Participant Biographies

Dennis Carson, MD
Dr. Carson is a noted researcher in the field of lymphoproliferative diseases. He developed the drug Cladribine, which is the treatment of choice for hairy cell leukemia marketed as Leustatin®.

He has played key roles in the founding of Vical, Inc., a gene therapy company, Dynavax Technologies, a biopharmaceutical company, Triangle Pharmaceuticals, an anti-virus company; and Salmedix, an anti-cancer company. Dr. Carson is Director of Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center and has been a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego since 1990. He was elected to the National Academy of Science in 2003.

Prior to joining UCSD, he was a member in the Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute. He received his B.A. from Haverford College and M.D. from Columbia University.

Gordon K. Davidson, JD
Mr. Davidson is the Chairman of Fenwick & West. He advises technology companies, including networking, computer software and electronics companies as well as medical technology Companies. His emphasis is on Corporate Governance, Start-Up Companies, Venture Capital Financings, Public Securities Offerings, Mergers and Acquisitions and Strategic Alliances. He received his JD from Stanford Law School, M.S. in electrical engineering, computer systems from Stanford University, and a B.S. in electrical engineering also from Stanford University. Mr. Davidson has chaired the Practising Law Institute programs on Private Placements and Mergers and Acquisitions of Technology Companies. Mr. Davidson was recognized by the National Law Journal in June 2000 as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America, by Forbes Magazine in February 2001 as of the 50 Most Powerful Venture Capital Dealmakers, by Upside Magazine in October 2001 as one of “100 People Who Changed Our World,” by California Lawyer Magazine in August 2004 as one of the ten best corporate lawyers in California. He was a law clerk to Judge Ben C. Duniway, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1974-1975.

Ralph W. deVere White, MD
Dr. deVere White is assistant dean for cancer programs at UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center. He is director of the UC Davis Cancer Center and professor and chair of the Department of Urology.

Dr. deVere White is president-elect of the Society of Urologic Oncology, the leading organization dedicated to developing new treatment strategies for urologic cancers. He is past chair of the U.S. Department of Defense Integrated Panel for Prostate Cancer Research, an advisory body that helps to administer federal grants for prostate cancer. He is also a past chair of the Southwest Oncology Group Applied Basic Research Committee and past president of the Urological Research Society.

Dr. deVere White has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters and edited three medical textbooks. He serves on the editorial boards of six international scientific journals.

With more than $2 million in research funding this year, Dr. deVere White is investigating the genetic mistakes that give rise to prostate cancer, the biomolecular mechanisms that make some prostate cancers more virulent than others, and new methods of diagnosing and treating prostate cancer. Over the past decade, he has been the principal investigator on research grants totaling nearly $6 million.

Among his many honors and awards, Dr. deVere White is a member of the Clinical Society of Genitourinary Surgeons. Surgeons are elected into this professional organization based on their outstanding contributions to urology. The highly selective society has only 25 members. Dr. deVere White is also an elected member of the prestigious American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons.

Dr. deVere White has been named multiple times as one of “The Best Doctors in America.” He is one of four urologists serving as a volunteer consultant to the American Cancer Society’s on-line “Experts Answers” bulletin board for questions about prostate cancer.

Dr. deVere White received his medical degree from Dublin University in Dublin, Ireland, and completed an internship and residencies in surgery and urology at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin and at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

John P. Fruehauf, MD, Ph.D.
Dr. Fruehauf is an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of California Cancer Center, and chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board at Oncotech, Inc, both in Irvine, California.

He earned a medical degree and a doctorate degree in pharmacology from Rush University Medical College in Chicago; he completed his residency at the University of California at Irvine; he completed his oncology fellowship at the NCI.

Dr. Fruehauf researches mechanisms of drug action and resistance with the goal of developing predictive tests that improve therapeutic outcomes for cancer patients.

He has authored numerous book chapters, clinical articles, and abstracts, and has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Gynecological Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, American Journal of Clinical Pathology, and Cancer.

Judith C. Gasson, Ph.D.
Judith C. Gasson became director of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center on Sept. 15, 1995. A molecular biologist, Gasson is responsible for one of only 39 institutions nationwide designated as comprehensive cancer centers by the National Cancer Institute.

In addition to her administrative duties, Gasson also is a gifted scientist. She was instrumental in purifying for the first time a hormone-like substance that increases the speed of bone marrow cell reproduction. That substance, called GM-CSF, is used to help prevent infections in cancer patients, and to allow patients to tolerate more chemotherapy and radiation than had previously been possible.

One of Gasson's continuing goals is to bring more of the fruits of basic research to patients' bedsides and under her leadership, the Jonsson Cancer Center has become known for its leading-edge translational research.

“Researchers here at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have made tremendous headway in terms of cancer-related discoveries," Gasson said. “What we really need to do now is transfer those discoveries from the research laboratory to the hospital, where they will have impact on patient care: diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

“I want to bring the basic scientists, the physician researchers and the clinicians together to focus on specific types of cancer, and to take more basic scientific discoveries from the bench to the bedside.”

In 2005, Gasson was named a co-director of the UCLA Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Medicine and she recently testified before a key Senate subcommittee on the promise of stem cell research in cancer. Gasson also serves as a board member for the American Association for Cancer Research. She earned a doctorate in physiology at the University of Colorado in 1979, and did post doctoral work at the Salk Institute in La Jolla. In 1983, she left the Salk Institute to join UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center.

“I came here because I wanted to do work on the cutting edge in a field where basic research can make an impact on patient care," Gasson said.

Jay T. Groves, Ph.D.
Dr. Groves is Assistant Professor of Chemistry with the University of California, Berkeley. He received his B.S. in Physics and Chemistry at Tufts University in 1992, (summa cum laude), and his Ph.D. in Biophysics at Stanford University in 1998. He has been a visiting Scholar, Academia Sinica (Taipei, Taiwan), 1998-1999; and Division Director’s Fellow, LB, 1999-2000.

He has received many honors and awards, including the Merrill Lynch Innovation Grants Competitition Entrepreneurship Prize; Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences; Searle Scholars Award; MIT TR100; and the Beckman Young Investigator Award.

His research interests include physical chemistry of cell membranes and principles of molecular organization in cell membranes.

Frank McCormick Ph.D., F.R.S.
Dr. McCormick is director of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Comprehensive Cancer Center and Cancer Research Institute, a multidisciplinary research and clinical care organization that is one of the largest matrix cancer centers in the Western United States. A native of Cambridge, England, McCormick received his B.Sc. in biochemistry from the University of Birmingham (1972) and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge (1975). Postdoctoral fellowships were held in the U.S. at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and in London at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1996. Prior to joining the UCSF faculty, Dr. McCormick pursued cancer-related work with several Bay Area biotechnology firms, including positions with Cetus Corporation (Director of Molecular Biology, 1981-90; Vice President of Research, 1990-91) and Chiron Corporation, where he was Vice President of Research from 1991-92. In 1992 he founded Onyx Pharmaceuticals and served as its Chief Scientific Officer until 1996. Dr. McCormick's current research interests center on the fundamental differences between normal and cancer cells that can allow the development of novel therapeutic strategies. In addition to his position as director of the UCSF Cancer Center, Frank McCormick holds the David A. Wood Chair of Tumor Biology and Cancer Research in UCSF's Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Dr. McCormick is the author of more than 234 scientific publications.