Great Debates & Updates in Hematologic Malignancies features debates and scientific updates from some of the world’s leading experts in blood cancers. 


Meeting Co-Chairs

Jessica K. Altman, MD
Jessica K. Altman, MD
North Western University
Chicago, Illinois

Jessica Altman, MD, is Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She also serves as Director of the Acute Leukemia Program at Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

Dr. Altman received her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the University of Chicago and fellowship in hematology and oncology at Northwestern McGaw/Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She is board certified in hematology.

Dr. Altman's clinical and research interests include acute and chronic leukemias, anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, and myeloproliferative diseases. She has published and presented extensively in these disease areas. Dr. Altman chair’s the clinical trial audit committee of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.  She is also a member of the Northwestern Medicine Developmental Therapeutics Program, the Signal Transduction in Cancer Program, and the Hematologic Malignancies Program at the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center. Her clinical transduction research focuses on novel targeted approaches for the treatment of acute leukemia.

Dr. Altman is a member of the American Society of Hematology and she chairs the steering committee of the AML/MDS MATTERS Program.  She is active in the ECOG- ACRIN cooperative group, and serves as a member of the NCCN Acute Myeloid Leukemia Panel and the NCCN Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Panel. 

John P. Leonard, MD
John P. Leonard, MD
Center for Lymphoma and Myeloma
Weill Cornell Medicine
New York, New York

John P. Leonard, M.D., is the Richard T. Silver Distinguished Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology and Senior Associate Dean for Innovation and Initiatives at the Weill Cornell Medical College.  He is Executive Vice Chairman of the Weill Department of Medicine and New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he also serves as Attending Physician.    

An expert in hematology and oncology, Dr. Leonard  is Chair of the Lymphoma Committee of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology (formerly CALGB, ACOSOG and NCCTG), a multicenter cooperative group and key component of the National Cancer Institute’s National Clinical Trials Network.  Dr. Leonard has been an elected member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Hematology subspecialty board, and he has also been elected to membership in the American Society of Clinical Investigation.  He has served as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board and Board Member of the Lymphoma Research Foundation and Board Member of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society/New York City Chapter.

Dr. Leonard performed his undergraduate work at Johns Hopkins University and received his medical degree at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA.  He completed his residency in medicine at the New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY.  He completed a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Cornell, and served as the chief medical resident at the New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center.

Joseph Mikhael, MD
Joseph R. Mikhael, MD, MEd, FRCPC, FACP
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)
City of Hope Cancer Center
Phoenix, Arizona

Dr. Mikhael is a Professor in the Applied Cancer Research and Drug Discovery Division at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope Cancer Center.  He is also the Chief Medical Officer of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF).  

Dr. Mikhael is a consultant hematologist and Director of Myeloma Research at the HonorHealth Research Institute where he conducts phase 1 clinical trials. He also serves as a Councilor on the Executive of the American Society of Hematology. Dr. Mikhael is the Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council for TGen. 

Dr. Mikhael is currently the principal investigator of many clinical trials in multiple myeloma.  His other interests also include pharmaco-economics, communication skills and media relations.  He has published over 150 peer reviewed articles in these fields. He lectures internationally on a regular basis. He is an active member of the International Myeloma Working Group and led the first ever ASCO Guidelines for Multiple Myeloma. 

Dr. Mikhael leads the diversity efforts of the IMF, known as the M-Power program, seeking to empower patients and communities change the course of myeloma in at risk populations.  He is also leading the IMF African American initiative whose goal is to improve the outcomes and care delivered to African Americans with myeloma – a disease with double the incidence in African Americans than Caucasians. Dr. Mikhael also spends about 20% of his time in the third world seeking ways to enhance research, collaboration and access to myeloma therapies in underprivileged countries.