Meet the Staff
New Orleans Area
Augusto Ochoa, MD, (left) earned his MD from the Universidad de Antioquia in Colombia in 1982. That year, he started a postdoctoral fellowship at the Immunobiology Research Center at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he became an Assistant Professor in 1986. He served as Head of the Immunotherapy Laboratory for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) from 1989 to 1996, and Head of the NCI Signal Transduction Laboratory from 1996 to 1997. At the LSU Health Sciences Center, he is Professor of Pediatrics, Adjunct Associate Professor of Biochemistry, and Director of the Cancer Center. At Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, he is a practicing physician specializing in the field of Allergy/Immunology. His research interests include T-cell function, cytokine production, macrophage T-cell interaction, immune regulation, immune dysfunction and disease, as well as tumor immunology.
Dr. Ochoa will serve as the principal investigator (PI) for the GS-MB-NCORP. He has been selected by the members of the GS-MB-NCORP as the Principal Investigator and corresponding PI. Dr. Ochoa will be responsible for the overall direction of the GS-MB-NCORP and for the communications with the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Robert Veith, MD , earned his medical degree in 1981 from the LSU School of Medicine, where is now a Clinical Associate Professor of Internal Medicine/Hematology. With Augusto Ochoa, MD, he directs the National Cancer Institute-funded Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Program (MB COOP) for the Cancer Center, and he was the original Principal Investigator for this grant. First funded in 1994, this program focuses on increasing the enrollment of minority patients onto state-of-the-art clinical trials for cancer treatment and cancer prevention and control.
Dr. Veith will serve as a Site Director and co-investigator for the GS-MB-NCORP. He is a hematologist/oncologist who directed the LSUHSC-New Orleans MB-CCOP from 1998- 2002 before resuming his role as PI in 2007. As both a community and academic oncologist, he possesses the ability to lead and interact with the participating community oncologists. Specifically, Dr. Veith holds responsibility for maintaining the continuity of the program in the event Dr. Ochoa should be unable to lead the ENCORP.
Scott Delacroix, MD, will be the Clinical Trials Site Leader LSUHSC-New Orleans component site and sub-component sites, and will lead the Genito Urinary multidisciplinary cancer care team for the GS-MB-NCORP; he will also be mentored by Drs. Ochoa and Veith to develop his leadership skills as they relate to NCORP activities.
Lolie Yu, MD, MPH, (left) earned her MD from the University of Santo Tomas, College of Medicine and Surgery in 1979. She completed her MPH studies at the University of Texas School of Public Health in 1982. She is a Professor of Pediatrics and a Pediatric Specialist in Hematology/Oncology at the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. She directs the Bone Marrow Transplant Program for the LSU Health Sciences Center and Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. In addition, she serves as the Director of the Autologous Bone Marrow Laboratory at Children’s Hospital. Her research interests include stem cell transplants, nutrition and cancer, cord blood, and CD34 stem cells.
Dr. Yu will serve as the COG Director and lead the Committee On Cancer (COC) clinical trial efforts for the GS-MB-NCORP.
Michael Hagensee, MD, PhD, (right) earned his PhD and MD degrees from the Baylor College of Medicine. An Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology, with an appointment in Clinical Medicine, his research interests include the immunology and structure of human papillomaviruses.
Dr. Hagensee will develop clinical trials and investigations within the GS-MB-NCORP to address regional cancer problems, and to develop clinical trials for expansion to the NCORP.
Thomas Reske, MD, PhD (left) completed his medical school in Germany, earning combined MD and PhD degrees. He completed his internship and residency at State University of New York at Buffalo, New York. He then completed a four year combined Geriatrics and Hematology/Oncology fellowship at Boston University Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Hematology and Oncology.
Dr. Reske will enroll patients in GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials.
Michelle Loch, MD (right) joined LSUHSC Section of Hematology and Oncology in 2012. Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology she earned her undergraduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and her M.D. from St. George’s University School of Medicine. She completed internal medicine internship and residency at the University of Virginia and hematology and oncology fellowship at the Boston University Medical Center. Her clinical interests include breast and gynecologic malignancies, though she sees all types of hematologic and oncologic disorders.
Dr. Loch will enroll patients in GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials.
Xiao-Cheng Wu, MD, MPH, (right) is an Associate Professor of Public Health and the Assistant Director of Louisiana Tumor Registry.She earned an MD in 1983 and an MPH in 1986, both from Xian Medical University in Xian, China. She worked as an Assistant Research Professor at the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine in Beijing, before joining the LSU Health Sciences Center faculty in 1991. Her research focuses on population-based cancer epidemiology and the use of cancer registry data for cancer surveillance studies. She has served as the leading editor for the annual monograph “Cancer Incidence in North America” since 2000 and has established herself as an active participant of numerous national committees, including the Data Use and Research Committee, the Research Proposal Review Subcommittee of the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), the CDC National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) Scientific Advisory Group for Patterns of Care Studies, and the Annual Report to the Nation working group. She is a Co-Principal Investigator for both the National Cancer Institute-sponsored Louisiana Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program and the CDC’s NPCR program.
Dr. Wu will serve as the Director of the CCDR research program for the GS-MB-NCORP.
Vivien Chen, MPH, PhD, (left) earned her BS in Biology from Hong Kong Baptist College in 1969. She completed her MPH studies in Community Health from the University of Oklahoma College of Health in 1973. Dr. Chen completed her PhD studies in Epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma School of Public Health in 1978. She is a Professor within the School of Public Health, where she serves as Director of both the Epidemiology Program and LA Tumor Registry. Her research interests include cancer epidemiology, female cancers, cancer in minority populations, and cancer registration.
Dr. Chen will co-direct the CCDR research program for the GS-MB-NCORP. Dr. Chen was the immediate past Director of Louisiana Tumor Registry for 20+ years and the PI of both the NCI SEER contract and the CDC-NPCR grant.
Lorrie Powel, PhD, serves as the director of survivorship program at LSUHSC-New Orleans for the GS-MB-NCORP; she will implement patient navigation and survivorship processes and programs within and across NCORP sites.
Donna Williams, MPH, DrPH, (left) earned a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University in 1983. She received an MS in Industrial Engineering from Louisiana Tech in 1985, an MPH in Health Systems Management at Tulane University in 1991, and a DrPH in Community Health Sciences from the LSU School of Public Health in 2009. A Professor in the School of Public Health, she directs the statewide Louisiana Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which serves approximately 14,000 women a year, as well as the Louisiana Fecal Immunochemical Test Colon Program (FITCo), a colorectal cancer early detection pilot program funded by the state legislature.
Dr. Williams will lead programs at LSUHSC-New Orleans focused on cancer prevention, screening and the importance of participating in clinical trials for the GS-MB-NCORP.
Eileen Mederos, RN , (right) serves as the Program Manager for the GS-MB-NCORP.
Carla Laborde, provides regulatory support for GS-MB-NCORP trials.
Maureen Vincent, Navigator, provides navigation services for patients on GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials for LSUHSC-New Orleans.
Glenn Mills, MD, (left) currently serves as the Director of the FWCC and is the PI of the NCI Minority Based CCOP at LSUHSC-Shreveport. He has over 35 years of clinical trials experience. Dr. Mills came to LSUHSC in 1986 after fellowship training and service in the US Army. At that time he reactivated the SWOG clinical trials and became the PI of SWOG at LSUHSC, a position he held until he was appointed the new Cancer Center Director in 2012. In 1988, Dr. Mills started the Bone Marrow Transplant service at LSUHSC as well as re-establishing the Hematology/Oncology fellowship training program. The fellowship program, which he still directs, is one of the largest in the south with 16 trainees. With the formation of the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center in 1992, Dr. Mills was named Associate Director of the center and the Director of Clinical Research. In 2013, Dr. Mills established the Human Tumor Genomics Laboratory at LSU. A research program is underway to do next generation sequencing on all newly cancer patients at the center. In 2014 he founded the Lung Cancer screening program, one of the first in the state. His current research interests are in cancer education, health disparities, quality cancer care, genomic sequencing and multimodality therapy of Head and Neck cancer.
Dr. Mills will serve as the Co-Investigator for the GS-MB-NCORP for the LSU-Shreveport Cancer Center and its sub-components and Co-Director for CCDR.
Gary Burton, MD, (left) graduated from the University of Utah College of Medicine in 1978. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and his fellowship in Hematology/Oncology in 1983 at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. After completion of his fellowship, he remained at Duke serving as an Assistant Professor of Medicine. Dr. Burton joined the faculty at the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center in 1986. Currently, Dr. Burton directs the Multi-Disciplinary Breast Cancer Program and the Brain Tumor Program. He also serves as the Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Oncology Services, Associate Director of Clinical Research for the FWCC and is the institutional chair for the Southwest Oncology Group.
Dr. Burton serves as the Medical Officer for the GS-MB-NCORP and Site Leader of the Clinical Trials Research Program at LSU-Shreveport.
Jerry McLarty, PhD, (right) received his doctorate degree from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston. He is director of Cancer Prevention and Control at the LSU Feist-Weiller Cancer Center. He directs the Partners in Wellness cancer screening program, including mobile mammography throughout Northwest Louisiana. His research interests include cancer prevention clinical trials, and health disparities research.
Dr. McLarty will serve as the site Director of the Health Disparities programs at LSUHSC-Shreveport focused on cancer prevention, survivorship and the importance of participating in clinical trials.
John Rowell, RN, MSN, CCRC, Director, (left) is the Director of the LSUHSC-Shreveport Feist Weiller Cancer Center’s (FWCC) Office of Research. John has been involved in clinical research since 1990. He believes that operating with a strong sense of business integrity and corporate responsibility is critical to maintain trust and credibility in the clinical research field. He has experience as a coordinator, regulatory, investigator, and all levels of clinical research management. He is considered an expert in project management and tools used in clinical research. John is a trainer for the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) in the areas of Research Fundamentals, Good Clinical Practice, and Coordinator Certification. He is responsible for all clinical research operations and research coordinators at FWCC.
He will serve as a clinical research nurse for the GS-MB-NCORP for the LSU-Shreveport sites.
Barbara Boykin, BA, CCRC, Regulatory CRA, (right) earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Missouri. She has over 22 years of experience in clinical research with 16 years as the Administrative Director of Clinical Trials in the Department of Psychiatry at LSU Health Sciences Center and has been certified as a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals for over 19 years.
She is a Clinical Research Coordinator at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center and will serve as a Regulatory Coordinator/QA/QC Coordinator.
Jennifer Nicholson, RN, BSN, Clinical Informatics Analyst, will provide technical support for GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials at LSU-Shreveport sites.
Teresa K. Katz, BA, CCRC, (left) has more than 15 years of experience in clinical research. She started her career at Abbott Laboratories in Chicago as a Study Manager/Monitor working on the fast track NDA submission for the HIV protease inhibitor Norvir (ritonavir) and relevant studies. She moved to G.D. Searle and Co. to work on the cox-2 inhibitor Celebrex (celecoxib) as a Study Manager, specializing in international study management and assisting with the original NDA submission. She also assisted with subsequent sNDAs and defending Celebrex study data at FDA advisory committee meetings. As Searle transitioned to Pharmacia, she moved to London to help develop the England-based Pharmacia research site helping establish the arthritis and pain research team overseas. As Pharmacia transitioned to Pfizer, Inc., she moved to NYC to work at the Pfizer Headquarters as a Study Manager for international clinical trials in neuroscience. She now works at the LSU Health Feist-Weiller Cancer Center as a Clinical Research Coordinator and Regulatory Coordinator.
Teresa will recruit patients to GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials at LSU-Shreveport sites.
Cheryl Duncan, Cancer Survivorship Coordinator, (right) earned her Physician Assistant degree from Louisiana State University, School of Allied Health in 2000. She is a Clinical Instructor at University Health Feist Weiller Cancer Center in Shreveport, LA. She is a gratis faculty of the Physician Assistant School as well as the Cancer Survivorship Program Coordinator.
Cheryl will lead the survivorship program for the LSU- Shreveport sites.
Jacinda Dupuy, CCRC's, (left) primary responsibilities include screening, enrolling and following patients in preventive and therapeutic cancer trials at University Health-Conway in Monroe, LA. She has 18 years' experience running clinical studies in all cancer disease sites. She is the Grant Manager for the Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Program. Jacinda is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator.
Jacinda will recruit patients to GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials at LSU-Shreveport sites.
Jennifer Swanson, BS, MA, CCRC, (right) joined Feist-Weiller Cancer Center Clinical Research team in 2009 after more than eight years' experience in clinical research for Alzheimer’s, general medical and Psychiatric patients. Her primary responsibilities include screening, enrolling and data submission for lung, head & neck, and brain cancer studies underway at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center. Jennifer is also responsible for making sure Feist-Weiller Cancer Center and community physicians are aware of the clinical trials available for their patients. Jennifer is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator.
Jennifer will recruit patients to GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials at LSU-Shreveport sites.
Laxmi Jain, BS, (left) is responsible for preparation and submission of NCI protocols and other regulatory documents to the IRB and to the NCI clinical trials sponsors. Ms. Jain reviews protocol updates and informs the FWCC and affiliate investigators and research staff of any changes to the protocols and new NCI protocols.
Laxmi will provide regulatory support for GS-MB-NCORP trials at LSU Health Shreveport sites.
Ruby Hamilton, LPN, (left) Ruby Hamilton has been working at LSU Health Shreveport for 28 years. For the last 15 years, she has been at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center in the Hematology-Oncology Dept.
Ruby will recruit patients to GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials at LSU-Shreveport sites.
Janice Yager, BS, MT, CCRP, (right) has been a Clinical Research Coordinator at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center for ten years. With considerable experience in screening, enrolling and following patients on cancer clinical trials, Janice is primarily responsible for breast studies, but has been involved in clinical trials for all cancer disease sites, and assists in enrollment and data management in other disease sites as needed. She is an important resource for new research coordinators and affiliate sites. Janice is a Certified Clinical Research Professional.
Janice will recruit patients to GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials at LSU-Shreveport sites.
Cynthia Diacynsky, BS, CCRC, (left) has been working with clinical trials at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center since 2008, combined with a background of three years at LSU Health Shreveport in animal research. She is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator.
Cynthia will recruit patients to GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials at LSU-Shreveport sites.
Ryan G. Wilkerson, BS, CCRC, CCRP, (right) has been working with oncology patients on clinical studies since April 2007. She works with Genitourinary cancer patients at all stages of their disease both at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center and in the LSU Health Shreveport Urology Clinic. She also handles the coordination for melanoma clinical trials. In addition to her primary responsibilities of screening, enrolling and coordinating patient care, Ryan is the site data manager for the Bone Marrow Transplant Registry. Ryan is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator and Certified Clinical Research Professional.
Ryan will recruit patients to GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials at LSU-Shreveport sites.
Lisa McCary, BS, (left) earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. She is responsible for contractual and budgetary negotiations for all clinical research trials conducted at Feist- Weiller Cancer Center. Lisa has been with the Institution since 2005.
Lisa will be responsible for contractual and budgetary negotiations for all clinical research trials conducted at Feist Weiller Cancer Center.
Binu Nair, MD, (right) graduated from medical school in 2002 from Universidad Tecnologica De Santiago, Dominican Republic. He completed his residency training in Internal Medicine in 2008 and a fellowship in Hematology/Ooncology in 2011 from LSU Shreveport. Dr. Nair joined as a faculty of Hematology and Oncology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center immediately upon completion of his fellowship in 2011. He has experience teaching medical students, residents and fellows. His main practice focus is malignant hematology, melanoma, and genital urinary cancer. He is currently involved in many clinical trials as a principal investigator and sub investigator supported by NCI and SWOG, as well as pharmaceutical studies. He has also participated in retrospective analysis of myeloma outcomes among insured and uninsured patients and second malignancies among multiple myeloma.
Dr. Nair will enroll patients in GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials. He is currently involved in many clinical trials as a principal investigator and sub investigator supported by NCI and SWOG, as well as pharmaceutical studies. He has also participated in retrospective analysis of myeloma outcomes among insured and uninsured patients.
Nebu Koshy, MD, (left) went to Medical School in Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Aligarh, India where he obtained his M.B.B.S. degree and later came to United States where he completed his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Hematology & Oncology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport (LSUHSC-S). He continued on as faculty in the Hematology-Oncology Section at LSUHSC-S where he is currently Assistant Professor of Medicine at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center.
Dr. Koshy is also Director of Adult Sickle Cell Service and Associate Director of Blood & Marrow Transplant Program at the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center.
His clinical focus has been on hematological malignancies and hemoglobinopathies with research interests in lymphoid malignancies.
Dr. Koshy will enroll patients in GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials. His main focus has been hematological malignancies with special interest in lymphoid malignancies and plasma cell disorders.
Reinhold Munker, MD, (right) graduated from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany) in 1979 and trained in Munich, Los Angeles and Houston. He is a hematologist- oncologist, treats patients with leukemia, lymphoma and performs stem cell transplantations. Dr. Munker has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, and oversees the BMT clinic of LSU Shreveport.
Dr. Muker will enroll patients in GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials. He is an accomplished medical oncologist with extensive clinical responsibilities and will continue to mentor basic and/or clinical scientist, fellow and/or junior faculty.
Prakash Peddi, MD, enrolls patients in GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials. His main focus has been lymphoblastic leukemia and malignant melanoma, he has experience working with rural and minority patients who will help improve retention rates on NCORP clinical trials.
Hazem El-Osta, MD, (left) enrolls patients in GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials. He is in charge of the Head & Neck and Lung Malignancies Clinic at LSU-Shreveport.
Robin Ann Lacour, MD, MPH, (right) enrolls patients in GS-MB-NCORP clinical trials. She provides gynecologic cancer care to patients in the surrounding underserved rural communities and is interested in the apparent disparities associated with survival in patients who present with advanced- stage cervical cancer.
Baton Rouge Area
David Hanson, MD, (left) is the Clinical Trials Site Director for Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center component site and sub-component sites.
Renea Austin-Duffin, MPA, (right) serves as the Co-investigator and Community Outreach for the GS-MB-NCORP for the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and its sub-components and the site Director for the Health Disparities programs.
Donna M. Bryant, MSN, (left) serves as the Clinical Research Lead CRA for the GS-MB-NCORP for the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and its sub-components.
Cyndi Knox, RN, MBA, (right) serves as a clinical research nurse for the GS-MB-NCORP for the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.
Daveta Jenkins, BS, (left) serves as a clinical research regulatory and data coordinator for the GS-MB-NCORP for the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and sub-component sites, with the main scope of position being NCI sponsored cooperative group studies.
Karla Tullier, BSN , (right) functions in the capacity as a Clinical Research Nurse for the GS-MB-NCORP with a focus on screening and accruing patients to NCI sponsored trials for Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.
Alisa Morris, RN , (left) functions in the capacity as Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator for the GS-MB-NCORP with the focus on screening accruing patients to NCI sponsored trials.
Lisa Martinez, BSN, (right) Clinical Research Nurse at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center serves the proposed GS-MB-NCORP in the capacity of screening and accrual of patients to NCI sponsored trials with a major focus on multi-modality trials including radiation oncology treatment plans.
Ann Toups Bergeron , Clinical Research Coordinator for Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at Terrebonne General Medical Center serves the GS-MB-NCORP by screening and accruing patients to NCI sponsored clinical trials.
Marilyn Shalley-Damberg, RN, MSN, MBA, (left) provides oversight and direction to the patient navigators and to the support teams, physicians, and other team members who are part of the Multidisciplinary Care Teams (MDCs) as they work together in cancer care delivery research.
Melissa Smithee, LCSW, (right) serves as a patient navigator participating in cancer care delivery research.
Suzanne Hotard, RN, BSN, (left) recruits patients to NCORP clinical trials at MBPCC sites.
Kristina Little, LMSW, (right) provides navigation services for patients on clinical trials for MBPCC.
Sean “Brandon” Reeves, LCSW, PhD, (left) leads the survivorship program for the MBPCC sites.
Nicole M. Magee, CTR
, (right) provides tumor registry support for the GS-MB-NCORP for the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and its sub-components.