HCI building

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

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

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

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

Cancer Control and Population Sciences

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

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

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

Staff Investigators

  • Lisa A. Cannon-Albright, PhD
  • Jennifer A. Doherty, MS, PhD


  • Maxwell 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
  • Jennifer Katz, Disease Center Administrative Director
  • Kris Frisby, Associate Director of Basic Science and Research Administration

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

Computational Oncology Research Initiative (CORI)

  • Howard Colman, MD, PhD, FAAN, Director

Division of Oncology

  • Saundra Buys, MD, Chief

Huntsman Alliance for Postdocs (HAP)

  • Aria Vaishnavi, PhD, Representative

Utah Cancer Registry

  • Carol Sweeney, PhD, Director

Cancer Center Director

Cornelia Ulrich, MS, PhD

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
Preclinical 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 Leadership


Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation

Jay Gertz, PhD
Jared Rutter, PhD


Cell Response and Regulation

Sheri Holmen, PhD


Experimental Therapeutics

Martin McMahon, PhD
Howard Colman, MD, PhD


Cancer Control and Population Sciences

Kathleen Mooney, PhD
Jennifer Doherty, MS, PhD