Meet the PCRC team
Effective treatment of pancreatic cancer involves a multidisciplinary approach. Our team includes Medical oncologists, surgeons, gastroenterologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and radiologists, who meet weekly to discuss cases, optimize treatments and discover cures.
Penn Pancreatic Cancer Research Center (PCRC) Leadership
Ben Z. Stanger, MD, PhD, is a Hanna Wise Professor of Cancer Research, and Professor of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an Investigator at the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. Dr. Stanger earned his SB in Life Sciences from MIT in 1988 and his MD/PhD from Harvard Medical School in 1997, where his graduate work concerned mechanisms of apoptosis. He then completed a residency in Internal Medicine at UCSF and a fellowship in Gastroenterology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, performing postdoctoral work on gastrointestinal development with Dr. Douglas Melton. In 2006, he moved to the University of Pennsylvania, where he turned his attention to gastrointestinal cancer and tissue regeneration. Dr. Stanger is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and is a former Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences.
Gregory L. Beatty, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and an Attending Physician at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Beatty graduated in 1995 from Bucknell University with a BS in Chemical Engineering. He then continued his studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a PhD in Immunology in 2000. After his graduate studies, he went on to complete his medical training and received an MD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. In 2012, he joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania as Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology and as a researcher in the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies. He has led multiple first-in human clinical studies with a clinical interest in GI malignancies including pancreas, esophageal and colon carcinomas. He is a member of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Board and serves as Chair of the PANCAN Precision Promise Immunotherapy Working Group.
Ursina R. Teitelbaum, MD, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at University of Pennsylvania and serves as Clinical Director of the Penn Pancreatic Cancer Research Cancer. She is a dedicated GI medical oncologist with special interest in treating pancreas adenocarcinoma, and she serves as Leader of the Pancreas Cancer Service Line at the Abramson Cancer Center. Dr Teitelbaum graduated from Duke University with double majors in History and German Literature. After graduating from University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1999, she completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at University of Chicago. She completed two fellowships in Medical Oncology and Geriatrics at University of Chicago as well as a dedicated Clinical Research Training Program in 2005. Dr. Teitelbaum has her certifications from the American Board of Internal Medicine in Medical Oncology, Geriatric Medicine, and Hospice & Palliative Medicine. She joined the faculty of University of Pennsylvania in 2007 and exclusively cares for patients with gastrointestinal malignancies. Her special interest is multidisciplinary care of pancreas cancer patients with focus on innovative clinical trials and excellent supportive care. Dr. Teitelbaum was recently elected to the Penn Medicine Academy of Master Clinicians, which honors Penn Medicine clinicians that exemplify the highest standards of clinical excellence, humanism, and professionalism.
Trish Gambino received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Trish has been an oncology nurse for the past 30 years, the last 15 years dedicated to gastrointestional malignancies, with a subspecialty in pancreatic cancer. She has been involved with the Oncology Nursing Society of Philadelphia, having held numerous leadership positions within that organization. Trish's goal, as a pancreatic nurse navigator, is to facilitate and coordinate all disciplines involved in your care, so that your experience at Penn is optimal.
Diann is a GI Oncology Nurse Navigator at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center. She joined the Patient and Family Services Team in September 2016 and quickly expanded her role to include GI – Outreach for the Colorectal Cancer Screening Program. As one of two GI Oncology Nurse Navigators, Diann has a focus on NET, colorectal cancers and cancers of the upper GI tract. Prior to joining Penn Medicine, she worked for the Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health System in New Jersey for 23 years as the Nurse Manager at the Frederick B. Cohen, MD Cancer Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark, NJ. One of her accomplishments there was the development and management of the cancer center’s patient navigation program that included navigators for Breast, Lung and GI Cancers as well as for Sickle Cell Disease. Diann earned a Diploma in Nursing from the Elizabeth General Medical Center School of Nursing, Elizabeth, New Jersey and a Bachelor of Nursing from Kean University, Union, New Jersey. She has dedicated her nursing career to Oncology Nursing and has maintained her oncology nursing certification for over 20 years. She loves working with her patients, educating them and their caregivers about their disease, treatments, and health maintenance.
As PCRC Program Manager, Karen Hoffer works with the leadership team to oversee the clinical research portfolio in the center. Karen has been working at the University of Pennsylvania over the past 15 years as a Research Project Manager, previously at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) and the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders (CWED), managing medication adherence studies and pediatric and adult obesity prevention and treatment studies. Karen received her B.S. in Health, Physical Education, and Sports Management from The Pennsylvania State University and personal trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine.
Pancreatic Cancer "SWAT" Team
Dr. Ben-Josef is a Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania with internationally-recognized expertise in gastrointestinal cancer. His research interest is focused on pancreatic and hepatobiliary cancer. He serves as vice-chair of the department for translational research and he has extensive background in the design and conduct of clinical trials. Dr. Ben-Josef has been involved in clinical and translational research for the past 20 years. He served as principal investigator on multiple institutional trials as well as on a number of national collaborative group trials, including RTOG 1201 and SWOG 0809. He was a co-chair of the hepatobiliary subcommittee in SWOG and a member of the NCI hepatobiliary task Force. He served as the chairman of the University of Michigan Cancer Center Protocol Review Committee and as a member of the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Counselors and in that capacity has reviewed the NCI intramural programs.
Dr. Furth is a Full Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine with joint appointments in the Department of Medicine and the School of Dentistry. After obtaining her Medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1984, Dr. Furth completed an Internal Medicine Internship at Rush Presbyterian/St. Lukes Hospital in Chicago until 1985. She went on to become an Anatomic/Clinical Pathology Resident here at Penn in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine until she joined the Penn faculty in 1990. She serves as Director of the Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology and Surgical Pathology Fellowship Programs. Dr. Furth is Associate Director of the section of Surgical Pathology. Dr. Furth has published in peer reviewed journals in the areas of GI and Liver diseases. She has published many articles in conjunction with both basic scientist and clinicians in the field of hepatology. She is a National expert in this field with numerous invited lectureships. Dr. Furth has served as a Pathology Core Leader for previous NIH funded program projects. She currently is part of a funded research program directing and leading the quantitative assessment of cellular immunity in human pancreatic cancer. She utilizes quantitative modalities including high order computer image analysis for these studies.
Gregory G. Ginsberg, MD is Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine where he is a member of the Gastroenterology Division, and the Abramson Cancer Center. His clinical practice and research focuses on the development, evaluation, and implementation of new techniques and technologies as they apply to endoluminal diagnosis and management of digestive tract and related disorders with an emphasis on gastrointestinal malignancy. This work was recognized with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s 2004 Luigi Mastroianni, Jr., Clinical Innovator Award of Excellence and its 2018 Louis Duhring Outstanding Clinical Specialist Award. He has been Director of Endoscopic Services at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania since 1995 and is the Executive Director of Endoscopic Services for Penn Medicine. He was President of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) 2011-2012 and recipient of the 2019 Rudolph V. Schindler Award, ASGE’s highest honor.
Peter O’Dwyer, MD, is a Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Presbyterian Medical Center of Philadelphia. Dr. O’Dwyer received his MD from The University of Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, in 1975. He was a Resident in Pediatrics from Waterbury Hospital, Waterbury, Connecticut (1976-1979), and a Resident in Internal Medicine, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland (1979-1981). He went on to a Fellowship in Oncology at The Baltimore Cancer Research Cancer, University of Maryland Hospital. Dr. O’Dwyer is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians, and a member of the American Boards of Pediatrics, American Boards of Internal Medicine, and Subspecialty Boards in Medical Oncology.
Dr. O'Hara is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor of Biology in Molecular Genetics from the University of Rochester in 2004. He went on to obtain his MD in Medicine from the Stony Brook School of Medicine in 2008. Dr. O'Hara is leading several clinical trials at the PCRC to treat Pancreatic Cancer.
Kim A. Reiss Binder, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a dedicated GI medical oncologist and clinical/translational researcher with a specific interest in inherited forms of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Dr. Reiss Binder graduated from Colby College with a major in Psychology. After graduating from the Pennsylvania State University Medical School in 2008, Dr. Reiss Binder completed her internal medicine internship, residency and medical oncology fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. She served as Chief Fellow in her fellowship program from 2014-2015. In 2015, she joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania as Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, with a clinical research focus in BRCA-associated pancreatic adenocarcinoma. She is leading several clinical trials aimed at improving the therapeutic options for this group of patients. Dr. Reiss Binder is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology.
Deepak Sudheendra, MD, RPVI (aka Dr. Sudi), is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiology & Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating from Case Western Reserve University in 1996, he received his MD from New York Medical College in 2001. He then completed nearly a full general surgery residency at the Washington Hospital Center/Georgetown University before changing his field to Vascular Interventional Radiology (VIR). He went on to complete a Diagnostic Radiology residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center followed by a fellowship in VIR at the George Washington University Medical Center under the direction of Dr. Anthony C. Venbrux. He is Board Certified in Diagnostic Radiology and Interventional Radiology and has additional certification as a Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI). He joined the faculty of Penn in 2011 and maintains a busy clinical practice that focuses on minimally invasive image-guided treatments for cancer, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), varicose veins, and peripheral vascular disease.
Dr. Charles Vollmer received his MD degree in 1994 from Jefferson Medical College in his hometown of Philadelphia. From there he received general surgical training at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital program at the Washington University of St. Louis. Dr. Vollmer became the Director of Pancreatic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 after initiating his career at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston where he served as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Now, as a Professor of Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine, he specializes in Pancreaticobiliary and other complex gastrointestinal surgery with a research focus in clinical outcomes assessment in high-acuity surgery. He is active in multiple international, national and regional surgical societies where he has served in various leadership positions. After serving in the capacities of Membership Chairman, Program Chairman, and Treasurer, he now serves as President-Elect of the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (AHPBA) – the leading society of HPB surgeons in the world. His current practice at Penn encompasses both malignant and benign conditions of the pancreas and biliary system with a strong emphasis in care of pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis. As Co-Director of the Penn Pancreatic Cyst Program – a coordinated multidisciplinary center for managing patients who have pancreatic cysts - he provides comprehensive care for patients with pancreatic cystic lesions (including IPMN), and also provides education and screening for patients who are at high risk for developing pancreatic cancer.
Nuzhat Ahmad, MD
Gregory G. Ginsberg, MD
Bryson Katona, MD, PhD
Michael L. Kochman, MD
Peter O’Dwyer, MD
Mark O’Hara, MD
Kim A. Reiss Binder, MD
Charles J. Schneider, MD, FACP
Ursina R. Teitelbaum, MD
Thomas Karasic, MD
Nevena Damjanov, MD
Jennifer M. Eads, MD
Edgar Ben-Josef, MD
John N. Lukens, MD
James Metz, MD
John P. Plastaras, MD
Ronald P. DeMatteo, MD, FACS
Douglas L. Fraker, MD
Major Kenneth Lee, IV, MD, PhD
Charles M. Vollmer, MD
Michael C. Soulen, MD
Deepak Sudheendra, MD, RPVI