Medical Advisory Board

The Medical Advisory Board of the WES Foundation has been established to provide counsel and direction to the Foundation’s research efforts. It is a role that we see as being pivotal in maintaining the focus with which the Foundation was created. A cure or cures for leukemia are closer now than ever in history. It is only through research and the funding it requires that those cures can be identified. The Medical Advisory Board will determine the most relevant, productive and promising research initiatives that, in their opinion, can most benefit from the funding the Foundation will be able to provide annually and provide the direction for distribution of those funds. WES is indebted to them and appreciative of their dedication to the cause and their willingness to serve in this capacity.

We feel very blessed to have individuals of their character providing us the direction we seek. We appreciate their expertise, their counsel, their generosity and their dedication in assisting us with finding the cure that will assure a day when everyone survives.

Meet our Medical Advisory Board 

Chairman: Edmund K. Waller, MD, PhD, FACP
Edmund K. WallerDr. Waller received his MD and PhD degrees from the Cornell Rockefeller program at Cornell University and his clinical training in Oncology from Stanford University Hospital. He has been on the Emory University School of Medicine faculty for the past 22 years serving as a Professor and has served as Medical Director of the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Center since 1999. Additionally, he served as the first Medical Director for Clinical Trials at the Winship Cancer Institute (2005-2009) and then served as the Associate Director of Clinical Research of the Winshape Cancer Institute for an additional three years, through 2012. His research interests are in optimizing the graft-versus-leukemia effect of allogeneic transplantation and in optimizing the safety of the transplant maneuver. He has an active basic science research laboratory and is active in enrolling patients on clinical trials that investigate new therapies for patients with leukemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma. He sees patients with leukemia, MDS, lymphoma and myeloma who are considering autologous or allogeneic transplantation in the management of their disease or patients who are candidates for clinical trials that investigate new therapies for these diseases.

Amelia Langston, MD
Amelia Langston
Dr. Langston has been a member of the Emory faculty since 1998, and is currently an Associate Professor of Hematology/Oncology. She graduated from Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, did her Internal Medicine residency training at Duke University Medical Center and fellowship training at the University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Langston is the Medical Director and Section Chief of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program, and she is also an active researcher in the Leukemia Program with a primary interest in acute myelogenous leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. Her other research interests include novel approaches for allogeneic transplantation, prevention and therapy of graft-versus-host disease, and prevention and management of opportunistic infections in immunocompromised patients.

Leon Bernal-Mizrachi, MD
bernal-mizrachi_leon.jpgDr. Bernal-Mizrachi is an instructor of Hematology and Oncology in the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University. Dr Bernal-Mizrachi's medical degree was obtained at the Valle University in Colombia, and his clinical Hematology/Oncology training was obtained at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. His postdoctoral training in molecular oncology was obtained at Washington University (Lee Ratner's Laboratory). Dr Bernal-Mizrachi's clinical and research interests focus on lymphomas and leukemias. His laboratory studies the molecular mechanism by which NF-kB produces lymphomagenesis, focusing on protein interactions and the identification of NF-kB dependent genes that contribute to pathophysiologic lymphoid formation. Dr.Bernal-Mizrachi's laboratory team includes Qyung Yang, MD and Joan Cain, MD. For further information and publication record: http://www.pharm.emory.edu/hfu/researchbernal.htm

Zaid Al-kadhimi, MD
Dr._Zaid_Al-kadhimi_100x125_pixels.jpgDr. Zaid Al-Kadhimi is an Assistant Professor at the Winship Cancer Institute, recruited from Karmonos Cancer Center in Detroit this past fall. His research focuses on developing immunologic applications to prevent graft versus host disease and enhance anti-tumor immune responses in patients with hematologic malignancies. He has expertise in  developing  pre-clinical models of transplant and tumor immunology, and using results from these models to develop clinical protocols aimed at the prevention of graft versus host disease in various settings of allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant. His ultimate goal is to reduce transplant related mortality and improve survival.  To date, Dr. Al-Kadhimi has directed five investigator initiated therapeutic protocols and he has received various research funding including one NIH award (K12 physician scientist award), one Lymphoma Research Foundation grant, one local institutional grant and four pharmaceutical grants to support clinical trials. He is certainly well qualified to review translational research grant applications, and he bring a very interesting perspective in allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Sharon Castellino, MD
Castellino-Sharon.pngSharon Castellino, MD MSc is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University and the director of the Leukemia/Lymphoma program at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Dr. Castellino received her medical degree and oncology fellowship training at Duke University Medical Center, and her pediatric training at the Children’s Hospital , Boston, MA.  Her research interests include Hodgkin Lymphoma and her research is focused on understanding cardiovascular late effects in childhood cancer survivors. She is an active member of the Children’s Oncology Group and is the current study chair for their frontline study for advanced Hodgkin lymphoma.