Speakers are listed in order of appearance on the agenda

Brooks.jpgRobert Brooks, M.D. - Welcome & Overview

Dr. Brooks has practiced medicine in Tucson since 1982. He is a medical oncologist with a special interest in breast cancer. Dr. Brooks is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and a past member of ASCO's clinical practice committee. He is a founder of the Life Beyond Cancer Program, an annual retreat focusing on cancer survivorship held at Miraval in Tucson and has served on the editorial board of CURE Magazine. His past appointments have included Medical Director of Patient Advocacy for US Oncology, Chief of Staff of St. Mary's Hospital in Tucson, the Board of Directors of the Southern Arizona Division of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and the Board of Directors of the Association of Community Cancer Centers. Dr. Brooks served as the first president of the Arizona Clinical Oncology Society. He has been recognized several times as a Best Doctor and also as one of America's Top Oncologists by the Consumers Research Council of America. Dr. Brooks currently serves as the Medical Director of Oncology Program at Tucson Medical Center and on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Oncology Foundation.


Grothey.JPGAxel Grothey, M.D - Welcome & Overview

Dr. Grothey is a consultant in the Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Oncology, at Mayo Clinic. He holds the academic rank of professor of oncology and has teaching/examining privileges in Clinical and Translational Science at Mayo Graduate School. He is a member of Mayo Clinic’s Cancer Center.

Dr. Grothey received his medical degree at Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Germany, and completed residencies at West-German Tumorcenter and the Institute of Pathology at the University of Essen and a residency and fellowship at the University of Bochum. He also completed a research fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center at The University of Texas in Houston. He joined Mayo Clinic as a consultant in 2005. Dr. Grothey’s clinical interests focus on gastrointestinal cancers, colorectal cancer, anti-angiogenesis, signal transduction inhibitors, and clinical trial design and statistics. He currently chairs the NCI colon cancer task force and serves as vice-chair of the gastrointestinal cancer committee of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology. He is also chair of the Academic and Community Cancer Research United (ACCRU) international research network.


Edith Eva Eger, PhD – Keynote: The Choice, Embrace the Possible

A native of Hungary, Edith Eger was a teenager in 1944 when she and her family were sent to Auschwitz during the Second World War. Despite overwhelming odds, Edith survived the Holocaust and moved with her husband to the United States. Having worked in a factory whilst raising her young family, she went on to graduate with a PhD from the University of Texas and became an eminent psychologist. Today, she maintains a busy clinical practice and lectures around the world. Dr. Eger is the author of The Choice: Embrace the Possible. 'The Choice is a gift to humanity. One of those rare and eternal stories that you don't want to end and that leave you forever changed' Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.


Dr. Lana Holstein, M.D. - Loving the One You're With – Intimacy After Cancer

Dr. Lana Holstein did her undergraduate work at Stanford University and initially thought law was her field.  However, after one year at Stanford law school, she decided to go into medicine.  She completed her medical training at Yale Medical School and did her Family Practice Residency (along with her physician husband) at the University of Arizona. After fifteen years of a shared family practice in Flagstaff, Arizona, they returned to Tucson, where Dr. Holstein was Director of Women's Health at Canyon Ranch for ten years and then the Managing Director of Sexuality and Vitality at Miraval Resort for six years during which their couples sexuality program was featured on Oprah.  She is now semi-retired; doing life coaching for individuals and groups and playing golf! Dr. Holstein is the author of How to Have Magnificent Sex, The 7 Dimensions of a Vital Sexual Connection.  She and her husband wrote a second sexuality book on their innovative program titled, Your Long Erotic Weekend: Four Days of Passion for a Lifetime of Magnificent Sex.  Dr. Holstein has appeared on national TV several times including the Today Show, the CBS Early Show, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. 


Aleksandar Sekulic, M.D., PhD - Genomics in 2018 & Immunotherapies 2.0

Dr. Sekulic focuses his research interests on developing translational approaches for the study of genomics in skin diseases; identifying the genetics and molecular mechanisms of malignant melanoma; discovering the molecular diagnostics of pigmented lesions; and understanding the regulation of epidermal proliferation and differentiation as it relates to human skin disease. He has served as a teacher and mentor for numerous residents and students and is a recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Recognition Award from Mayo Medical School. Dr. Sekulic is the Associate Director for the Center for Individualized Medicine in Arizona.


Rachael Laing - Exercise, Diet, Inflammation and Alternative Treatments

Rachael Laing is a Certified Health Coach, yoga instructor and teaches plant based, whole foods nutrition and wellness. She works with clients that have cardiovascular issues and those who need to lose weight. Lange’s counseling includes plant-based nutrition, including healthy shopping, nutrition education and lessons on simple food preparation and meal planning. She also leads exercise programs at Tucson Medical Center.

Boyce Ley.jpg

Michele Boyce Ley, M.D. – Break Out: Breast Cancer

Dr. Boyce Ley was raised in Northern California and has lived in Tucson since 2000. She graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in molecular and cellular biology. She completed medical school at St. Louis University and moved to Tucson for her general surgery residency at the University of Arizona.  Dr. Boyce Ley is board-certified in general surgery. Subsequently, she completed a fellowship in breast surgical oncology at the University of California San Francisco, Carol Frank Buck Breast Care Center in 2006 before establishing a breast surgical oncology practice in Tucson. Most recently she was the director of breast surgery at the University of Arizona and associate professor of surgery. Dr. Ley is the Medical Director of Breast Health Program at Tucson Medical Center.


Douglas G. Lowell, M.D. - Break Out: Lung Cancer

Dr. Lowell attended Canyon Del Oro High School and went on to graduate from the University of Arizona. He then attended Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center and his fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Indiana University Medical Center. Dr. Lowell is board certified in both Thoracic and General Surgery. He joined Southwestern Surgery in 2004. He is the former Chief of Staff Elect at Tucson Medical Center and is the Medical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program.


Stefanie J. Schluender, M.D. - Break Out: GI Cancer: Gastrointestinal, Esophageal, Pancreatic, Liver and Colorectal

Dr. Schluender received her Doctor of Medicine degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She completed her residency at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and her fellowship in Colon and Rectal Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Schluender moved to Tucson in 2006 to join Southwestern Surgery.  She enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her surgical focus is advanced laparoscopic surgery and Colon and Rectal Surgery including inflammatory bowel disease, colon and rectal carcinoma, diverticular disease and single incision laparoscopic colectomy. Dr. Schluender is the Medical Director of Colorectal Oncology Program at Tucson Medical Center.


Natalie A. Stanton, M.D. - Break Out: GI Cancer: Gastrointestinal, Esophageal, Pancreatic, Liver and Colorectal

Dr. Stanton provides comprehensive oncology and hematology care to patients at the Craycroft office in Tucson.  She treats all types of hematology and cancer cases. She has a special interest in gastrointestinal cancers, which includes gastric, gallbladder, colorectal, anal, and pancreatic cancers and the multidisciplinary approach required to treat these disorders. Dr. Stanton is the Medical Director of Hepatobiliary Oncology Program at Tucson Medical Center.

DiSimone.jpgChristopher DiSimone, M.D., PhD- Break Out: GU Cancer: Prostate, Bladder, Kidney and Intestine

Among Dr. DiSimone's many honors and fellowships are undergraduate general honors and department honors from the Johns Hopkins University, NIH Predoctoral and Postdoctoral fellowships and receipt of the Edward M. Gold Award signifying University of California-Davis most outstanding student in medicine. Dr. DiSimone's research has been published in Virology, Vaccines and BMC Microbiology.



Lisa Radesi, DNP, CNS, RN - Cancer in the Young Adult: 19-36 years old

Dr. Lisa Radesi, DNP, CNS, RN is the Academic Dean for the School of Nursing at the University of Phoenix and has over 38 years of nursing experience evolving from the point of care to nursing education administration. She received her BSN from California State University, Dominguez Hills and a MSN/CNS and DNP from California State University, Fresno. Dr. Radesi came to the University of Phoenix in 2014 as the Campus College Chair for Nursing in Fresno, California. In February of 2017 she was promoted to the Academic Dean for the School of Nursing. Dr. Radesi has been very active on several advisory boards for nursing and volunteering in the community. She has presented at several conferences recently focusing on academic progression in nursing.

Fernandez.JPGCelestino Fernández, Ph.D. – Closing Speaker: Finding Happiness Everyday

Celestino Fernández, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, served as professor of sociology at the University of Arizona for 39 years (until his retirement in 2015); he also served in several administrative positions, including as Vice President for Academic Outreach and International Affairs.  Prof. Fernández has published, taught courses, and lectured widely on various topics, including leadership, happiness, education, and immigration. He has published approximately 50 articles and book chapters, has composed about 50 corridos (Mexican ballads), and participated in as many accreditation reviews throughout the U.S. and abroad.  He continues to consult and teach a popular class on Happiness.  He completed both the M.A. and Ph.D. at Stanford University.