Radiation Oncology Residents

PGY-5

Yazan Abuodeh, MDYazan Abuodeh, MD
Yazan Abuodeh was born and raised in Jordan. He completed his medical school at the University of Jordan and radiation oncology residency at King Hussein Cancer Center in Amman before moving with his family to Tampa

Why I chose this residency program: The program provides diverse cases of all types and we have the opportunity to learn and be mentored by national and international leaders in our field, using the latest technologies and equipment. The program also strongly emphasizes research and it provides innumerable research opportunities in every field. 

The city is one of the best in which to raise a family - numerous amenities, good schools, and a lot of attractions, and the program is family friendly and has been always supportive.

Research:

  1. Yazan Abuodeh, Arash O. Naghavi, Michelle Echevarria, MaryLou DeMarco, Brian Tonner, Vladimir Feygelman, Craig W Stevens, Bradford A Perez, Thomas J Dilling. Quantitatively Excessive Normal Tissue Toxicity and Poor Target coverage in the PORT Meta-Analysis (MA): A Dosimetric Study. Accepted for publication Clinical Lung Cancer June 2017.
  2. Abuodeh, Y. A., Naghavi, A. O., Juan, T. H., Ma, Z. and Wilder, R. B., Quality of Life after post-prostatectomy intensity modulated radiation therapy to the prostate bed with or without the use of gold fiducial markers for image guidance or higher total radiotherapy doses, Int Braz J Urol, 2017, 43.
  3. Abuodeh, Y., Ahmed, K., Echevarria, M., Naghavi, A., Grass, G. D., Robinson, T. J., Tomblyn, M., et al., Priming radioimmunotherapy with external beam radiation in patients with relapsed low grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Therapeutic Advances in Hematology, 2017, 8(4):129-138.
  4. Abuodeh, Y., Naghavi, A. O., Ahmed, K. A., Venkat, P. S., Kim, Y., Kis, B., Choi, J., et al., Prognostic value of pre-treatment F-18-FDG PET-CT in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma undergoing radioembolization, World J Gastroenterol, 2016, 22(47):10406-10414.
  5. Abuodeh, Y., Ahmed, K. A., Naghavi, A. O., Venkat, P. S., Sarangkasiri, S., Johnstone, P. A., Etame, A. B., et al., Postoperative Stereotactic Radiosurgery Using 5-Gy x 5 Sessions in the Management of Brain Metastases, World Neurosurg, 2016, 90:58-65.

 

PGY-4

Michelle Echevarria, MDMichelle Echevarria, MD
Michelle Echevarria was born and grew up in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.  She attended University of South Florida in Tampa, FL where she majored in microbiology and obtained a Master’s degree in molecular medicine. She went to medical school at Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico and completed her internship in internal medicine at the VA in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her current research interests include global disparities in cancer care. She is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and in her free time she enjoys taking boxing classes. She also enjoys traveling, hiking, and going to the beach.

Why I chose this residency program: I chose Moffitt for my residency because it provides the perfect balance between research and clinical practice.  Because Moffitt Cancer Center is only NCI designated cancer center based in the Florida, we are exposed to a diverse patient population and an incredible depth of different pathologies giving residents the opportunity to learn how to manage both rare and more common cases.  As I medical student I was able to rotate at Moffitt and interact with great radiation oncologists that offered an amplitude of research opportunities.

Research:

  1. Echevarria MI, Naghavi AO, Venkat PS, et al: The impact of body mass index on dosimetric quality in low-dose-rate prostate brachytherapy. J Contemp Brachytherapy 8:386-390, 2016
  2. Echevarria MI, Naghavi AO, Abuodeh YA, et al: Low-dose-rate Brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer in Low-resource Settings. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 99:378-382, 2017
  3. Naghavi AO, Echevarria MI, Grass GD, et al: Having Medicaid insurance negatively impacts outcomes in patients with head and neck malignancies. Cancer, 2016
  4. Naghavi AO, Echevarria MI, Strom TJ, et al: Treatment delays, race, and outcomes in head and neck cancer. Cancer Epidemiol 45:18-25, 2016
  5. Ahmed KA, Abuodeh YA, Echevarria MI, et al: Clinical outcomes of melanoma brain metastases treated with stereotactic radiosurgery and anti-PD-1 therapy, anti-CTLA-4 therapy, BRAF/MEK inhibitors, BRAF inhibitor, or conventional chemotherapy. Ann Oncol 27:2288-2294, 2016
  6. Abuodeh Y, Ahmed K, Echevarria MI, et al: Priming radioimmunotherapy with external beam radiation in patients with relapsed low grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Ther Adv Hematol 8:129-138, 2017

 

G. Daniel Grass, MD, PhDG. Daniel Grass, MD, PhD
Daniel was born in Bethesda, Maryland and relocated several times during his childhood due to his father serving in the military. He went to college at Charleston Southern University, majoring in Biochemistry. He went on to complete his MD/PhD at the Medical University of South Carolina in the NIH-designated medical scientist training program. His graduate work focused on the interplay between the extracellular matrix and breast cancer invasion and metabolism in the laboratory of Bryan Toole. He then completed a medical intern year at Greenville Health System before starting his residency at Moffitt.  Outside of medicine, he enjoys spending time with his wife, reading and playing guitar.

Why I chose this residency program: I chose Moffitt/USF for my residency training as I wanted to learn to become a radiation oncologist at an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Moffitt has a large volume of patients, a focused multidisciplinary approach to patient care and very strong research infrastructure. The latter was very important to me as I desired to pursue the Holman Pathway during my training. The faculty that I interacted with seemed eager to teach and provide mentorship for research endeavors. Additionally, living in Tampa never has a dull moment and you can’t beat the weather.   

Research:

  1. Yuan Z, Fromm A, Ahmed KA, Grass GD, Yang GQ, Oliver DE, Dilling TJ, Antonia SJ, Perez BA. Radiotherapy rescue of a nivolumab-refractory immune response in a patient with PD-L1 negative metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. J Thorac Oncol. 2017, S1556-0864(17)30363-5.
  2. Abuodeh, Y., Ahmed, K., Echevarria, M., Naghavi, A., Grass, G.D., Robinson, T. J., Tomblyn, M., et al., Priming radioimmunotherapy with external beam radiation in patients with relapsed low grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Therapeutic Advances in Hematology, 2017, 8(4):129-138.
  3. Naghavi AO, Echevarria MI, Grass GD, et al: Having Medicaid insurance negatively impacts outcomes in patients with head and neck malignancies. Cancer, 2016, epub ahead of print
  4. Grass GD, Krishna N, Kim S. The immune mechanisms of abscopal effect in radiation therapy. Curr Prob Cancer 40(1): 10-24, 2016.
  5. Grass GD, Tolliver LB, Bratoeva M, Toole BP. CD147, CD44, and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway cooperate to regulate breast epithelial cell invasiveness. J Biol Chem. 2013 Sep 6;288(36):26089-104.
  6. Grass GD, Bratoeva M, Toole BP. Regulation of invadopodia formation and activity by CD147. J Cell Sci. 2012 Feb 1;125(Pt 3):777-88.

PGY-3

Daniel Oliver, MDDaniel (Donny) Oliver, MD
Prior to studying medicine at Emory University, Daniel (Donny) Oliver was a professional cellist. During this time, he performed throughout the U.S., toured with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and served on the cello faculty of Emory University and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. His undergraduate studies were at Rice University and Northwestern University, with graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He enjoys long distance running and dog sledding.

Why I chose this residency program: I came to Moffitt/USF for the depth of clinical training under renowned faculty. I found the multidisciplinary setting at a comprehensive cancer center ideal for well-rounded oncologic training. I have a particular interest in cutaneous malignancies; at Moffitt, there is ample research opportunity, support, and mentorship. Also, Davis Island has a beach for dogs!

Research:

  1. Oliver, D.E., Patel, K.R., Parker D., Delman, K., Lawson, D., Kudchadkar, R., Khan, M.K. The Emerging Role of Radiotherapy for Desmoplastic Melanoma and Implications for Future Research. Melanoma Research. 2015 Apr;25(2):95-102.
  2. Oliver, D.E., Patel, K.R., Switchenko, J., Parker, D., Lawson, D., Delman, K., Kudchadkar, R., Khan, M.K. Roles of adjuvant and salvage radiotherapy for desmoplastic melanoma. Melanoma Research. 2016 Feb;26(1):35-41.
  3. Patel, K.R., Lawson, D.H., Kudchadkar, R.R., Carthon, B.C., Oliver, D.E., Okwan-Duodu, D., Ahmed, R., Khan, M.K. Two heads better than one? Ipilimumab immunotherapy and radiation therapy for melanoma brain metastases. Neuro-Oncology. 2015 Oct;17(10):1312-21
  4. Strom .T., Torres-Roca J.F., Parekh A., Naghavi A.O., Caudell J.J., Oliver D.E., Messina J.L., Khushalani N.I., Zager J.S., Sarnaik A., Mulé J.J., Trotti A.M., Eschrich S.A., Sondak V.K., Harrison L.B. Regional Radiation Therapy Impacts Outcome for Node-Positive Cutaneous Melanoma. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. 2017 Apr;15(4):473-482.
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George Yang, MDGeorge Yang, MD
George was born in Chengdu, China and came with his parents to the US when he was 3. He grew up in Galveston TX and later in Gainesville, FL. He went to Duke University and majored in biology. He then returned to Florida and went to medical school at the USF Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa, where he met his future wife Melinda (a current USF pathology resident). He spends his free time as an amateur beekeeper, growing plants to feed bees, kayaking, and fishing.

Why I chose this residency program: I chose Moffitt as my residency program for a variety of reasons, steeped primarily in what I feel are the most important tenets of a training program. Moffitt provides the requisite clinical volume necessary to become confident in dealing with any scenario that may present itself. Additionally, through a wide network of resources, Moffitt has an abundance of research opportunities to answer and test virtually any hypothesis, whether clinically-oriented or translational. Finally, the camaraderie of the residents, faculty, and staff at Moffitt was visible on many levels, with a level of comfort and inclusion that makes coming to enjoyable.

Research:

  1. Yang GQ, Strom TJ, Wilder RB, Shrinath K, Mellon EA, Fernandez DC, Biagioli MC. Dosimetric Coverage of the Prostate, Normal Tissue Sparing, and Acute Toxicity with High-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy for Large Prostate Volumes. (2015) International Brazilian Journal of Urology. Vol 41 (3). Ppg 435-441.
  2. Yang GQ, Grass, DG, Ahmed KA, Kim, S. Clinical Interventions and Novel Therapeutic Strategies for Extranodal NK/T Cell Lymphoma, Nasal Type. Benign and Malignant Disorders of Large Granular Lymphocytes (2017) Pending publication.
  3. Holliday EB, Yang GQ, Bennett KE, Grace C, Jagsi R, Hoffman KE, Zietman AL. Fate of Manuscripts Rejected from the Red Journal. (2015) International Journal of Radiation Oncology – Biology – Physics. Vol 91, Issue 1, ppg 3-10.
  4. Davis GR, Illig KA, Yang GQ, Nguyen TH, Shames ML. An Approach to EVAR simulation Using Patient Specific Modeling. (2014) Annals of Vascular Surgery. June 6. Vol 7: ppg 1769-1774.


Zhigang Yuan, MD, PhDZhigang (Mike) Yuan, MD, PhD
 
Dr. Yuan grew up in a small village in China. In 2002, he moved to the United States to pursue his Ph.D. study in Molecular Oncology and Cancer Biology at the University of South Florida/Moffitt Cancer Center. He then received his MD degree from Florida State University. In his free time, he enjoys playing with his two kids and traveling around the country with his family.

Why I chose this residency program: I did several years of basic science research at Moffitt Cancer Center before medical school. As a comprehensive cancer center, Moffitt offers a unique opportunity to do cutting-edge translational research. More importantly, the radiation oncology program at Moffitt has not only up-to-date technologies and great faculty but also outstanding research resources including the access to the Total Cancer Care database and active research in genomically-adjusted radiation therapy (GARD) dose. In addition, my family really enjoys living in Tampa Bay.  

Research:

  1. Yuan Z, Fromm A, Ahmed KA, Grass GD, Yang GQ, Oliver DE, Dilling TJ, Antonia SJ, Perez BA. Radiotherapy rescue of a nivolumab-refractory immune response in a patient with PD-L1 negative metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. J Thorac Oncol. 2017, S1556-0864(17)30363-5.
  2. Radhakrishnan R, Li Y, Xiang S, Yuan F, Yuan Z, Telles E, Fang J, Coppola D, Shibata D, Lane WS, Zhang Y, Zhang X, Seto E. Histone deacetylase 10 regulates DNA mismatch repair and may involve the deacetylation of MutS homolog 2. J Biol Chem. 2015, 290(37):22795-804.
  3. Peng L, Yuan Z, Seto E. Histone deacetylase activity assay. Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1288:95-108.
  4. Peng L, Yuan Z, Li Y, Ling H, Izumi V, Fang B, Fukasawa K, Koomen J, Chen J, Seto E. Ubiquitinated sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) function is modulated during DNA damage-induced cell death and survival. J Biol Chem. 2015, 290(14):8904-12.
  5. Prabhu A, Sarcar B, Kahali S, Yuan Z, Johnson JJ, Adam KP, Kensicki E, Chinnaiyan P. (2014) Cysteine catabolism: a novel metabolic pathway contributing to glioblastoma growth. Cancer Res. 74(3):787-96.

PGY-2

Nicholas Figura, MDNicholas Figura, MD
Nick Figura was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He attended the University of Florida in Gainesville for his undergraduate studies and the University of South Florida in Tampa for medical school. In his spare time, he enjoys boating in the bays/lakes of Tampa, going to sporting events, and exploring new restaurants.

Why I chose this residency program: I chose USF/Moffitt Cancer Center because of the relationship between the residents and the faculty. The staff prioritizes the learning experience of residents along with providing significant guidance and support in resident-led research. Furthermore, the combination of Moffitt’s high clinical volume and resident autonomy offers superb clinical training for our future careers.

Research:

  1. Figura N, Hoppe BS, Flampouri S, Su Z, Osian O, Monroe A, Nichols RC. Postoperative

proton therapy in the management of stage III thymoma. J Thorac Oncol. 2013 May;8(5):e38-40. PMID: 23584300. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e31827a8911.

  1. Figura N, Flampouri S, Hopper K, Marcus RB , Mendenhall NP, and Hoppe B. Consolidative Proton Therapy Following High-dose Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem Cell Transplant in an Adolescent with Relapsed Hodgkin Lymphoma Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology. June 2011, 1(2): 103-106. doi:10.1089/jayao.2011.0018.
  2. Frakes J, Figura NB, Ahmed K, Patel N, Sarangkasiri S, Strom T, Chinnaiyan P, Rao N,Etame A. Potential role for LINAC-bases stereotactic radiosurgery for treatment of 5 or more radioresistant melanoma brain metastases. J Neurosurg. 2015 Jul 3:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Chuong MD, Frakes J, Figura N, Hoffe S, Shridhar R, Mellon E, Hodul P, Malafa M, Springett G, Centeno B. Histopathologic tumor response after induction chemotherapy and stereotactic body radiation therapy for borderline resectable pancreatic cancer. Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology, 2015. Epub 2015.
  4. Ahmed KA, Freilich JM, Sloot S, Figura N, Gibney GT, Weber JS, Sarangkasiri S, Chinnaiyan P, Forsyth PA, Etame AB, Rao NG. LINAC-based stereotactic radiosurgery to the brain with concurrent vemurafenib for melanoma metastases. J Neurooncol. 2015 Mar;122(1):121-6. doi: 10.1007/s11060-014-1685-x. Epub 2014 Dec 18.

Homan Mohammadi, MDHoman Mohammadi, MD
Homan was born and raised in Germany and moved to the States during his middle school years. His undergraduate studies were focused on Medical Technology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. He went to medical school at the George Washington University and completed his Transitional Year at the Indiana University Methodist Hospital. He has been a rock climber for over 12 years and practiced Kung Fu for several years as well.

Why I chose this residency program:

Moffitt Cancer Center and its radiation oncology department both have visions that resonate strongly with me. We strive to provide the highest quality of care while continually improving personalized cancer treatment. Every practitioner in this institution demonstrates such devotion to patient care and this represents the type of medicine I have wished to practice.

Research:

  1. Wong, W., Anderson, E.M., Mohammadi, H., Daniels, T.B., Schild, S.E., Keole, S.R., Choo, R., Tzou, K.S., Bryce, A.H., Ho, T.H., Quevedo, F.J., Vora, S.A.. “Factors Associated with Survival following Radium-223 Treatment for Metastatic Castration- Resistant Prostate Cancer”. Accepted in Clinical Genitourinary Cancer. 2017 April
  2. Becker, S.C., Roach, D.R., Chauhan, V.S., Shen, Y., Foster-Frey, J., Powell, A.M., Bauchan, G., Lease, R.A., Mohammadi, H., Harty, W.J., Simmons, C., Schmelcher, M., Camp, M., Dong, S., Baker, J.R., Sheen, T.R., Doran, K.S., Pritchard, D.G., Almeida, R.A., Nelson, D.C., Marriott, I., Lee, J.C., Donovan, D.M.. “Triple-acting Lytic Enzyme Treatment of Drug-Resistant and Intracellular Staphylococcus aureus”. Sci Rep. 2016 Apr 28;6:25063.
  3. Mohammadi, H., Chuong M.D., Moeslein, F.M., Sharma N.K.. “Selective Internal Radiation Therapy for the Treatment of Inoperable Neuroendocrine Tumor Liver Metastases”. International Journal of Endocrine Oncology. (2015) 3(1), 77–83. 
  4. Becker, S.C., Foster-Frey, J., Powell,A., Mohammadi, H., Kerr, D.E., and Donovan, D.M.. "Lysostaphin: Molecular Changes That Preserve Staphylolytic Activity." In Science and Technology against Microbial Pathogens. Research, Development and Evaluation, 2011, Ed. Antonio Mendez-Vilas, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. pp18-22.

Jeffrey Peacock, MDJeffrey Peacock, MD
Why I chose this residency program: My relationship with Moffitt began 10 years ago as an undergraduate in the SPARK Research Program. At Moffitt, I was exposed to cutting-edge research combined with compassionate patient care. That, along with my work in breast cancer research with a physician-scientist, shaped my future as a physician. I knew 10 years later as an MS4 student that I wanted to do my away rotations in radiation oncology at Moffitt. I knew it was the perfect place to train as a radiation oncologist. The educational opportunities here are plentiful and readily available. The Moffitt residency program prioritizes education above all else.  The environment is supportive and friendly among residents and faculty alike. Moffitt has enabled me to realize my professional goals. Every day that I walk through the Moffitt entrance as a radiation oncologist in training, I could not be happier with my decision. 

Research:

  1. Artem Kaznatcheev, Jeffrey Peacock, David Basanta, Andriy Marusyk, Jacob G. Scott. Cancer associated fibroblasts and alectinib switch the evolutionary games that non-small cell lung cancer plays. In bioRxiv 179259; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/179259Cancer
  2. Marusyk, R. Vander Velde, V. Marusyk, Peacock, L. Kenian, E. Haura, J. Scott, A. Marusyk, Deciphering Evolution of Targeted Therapy Resistance in EML4-ALK NSCLC. In Journal of Thoracic Oncology, Volume 12, Issue 8, Supplement, 2017, Page S1547, ISSN 1556-0864, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2017.06.066. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2017.06.066.
  3. Grass, George & Peacock, J & Latifi, Kujtim & Zhang, Geoffrey & Mills, M & Garcia, G & Harrison, L.B. & Kim, S. (2016). Spatial Patterns of Local Failure Following Chemotherapy in Hodgkin Lymphoma: Volume Reduction From Involved Site/Nodal Radiation Therapy. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics. 96. S39. 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2016.06.106.