2018 Dinner Gala Honoree – Dr. Ramon Parsons

Our 2018 Honoree Dr. Ramon Parsons, is the Director of The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai. Ramon Parsons grew up in Washington, D.C. After earning his MD and PhD degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, he was a postdoctoral fellow with Bert Vogelstein at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he and his colleagues discovered that inactivation of DNA mismatch repair genes causes hereditary colorectal cancer. At Columbia University Medical Center, as Avon Professor of Pathology and Medicine and Leader of the Breast Cancer Program of the Herbert Irving Cancer Center, his research laboratory identified the PTEN tumor suppressor gene, which he showed is inactivated in a wide variety of cancers and cancer predisposition syndromes. Dr. Parsons has been a leader in establishing the importance of PTEN and the PI3K pathway for cancer using a combination of genetic, biochemical, human tissue, metabolic, and systems biology approaches, and has been awarded significant grant funding in support of his internationally-recognized research. In 2013, Dr. Parsons joined the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as Ward-Coleman Professor in Cancer Research, Chairman of the Department of Oncological Sciences, and co-Leader of the Cancer Mechanisms Program of The Tisch Cancer Institute (TCI) at Mount Sinai. In 2017, he was appointed Director of TCI and Director of Mount Sinai Cancer for the Mount Sinai Health System. Dr. Parsons is a recipient of the 2011 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research and served as Chair of the Special Conferences Committee at the AACR from 2011 to 2017 where he established an annual meeting dedicated to ovarian cancer research. He was inducted into the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars in 2015 and elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2017. Also in 2017, Dr. Parsons received an Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute.

Past Gala Honorees

Dr. Andrew Menzin

Dr. Andrew Menzin

Our 2017 Honoree Dr. Andrew Menzin, is the Chief of Gynecologic Oncology for Northwell Health’s Central Region and the Co-Lead for the Center of Excellence in Gynecologic Oncology at the Northwell Health Cancer Institute. He is a Professor of OBGYN at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.

Dr. Vincent P. Vinciguerra

Dr. Vincent P. Vinciguerra

Our 2016 Honoree Dr. Vincent P. Vinciguerra was chosen for his contributions and leadership in the development of many oncology programs, cancer treatment control clinical trials, scientific development and accruals. As Principal Investigator of the North Shore University Hospital Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP), he was instrumental in providing a wide range of clinical trials in cancer treatment and control.

Dr. Francis P. Arena

Dr. Francis P. Arena

Our 2015 Honoree Dr. Francis P. Arena received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Fordham University and his Medical Degree from Cornell University Medical College. His internship and residency were carried out at New York Hospital/Memorial Hospital, after which Dr. Arena served as Chief Medical Resident and later as Hematology/Oncology Fellow at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. William R. Grace

Dr. William R. Grace

Our 2014 Honoree, Dr. William Grace is a medical oncologist in New York and is affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital. Respected by his peers and consistently honored by healthcare consumer advocates, Dr. Grace has devoted his medical practice to “winning against cancer one patient at a time.” Dr. Grace believes in “personalized medicine” not as a vague hope for the future but as a promise for today.

The Katie Oppo Research Fund chose Dr. Grace to be its first honoree because he personalized Katie Oppo’s treatment and gave Katie hope when there was little hope to be found. Dr. Grace treated Katie as a person, not a person with cancer. He was as impressed with her courage as she was impressed by his knowledge.