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The RLC has responsibility for coordination, planning, and oversight of HCI’s research portfolio and is accountable for the design and execution of Cancer Center goals. The Council is chaired by the Cancer Center Director, Cornelia Ulrich, MS, PhD, and includes representatives from the Director’s Cabinet, all Cancer Program Leaders, Staff Investigators, HCI-managed Shared Resource Directors, the PRMS and DSMC Chairs, and senior administrators. This group serves as the core leadership of the Cancer Center, participates actively in strategic planning for HCI research initiatives, and directs evaluation of Programs, Shared Resources, and membership. New applications for Cancer Center Membership are presented by a relevant Cancer Program Leader and put forward for an advisory vote by RLC members based on specific membership criteria; Dr. Ulrich makes final decisions on Cancer Center membership. The RLC meets monthly for two hours.

The Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Research Leadership Council is composed of the following leadership categories:


  • Cornelia Ulrich, MS, PhD, Executive Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center, HCI

HCI Senior Directors

  • Neeraj Agarwal, MD, Clinical Research Innovation
  • Donald E. Ayer, PhD, Cancer Training and Career Enhancement
  • Max Loveless, MBA, Senior Administrative Director
  • Martin McMahon, PhD, Pre-Clinical Translation
  • Kolawole S. Okuyemi, MD, MPH, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Tracy Onega, PhD, MS, Population Sciences
  • Alana Welm, PhD, Basic Science
  • Theresa Werner, MD, Clinical Research

Program Co-Leaders

Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation

  • Jay Gertz, PhD
  • Jared P. Rutter, PhD

Cell Response and Regulation

  • Sheri L. Holmen, PhD

Experimental Therapeutics

  • Howard Colman, MD, PhD
  • Martin McMahon, PhD

Cancer Control and Population Sciences

  • Jennifer Doherty, MS, PhD
  • Kathleen Mooney, PhD, RN

Clinical Leaders

  • Wallace L. Akerley, MD, Chair, Protocol Review and Monitoring
  • Howard Colman, MD, PhD, Vice-Chair, Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee
  • Paul J. Shami, MD, Chair, Data and Safety Monitoring

Shared Resource Directors

  • Kenneth M. Boucher, PhD and Benjamin Haaland, PhD, Cancer Biostatistics
  • Nicola Camp, PhD, Utah Population Database
  • Brian Dalley, PhD, and David A. Nix, PhD, High-Throughput Genomics and Bioinformatic Analysis
  • Christopher Fillmore, PhD, Biorepository and Molecular Pathology
  • Wendy K. Kohlmann, MS, CGC, Genetic Counseling
  • David H. Lum, PhD, Preclinical Research Resource
  • Andrew Post, MD, PhD, Research Informatics

Staff Investigators

  • Jennifer A. Doherty, MS, PhD


  • Kris Frisby, Associate Director of Basic Science and Research Administration
  • Jennifer Katz, Disease Center Administrative Director
  • Max Loveless, MBA, HCI Administrative Officer, Cancer Center Support Grant Administrator
  • Melanie Ward, Associate Director, Cancer Center Support Grant Associate Administrator
  • Holly Zullo, PhD, Director of Research Development

HCI Centers and Partners

Center for Cancer Genetics

  • Sean V. Tavtigian, PhD, Director

Center for Health Outcomes and Population Equity (HOPE)

  • David W. Wetter, PhD, MS, Director

Center for Investigational Therapeutics

  • Neeraj Agarwal, MD, Director

Center for Patient and Public Education

  • Donna M. Branson, Director

Center for Quantitative Cancer Imaging

  • Jeffrey T. Yap, PhD, Director

Children’s and Adolescent Cancer Initiative/Division of Pediatric Hematology

  • Michael Pulsipher, MD, Director/Chief

Computational Oncology Research Initiative (CORI)

  • Howard Colman, MD, PhD, FAAN, Director

Division of Oncology

  • Saundra Buys, MD, Chief

Huntsman Alliance for Postdocs (HAP)

  • Sharanya Maanasi Kalasekar, PhD, Representative

Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

  • Kola Okuyemi, MD, MPH, Senior Director
  • Natasha Ovuoba, Associate Director

Utah Cancer Registry

  • Carol Sweeney, PhD, Director