Our Medical Advisory Committee

The NLMSF Board is pleased to announce the formation of a new Medical Advisory Committee for the NLMSF.  We are honored that several of the finest researchers and clinicians in the field of sarcoma have agreed to serve on our Medical Advisory Committee.  The Committee is presently composed of 15 members including its Chairman, NLMSF Board Member, LMS Survivor, Mitchell D. Achee, MD, a Diagnostic Radiologist Practicing in Denver, Colorado.



Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologist, Denver, Colorado
University of Virginia School of Medicine Graduate M.D. (1977) Medical Internship and Residency in Diagnostic Radiology at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Aurora, ColoradoChair: Medical Advisory Committee, National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation

Dr. Achee, a Leiomyosarcoma survivor, diagnosed in 2011, has been in private practice for more than 25 years with Diversified Radiology of Colorado, P. C., a subspecialty radiology group of more than 60 radiologists in Denver, Colorado.  Dr. Achee has served in both active duty and in the reserves in the Army.  He served as Chief of the Diagnostic Branch, Dept. of Radiology at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center. He was Chief of the Dept. of Radiology at the Franklin Clinic of the Colorado Permanente Medical Group, P. C. in Denver.  He has held many leadership positions after his Army service:  Chairman, Dept. of Radiology / Chairman, Credentials Committee at Centura Avista Hospital;  President of the Medical Staff, Centura Avista Hospital;  Chair, Dept. of Radiology at Exempla St. Joseph Hospital in Denver;  Vice-President of operations and Hospital Affairs for Diversified Radiology of Colorado (encompassing 12 hospitals, 50 radiologists);  Medical Advisory Committee for United Healthcare of Colorado;  Denver Medical Society Board of Directors member.Currently, Dr. Achee is a member of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS).  He has focused on sarcoma patient support, advocacy, and education, as well as sarcoma research.  He, along with his wife, established a patient support and education website (www.lmslifeline.com) as well as assisted in establishing the Rocky Mountain LMS Support Network for LMS patients throughout Colorado.  Dr. Achee is a Sarcoma Alliance Board member.



Associate Professor, Dept. of Pathology, Division of Pathology/Lab Medicine, Director, Dept. of Pathology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas Selective (soft Tissue) Pathology Fellowship Training Program, Houston, Texas University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center Graduate (MD/PhD program, 2000)
Clinical Residency, Anatomic Pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, Medical Scientist Training Program (2002)
University of Texas Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Science, Dallas, Texas (2002)

Dr. Lazar is a distinguished medical pathologist with considerable background and training in the area of soft tissue sarcoma. He has had an administrative appointment as Director, Dept. of Pathology at M.D. Anderson with selective Soft Tissue Pathology Fellowship training, as well as a Faculty member at M. D. Anderson’s Sarcoma Research Center. Postgraduate training has been extensive, with a Clinical Fellowship, Soft Tissue Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA from 2002-2003. He has also been a committee member, American Joint Cancer Committee Soft Tissue Sarcoma (AJCC), 6th/7th Edition Task Force from 2007 to the present. Dr. Lazar has been a committee member of the Cancer Committee, Sarcoma Section, College of American Pathologists (CAP, since 2007.  He is also a member of the Sarcoma Multidisciplinary Clinical Center, Steering Committee since 2006, and is on the Teaching Faculty, Baylor Molecular Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine as of 2009.

Dr. Lazar was invited as a consultant to the First International Conference on Sarcoma Pathology, Miami, Florida, sponsored by the Office of Rare Diseases, NCI/NIH.  Dr. Lazar was a panelist by invitation-only to the round table event for approximately 50 international thought leaders to establish priorities for basis and translational research in 2009.


Brian Van Tine, MD, PhD

Medical Oncologist
Assistant professor of medicine, Division of Oncology, Section of Medical Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine

Research Interest

Clinical interest in the treatment of soft tissue and bone sarcomas. Research interest focuses on the study of the genomics and genetics of bone and soft tissue sarcomas. Using a combination of whole genomic sequencing and human in mouse xenografting, the Van Tine lab works to identify the druggable driving pathways for the treatment of sarcomas.


Edwin Choy, M.D. / Ph.D. (Medical Oncologist)

Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School
Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center
Massachusetts General Hospital
Director of Sarcoma Clinical Research
Clinical Director of Sarcoma Oncology

Edwin Choy, MD, PhD, is an esteemed clinical oncologist in the MGH Center for Sarcoma and Connective Tissue Oncology. As the Director of Sarcoma Research at the Division of Hematology Oncology at MGH, he specializes in the medical management of patients with sarcomas and maintains an active research focus that encompasses diverse areas of sarcoma therapy, ranging from use of nanotechnology and translational research aimed at developing new molecular therapies for treating sarcomas to preclinical studies using cell lines and animal models to better understand biochemical predictors of sarcoma therapy.

His training includes molecular biophysics and biochemistry with post-doctoral in internal medicine, hematology/oncology and a program in Medical Genetics through the Broad Institute of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Choy serves as an advisor on several Scientific Advisory Boards including Liddy Shriver, Amgen, Pfizer, and Bayer.  He was the Clinical Trial Project Leader for NCIs Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in collaboration with the Sarcoma Alliance and Medical Co-Chair for Clinical Trial ARST 1321.


Dr. Jonathan Fletcher
Assoc. Professor of Pathology

Harvard Medical Pathology – Dana FarberBrighan & Women’s Cancer Center


There are five areas of research focus in our laboratory. First is the identification of novel therapeutic targets amongst the tyrosine kinase family of proteins. These efforts focus on sarcomas, mesothelioma, and other solid tumors. Second is discovery of oncogenic mechanisms and therapeutic targets in leiomyosarcoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumor, and mesothelioma. Third is use of molecular cytogenetic methods to identify novel oncogenes in solid tumors. Fourth is development of novel approaches to administering targeted therapies in cancer. Fifth is characterization of response and resistance mechanisms to targeted therapies in cancer.
Dr. Neeta Somaiah
Assistant Professor, Department of Sarcoma Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston

Hematology / Oncology

As a hematologist/oncologist in Texas, Dr. Somaiah is capable of diagnosing and treating patients with blood-related disorders, malignancies, or cancers. Dr. Somaiah may treat a range of conditions ranging from the common to the very rare and complex. As a result, Dr. Somaiah may provide care as part of a multidisciplinary team, working in conjunction with other specialists to ensure the highest possible standard of care.



Surgical Oncologist
Director of the Division of Surgical Oncology at the Arthur G. Hospital, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, OhioPreviously Head of the Division of Surgery at the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, with a 31-year affiliation with M.D. Anderson St. Louis University School of Medicine GraduateSurgical residencies at Rush-Presbyterian, St. Luke’s Medical Center, and University of Chicago Hospital

Dr. Pollock is world renowned and respected as a gifted cancer surgeon, researcher, and passionate educator of physicians in training.  Dr. Pollock is principal investigator of an $11.5 million National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant to support collaborative sarcoma (Programs of Research Excellence SPORE grant), awarded to the Sarcoma Alliance for Research for Collaboration (SARC).  His expertise and international reputation as an experienced surgical leader, as well as a distinguished academician and researcher, allow for the continued pairing of innovative surgical solutions with discoveries in the burgeoning field of cancer genomics.  The James Hospital is ranked by U. S. News and World Report as a “top of the top cancer hospitals in the nation,” and highly rated and funded by the NCI, with designation as one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials.

Dr. Pollock will also be a professor and the Director of the Division of Surgical at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center College of the Medicine’s department of surgery.  As an international researcher and academician, Dr. Pollock’s focus is research and development of therapeutics for tumor suppression in soft tissue sarcomas, with a multidisciplinary / multiple level treatment approach.


Dr. Rashmi Chugh, M.D.

Rashmi  Chugh, M.D. (Medical Oncologist)
Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine—Hematology/Oncology
University of Michigan Health System
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

MI State Medical License 2001 – 2017
American Board of Internal Medicine-Internal Medicine, 2001
American Board of Internal Medicine-Medical Oncology, 2006

Dr. Rashmi Chugh is a well-respected medical oncologist in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers and Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System. She received her medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and her residency at the University of Michigan in Internal Medicine in 2002.  Her fellowship followed in Hematology/Medical Oncology, University of Michigan Health System, 2005, and she has been in practice for 17 years.

Dr. Chugh was recognized for her research on CMS Meaningful Use Stage 1 Certification, EpicCare Ambulatory EMR, Epic Systems Corporation in 2012 and CMS Meaningful Use Stage 1 Certification, EpicCare Ambulatory EMR, Epic Systems Corporation in 2013.

She is one of 31 doctors at University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers and one of 30 at Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System who specializes in Medical Oncology. She conducts clinical trials of investigational agents or novel combinations in sarcoma patients.

Dr. Robert Maki, MD

Sarcoma Program Leader/Medical Director
Center for Cancer Therapies
Monter Cancer Center

New Hyde Park, New York

Dr. Maki is an internationally -renowned sarcoma cancer physician and researcher, serving as the Director of Experimental Therapeutics of the Don Monti Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and Director of the Center for New Cancer Therapies at Northwell health Cancer Institute.

 Dr. Maki is a professor of hematology/oncology at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and professor and member of the

National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center at CSHL.  He has extensive expertise and experience in the development of novel therapies for the treatment of soft tissue and bone sarcomas.  he oversees the expansion of the basic and translational sarcoma cancer research program in collaboration with CSHL.  He will be pursuing bench -to-bedside research and clinical trials to improve the outcome of patients with aggressive cancer using promising new agents.  He has dedicated his life to finding a cure for sarcoma.

Dr. Scott H. Okuno, M.D.

Professor, Oncology
Medical Officer/Chair, Clinical Trials, SARC

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

  • Medical officer, Sarcoma Alliance for Research Through Collaboration (SARC), 2011-present
  • Founding and active member, Midwest Sarcoma Trials Partnership, 2011-present
  • Active member, Sarcoma Working Group, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, 2010-present
The research interests of Scott H. Okuno, M.D., include the management of patients with bone and soft tissue sarcomas, as well as head and neck cancers. His research encourages a multidisciplinary approach with surgeons and radiation oncologists.

Seth M. Pollack, MD
Clinical Expertise
Sarcoma, immune-based therapies
  • Assistant Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Assistant Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Dr. Pollack is a medical oncologist who treats adult patients with sarcoma.
My patient care philosophy is to provide care centered on the patient’s goals and desires. This begins with an education regarding their disease and treatment options. Every patient and every situation is different. I believe in fighting as hard as I can to help cure my patients. When this is not possible, I strive to help my patients live with an excellent quality of life for as long as possible.
Dr.  Matt Van de Rijn
Professor of Pathology
Department of Pathology
Stanford University Medical Center
Our research focuses on the study of human tumors by using and developing a range of techniques on extracting genomic and proteomic data from patient derived archival material( formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded(FFPE)). We perform our genomic analyses include RNAseq, exome-seq and 3SEQ for gene expression profiling and mutation calling and followed by validation of the data with in situ hybridization or immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays. Our goal is to find new diagnostic and prognostic markers in sarcoma and cancer, and to identify potential therapeutic targets.

William D. Tap, MD
Medical OncologistChief, Sarcoma Medical Oncology Service

Reaching For the Cure Together