauguration in 2008, and was visiting faculty for the 2015 Lymphoma Clinical Research Mentoring Program (LCRMP).



Weill Cornell Medicine

Term: 2012-2015

John P. Leonard, MD, is the Richard T. Silver Distinguished Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology and Senior Associate Dean for Innovation and Initiatives at the Weill Cornell Medical College. He also serves as attending physician at the New York – Weill Cornell Center of New York Presbyterian Hospital. and is Executive Vice Chairman of the Weill Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. During his term as Chair of the SAB, Dr. Leonard oversaw the creation of the Lymphoma Clinical Research Mentoring Program (LCRMP), a mentoring and training program for early-career lymphoma researchers, and provided instrumental support in the creation of the Adolescent/Young Adult Lymphoma Initiative (AYAI), including the launch of the AYA Lymphoma Cooperative Group Correlative Grant, which awarded its first research grant in early 2015. He remains on the SAB as a general member, and continues to participate in a variety of patient education programs as well as serve as Visiting Faculty for the LCRMP. In the fall of 2017, Dr. Leonard joined LRF’s Board of Directors.

An expert in hematology and oncology, Dr. Leonard’s research has been published in numerous medical journals, and he has served as a member of the editorial boards of Blood and the Journal of Clinical Oncology, leading international journals in these fields. He is the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma working group leader for the Lymphoma Committee of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), a multicenter cooperative group of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Leonard has served as an elected member of the American Board of Internal Medicine subspecialty board for Hematology, and he has also been elected to membership in the American Society of Clinical Investigation.  In 2017 he received the Miriam G. Wallach Award for Excellence in Humanistic Medical Care from New York Presbyterian Hospital.



Georgetown University Hospital
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Term: 2010-2012

Dr. Cheson is a former Professor of Medicine, Head of Hematology, and Director of Hematology Research at Georgetown University Hospital, the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. From 1986-2002, he was Head, Medicine Section, the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) at the National Cancer Institute. He served on several committees of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and on its Board of Directors. From 2002-2006, he was on the Oncologic Drug Advisory Committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He chairs the Lymphoma Committee of Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB, now Alliance) and the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Lymphoma Committee, and has co-chaired the International Harmonization Project in Lymphoma.

During his term as Chair, Dr. Cheson was instrumental in the organization of LRF’s November 2011 scientific workshop, “What is a Clinically Meaningful Response? Should Endpoints in CLL Drug Research be Redefined?” and co-authored the white paper that proceeded from that program, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on August 10, 2012. He remains on the SAB as a general term and Executive Committee member, and continues to support LRF and lymphoma research in a number of ways, including as faculty at patient education events and scientific workshops, and through the Lymphoma Research Ride, a non-competitive bike ride held annually in Montgomery County Maryland. The Research Ride, founded by Dr. Cheson in 2007, is a cornerstone of LRF’s Team LRF fundraising events.



Fox Chase Cancer Center – Temple Health
Temple University School of Medicine

Term: 2008-2010

Dr. Fisher is currently the President, CEO, and Cancer Center Director of Fox Chase Cancer Center – Temple Health, and Senior Associate Dean for Cancer Programs at the Temple University School of Medicine. During his term as SAB chair, he was Vice President for Strategic & Program Development at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and Samuel E. Durand Professor in the Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology Division. During his term as Chair, Dr. Fisher oversaw the addition of several new subtype-specific grant mechanisms for faculty researchers to the LRF research portfolio. Dr. Fisher served as a general member and member of the SAB Executive Committee following his term as chair until retiring from the SAB in 2015.

Dr. Fisher leads both national and international studies in Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He serves as chairman of the Lymphoma Committee of the Southwest Oncology Group. He has been continuously funded since 1984 by the National Cancer Institute with awards exceeding $33.5 M. He is the Principal Investigator of an $11.5M P50 Lymphoma SPORE (Specialized Project of Research Excellence) grant.

He has had leadership roles in multiple scientific, professional, and advocacy organizations including: Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology; Chair, Lymphoma Research Foundation Scientific Advisory Board; Board of Scientific Advisors, V (Jim Valvano) Foundation; Vice President, Hope Foundation; and Deputy Group Chair, Southwest Oncology Group. He is a member of various groups such as: the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Hematology, American Association of Immunologists, and the American College of Physician Executives.


OLIVER PRESS, MD, PhD (In memoriam)

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
University of Washington Medical Center

Term: 2006-2008

Oliver W. Press, MD PhD, was a Member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering, both at the University of Washington (UW). During Dr. Press’s tenure as Chair, Dr. Press oversaw the establishment of LRF’s MCL Consortium and MCL Scientific Workshop. Following his term as SAB Chair, Dr. Press continued to serve on the SAB as a general member, including a term as Chair of LRF’s Follicular Lymphoma Initiative, before retiring from the SAB in 2015.

Dr. Press was the recipient of the Dr. Penny E. Petersen Memorial Chair for Lymphoma Research at FHCRC and served as Associate Director of the University of Washington Medical Scientist Training Program for over fifteen years. He also served as the Director of Clinical Research for Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance from 2006-2009. He held a number of leadership roles in the lymphoma field, including the Co-Director of the UW Center for Intracellular Delivery of Biologics, Co-Director of the Training Program in Nanotechnology and Physical Sciences in Cancer Research at the University of Washington, and Co-Chair of the Lymphoma Steering Committee of the National Cancer Institute.



The Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Term: 1996-2006

Joseph R. Bertino, MD, is the founding chair of the LRF’s Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Bertino built the Scientific Advisory Board from the ground up and brought his special brand—commitment to excellence, gentle persuasion, and visionary thinking to bear in building the SAB, and is currently a Member Emeritus.

Dr. Bertino is University Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and is Senior Advisor to the Director of the school’s Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, after previously serving as Director. He was interim director of the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey from 2007-2009.

He has been an American Cancer Society professor since 1976. Dr. Bertino joined The Cancer Institute of New Jersey in 2002 as associate director and was appointed chief scientific officer in 2004. Prior to joining The Cancer Institute of New Jersey at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Dr. Bertino served as chair of the Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics Program, and member and co-head of the Program in Developmental Therapy and Clinical Investigation at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research. From 1973 to 1986, Dr. Bertino served as director of the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, including director of the center and associate director for clinical research. Dr. Bertino has been internationally recognized for his role in finding curative treatments for leukemia and lymphoma.