"Together WE Enhance Cancer Research"

2016 Speakers

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Barry Fortner, Ph.D.fortner


Oncology Supply


Barry Fortner, PhD, serves as President of Oncology Supply, one of the nation’s largest distributors of chemotherapy drugs and supplies. Catering to the private community oncology practices, Oncology Supply is patient-focused and earnestly supports the availability of local, personalized treatment for cancer patients across the country.

Previously Dr. Fortner served as President of ION Solutions, a leading provider of oncology practice solutions, data analytics, and payer services. Before his promotion to President of ION Solutions, he served as ION Solutions’ Senior Vice President, Payer Strategy and Sales.  In this role, he was responsible for leading all of the organization’s efforts in the payer arena, including the development and launch of an integrated, actionable payer strategy and the procurement of valuable member resources.

Dr. Fortner is also committed to raising awareness, on a national level, of the issues community oncology is currently facing. Prior to his current position, Dr. Fortner served as Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs and Product Development for P4 Healthcare, where he oversaw their primary and secondary research programs, developed their initial pharmaceutical database and data products, and designed and executed the seminal pay for performance third party payer compliance and economic analyses.

Dr. Fortner has over 200 scientific publications and conference presentations ranging from early work in cognitive psychology, death and dying, and psychotherapy research to more recent work with health and patient reported outcomes, psychometrics, pharmacologic and health economics, quality improvement, and oncology therapeutics and supportive care. His scientific work also includes published statistical innovations regarding treatment induced deterioration, practice efficiency, opportunity costs, and clinical pathway compliance.


NASH10aNash Gabrail, MD

President, CEO

Gabrail Cancer Center, Sargon Research, Clinical Research Trials

Dr. Gabrail has been in practice in the Stark, Tuscarawas, and surrounding communities since 1990. He graduated from Mosul Medical School in Iraq in 1976. He obtained graduate education specializing in Internal Medicine M.R.C.P. from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1982. He obtained graduate education in Hematology from the University of Glasgow, Scotland in 1984. He did oncology training at the University of Missouri, Columbia in 1988. He was the assistant professor of oncology and hematology at the St. Louis University Medical School from 1988-1990. Dr. Gabrail is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Oncology. In 1990, he opened his Private Practice in Stark County. In 1998, he became a Principal Investigator for Industry sponsored Clinical Research trials. He is passionate about healthcare and decided to write and publish his book “Good Medicine is Cheaper Medicine”. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Society of Hematology (ASH). He is a member of the editorial board for Hematology & Oncology magazine (HONI). He has published more than thirty peer-reviewed articles in reputable medical journals and is a speaker on new therapies in cancer treatment. He is nationally known for his research. His dedication, compassion and excellence in care has earned the trust of patients and families. His goal is to find the best treatment options to meet the needs of his patients.


Jamie Oliver, Pharm.D.

Chief Science Officer

Accelovance, Inc.

Presentation Title: Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Rediscovered: The Next Generation

Dr. Oliver currently serves as the Chief Science Officer for Accelovance, Inc. a global contract research organization specializing in oncology and vaccines. Jamie received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Mercer University in 1982. He then served as an Adjunct Clinical Faculty Member of Emory University and Mercer University for 14 years. During that period he also attend at the CDC as a visiting scientist with the hospital infections program and has publish numerous articles in the area of renal disease, infectious disease, and oncology. Since departing academia, Dr. Oliver has held numerous positions over the last 21 years in both public and private biotechnology companies as well as medical and clinical roles in several CROs.


Art Krieg, M.D.Art photo cropped


Checkmate Pharmaceuticals

Presentation title: The Accidental Discovery of Immune Stimulatory CpG DNA, and Why It May Improve Responses to Cancer Immunotherapy

Arthur M. Krieg, MD has worked in the oligonucleotide field since the 1980s. Most recently he founded Checkmate Pharmaceuticals in January, 2015 to develop novel oligonucleotides for cancer immunotherapy.  Prior to that role Art was CSO at Sarepta until July, 2014; co-founder and CEO at RaNA Therapeutics from 2011 to 2013; CSO of Pfizer’s Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Unit from 2008 to 2011; and co-founder, CSO of Coley Pharmaceutical Group from 1997 until its acquisition and incorporation into Pfizer in 2008.  Art discovered the immune stimulatory CpG DNA motif in 1994, which led to a new approach to immunotherapy and vaccine adjuvants.  Based on this technology he co-founded Coley Pharmaceutical Group in 1997, discovering and taking 4 novel oligonucleotides into clinical development.  Art co-founded the first antisense journal, Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, which he edited for 16 years, and the Oligonucleotide Therapeutic Society, for which he is currently President-elect.  He serves on the scientific advisory boards of Intellia Therapeutics, Mirna Therapeutics, RaNA Therapeutics, and Solstice Biologics.

Art graduated from Haverford College in 1979, received his MD from Washington University in 1983, and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Minnesota in 1986. He was a Staff Fellow at the NIH in the Arthritis Institute from 1986 to 1991, when he joined the University of Iowa, becoming Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology. He has had 19 years of patient care experience, although his focus has always been on basic research and teaching.  Art left academia and joined Coley full-time in 2001.  He has published more than 250 scientific papers and is an inventor on 48 issued US patents covering oligonucleotide technologies.

Schonberg Bio Photo

David Schonberg, MPH, PhD

Medical Science Liaison, Oncology

Sandoz Inc. (a Novartis company)

Presentation Title: Biosimilars: An Overview

David Schonberg joined Sandoz as an oncology medical science liaison in August, 2015. Prior, David received his PhD in Neuroscience from the Ohio State University and completed postdoctoral fellowships in neuro-oncology at Duke University and the Cleveland Clinic. At the Cleveland Clinic, David served on numerous committees, successfully wrote R01 grants supported by the NIH/NCI and published in peer-reviewed journals including Cancer Cell, Nature Genetics, Nature Medicine and PNAS. David also spent time as the Director of Entrepreneur Development at the Cleveland Clinic, where he led and developed programs to help investigators commercialize their therapeutic innovations.


Ahmad Naim, MD

Senior Medical Director


Presentation Title: Conducting and Participating in Observational, non-interventional Trials: A Community Oncology Perspective

Dr. Naim is the Senior Medical at Incyte Corporation. His work focuses on developing and clinical and observational studies in hematological malignancies with a focus on myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), serve as medical monitor on various trials, and lead scientific strategy. He also serves as the study lead for the REVEAL Observational study. Dr. Naim has extensive experience in oncology therapeutics both in hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. He is trained in immunology, internal medicine, epidemiology, and public health and possesses a rich and diverse background in clinical and translational medicine, epidemiology, molecular biology and genetics, and outcomes research. He is also greenbelt certified in LEAN/Six Sigma in healthcare.

Dr. Naim also holds an adjunct faculty position at Temple University’s School of Pharmacy in Philadelphia, PA, where he teaches at the graduate level. Previously, he has held research faculty positions at Thomas Jefferson University and University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. He has also held various leadership roles in scientific/medical affairs, clinical practice management, performance improvement, community medicine, and public health.

Carrie Smith, RN carrie2016

Director of Research; VP, Operations

Gabrail Cancer Center; Sargon Research and Clinical Research Trials

Carrie Smith, R.N. began her oncology career in 1998 as an oncology nurse at Gabrail Cancer Center. The following year she realized that access to clinical trials should be the preferred standard of care for all cancer patients. Carrie was instrumental in building a comprehensive clinical trial unit at GCC, starting from scratch and culminating in one of the highest enrolling sites per physician, as well as, the highest retention rate. Carrie, as the Director of Research of the cancer center oversees, at any given time, an average of twenty-five actively recruiting clinical trials that are mostly phase 1 and phase 2.

Her experience and acquired knowledge has put her on the national spotlight as a leader in cancer research. Pharmaceutical companies and regulators often seek her opinion about issues of patient accrual, clinical trial design, and the FDA approval process. She is a consultant and a speaker for many pharmaceutical companies, mainly on newly approved drugs where GCC has been instrumental in the conduct of clinical trials. She has published over a dozen abstracts for various magazines and societies including, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS). She is an active member of the Oncology Nursing Society and the Association of Clinical Research Practitioners.


Deb Kientop, MBADebra Kientop,

Sr. Director, Oncology Project Management

Oncology and Hematology, ICON plc

Presentation Title: Getting Clinical Trials to Patients: The CRO/Sponsor Process and the Importance of Site Relationships

Deb Kientop, BS, MBA is currently a Senior Director, within the Oncology and Hematology Project Management department at ICON.  She has held various roles within the oncology Pharma/Biotech and CRO industry for over 22 years, with a focus on Site/Investigator relationships as well as clinical operational strategies.  Prior to joining ICON, Deb spent 14 years leading Medical Scientific Liaison (MSL) teams within oncology pharma and biotech organizations across North America focused on solid tumors, hematology and supportive care. In her current position, she is responsible for Oncology Strategy and Site Relationships at ICON, evaluating the clinical research landscape and collaborating with sponsors on the development of successful operational strategies.  She completed the Alfus Patient Advocacy Program through the University of Miami, and supports patients and families who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

Christine Pierrechristine


Society for Clinical Research Sites

Presentation Title: Secrets and Transparency of Site Selection

Christine Pierre is an internationally recognized expert on the global investigative site landscape and trends, site management, patient recruitment and retention, and operational management change to facilitate collaboration between industry and sites. She has conducted and contributed to research on site-related topics leading to meaningful change and stronger site partnerships and sustainability.

Ms. Pierre’s research related to sites has built a movement in the life science industry resulting in sites being recognized as pivotal partners. Her commitment to Best Site Practices and site sustainability has contributed to industry-wide understanding of this critical relationship and improvements in management strategy and execution.

Ms. Pierre was the founder of RxTrials in the early 1990s, one of the first Investigative Site Networks. She is currently the President of the Society for Clinical Research Sites, a global trade organization representing over 2,600 sites in 42 countries and remains passionate and committed to site sustainability.