2019 Keynote Speakers


Dr. May Abdel-Wahab, MD, PhDKeynote Speaker

Dr. May Abdel-Wahab, MD, PhD is the Director of the Division of Human Health at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a United Nations (UN) agency with over 170 member states world-wide. The IAEA’s Division of Human Health conducts clinical trials, training and educational initiatives and provides expertise to technical cooperation projects in countries requesting support in radiotherapy, medical physics and diagnostic imaging, including particle therapy as well as missions and audit services to support radiotherapy quality assurance globally. Dr Abdel-Wahab has more than 30 years of experience in patient care, teaching and research in the field of radiation medicine. Prior to joining the IAEA Dr Abdel-Wahab was a Professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner School of Medicine, Case Western University and was Section Head of Gastro-Intestinal Radiation Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic, USA. A former residency program director, Dr Abdel-Wahab continues to hold a special interest in education and curriculum development, and has chaired numerous symposia and scientific meetings as scientific secretary. In addition to serving on FRS Board of directors, and several advisory and editorial boards, Dr Abdel-Wahab also served on various national and international committees, both as a member and/or chair, including the United Nations Interagency Task Force steering committee (UNIATF), the ASTRO Diversity and Disparity committee, Integrated Healthcare Enterprises in Radiation Oncology (IHERO) planning committee, and the Steering committee of the UN Joint Project on Cancer Cervix Prevention and Control, among others. Dr May Abdel-Wahab is a fellow of the American Board of Radiology, Fellow of the American Society of Radiation Oncology and was on the Best Doctors in America listing, among other honors. She is an avid lecturer and participant on scientific panels, served on expert panels for treatment guidelines and is published widely (over 150 publications). She has an interest in healthcare access and training, as well as novel solutions to address disparity and diversity issues in healthcare with an emphasis on radiation oncology.


Dr. Marc S. Ernstoff, MD – Keynote Speaker

Dr Marc S. Ernstoff, MD is Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine and Senior Vice President of Clinical Investigation at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY, USA. Born in Brooklyn NY he studied History of Art at Emory University in Atlanta, GA and then medicine at NYU in NY, NY earning his MD degree in 1978.  He completed his training in Internal Medicine at the Bronx Municipal Hospital and the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in the Bronx, NY and then oncology at Yale University New Haven, CT.  He did a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer immunology and immunotherapy under the mentorship of Dr. John M. Kirkwood. Since then, he has focused his research on better understanding the immunobiology of cancer and on developing novel immune therapies for melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, myeloma, prostate cancer and gliomas.  His research extends across a broad variety of immunotherapies including cytokine therapies, dendritic cell vaccines, immune checkpoint inhibition, targeted therapies and ex vivo expanded effector cells for adoptive transfer. Most recently he is investigating the role of tumor derived exosomes on the tumor microenvironment, and the impact of the beta adrenergic pathway on immune suppression. He currently serves on the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Melanoma Guidelines committees, the SITC and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Immuno-oncology toxicity guideline committees, and the Cancer Immunotherapy Network (CITN) executive committee.



Dr. Brian Gastman, MD – Keynote Speaker

Dr. Gastman is the Surgical and co-director for Cleveland Clinic’s Melanoma and High-risk Skin Cancer Program, Dr. Gastman is also Professor of surgery at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. He is double boarded in otolaryngology and plastic surgery, his research interests include melanoma, non-melanoma skin and soft tissue cancers specifically in tumor immune evasion and chemotherapy resistance; interaction between lymph node, tumor, and immune system; and less invasive sentinel lymph node surgery.

He is a member of the Society of Immunotherapy of Cancer’s Melanoma Task Force, as well as on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Melanoma and skin cancers Treatment Guideline Committee. Active with the NCI-based Cancer Immunotherapy Trial Network and ECOG-ACRIN,  he is the national principal investigator for the largest Merkel Cell carcinoma trial.  He is institutional PI on multiple trials as well.   Dr. Gastman serves on the editorial board of Annals of Surgical Oncology.   As a surgeon he is active in improving outcomes in reconstructive surgery and was the primary surgeon for two patients who underwent facial allotransplantation.

PD Dr.  Ruediger Wessalowski, MD – Keynote Speaker

Dr. Wessalowski was born and raised in the Lower Rhine region of Germany, where he received his education. After he received his license to practice medicine in 1987, he obtained his MD degree from Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf in 1993 and specialized in pediatric oncology and hematology. From 1991-2019 Dr. Wessalowski has been a Scientist within the Hyperthermia Study Group at Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, and since 2000 an Associate Professor in the Clinic for Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Clinical Immunology in the Medical Faculty Duesseldorf, Germany, where he leads a clinical research program for regional deep hyperthermia for children, adolescents and young adults.

Dr. Wessalowski has devoted his research career to the development of hyperthermia strategies for children and translation of the hyperthermia technology to clinical practice in childhood cancer. His efforts led to the world’s first prospective human trial of regional deep hyperthermia in infants and small children with refractory and/or recurrent cancer (Hyper-PEI protocol).

The hyperthermia strategy in childhood cancer according to the Hyper-PEI protocol - registered at the German Cancer Society (number 50-2732) - now has investigational approval in Germany, and is being evaluated clinically by the German Society of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH) since 2004.

He has been honored for his work by the European Society of Hyperthermic Oncology with the ESHO-BSD-award in 2013. He is editorial board member of the International Journal of Hyperthermia (IJH) and deputy spokesman of the Interdisciplinary Hyperthermia Working Group (IAH) of the German Cancer Society. 

In addition to the development of clinical hyperthermia therapy strategies in children, adolescents and adults, Dr. Wessalowski has explored the potential for non-invasive temperature measurement in the body of children and adults using BSD 2000-3D-Hydrid System. His interests include also the preclinical and clinical analysis of heat shock proteins as immune modulators, preclinical and clinical drug testing for thermosensitisation, and translation of experimental hyperthermia treatment strategies into clinical evaluation.



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