Leading Researchers and Clinicians
Ani Balmanoukian, MD
The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute is proud to announce the addition of Ani Balmanoukian MD to our staff. Dr. Balmanoukian adds to our expertise in cancers of the central nervous system (CNS) and upper aero-digestive malignancies including lung, esophageal and gastric cancers. Her clinical areas of research include novel targetted agents, immunotherapeutics, and early drug development. Her extensive experience and expertise will enhance our patients' experience in the Phase One Program ensuring benefit from breakthroughs in recent cancer research.
Dr. Balmanoukian earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiological Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was on the Provost’s Honor list and graduated Cum Laude. She received her medical degree from New York Medical College School of Medicine graduating Alpha Omega Alpha. Dr. Balmanoukian completed a residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. She subsequently completed a fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and was awarded a T32 Research Training Grant in neuro-oncology. Dr. Balmanoukian is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology.
Prior to joining our faculty, Dr. Balmanoukian served as Assistant Clinical Professor in the division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. Her research has been presented at meetings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Balmanoukian is committed to excellence in comprehensive health care for patients, and believes strongly in promoting care through state-of-the-art therapy while always ensuring compassionate care. Her first contributions to The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute will be to implement a screening program for those at high risk for developing lung cancer, and focusing her research and clinical skills on the problem of lung cancer in women, a problem that is clearly underappreciated.
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Peter Boasberg, MD
Dr. Peter Boasberg is a founding member of The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute and has been instrumental in its transformation into an internationally recognized research entity. Dr. Boasberg has been a long standing member of the academic faculty of the John Wayne Cancer Institute and with Dr. Steven O’Day created the Melanoma Program at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute.
Dr. Boasberg earned his medical degree at the University of California, Irvine. He completed his internal medicine training and residency at the UCLA/Wadsworth VA program and his medical oncology training and fellowship at the University of Southern California.
Dr. Boasberg has extensive expertise with the medical and immunologic treatments of cancer with particular expertise in melanoma and lung cancers. Dr. Boasberg is an active member of the research teams that were responsible for the 2011 landmark approvals of both Yervoy and Zelboraf for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. He has currently authored and is the principle investigator for a new randomized multi-center trial of the combination of Ipilimumab and nab-Paclitaxel in the treatment of unresectable and metastatic melanoma. He also has recently brought forth, with Dr. Lynn Spitler, the combination therapy of Abraxane and Avastin now being adopted by numerous medical oncologists for the treatment of melanoma.
There are few physicians who can boast of as many years of research experience paired with impeccable service and dedication to excellence in patient care as Dr. Peter Boasberg.
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Cathie T. Chung, MD
Dr. Cathie Chung brings her expertise in novel biologic therapeutics and targeted agents to strengthen the Clinical Trial Program and the Breast Cancer Program at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute. Her research is focused on biological treatment manipulations that interfere with how a cancer develops and grows. Her work with the Breast and Women’s Cancers Program ensures that our patients benefit from state-of-the-art, paradigm-changing therapies that have progressed from the clinical laboratory to the bedside.
Dr. Chung’s resume reflects a career dedicated to the care and treatment of breast cancer patients. She held a similar position at The City of Hope Cancer Center and brings that momentum with her. She began her career in Medical Oncology at Stanford University after completing fellowship training there and continued her breast cancer work at USC/Norris Cancer Center. Adding to her expertise in clinical care is a PhD in Physiology obtained at the University of Illinois.
Dr. Chung has consistently been recognized by her peers for her dedication to breast cancer research and treatment. Always the first in the clinic and the last one to go home, she has received multiple awards for excellence as a teacher and mentor to physicians training for a career in medical oncology.
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Omid Hamid, MD
Chief, Translational Research and Immunotherapy
Director, Melanoma Therapeutics
As the Director of the Melanoma Center at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Dr. Omid Hamid works to ensure that patients receive access to the most up-to-date therapeutics, based on molecular pathways of melanoma progression. Most recently, in his role with the Phase 1 Developmental Therapeutics Program, Dr. Hamid has been instrumental in bringing new therapies from the investigational lab to the clinic for patient benefit. These therapies involve immunological therapies such as PD-1 inhibitors, therapies against tumor angiogenesis, and targeted agents that block internal processes in tumor cell’s function. These pathways change a normal cell into a cancerous one. Dr. Hamid’s research focus involves manipulation of a patient's immune system to attack cancer cells and maintain continuously elevated levels of immunity and discovery of novel therapies for melanoma and other cancers that have spread to the central nervous system (brain and spine), an area that is historically difficult to treat.
Dr. Hamid is recognized as a key opinion leader in melanoma therapeutics and treatment nationally and internationally. Through his role as the Chief of Immunotherapy and Translational Research patients at The Angeles Clinic have benefited from first in class, paradigm shifting drugs. Dr. Hamid was an investigator in the initial trials with Ipilimumab and Vemurafenib, both agents that led to significant survival benefits in the lives of our patients. Through his leadership the next phase of agents have been available to our patients. He has been a key investigator on combinations of BRAF/MEK inhibitors and novel immune therapy with PD-1 antibodies making them available for our patients.
Dr Hamid has presented research done at The Angeles Clinic at major national and international meetings including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Society for Melanoma Research, and many other key national and international meetings. He has published manuscripts, abstracts, and reviews on immunotherpy, targeted therapy, and melanoma care in prestigous journals such as the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Clinical Cancer Research.
Dr. Hamid realizes that true benefit rests on fostering innovative therapies directly to the clinical trial format, the most effective a quickest way to ensure patients can benefit through therapy. Through his role as the Chief of Clinical Research, Dr. Hamid oversees a program that ensures all types and stages of melanoma patients have opportunity to benefit from therapy.
Dr. Hamid's clinic research focus includes:
- Biomarker research
- Combination therapy for Melanoma
- Phase I therapeutics
- Brain metastasis and tumors
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David C. Khan, MD
Dr. David C. Khan is a board certified Radiation Oncologist with special interest in prostate, breast, lung, brain andcolorectal cancers. He has expertise in Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT), Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT), Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT), Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS), and High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy.
Dr. Khan received his undergraduate degree from Pomona College where he earned the distinction of being a Pomona Scholar. He received his medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University. He then completed his medical training at New York University and Bellevue Hospital, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious teaching hospitals.
Dr. Khan is an expert in prostate, breast and gynecologic brachytherapy. Dr. Khan was also one of the first physicians in Southern California to utilize the Calypso® 4D localization system which utilizes tiny electromagnetic transponders to accurately localize and track tumors both before and during treatment delivery.
In addition to his busy clinical practice, Dr. Khan has extensive clinical research experience. He has published on both prostate and breast brachytherapy. He is also an active investigator in the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG).
In recognition of his superior clinical acumen and compassionate bedside manner, Dr. Khan has been selected as one the Best Doctors in America since 2008.
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Daniel Lieber, MD
There are few physicians who have distinguished themselves through service to patient and community like Dr. Daniel Lieber. Those who know Dr. Lieber can attest to his warmth, compassion, and professionalism. They know that he enjoys getting to know each patient personally and works diligently to create an atmosphere of calm and caring for each patient. It was this desire to provide the best care that brought Dr. Lieber to The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute.
Dr. Lieber is a board-certified fellowship-trained medical oncologist and internal medicine physician. Dr. Lieber earned his medical degree at the University of California, Los Angeles where he was recognized as a Regents Scholar and won the Stafford Warren Medal for Academic Excellence. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center where he continues in his role as an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine training future oncologists.
Dr. Lieber is a lifelong learner with a passion for leading-edge cancer and hematologic disorder care. He consults daily with national and international oncologic thought leaders in order to ensure that his patients receive the most cutting edge treatments. His experience is in breast, ovarian, head and neck, and prostate cancers. Dr. Lieber was recently honored by the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles for his community involvement.
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Silvana Martino, DO
At The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Dr. Martino’s talent and caring personality touches the lives of those seeking expert care on a daily basis. For three decades she has devoted the majority of her career to fostering progress in breast cancer care whether in the preventative sciences, adjuvant care arena, or the setting of metastatic breast cancer.
Silvana Martino, DO, director of our Breast Cancer Program, is a well-known and highly respected board-certified oncologist. In addition to her practice and research responsibilities, Dr. Martino spends a significant amount of time educating the public about early breast cancer detection and breast cancer treatment options. She is the co-author of over 150 scientific publications and abstracts on breast cancer, lecturing throughout the nation on breast cancer-related topics.
Dr. Martino began her academic career at Wayne State University in Detroit where she served as the medical director of the Breast Cancer Prevention Program and chief of the Section of Breast Cancer for the Division of Hematology / Oncology. She joined the staff of the John Wayne Cancer Institute in 1999, a move which eventually brought her to The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute. Dr. Martino is also Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Martino's appointments are innumerable and highlighted by her previous role as Chairman of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) Breast Committee and her tenure as Chairman of the Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC), Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. Martino is a recipient of the Philips Medal of Public Service Award.
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Lawrence D. Piro, MD
Dr. Lawrence D. Piro is the President and CEO of The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute and he has achieved worldwide recognition for developing new cancer drugs and global fame for his unique brand of intellect, charm and disarming honesty with health issues. His hip take on health, TV-ready good looks and ease in front of the camera have made Dr. Piro a frequent guest on television shows such as Barbara Walters, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, the hit CBS show “The Doctors” and many others.
In addition to his fame as a television personality and his frequent appearances in print and radio, Dr. Piro has an extensive research background and experience in the health field. He is board certified in oncology and internal medicine. He received his medical degree from the Washington University School of Medicine and completed post-graduate training at Barnes Hospital and Washington University. Before joining The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, he served as head of the Division of Hematology and Oncology, the director of the Ida M. and Cecil H. Green Center and Executive Vice President at Scripps Clinic, San Diego, California. He is also a Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of Southern California. Dr. Piro also serves on the boards of the Peterson Museum and on the USC board of counselors.
Dr. Piro's medical career began with the study of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. His game-changing paper in the New England Journal of Medicine identified that the treatment of hairy-cell leukemia with a single course of Leustatin produced complete remission in 90 percent of patients and led to its FDA approval. His dedication to lymphoma research continued with work on pivotal trials on Rituxan, first monoclonal antibody to ever be approved for treatment of cancer, which revolutionized the treatment of low-grade lymphoma. The study demonstrated a higher response rate with 8 weekly doses of Rituxan and resulted in the FDA approval of the 8 weekly dose regimen. Recently, Dr. Piro has made great strides in linking obesity and cancer and his weight loss strategies are poised to make a huge impact in the health world.
Dr. Piro serves on regional and national committees on cancer, leukemia and lymphoma. His research most recently has been in the development of individualized cancer therapy including novel imaging techniques to identify targets susceptible to drug treatment and radio-immunotherapy.
As clinician, researcher, and lecturer, Dr. Piro is an internationally recognized expert in hematologic malignancies: leukemia and lymphoma. His resume relates a career dedicated to the discovery of novel therapeutics to combat these aggressive malignancies. Through his work, major advances have been made in the treatment of patients worldwide. Today, Dr. Piro lectures around the world on various topics in cancer and cancer research in addition to continuing a robust clinical practice.
Dr. Piro is known as the “Doctor Without a Lab Coat” because he forgoes a white lab coat for a hip suit and tie so that the medical experience of his patients is less threatening. He works to make patients feel relaxed so they can have open supportive conversations in their journey to recovery. To Dr. Piro, taking care of patients is not about “treating,” it’s about “healing” which involves many factors beyond science and medicine. An honest, open and focused connection between doctor and patient is, to Dr. Piro, essential to good health and this philosophy informs his treatment of individuals as entire beings, not just a collection of symptoms.
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Daniel Schiffner, MD
Dr. Daniel Schiffner is the Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute and a board-certified radiation oncologist with broad clinical experience in treating cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, central nervous system, gastrointestinal system, gynecologic system, and head and neck region.
Dr. Schiffner has developed expertise in the most advanced technologies in the field of radiation oncology, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy, and permanent seed prostate brachytherapy.
Dr. Schiffner received his undergraduate education at Duke University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He attended medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where he was awarded the Roy W. Howard Fellowship in Radiation Oncology. He completed his residency training in radiation oncology at the University of California, Irvine as part of an integrated training program with City of Hope National Medical Center. Dr. Schiffner has also received focused clinical training at the Seattle Prostate Institute in permanent seed prostate brachytherapy and at the University of Pittsburgh in Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery. Dr. Schiffner is affiliated with the Department of Radiation Oncology at UC Irvine, where he remains involved in educating residents.
Dr. Schiffner has produced award-winning research projects that have been published and presented nationally and internationally. In recognition of his achievements, he was awarded the prestigious Roentgen Research Award. He remains involved in clinical research as an investigator for clinical trials sponsored by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG).
As a radiation oncologist at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Dr. Schiffner is dedicated to delivering compassionate, personalized, evidence-based, and cutting-edge cancer care to the patients that he serves.
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Melani Shaum, MD
Dr. Melani Shaum is the director of the Gastrointestinal Tumor Program at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute. Through this role, Dr. Shaum is instrumental in broadening access to clinical trial and research programs in gastrointestinal cancer for our patients. On a daily basis, she takes her commitment to gastrointestinal cancer research one step further by examining how research results translate into meaningful improvements in our patients’ lives.
Dr. Shaum received her medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Shaum completed a fellowship in Hematology / Oncology at UCLA, where she was named Chief Resident in medicine. During her distinguished career, Dr. Shaum has served as the director of clinical hematology and oncology at Cedars-Sinai and as clinical faculty at the City of Hope Cancer Center.
Dr. Shaum is entirely devoted to patient care. Her warmth, compassion, and commitment are features that have made her beloved by her patients. Dr. Shaum has been an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCLA Medical School since 1987. She has had the honor of being listed in The Best Doctors in America from 1996 to the present and was listed in The Essential Guide to L.A.'s Best Doctors. It was this devotion that led to the dedication of the new Medical Oncology and Surgical Oncology Units at Saint John's Health Center in her honor.
She manages a wide variety of cases with special interests in breast and women’s cancers and has become one of the most important local consultants in this field. This expertise has led to important focus on women’s issues in colorectal cancer therapy. By joining The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, she has fulfilled her core desire to bring this expertise to the greater Los Angeles community.
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