ULACNet Virtual Annual Meeting (Speakers)

Speaker and Moderator Biographies


Vikrant Sahasrabuddhe

Vikrant Sahasrabuddhe, MBBS, MPH, DrPH

National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Prevention
ULACNet Program Director

Dr. Vikrant Sahasrabuddhe serves as Deputy Chief of the Breast and Gynecologic Cancer Research Group and Program Director in the Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) where he provides scientific direction and strategic guidance for clinic- and population-based precision prevention research efforts for HPV-related cancers. Dr. Sahasrabuddhe directs ULACNet, NCI DCP's clinical trials network focused on collaborative research on innovations in optimization of HPV immunoprevention, screening and triage, and precancer treatment in persons living with HIV. Dr. Sahasrabuddhe received his medical degree from University of Pune in India, his master's and doctorate in public health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and fellowship training in epidemiology at Johns Hopkins and at the NCI. He has published widely across a broad spectrum of clinical, epidemiologic, and implementation research areas on infection-associated cancers with high or rising incidence and mortality burden.

Renske D.M. Steenbergen

Renske D.M. Steenbergen, PhD, MSc

Cancer Center Amsterdam

Renske Steenbergen is Professor of Experimental Pathology at the Department of Pathology Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Cancer Center Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She gained her MSc degree in BioMedical Sciences from Leiden University, the Netherlands in 1991 and her PhD degree cum laude from VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1997. She has a 30-year track record in basic and translational research on HPV-induced cervical carcinogenesis. She acts as a principal investigator in a highly interdisciplinary research team consisting of molecular biologists, clinicians and biostatisticians and has published more than 180 papers in peer-reviewed journals. She has developed an extensive series of longitudinal in vitro model systems of HPV-transformed keratinocytes. By the comprehensive molecular analysis of clinical specimens, including tissues, cervical scrapings, self-collected (cervico-)vaginal samples, urine and anal swabs of patients with HPV-induced anogenital (pre)malignant disease (e.g. cervix, vulva and anus) she identified and validated various DNA methylation and microRNA markers for cervical and anal cancer screening and for risk stratification of HPV-induced precancerous disease.

Silvina Arrossi

Silvina Arrossi, Msc, PhD

National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET), Argentina

Dr. Arrossi is a Senior Researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET) and at the Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES), Argentina. During 2008-2018 she was the Scientific Coordinator of the National Program on Cervical Cancer Prevention, Argentina, and since 2019 she is member of its Scientific Committee. In Argentina, she led the Jujuy Demonstration Project for the Introduction of HPV-testing as primary screening, the EMA study to introduce and evaluate HPV self-collection in Argentina, and Project to scale-up HPV-testing as primary screening nationally (2015-2018). At present she is the principal investigator of several national and international research projects on cancer control and prevention, including the ATICA Project to evaluate effectiveness of mHealth strategies to increase adherence to follow-up by HPV positive women, funded through an R01 grant from the NCI/NIH from the United States. She is a consultant of the World Health Organization (WHO), a member of the Regional Advisory Board for Latin America of the American Association for Research on Cancer (AACR), a member of the Advisory Board for the “Initiative for a global data repository on Cancer Screening in 5 Continents (CanScreen5)” led by IARC-WHO, and an advisor of ministries of health of several Latin American countries. Her publications include papers in international peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and programmatic materials. Her main areas of research are about organization of cancer prevention and control programs, the analysis of social inequalities in the access to health services, and the social and economic cost of cancer.

Joel Palefsky

Joel Palefsky, MD

University of California San Francisco
CAMPO Consortium Principal Investigator

Joel Palefsky, MD is Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. Dr. Palefsky completed his undergraduate medical training and training in Internal Medicine at McGill University and completed his fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Stanford University in 1989. He is the founder and director of the Anal Neoplasia Clinic at the UCSF Cancer Center, Vice Chair of the NCI-supported AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC), and Principal Investigator of the NCI AMC Anchor (Anal Cancer HSIL Outcomes Research) Study. He is the immediate past president of the International Papillomavirus Society and is the founder and immediate past president of the International Anal Neoplasia Society. Dr. Palefsky's research interests include the molecular pathogenesis and natural history of HPV-related disease, including in the setting of HIV infection, HPV prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines, secondary prevention of anal cancer, and treatment of HPV-related disease. Dr. Palefsky serves as the contact Principal Investigator of the CAMPO Partnership Center in ULACNet and co-chairs the ULACNet precancer treatment working group.

Malgaly Blas

Malgaly Blas, MD, MPH, PhD

Affiliate Associate Professor, Global Health, School of Public Heath, University of Washington
Médico Epidemióloga, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru

Magaly Blas, MD, MPH, PhD is the director of Mamás del Río (Mothers of the River), a social innovation program that aims to improve maternal and newborn health in rural and remote areas of the Peruvian and Colombian Amazon region through the training of community health workers empowered with technology. Dr. Blas is an associate professor at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) School of Public Health and an affiliate associate professor at the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. She studied Medicine at UPCH and finished her MPH and PhD in Epidemiology at the UW. Magaly is recipient of the 2009-2010 NIH-Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellowship and the 2010 Global Health Council's new investigator award. She has been awarded the 2016 Elsevier Foundation Award for early-career women scientists in the developing world, the 2016 L'Oréal-UNESCO Concytec Award for Peruvian women scientists and the 2016 Award of Good Practices in Public Administration for the Mamás del Río project. In 2018, Magaly was recipient of the Women in Innovation Award from UPCH and the 2018 Eisenhower Fellowship. In 2019, Mamás del Río received the Social Innovation in Health Award from the Pan American Health Organization.

Margaret M. Madeleine

Margaret M. Madeleine, MPH, PhD

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Program in Epidemiology, Colaboración Evita, Principal Investigator

Margaret M. Madeleine, MPH, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington and Research Associate Professor at the University of Washington. She received an MPH from Yale University in 1991 and PhD from the University of Washington in 1996. Dr. Madeleine is a cancer epidemiologist who studies prevention of HPV-related cancers and precancers. Her prior etiologic studies focused on cofactors with HPV that cause cancer, and current prevention projects include trials of HPV vaccination, screening, and treatment studies among persons living with HIV. She leads a trial investigating use of the licensed vaccine to interrupt progression of neoplasia and is an investigator on the Seattle based CLIMB trials, which are part of NCI's CASCADE Network. Dr. Madeleine is also the contact Principal Investigator of the Colaboración Evita Partnership Center in ULACNet.

Tim Wilkin

Tim Wilkin, MD, MPH

Weill Cornell Medicine
ROCCHHA Consortium Principal Investigator

Dr. Wilkin is Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean for Clinical Research Compliance at Weill Cornell Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree in Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin and attended medical school at Ohio State University, followed by residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago Hospitals and fellowship training in Infectious Diseases at Columbia University. While at Columbia, he completed a Master's of Public Health with a concentration in Patient-Oriented Research. Upon joining the faculty of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, he was supported by a K23 Grant (Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award) from NIH to study human papillomavirus infection and anal dysplasia in HIV-positive and HIV-negative men. He has chaired or co-chaired 12 multi-site clinical trials within the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, AIDS Malignancy Consortium, and HIV Prevention Trials Group. Dr. Wilkin serves as the contact Principal Investigator of the ROCCHHA Consortium in ULACNet.

Margaret House

Margaret House, RN, BSN

National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Prevention
ULACNet Nurse Consultant

Maggie House is a nurse consultant in the Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP) at the NCI and has over 30 years of oncology nursing and clinical trial experience. She earned her Diploma in Nursing from St. Joseph's Hospital School of Nursing in 1982 and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Georgetown University in 2000. In DCP, Maggie provides support to the Prostate and Urologic Cancer Research Group studies and to several early phase breast and gynecological clinical trials, as well as serving as Nurse Consultant for ULACNet. In addition, Maggie is responsible for overseeing monitoring/auditing of the DCP Early Phase Cancer Prevention Clinical Trials Consortia program, serves on the Accrual Quality Improvement Program (AQuIP) Committee, and serves as Co-Chair of the Clinical Trials Simplification Committee of the DCP Cancer Prevention Clinical Trials Network (CP-CTNet). Her clinical trial interests include chemoprevention clinical trial recruitment, and process improvement for clinical trial site monitoring and staff education.

Ellen Richmond

Ellen Richmond, MS, GNP-BC

National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Prevention
Nurse Consultant

Ellen Richmond, is the Nurse Consultant and the Deputy Chief of the Gastrointestinal and Other Cancers Research Group (GOCRG) in the NCI's Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP). She developed and leads the implementation of the Accrual Quality Improvement Program (AQuIP), a multi-component system that supports accrual for the DCP early phase cancer prevention trials. She is an ad hoc consultant for ULACNet's implementation of AQuIP.

Betania Allen-Leigh

Betania Allen-Leigh, MA, PhD

National Institute of Public Health (INSP), Mexico

Betania Allen-Leigh is Researcher in Medical Sciences within the Reproductive Health Division at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico. She did her Masters and PhD degrees in Anthropological Sciences at the Autonomous Metropolitan University-Iztapalapa campus, a public university located in Mexico City. Her dissertation was an ethnography created with women living with HIV, on kinship, gender and power issues relating to living with and receiving treatment for HIV/AIDS. She is a co-investigator and the project manager for the Mexico site in the ULACNet-201 and 202 trials, within the ROCCHHA Consortium. She works on public health research focusing on the prevention and healthcare needs of vulnerable populations including people living with HIV, transgender people, men who have sex with men, children and adults with intellectual disability, indigenous Mexicans and economically disadvantaged people. She carried out cognitive testing of an early child development measurement tool for UNICEF in Mexico and cognitive testing of questionnaire items on child health for Mexico’s National Health and Nutrition Survey (ENSANUT). She has coordinated a number of qualitative research projects on HPV vaccination and early detection of HPV-related cancers. She also does research on services to promote independent living in people with intellectual disability. She teaches qualitative methodology at the School of Public Health of Mexico and has also given courses on qualitative research and analysis at the Universidad de Caldas in Colombia and the Universidad Mayor de San Simón in Bolivia.

Delia Pinto-Santini

Delia Pinto-Santini, PhD

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Delia Pinto-Santini holds a Doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology. She was born in Venezuela and has lived and worked in the United States for the last ~20 years. While pursuing her PhD she focused on the biology of H. pylori, bacterium associated with the development of gastric ulcers and cancer. In the last six years she has been working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center as part of the HOPE (HIV Outocomes, Prevention and Epidemiology) Duerr group. In addition to coordinating various HOPE clinical research projects in the area of HIV epidemiology and prevention (mainly in MSM and TW in Peru), she currently manages (in collaboration with Dr. Ann Duerr) the ULACNet-301 trial on optimizing HPV vaccination of children living with HIV.

Kristin Dahlgren, MSc

Kristin Dahlgren, MSc

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Kristin Dahlgren works at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center as Project Manager for ULACNet-302 Estudio Oportunidad. She holds a MSc in Toxicology from the University of Oslo and has worked in cancer research for 10 years. Kristin has recently shifted away from laboratory-based work to focus on clinical research and project management within cancer research studies. She comes from a multicultural family and has lived, worked, and studied in many countries around the world. These experiences have developed her passion for working with underserved populations and using her skills to contribute to the advancement of racial equity in health care.

Sandra I. García-Camacho

Sandra I. García-Camacho, MPH

University of Puerto Rico

Sandra I. García-Camacho has an MPH in biostatistics from the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus. In the same university, she is pursuing her DrPH in Health System Analysis and Management. In addition, she is CAMPO’s lead clinical research coordinator in Puerto Rico site. She has experience leading, coordinating and supporting research related to healthcare of patients with anal and/or gynecological cancers. She has had multiple publications and has participated in workshops, conferences and courses related to research coordination.

Emma Brofsky

Emma Brofsky, MSPH

National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Prevention
ULACNet Scientific Program Analyst

Emma Brofsky is a Scientific Program Analyst in the Division of Cancer Prevention at the National Cancer Institute. She serves as a Project Manager for the US-Latin American-Caribbean HIV/HPV-Cancer Prevention Clinical Trials Network (ULACNet) and supports other projects within the Breast and Gynecological Cancer Research Group and the division. Emma received a Bachelor of Biological Sciences from Cornell University and a Master of Science in Public Health in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has experience working with local, state, and federal public health agencies as well as in international field settings on projects related to emerging infectious disease response, health program implementation, and maternal and child health.

Emilia Jalil

Emilia Jalil MD, PhD


Emilia Jalil, MD, PhD, is a medical doctor with a PhD in Medicine and is experienced in transgender and cisgender women's health and STI/AIDS. She is a tenured researcher of the STD & AIDS Clinical Research Laboratory, at The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Karina Robles Rivera

Karina Robles Rivera, MD, MHSc

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Dr. Karina Robles received her medical degree from the School of Medicine at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and her master's degree with an honorable mention in Health Science in the disciplinary field of Epidemiology. Dr. Robles has been working as a professor at the Department of Public Health and the Department of Medical Sciences Integration at the School of Medicine, UNAM. Her research interests include HPV infection, HPV-related malignancies, and the impact of lifestyle on chronic degenerative diseases. She is currently working as a research assistant at the California-Mexico-Puerto Rico (CAMPO) Partnership Center in ULACNet.

Alejandra Portillo-Romero

Alejandra Portillo-Romero MD, MSc, ScD

National Institute of Public Health of Mexico

Dr. Portillo-Romero is a Physician and Doctor of Science in Epidemiology with emphasis in Clinical Research. Her main areas of research are cancer epidemiology, screening options for high-risk HPV, and HPV vaccination, primarily in higher-risk populations such as men who have sex with men, transgender women, and people living with HIV. She has participated as an Adjunct Assistant Professor and as an advisor and thesis director for master's students at the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) and as a tutor for exchange students. She has been and continues as a sub-investigator in various clinical trials and demonstration studies related to HPV vaccination and detection, mainly in key populations. She currently works as Clinical Coordinator of the Clinical Trial: "Nine-valent Vaccine to Prevent Persistent Oral HPV Infection in Men Living with HIV". (Association for the prevention of cancers associated with HPV in people living with HIV: Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico) funded by the NIH.