Director of Thoracic Oncology and Associate Director of Phase 1 Immune-Oncology Program
Dr. Ani Balmanoukian leads the Lung Cancer Clinical Program at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute. Her clinical areas of research include novel targeted agents, immunotherapeutics, and early drug development. Her extensive experience and expertise has enhanced our patients' experience in the Phase One Program ensuring that throughout her time here our patients have been able to benefit first from major breakthroughs in recent cancer research. Dr. Balmanoukian has led the charge in Immuno-Oncology for Lung Cancers. These include work with PD-1, PD-L1 and CTLA-4 antibodies.
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. She subsequently completed fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Balmanoukian is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology.
Dr. Balmanoukian has presented data at prestigious medical meetings, and has had publications in New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet Oncology, and Journal 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.
Director of Gastrointestinal Oncology and Molecular Precision Programs
Dr. Chiu is a board-certified medical oncologist who leads the Gastrointestinal Oncology and Molecular Precision Programs at The Angeles Clinic & Research Institute. His education included Bachelor of Science double-majors at UCLA, combined MD/PhD degrees in the Medical Scientist Training Program at New York University, internal medicine residency at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and Hematology/Oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
As a clinician scientist, Dr. Chiu has served as Principal Investigator on phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials and has made seminal research discoveries that have transformed clinical treatments. His translational and clinical research findings included: 1) the creation of GFP-RAS binding domain, the first in vivofluorescence reporter of active RAS signaling, 2) KRAS-mediated activation of tumorigenic cytokines and an embryonic stem cell-like program in colorectal cancer, 3) the post-translational modifications of RAS, 4molecular precision targeting of oncogene-driven GI cancers and 5) tumor immune resistance mechanisms to enhance immunotherapy efficacy. He has presented original research at major international meetings including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and has published in prestigious journals such as Nature Cell Biology, Journal of Immunology and Cell.
Dr. Chiu prioritizes the integration of clinical and scientific knowledge to advance and optimize oncologic care and outcome in gastrointestinal cancers.
Dr. Chiu will be seeing patients at The Angeles Clinic & Research Institutes West Los Angeles location located at 11800 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025. To refer a patient or schedule an appointment with Dr. Chiu please call (310) 231-2176.
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.
Head of Surgical Oncology
Co-Director, Melanoma Program
Dr. Mark Faries attended Cornell University Medical College, did both his internship and residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and completed his fellowship at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. Dr. Faries has also served as an associate professor at the Yale School of Medicine.
Dr. Faries specializes in melanoma and cutaneous oncology. He leads several clinical trials, including the Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy (II) trial, which includes thousands of patients throughout the world. Results of this trial were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Faries also is a member of the AJCC Melanoma Staging Committee, the American Society of Clinical Oncology Guidelines Committee for Melanoma and is on the Editorial Board of the Annals of Surgical Oncology.
Dr. Faries has overseen clinical trials that have included over 6,000 patients and has been awarded substantial research funding by the National Cancer Institute. He was the first surgeon in California to perform minimally invasive inguinal lymph node dissections. He established a Food and Drug Administration - certified cellular immunotherapy lab, and has published over 150 manuscripts, abstracts and book chapters. He has given invited lectures in nine countries on three continents.
In addition to his role at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Dr. Faries will serve as the Associate Director of Surgical Oncology Experimental Therapeutics, Cedars Sinai Department of Surgery at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Dr. Leland Foshag is a general surgical oncologist with a broad expertise and extensive experience in a career spanning over 45 years. He participates in several ongoing clinical trials in melanoma and other tumors. He is a member of the Society of Surgical Oncology and is Interim Program Director of the John Wayne Cancer Institute Surgical Oncology Fellowship.
Dr. Foshag received his medical degree from the Ohio State University College of medicine and completed his residency at the West Virginia University where he was also Chief Resident – Surgery. Dr. Foshag has served on the faculty of both USC and UCLA in addition to his faculty position at the John Wayne Cancer Center.
Dr. Foshag has been a longtime fixture on the West Side with a busy schedule having practiced at many of the hospitals in the area. In addition, Dr. Foshag has also served as principal investigator on various clinical trials.
Dr. Rodolfo Gutierrez joined The Angeles Clinic after having completed his Fellowship in the joint UCLA/Cedars-Sinai program. Dr. Gutierrez completed his residency in internal medicine in the UCLA Olive-View program after receiving his medical degree at the UC Davis School of Medicine and his B.S in biology at UC Irvine. Dr. Gutierrez has had experience in both NIH and industry-sponsored research and has been active in studying disparities in access to medical care. He will be focusing on hematologic malignancies and upper aerodigestive malignancies.
Dr. Rodolfo Gutierrez started his career at The Angeles Clinic immediately after completing hematology-oncology fellowship at UCLA-Olive View Program where he also completed his residency in internal medicine. Dr. Gutierrez joined The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute with a focus in lung malignancies and lymphoma.
While completing his medical education at the University of California Davis School of Medicine, Dr. Gutierrez worked tirelessly to provide quality care to underserved communities through his work as Co-Director at Clinica Tepati. He has also completed a research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Mexico City he investigated both therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines against cervical cancer and HPV.
In his practice, Dr. Gutierrez takes a patient-centered approach in treating cancer with the understanding of the latest in cancer therapeutics. He prides himself in working with patients and their families to optimize individualized care.
Chief, Translational Research and Immunotherapy
Director, Melanoma Therapeutics
As the Director of the Melanoma Center and Phase I Immuno-Oncology Program at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Dr. Omid Hamid works to ensure that patients receive access to the most up-to-date therapeutics. 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 Immuno-Oncologic therapies such as PD-1 inhibitors (Keytruda, Nivolumab, Atezolizumab) and other checkpoint inhibitors, therapies against tumor angiogenesis, and targeted agents that block internal processes in tumor cell’s function (braf,mek). 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. His research began in melanoma and has now extended into paradigm shifting trials for all cancers.
Dr. Hamid is recognized nationally and internationally as a key opinion leader in Immuno-Oncologic Drug Development and Melanoma Therapeutics. 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, Pembrolizumab, Nivolumab, Atazolizumab and Vemurafenib, agents that led to significant survival benefits in the lives of our patients. Through his leadership the next phase of agents have become available to our patients. He has been a key investigator on combinations of BRAF/MEK inhibitors and novel immune therapy with PD-1 antibodies and continues to be at the forefront of drug development. His current work focuses on Next-Generation Checkpoint Inhibitors including anti-OX40, 41BB, GITR antibodies with a focus on bringing T-cell adoptive therapies and bispecific antibodies to our program.
Dr. Hamid has presented research done at The Angeles Clinic at major national and international meetings including the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Society for Melanoma Research, and many other key national and international meetings. He has published manuscripts, abstracts, and reviews on immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and melanoma care in prestigious journals such as the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Clinical Cancer Research.
Dr. Hamid's clinical research focus includes:
- Biomarker research
- Personalized therapy
- Combination therapy for Melanoma and Solid Tumors
- Phase I therapeutics
- Brain metastasis and tumors
Dr. Hurst has recently joined the Division of Surgical Oncology at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai, one of the leading academic medical institutions in the country.
Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, his passion is educating and empowering underrepresented and represented communities alike on cancer awareness and prevention to allow them access to state of-the-art cancer care without leaving their community. His general surgical training was completed at Martin Luther King/Drew Medical Center as the Executive Chief Resident, followed by a surgical oncology fellowship training under Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda Maryland, where his research efforts were concentrated in tumor immunology analyzing TCRbV usage in response to tumor vaccines for melanoma using competitive PCR to quantitate the frequency of TCR subfamilies in PBMC.
As a surgical oncologist he specializes in breast cancer, gastric cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, thyroid cancer, retroperitoneal sarcoma, colorectal cancer and benign processes such as diverticular disease. As a board-certified general surgeon, he is skillfully trained in robotic surgery with extensive experience in robotic gastrointestinal surgeries, ventral and inguinal hernias. He is currently serving as the Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Cedar-Sinai Marina Del Rey while also holding privileges at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Marina Del Rey, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Surgery Center of the Pacific.
Dr. William Hutchinson is a well-respected physician in the West Side medical community for many years and we are excited to have him recently join The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute. Dr. Hutchinson received his medical degree from McGill University and had multiple residencies after obtaining his medical degree. He is a very experienced general surgeon has developed a well-respected expertise in hernia repair. He is the director of the Hernia Center at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute.
Dr. Inderjit Mehmi is one of the newest physicians at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, his areas of clinical expertise include all aspects of Medical Oncology with a focus in Melanoma, Merkel Cell Carcinoma and clinical trials. Dr. Mehmi earned his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine. He then went on to complete his residency at West Virginia University Hospitals and his fellowship in Medical Oncology at Marshall University. After finishing his fellowship, Dr. Mehmi gained comprehensive experience in clinical research in melanoma and breast cancer at WVU Cancer Institute of West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV.
Dr. Mehmi has come to us from City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center where he practiced as Assistant Clinical Professor in Medical Oncology. Most recently, he has coauthored research abstracts for the American Society Medical Oncology, European Society Medical Oncology and the American Association for Cancer Research. Additionally, Dr. Mehmi serves as a board member of NCI-CIRB late phase edition established to ensure safety of patients participating in clinical trials.
Dr. Mehmi will be seeing patients at The Angeles Clinic & Research Institutes West Los Angeles location located at 11800 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025. To refer a patient or schedule an appointment with Dr. Mehmi please call (310) 231-2176.
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.
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.
Dr. Kristopher Wentzel completed his Fellowship at the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and his Residency at the USC School of Medicine. Dr. Wentzel received his medical degree from the University of Miami after receiving a masters in molecular medicine and a bachelors in biomedical science from the University of South Florida. Dr. Wentzel has also participated in research activities throughout his medical training and will be focusing on gastro and urinary tumors.
Dr. Kristopher Wentzel leads the Genitourinary Cancer Clinical Program at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute. His clinical areas of research include immunotherapeutics and novel targeted therapies in the treatment of kidney, bladder and prostate cancer. Dr. Wentzel has a multidisciplinary team of surgeons and radiation oncologists investigating paradigm shifting approaches towards bladder preservation ipatients with newly diagnosed muscle invasive bladder cancer.
Dr. Wentzel earned a master’s degree in Biochemistry with a focus in enzyme kinetics from the University of South Florida. He then went on to become a high school chemistry teacher before earning his medical degree from The University of Miami. Dr. Wentzel then completed a residency in internal medicine at The University of Southern California and subsequently completed a fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at USC’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. During his fellowship training Dr. Wentzel participated in clinical and translational research with a focus on the capture and characterization of circulating tumor cells in metastatic prostate cancer.