Farshid Aragizadeh, MD, MBA, FACS, FASCRS | Texas Digestive Disease Consultants
Dr. Farshid Araghizadeh is board certified in colorectal surgery and general surgery with a special interest in colorectal cancer because of “its limitless possibilities to improve patients’ lives and wellbeing.” He has been practicing for over 20 years, and was the Chief of Colorectal Surgery at UT Southwestern prior to joining the Medical Staff at Medical City Alliance in 2019. He has multiple publications (peer reviewed journals and book chapters) and was named one of D Magazine best doctors from 2011-2018. He is affiliated with American College of Colorectal Surgeons, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, American College of Surgeons, SAGES. Dr. Araghizadeh received his undergraduate degree from University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL; followed by graduate school at UT Dallas, Naveen Jindal School of Business, Dallas, TX; medical school at University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, AL; residency at UT Southwestern Medical Center/Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, TX; and his fellowship at Ochsner Medical Foundation, New Orleans, LA. In his free time Dr. Araghizadeh enjoys music, sports, travel and food. In addition to English, he is fluent in both Farsi and Turkish.
Durado Brooks, MD, MPH | Exact Sciences
Dr. Durado Brooks is the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Screening Business Unit of Exact Sciences Corporation, a position he assumed in October 2020. Prior to joining Exact Sciences Dr. Brooks spent 20 years with the American Cancer Society’s national headquarters. During his tenure at ACS Dr. Brooks served in a variety of positions with steadily increasing areas of responsibility, culminating in the role of Vice President of Prevention and Early Detection. Throughout his ACS career Dr. Brooks worked to increase access to high quality prevention and screening and to decrease cancer-related disparities through the design, implementation and evaluation of cancer prevention and early detection programs at the national, state and local levels.
A graduate of the Ohio State University and the Wright State University School of Medicine, Dr. Brooks completed his internal medicine residency and chief residency at Wright State’s Affiliated Hospitals in Dayton, Ohio, and a fellowship in General Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He provided primary care and served as medical director for community health centers in Dayton and in the Community Oriented Primary Care Program at Parkland Memorial Hospital in his current hometown of Dallas, Texas. His experience in these settings led to expertise in areas including disease prevention and health promotion, disparities in healthcare and outcomes, cultural competency of health care providers and systems, and the impact of managed care on vulnerable populations.
Bidhan Das, MD | University of Texas
Dr. Bidhan “Biddy” Das has board certifications for both colon and rectal surgery, and general surgery. He has cultivated a trend in Houston for personalized medicine and individualized genetic screenings for cancer patients and their families.
Dr. Das primarily treats teens, adults and seniors, and provides compassionate, individualized care for each patient. He listens and helps empower patients and their families through education. His attentiveness, friendly bedside manner, and direct access helps create trust and rapport.
His passion for medical education and medical process improvement has resulted in book chapters and publications, and national and regional presentations on those subjects. Dr. Das is a member in good standing of the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, and the Harris County Medical Society.
Shiv Desai, MD | Austin Gastroenterology
Dr. Shiv Desai received his medical training from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and completed his gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is a gastroenterologist in Austin, Texas and is wholly committed to raising awareness about colorectal screening and diagnosis within his community.
Cathy Eng, MD, FACP, FASCO | Vanderbuilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Cathy Eng, MD, FACP, FASCO, Professor of Medicine, Hematology and Oncology, is the David H. Johnson Endowed Chair of Surgical and Medical Oncology, Co-Director of GI Oncology and the Co-Leader of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Program, Director of the new Young Adults Cancers Program, and the Chair, Developmental Research Program for the GI SPORE, at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. She served as the Ambassador for the American Cancer Society ResearcHERS campaign in Nashville (2020-2022). She is currently the Director for Strategic Relations for Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. She has served on the Scientific Review Committee and remains on the Clinical Trials Shared Resource Oversite Committee. She is a highly sought mentor and served on the Vanderbilt-Ingram Mentorship Council and is currently a mentor on the T-32 grant and serves as a Professional Development Mentor. She continues to assume leadership positions devoted to development of phase I-III clinical trials using novel therapeutics for biomarker discovery and enhanced drug utilization in colorectal, appendiceal and anal cancer patients.
Nationally, Dr. Eng has also been highly active serving on ASCO, ECOG, and SWOG. She has served on multiple committees for ASCO including the Career Development Committee, Education Committee for Colorectal Cancer; ASCO Scientific Program Committee Track Leader for the Gastrointestinal Cancer-Colorectal/Liver Track and served on the Steering Committee 2012-2015. She is the former Chairman of the Scientific Program Committee of the ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium from 2012-2013 and Chairman, Steering Committee, GI Cancers Symposium 2016. She was chosen for the ASCO Leadership Development Program and served on the ASCO Government Relations Committee; worked with the ASCO Cancer Prevention Committee on the consensus statement regarding HPV vaccination; served on the ASCO Nausea and Vomiting Guidelines Committee, ASCO Taxonomy Task Force, ASCO Social Media Committee, and is currently on the ASCO Colorectal Guidelines Committee, ASCO Scientific Program Committee (Colorectal Cancer Track) and the ASCO Communications Committee. She was the co-chair of the SWOG Rectal/Anal Cancer Subcommittee and was the Vice-Chair for the SWOG GI Committee. She was the Chairman of the NCI Rectal/Anal Task Force (two terms), served on the NCI GI Steering Committee, and is now the co-Chair of the NCI GI Steering Committee.
She has published in many peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Clinical Oncology, Lancet Oncology, Nature Review, JNCI, Annals of Oncology, Cancer, and Annals of Surgical Oncology. She has previously received an NCI grant “Administrative Supplements to the institutional CCSG grant to Support Biomarker Studies Associated with NCI-supported Clinical Trials of Immunotherapy”. She was a co-PI for the MD Anderson Moonshot for HPV-Associated Malignancies (Section Lead for the Rare Cancers subsection) and continues to serve as a grant reviewer on the MD Anderson Colorectal Cancer Moonshot Grant and the Sabine award. She has served as a consultant to the FDA and AHRQ, Cancer Research UK: Training & Career Development Board – Clinician Scientist Fellowship, the Italian Association for Cancer Research, the Dutch Digestive Foundation, the Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) – Farrah Fawcett Foundation Joint Scientific Advisory Committee (JSAC) and the SWOG Impact Award.
Jeffrey Farma, MD, FACS | Fox Chase Cancer Center
Dr. Farma is the interim Chair of Surgical Oncology, Division Chief of General Surgical Oncology and a Professor of Surgical oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center and Temple Health. He is the Pennsylvania state chair for the Commission on Cancer.
He trained in general surgery at Temple University Hospital. During his residency he completed a surgical oncology research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute Surgery Branch in Bethesda, MD. He then completed a clinical Society of Surgical Oncology fellowship at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL, where he had extensive exposure to the multidisciplinary approach to treating patients with all types of cancer including complex colorectal patients. He has developed a particularly strong interest in the surgical and multimodal treatment of patients with colorectal cancer using traditional surgery, clinical trials, and minimally invasive techniques. He is involved in regional and national clinical trials to treat patients with colorectal cancer and performs outcomes and translational research in the field. He is invested and promotes increasing cancer screening, education and advocacy to improve outcomes for patients.
Jerry Gaston, DO, FACOS | Kansas Health Sciences Center, University of Kansas, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
Jerry G. Gaston, DO. is a native Wichitan. He has practiced medicine in Wichita for 27 years. He received his Doctor of Osteopathy degree from University of Health Sciences / College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City. Dr. Gaston completed a rotating internship at Riverside Health Systems and his surgical residency at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery. Dr Gaston is a fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Surgery. Dr. Gaston’s clinical interests are laparoscopy, complex abdominal wall hernias, endoscopy, and Robotic Surgery. He is on the Board of Kansas Health Science Center, Ridgewood Surgery Center and Riverside Health Foundation.
Milena Gould Suarez, MD | Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Milena Gould Suarez is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the GI Fellowship Program Director at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. She did her internal medicine residency at Tufts Medical Center and her fellowship training at the University of Pennsylvania. Her clinical and research interests have focused on colon cancer screening, health disparities, and heritable colon cancer syndromes.
David Johnson Hiller, MD | Novant Health, Winston-Salem
David Hiller is a board-certified colon and rectal surgeon with Novant Health Colon and Rectal Clinic in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His practice focuses on colon and rectal cancer. David has been participating in Get Your Rear in Gear races since 2010 and volunteering with the organization since 2017.
Toufic Kachaamy, MD, FASGE, AGAF | Cancer Treatment Centers of America Phoenix – part of City of Hope
Dr. Toufic Kachaamy is the chief of Medicine and directory of gastroenterology at Cancer treatment Centers of America in Arizona, a part of City of Hope. He cares for patients fighting cancers especially pancreatic, stomach, esophageal, colon, liver, and bile duct cancer. Dr. Kachaamy earned a medical degree with distinction from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He then went on to complete a residency in internal medicine at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, a fellowship in gastroenterology at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond Virginia, and an advanced endoscopy fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix Arizona. He is also a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, a fellow of the American Society of gastrointestinal endoscopy and the American Gastroenterological Association.
He is the founder and chair of the Endoscopic Oncology Significant Interest Group for the American Society of gastrointestinal endoscopy and the chair of The endoscopic Oncology committee for the foundation of Interventional and Therapeutic Endoscopy. His research focuses on endoscopy in cancer care. He has been published in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, expert reviews of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Current Opinion in Gastroenterology among others. He has also given many research and oral presentations in national meetings on topics related to digestive health. He has founded a conference on Endoscopic Oncology advances and innovations to help foster education and collaboration among the multidisciplinary cancer team about topics related to endoscopy in cancer care.
Dr. Kachaamy passion about improving patient care and problem solving led him to invent new devices to solve unmet needs. He won the American Gastroenterological Association Shark tank pitch in 2021 for his endoscopic Ultrasound Access needle invention. He is a proud husband and father of 3 boys and has been voted the Valley of the Sun Favorite dad in 2022.
Scott Ketover, MD, AGAF, FASGE | MNGI Digestive Health
Dr. Scott Ketover is a practicing gastroenterologist and proudly serves as the President and CEO of MNGI Digestive Health, one of the largest independent gastroenterology practices in the country. He also serves as the Chairman of the 3000-physician member Allina Integrated Medical Network, an ACO. Dr. Ketover previously served as the Founding President of the Digestive Health Physicians Association, a national patient care advocacy organization of 2200 independent gastroenterologists, and he is the Founding President of the 1200 physician member Digestive Health Network. Dr. Ketover is also a Fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).
Emil Lou, MD, PhD, FACP | University of Minnesota
Emil Lou, MD, PhD, FACP is a physician-scientist with a strong interest and a translational approach to the investigation of solid tumor malignancies, including colorectal cancers, at the cellular and molecular level. As a fellowship-trained and practicing medical oncologist and neuro-oncologist, he has a strong interest in a ‘bedside-to-bench-and-back’ approach to translational oncology and laboratory research. At the national level, he has served on the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Scientific Committee for GI Cancers (2012-15), and the Continuing Education Committee for the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (2020-present). He has served as an expert reviewer for grant proposals and manuscripts focused on tumor biology and clinical cancer research, and is a Deputy Editor for the journal Molecular Therapy Oncolytics. Identifying pertinent clinical problems in oncology that can be investigated in the laboratory setting is a high priority for his research program and collaborative efforts.
John (Jay) Popp, Jr, MD, MACG | AmSurg
Dr. Jay Popp practiced gastroenterology in Columbia SC for 27 years, where he was also involved in clinical research primarily related to inflammatory bowel disease. He also taught at the University Of South Carolina School Of Medicine and eventually served as Chair of the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition.
He chaired the National Affairs Committee for the American College of Gastroenterology and was involved in advancing efforts to improve access to colorectal cancer screening. He was President of the organization from 2004-05.
In 2006 he joined Centocor (now Janssen) as a Medical Director, a position he held for 11 years, while also serving on the Board of Directors for AmSurg, a company that owns and operates over 250 ambulatory surgery centers across the country. In 2017 he joined AmSurg as a Medical Staff Lead where he is involved in quality initiatives, research, improving the patient experience, and advocacy efforts relating to colon cancer screening.
Michael Spencer, MD | CRSAL (MN)
Dr. Michael P. Spencer is president of Colon & Rectal Surgery Associates in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. He is an American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery certified colon & rectal surgeon and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area. He received his medical degree from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in 1985, surgical training from Mayo Clinic in 1991, and colon and rectal surgical training at the University of Minnesota in 1992.
Estephan Zayat, MD | Kansas Gastroenterology
Dr. Estephan Zayat received his Bachelor of Science degree with distinction as well as his Medical Doctorate from The American University of Beirut. He started his residency with Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, MD and finished serving an additional three years at The University of Kansas School of Medicine. His fellowship was completed at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Division of Digestive Diseases with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is Board Certified in Gastroenterology. He has participated in national and international award winning research. His work has been published in state, national, and international journals. Dr. Zayat is the Chair of the Credentials Committee at Via Christi Regional Medical Center St Francis. He serves on the Medical Executive Committee with Wesley Medical Center. He has previously held the position as Chair of Medicine with Via Christi St. Francis. He was honored to serve as the 2015 President-Elect and the 2016 President with the Medical Society. He and his wife, Janane, have three children.
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