Medical Advisory Board

The JEDI Rare Cancer Foundation Medical Advisory Board is comprised of valued experts from the clinical and scientific community. We rely on their objective, expert advice to stay informed about the ever-changing landscape of rare cancer research, clinical trials, and translational therapies. They provide guidance to the foundation by identifying and evaluating scientific research initiatives for our support and will have a participatory role in our strategic partnership with the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and CURE: The Rare Cancer Initiative.


Gary Schwartz, MD, FASCO

Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC); Vice Dean for Oncology, School of Medicine; Gertrude Donnelly Hess MD Professor in Oncology Research

Dr. Schwartz is a recognized leader in the field of translational and clinical research. His vision is to establish highly innovative clinical translational research programs in the field of cancer therapy. As Director of Case CCC and former Deputy Director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and Chief of Hematology and Oncology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, he has worked extensively in bench-top to bedside research for early drug development, successfully bridging clinical and basic science elements and focusing on the identification of new targeted agents for cancer therapy; many drugs that originated in his labs are now being evaluated in clinical trials.

Learn more about Dr. Schwartz’s vision to establish Case CCC as a highly innovative clinical translational research center that will transform the field of cancer medicine.

Medical Advisors

Julia Glade Bender, MD

Vice Chair for Clinical Research in Pediatrics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK Kids)
After nearly 20 years at Columbia University leading the pediatric early drug development program focused on the use of novel biologically targeted agents in relapsed pediatric solid tumors, Dr. Glade Bender joined MSK in 2018 as a Full Member to concentrate on clinical trials, sarcoma, rare tumors and the development of a specialized adolescent/young adult program. She has an international reputation for expertise in precision medicine and targeted therapies and serves as a pediatric consultant to the FDA.

Alan Ho, MD, PhD

Geoffrey Beene Junior Faculty Chair, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
A translational clinical researcher on the head/neck medical oncology service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), Dr. Ho focuses on the discovery of novel therapeutics for rare cancers of the head and neck. As an MD/PhD, he has extensive clinical and laboratory science training that enables him to translate complex scientific findings into clinical investigations and has built translational research programs in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, thyroid cancers and salivary gland cancers.

Jordan Orange, MD

Chair of Pediatrics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Physician-in-Chief, NewYork-Presbyterian/ Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital
Dr. Orange is an international leader in pediatric primary immunodeficiency and immunobiology of human natural killer cells. In his research, he combines novel disease discovery with basic cell research to translate underlying biological mechanisms of disease into clinical applications. He has an extensive background in pediatric immunology and pediatric primary immunodeficiency, spending much of his career identifying a class of diseases called natural killer cell deficiencies.

Alan M. Jacobson, MD

Chief Research Officer, NYU Winthrop University Hospital; Professor, Foundations of Medicine and Associate Dean for Research at NYU Long Island School of Medicine
Dr. Jacobson’s research focuses on the psychological, social, and central nervous system effects of diabetes across the lifespan, using neuro-imaging techniques to examine the effects of diabetes and metabolism on the brain and identify the causes of these alterations. He is studying interacting effects of aging and type 1 diabetes including use of artificial intelligence/machine learning techniques to identify patterns of brain alterations predictive of variations in cognitive decline.

Pamela Taxel, MD

Professor of Medicine and Fellowship Director, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, UConn Musculoskeletal Institute
Dr. Taxel’s clinical area of focus is the treatment of patients with osteoporosis, and she has established a health clinic with a focus on men and women receiving cancer therapies that impact bone health. She collaborates with School of Dental Medicine colleagues on multiple studies assessing the impact of bone healthy on implant success or failure and another that identifies risk factors for osteonecrosis of the jaws in patients receiving bone-modifying therapies for advanced cancers.

Jedd Wolchok, MD

Meyer Director, Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine
Dr. Wolchok is a clinician-scientist exploring innovative immunotherapeutic strategies in laboratory models, and a principal investigator in numerous pivotal clinical trials. He supervises an NIH R01-funded basic science laboratory focused on investigating novel immunotherapeutic agents in pre-clinical laboratory models. His translational research laboratory investigates innovative means to modulate the immune response to cancer to better understand the mechanistic basis for sensitivity/resistance to currently available immunotherapies.

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Learn about lifesaving rare cancer research, foundation news, events, and discoveries that make a real, measurable difference in the lives of rare cancer patients and their families.