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International Guest Speakers Annual Conference 2024

  • Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD
  • Sat Parmar, BChD, BMBS, BMedSci, FDSRCS, FRCS, FRCS (OMFS)
  • Justin Bishop (Pathology, USA)
  • Nishant Agrawal (ENT, USA)
  • Kate Hutcheson (Speech Pathology, USA)
  • Robert Ferris (ENT, USA)
  • Vin Paleri (ENT, UK)
  • Sat Parmar (OMFS, UK)
  • Vincente Gregoire (Radiation Oncology, France)
  • Cesare Piazza (ENT, Italy)
  • Kevin Harrington (Clinical Oncology, UK)
  • Justin Roe (SLT, UK)
  • Rebekah Smith, Dietetics, UK
  • Damien Broderick (OMFS, UK)

Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD

Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhDRobert L. Ferris, MD, PhD is Hillman Professor of Oncology and Director at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Research, and Professor of Otolaryngology, of Immunology, and of
Radiation Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh.
As a head and neck surgical oncologist and translational tumor immunologist, his lab performs neoadjuvant “window” trials developing novel immune-oncology agents, combinations and biomarkers.
His group is uniquely positioned to investigate mechanisms of anti-tumor immunity in the tumor microenvironment (TME), as well as tumor cell escape. Dr. Ferris’s NIH-funded laboratory is focused on reversal of immune escape and immunotherapy using monoclonal antibodies and vaccines, leading to the first randomized phase II-III trials of head and cancer immunotherapy in the world. He was founding director of the Hillman Tumor Microenvironment Center. He is a Principal Investigator of the University of Pittsburgh Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant for translational head and neck research and a R01 grant focused on T cell receptor dynamics and immune phenotypes regulatingm response to immunotherapy.

Dr. Ferris has an h-index of 105 and his >420 peer-reviewed scientific and clinical publications have
garners >43,000 citations. He is lead investigator of several practice-changing, prospective randomized
trials, including Checkmate-141 published in NEJM which led to the FDA approval of Nivolumab for head
and neck cancer, ECOG 3311 (published in JCO in late 2021), testing radiation dose-deintensification
after transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for HPV+ oropharynx cancer, as well as ECOG-ACRIN 3132, using
p53 mutational testing in HPV-negative cancer, to predict response to radiation versus chemoradiation.
Dr. Ferris currently serves on the Editorial Boards of JNCI, JCO, Clinical Cancer Research, and Cancer

Immunology Research. He is Editor in Chief of Oral Oncology. He recently completed a 6-year term co-
chairing the NCI Steering Committee for Head and Neck Cancer, served as a standing member of NCI

Committee A reviewing Cancer Centers, and is currently President-Elect of the American Head and Neck
Society. He has co-founded two early phase immuno-oncology companies, in therapeutics discovery
and development and in cellular therapeutic strategies for solid and liquid tumors, and serves on
multiple scientific advisory boards for various biotech companies.


Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial / Head and Neck / Reconstructive Surgeon, University Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Sat was appointed as an Oral and Maxillofacial /Head and Neck /Reconstructive Surgeon at the University Hospital of Birmingham in 2003. He is one of the directors of the European Head and Neck Course and the Head and Neck Oncology for Surgeons courses. He is a former board member for the European Head and Neck Society and previously sat on the steering committee for the Make Sense Campaign. He was a council member for the British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists (BAHNO) and Past President for the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He was the chair for AOCMF for the United Kingdom and a former European Board member for AO. He has chaired and directed numerous AO and other courses. He is a trustee for several charities. He is the author of numerous book chapters and publications. He carries out most aspects of general Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery but his sub-specialist interest is Salivary Gland/Head and Neck Cancer and Reconstruction. He also has an interest in implant rehabilitation for head and neck cancer patients.

Justin Bishop (Pathology, USA)

Dr. Bishop completed his pathology training at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Bishop was surgical pathology faculty at Johns Hopkins until joining the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center where he is now Professor, Chief of Anatomic Pathology, and Jane B. and Edwin P. Jenevein M.D. Distinguished Chair in Pathology. Dr. Bishop has given numerous lectures and courses nationally and internationally.

Dr. Bishop has published extensively in the field of head and neck/endocrine pathology, with more than 300 articles. Dr. Bishop has also co-authored or edited 11 books and numerous book chapters including the American Registry of Pathology (formerly Armed Forces Institute of Pathology) fascicle on salivary gland tumors and the WHO Classification of Head and Neck Tumours. Dr. Bishop is the editor-in-chief for Seminars in Diagnostic Pathology and associate editor for Modern Pathology and JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Nishant Agrawal (ENT, USA)

Nishant Agrawal, MD, specializes in the management of patients with benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck.

Dr. Agrawal’s work has achieved international recognition in the field of head and neck surgical oncology, and head and neck cancer genetics. Under his leadership, a team of researchers completed a landmark study that examined the genome of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. His group followed up by publishing the genomic landscapes of the remaining major head and neck cancers, including esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, esophageal adenocarcinoma, medullary thyroid cancer, adenoid cystic carcinoma and mucoepidermoid carcinoma. Dr. Agrawal then applied these findings to identify tumor DNA as a biomarkers that improve cancer diagnostics in the saliva and plasma of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. His research is focused on the application of cancer genetics to design diagnostic approaches to reduce morbidity and mortality from head and neck cancer.

In addition to his clinical and research contributions, Dr. Agrawal is an accomplished educator — teaching medical students, residents and fellows about the management of patients with head and neck cancer.


Prof. Vincent GREGOIRE

Prof. Vincent GREGOIRE
Prof. Vincent GREGOIRE

Prof. Vincent GREGOIRE graduated as a Medical Doctor (MD) in 1987 from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. He was board certified in Radiation Oncology in Belgium in 1994 and obtained his PhD in Radiation Biology in 1996 after a fellowship at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston (USA).

Since his return from the USA, Prof. GREGOIRE was appointed at the Academic Hospital of the Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels (Belgium) where he was the Director of the Center for Molecular Imaging, Oncology and Radiotherapy, Full Professor in Radiation Oncology, and Head of Clinic in the Department of Radiation Oncology. From May 1st 2018, Prof. Vincent GREGOIRE is the Head of the Radiation Oncology Dept. at the Léon Bérard Cancer Center in Lyon (France). He coordinates the Head and Neck Radiation Oncology program where the publication of the consensus guidelines for selection and delineation of target volumes brought him worldwide recognition.

Beside his clinical activities, Vincent GREGOIRE has been running a translational research program on tumor microenvironment, on the integration of functional and molecular imaging for treatment planning, and on the molecular basis of increased radiosensitivity in HPV-infected cells. Vincent GREGOIRE has directed or co-directed 15 PhD theses and has authored or co-authored more than 330 peer-reviewed publications and 20 book chapters. He has delivered close to 1000 abstract presentations, lectures or teaching seminars worldwide, including award lectures such as the IFHNOS KK Ang lecture in 2014 and the Blair Hesketh BAHNO Memorial Lecture in 2015. He is member of the editorial board of Radiotherapy & Oncology and is a member of numerous scientific societies, including ASTRO and ESTRO, on which he serves on various committees.

He has been the President of ESTRO from 2007 to 2009. Vincent GREGOIRE is the past vice-President of the board of EORTC, past-Chairman of the Radiation Oncology Group of the EORTC and of the Head & Neck group of the EORTC. Vincent GREGOIRE was acting chairman of an ICRU Report Committee on “dose prescription, specification and reporting in IMRT”. He has been nominated chairman of ICRU in October 2018. In 2008, he was awarded Honorary Fellow of the British Royal College of Radiology, and in 2016 Honorary Fellow of the Irish College of Radiology. In 2014 he received the Breur Award from ESTRO and in 2015, he was awarded Honorary ESTRO Physicist. In 2018, he received the Jens Overgaard legacy award from ESTRO.

Cesare Piazza, MD

Cesare Piazza, MD, born in Cremona, Italy, in 1971, is Full Professor and Chief of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery of the University of Brescia, Italy, since September 2020, and Director of the Residency Program in Otorhinolaryngology, University of Brescia, from September 2022; he is Research Director of the Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences, and Public Health of the School of Medicine of the University of Brescia, from May 2021.

He received his MD degree at the University of Pavia, Italy, in 1996 and completed his Residency Programme in Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery in Brescia in 2001. He became Assistant Professor in 2007 and Associate Professor – Chief of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Maxillofacial, and Thyroid Surgery of the National Cancer Institute, University of Milan, Italy (from 2017 to 2020) – in 2017. His clinical and research activities are focused on head and neck oncology, with special emphasis to laryngo-hypopharyngeal, tracheal, oral, thyroid, parotid, sarcoma, laser, and reconstructive microsurgery.

Dr. Piazza is currently serving as President of the European Laryngological Society and as President of Lombard Group of Otolaryngologists. He is an active member of the European Laryngological Society since 2000, part of its Scientific Council since September 2010, and President Elect from 2018. He authored or co-authored 253 papers in peer-reviewed journals as well as 78 book chapters. He delivered 954 proffered papers and invited lectures in national and international Congresses and Courses. He serves as Editor of the Current Opinion in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Journal for the Head and Neck Oncology issue since 2010 and is member of its Editorial Board since 2013, and as Editor in Chief of Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica from January 2023. He is member of the Editorial Board of Frontiers in Oncology since 2016 and Frontiers in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery since 2017.

His surgical activity has been always mainly devoted to head and neck cancer treatment, with over 5500 surgical procedures performed in this field (of whom more than 1100 free flaps).

Prof. Kevin J. Harrington

Professor in Biological Cancer Therapies

Kevin Harrington completed medical training at the University of London and gained his PhD from Imperial College, London. He is an NIHR Senior Investigator and Head of the Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)/Royal Marsden Hospital (RMH).

He is the RMH/ICR NIHR Biomedical Research Centre lead for the Targeted Physical Therapies theme, Director for the ICR/RM CRUK RadNet Centre of Excellence, Chair of the CRUK Advanced Radiotherapy Network (ART-NET) Network Accelerator, Chair of the ICR Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Programme and an Executive Board member for the CRUK ICR/Imperial Major Centre for Convergence Science.

His clinical duties are undertaken as an Honorary Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and at St George’s Hospital, specialising in developing new treatments with a specific focus on head and neck cancer, in which subject he has led multiple phase I, II and III clinical trials. He has published >570 peer-reviewed publications and >50 book chapters.

Dr Justin Roe

Dr Justin Roe is a Consultant and Professional Lead for Speech and Language Therapy at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London. He is also the Clinical Service Lead for the Complex Laryngology Service/ National Centre for Airway Reconstruction at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. He is an Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London.

Justin was awarded a PhD in 2013 from the Institute of Cancer Research in London He is now actively involved in a number of Cancer Research UK and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) portfolio studies. He is the survivorship theme lead for the International Centre for Recurrent Head and Neck Cancer (IReC) delivered by the Royal Marsden.

Justin has contributed to key policy and position papers and is an expert adviser to several national organisations. He is a Council Member for the British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists and the British Laryngological Association. He was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in 2018 and an MBE in the 2022 Queen’s New Year Honours in recognition of his contribution to the profession.

Rebekah Smith, Dietetics, UK

Rebekah Smith, Dietetics, UKSince graduating from the University of Chester in 2008, Rebekah has spent the last 14 years of her career working with Head and neck cancer patients. Rebekah works with Head and neck cancer patients throughout their cancer journey from diagnosis and treatment, to late effects and palliation.  Rebekah recently published a paper on the nutritional management of chyle leaks following head and neck surgery and was awarded a NIHR fellowship this year.