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About UsScientific Advisors

We rely on and give thanks to our scientific advisors who provide feedback on the content we provide on Their guidance is essential -- helping PAL to achieve its goal of providing evidence- and science-based information for caregivers and patients with lymphoma.   

Michael R. Bishop, MD | Dr. Maurizio Bendandi , MD, PhD
John J. Densmore, MD, PhD | Jeff P. Sharman, MD
Lynda Olender, R.N. A.N.P., C.N.A.A | Alberto-Mussetti, MD
 Susan Olender, MD | Dimitris Placantonakis, MD, PhD
Lurdes Queimado, MD, PhD | Dr. Andrew Croaker, MD | Allen Cohen, MD

Last update: 12/01/2015

Dr. Michael Bishop

Director, Hematopoietic Cellular
Therapy Program
Section of Hematology/Oncology
University of Chicago

Michael R. Bishop, MD

Dr. Bishop received his M.D. from the University of Illinois in 1985. He completed clinical training in internal medicine at Northwestern University in 1988 and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Loyola University Medical Center in 1991. He was an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Kentucky Medical Center from 1991 to 1992 and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center from 1992 to 1999, where he served as director of the Leukemia and Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation Programs.

Dr. Bishop joined the National Cancer Institute in March 1999 to serve as the Clinical Head of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program. In 2003, he received the National Institutes of Health Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award. He received tenure as Senior Investigator at NIH in 2007. In 2009 he organized and co-chaired the First International Workshop on the Biology, Prevention, and Treatment of Relapse after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. In 2011 Dr. Bishop's was appointed as Head of the Hematologic Malignancies Section in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin/Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. In 2012, Dr. Bishop was recruited to serve as the director of the University of Chicago Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Program and was appointed Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago. In 2013, Dr. Bishop was named a Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence Master Clinician.

Dr. Bishop’s research focuses on the development and conduct novel clinical trials in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Particular areas of interest include the therapeutic use of T cells to accentuate graft-versus-tumor effects. In addition, his research program is focuses on methods to prevent and treat recurrent disease following allogeneic stem cell transplantation, with primary focus on non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

Dr. Bishop has authored or co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed articles and over 20 book chapters relative to the fields of hematologic malignancies and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. He serves as a reviewer and on the editorial boards of numerous scientific journals including Journal of Clinical Oncology, Blood, Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Dr. Maurizio Bendandi, MD, PhD


Dr. Maurizio Bendandi , MD, PhD

"... Dr. Bendandi has been a pioneer in the field of cancer vaccines, developing his vision towards the achievement of proofs-of-principle, not only as an academician, but also in collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry.

Updated CV pending

Jeff Sharman, M.D.
University of California, Davis

Dr. Sharman's CLL
and Lymphoma Blog
Jeff P. Sharman, MD

Dr Sharman enjoys practicing in a rapidly developing field that can offer new hope to patients.

"I enjoy taking care of patients facing difficult, frightening medical conditions such as cancer," he says. "Advances in medical oncology are occurring because of our rapidly expanding understanding of the causes of cancer."

At Stanford, his research into new drugs for lymphoma gained international attention and received unique recognition from the American Society of Hematology.

Dr. Sharman is a member of the US Oncology Hematologic Malignancies Research Committee and has an active roll in clinical trial development for WVCI. He has a particular interest in the care of patients with cancers of the blood and lymphatic system. He enjoys using personalized medicine -- determining unique molecular characteristics of the patients and their cancers to provide the most effective treatments with the fewest toxicities.

Dr. Sharman's interests include cycling, waterskiing, hiking, international travel, scuba diving and jazz.

John Densmore, MD, PhD

John J. Densmore, MD, PhD

Dr. Densmore is Assistant Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia. He is interested in biologic approaches to the treatment of lymphoma and is participating in clinical trials of idiotype vaccines and other immunotherapy approaches to the treatment of lymphoma.

Lynda Olender, 
R.N., A.N.P., C.N.A.A.


Lynda Olender, R.N. A.N.P., C.N.A.A. is serving as Chief Nurse Executive, Bronx VA Medical Center. In this role she plans, develops, directs and evaluates nursing practices across all Patient Care Centers within the medical center. Additionally she serves as a consultant in Clinical Nutrition having served on an interdisciplinary Nutrition Support Team for over 10 years. In this role she advises care for high nutritional risk patients - many receiving feeding by feeding tube or via the intravenous route. She is also an Assistant Professor, Division of Nursing - New York University, and has developed curriculum and instructed for both undergraduate and graduate courses including Professional Nursing, Leadership in Nursing, Comparative Health Systems (for Nurses and Allied Health students) for the last 12 years.



Alberto-Mussetti MD


Alberto Mussetti, MD

Dr. Mussetti is a graduate of the School of Medicine, Università Statale degli Studi di Milano, Milan – Italy, Magna cum laude

His Postdoctoral Training includes:

• March 2010 - May 2010: resident physician, Department of Pediatric Oncology, IRCCS Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milan – Italy, 2010

• June 2010 - November 2010: resident physician, Internal Medicine VI° Dpt, IRCCS Ospedale San Paolo, Milan – Italy

• December 2010 – June 2013: Resident in Hematology, Division of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, IRCCS Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milan – Italy

• September 2011:Voluntary physician, Pediatric Ward, St.Kizito Matany Hospital – Karamoja – Uganda

• July 2013 - present: Clinical Research fellow at Adult Stem Cell Transplant Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City – US


Susan Olender, M.D.

Susan Olender, MD

Dr. Olender is a graduate of NYU School of Medicine. Her  interests include access to health care and epidemiology.  While at NYU, Susan helped form the first student-operated free clinic -- the NYC Free Clinic -- sponsored by the School of Medicine, and co-sponsored by the Institute for Urban Family Health.

Susan also conducted epidemiology research in a developing nation and was a supporting member of the Physicians for a National Health Care initiative.  

Now she is a first year resident in Internal Medicine-Primary Care at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. In addition access to care, she is interested in pain management of chronic illness. 


Dimitris Placantonakis, MD, Ph.D.

Dimitris Placantonakis, MD, PhD

Dr. Placantonakis is a graduate of NYU School of Medicine NY. His specialties and areas of expertise include functional neurosurgery, epilepsy, movement disorders, gene therapy and neuronal tissue imaging. 

Lurdes Queimado, MD, PhD

Lurdes Queimado, MD, PhD

Dr. Queimado is an Assistant Professor of Otorhinolaryngology at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Lurdes has a Ph.D. in molecular pathology and has worked in cancer research since 1992. 

Research Interests: My major research interest is in the study of cancer with the ultimate goal of contributing to better prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Another area of main interest is DNA repair. Repair of DNA damage is essential for cell survival and mitigates cancer development. 

Advocacy Interests:

  1. Further patient’s education. Being well informed is the best tool to fight cancer. 
  2. Increase patient’s participation on clinical trials. Without trials, better treatments will not be approved.
  3. Increase funding for basic and clinical research. Without research no novel treatments will be developed.

Susan B. Spector, MS, RD, CDN.


Susan Spector MS, RD, CDN

Susan is Dietetic Internship Director Clinical Coordinator/Nutrition & Food Program at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

Dr. Andrew Croaker, MD

Andy Croaker, MD

Dr. Croaker has a Bachelor Medicine (Newcastle), FRACGP 2001.
Diagnosed with low grade advanced follicular lymphoma 01/2002 resulting in a career change. Currently working to form a fund raising organization for Lymphoma Research and working at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in the field of immunotherapy.

Allen Cohen, MD

Allen Cohen, MD

Dr. Cohen's bio sketch is pending


Our anonymous advisors

... are medical professionals who are directly fighting NHL while pursuing professional careers. The need to remain anonymous speaks to the hidden penalties of living with lymphoma in our society. 

We especially value the insights and contributions of our anonymous scientific advisors because they have a unique perspective based on the understanding both the medical system and the experience of living with the disease.

V A, Ph.D. | A R, MD | H H, MD | DF, Ph.D.


Disclaimer:  The information on is not intended to be a substitute for 
professional medical advice or to replace your relationship with a physician.
For all medical concerns, you should always consult your doctor. 
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