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Bio Ascend, a Vaniam Group Company, Holds Second Class of Next Wave Forum for Young Investigators in Thoracic Oncology™

Eighteen early-career clinical investigators to receive year-long mentorship through professional development program led by international thought leaders
The Academy of Next Wave of Investigators logo

ATLANTA, GA, June 10, 2024 — Bio Ascend, Vaniam Group’s medical education company, recently convened its Academy of Next Wave of Investigators. These young clinical investigators will all receive a year-long opportunity to engage in live and virtual career development seminars with international thought leaders caring for patients with lung cancer.

“These already-accomplished, early-career investigators will receive invaluable guidance from the Next Wave faculty, springboarding their continued success toward becoming the next generation of leaders in the field of thoracic oncology,” said Kraig Steubing, Head of Bio Ascend and Senior Vice President of Strategic Engagement at Vaniam Group. “We are honored to partner with our distinguished faculty in providing the investigators with intensive mentorship across a wide range of topics—spanning research, grant applications, presentation skills, career development, and leadership—to ensure patients diagnosed with lung cancer receive expert care now, and for decades to come.”

The 2024-2025 class convened for a 2-day conference on May 10th and 11th in Atlanta, where the esteemed faculty shared lessons on how the inaugural class can enhance their research and expand their impact on the future of patient care. Following this meeting, the early-career investigators will meet regularly with their assigned mentors, and the entire class will reconvene at a networking reception at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in 2025.

 “The Next Wave Forum kickoff meeting provided an opportunity to meet with colleagues and mentors from around the country, hone presentation skills, and get feedback on our ideas from seasoned investigators. I’m excited for the year ahead working with and learning from this wonderful group,” said Dr. Susan Scott, a Next Wave young investigator and Assistant Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The Academy’s faculty of accomplished thought leaders, who also serve as mentors for the Next Wave of Investigators throughout 2024-2025, include:

  • (Co-Chair) Julie Brahmer, MD, MSc, Marilyn Meyerhoff Professor in Thoracic Oncology, Director, Thoracic Oncology Program, Codirector, Cancer Immunology Program, Codirector, Upper Aerodigestive Department, Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University Medicine
  • (Co-Chair) Suresh Ramalingam, MD, FACP, FASCO, Professor, Roberto C. Goizueta Distinguished Chair for Cancer Research, Department of Hematology/Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, Assistant Vice President for Cancer, Woodruff Health Sciences Center, Executive Director, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • Tina Cascone, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Shirish Gadgeel, MD, Professor, Head, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Associate Director, Patient Experience and Clinical Care, Department of Internal Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • Ramaswamy Govindan, MD, Professor, Anheuser Busch Endowed Chair in Medical Oncology, Director, Section of Medical Oncology, Associate Chief, Division of Oncology, Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
  • Nasser Hanna, MD, Tom and Julie Wood Family Foundation Professor of Lung Cancer Clinical Research, Associate Director, Division of Medical Oncology, Consultant Hematologist and Medical Oncologist, Multi-D Oncology Clinic, Indiana University Health, Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Mark Kris, MD, Professor, Weill Cornell Medicine, William and Joy Ruane Chair in Thoracic Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Natasha Leighl, MD, MMSc, PhD, FRCP, FASCO, Professor, University of Toronto, Lung Site Lead, Consultant Thoracic Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
  • Rachel Sanborn, MD, Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology Program, Medical Director, Phase I Clinical Trials Program, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Providence Cancer Institute
  • Lecia Sequist, MD, MPH, Landry Family Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Program Director, Cancer Early Detection and Diagnostics Clinic, Consultant Thoracic Oncologist, Massachusetts General Hospital

The Next Wave young investigators, each nominated by their fellowship directors or thought leaders, include:

  • Fatemeh Ardeshir-Larijani, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • Christine Auberle, MD, Chief Clinical Research Fellow, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
  • Ayse Ece Cali Daylan, MD, PhD, Chief Hematology/Oncology Fellow, Montefiore Medical Center
  • Giordano Fabricio Cittolin-Santos, MD, PhD, Chief Hematology/Oncology Fellow, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
  • Alissa J. Cooper, MD, Assistant Attending Physician, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Colum Dennehy, MBBCh, MSc, Clinical Fellow, Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Nadia Ghazali, MBBS, Clinical Research Fellow, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
  • Radhika Gutta, DO, Clinical Fellow, Henry Ford Hospital
  • Sameena Khan, MBChB, MRes, PhD, MRCP, Clinical Research Fellow, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
  • June-Koo (Jake) Lee, MD, PhD, Clinical Fellow, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Koosha Paydary, MD, MPH, MSc, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Rush University Medical Center
  • Amanda Reyes, MD, MS, Clinical Research Fellow, City of Hope
  • Ivy Riano Monsalve, MD, Instructor of Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Chief Clinical Fellow, Dartmouth Cancer Center
  • Susan Scott, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Chetan Vakkalagadda, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University
  • Victoria E. Wang, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of California San Francisco Health
  • Yating Wang, MD, Clinical Instructor, Michigan State University School of Medicine
  • Urs Michael Weber, MD, Clinical Fellow, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Future classes of the Academy of Next Wave of Investigators are planned for young investigators specializing in hematologic malignancies, gynecologic cancers, and thoracic oncology.

About Bio Ascend

Part of Vaniam Group, Bio Ascend is an independent medical education company committed to supporting healthcare providers in their efforts to translate innovative science into clinical practice. The Bio Ascend team has deep oncology and hematology expertise with a proven ability to distill complex scientific ideas into their essential components, as well as extensive experience in planning, executing, and assessing meaningful education for clinicians. For more information, visit

About Vaniam Group

Vaniam Group is a people-first, purpose-driven, independent network of healthcare and scientific communications agencies committed to helping biopharmaceutical companies realize the full potential of their compounds across oncology, virology, and rare disease. Founded in 2007 as a virtual-by-design organization, Vaniam Group harnesses the talents and expertise of team members around the world. For more information, visit  



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