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Cancer Center Leadership

Nathan Levitan, MD, MBA, is President of UH Seidman Cancer Center, and Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Levitan oversees the cancer hospital on the main campus of UH Case Medical Center and its 17 ambulatory sites in Northern Ohio. He has been in this position since 2008. From 2003 to 2008, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for the University Hospitals system. Prior to that he was Senior Vice President and systemwide Chief Medical Officer for University Hospitals, including UH Case Medical Center and its affiliated community hospitals. He joined UH in 1991 as a thoracic medical oncologist and clinical researcher. He is the author of a wide variety of articles and abstracts in the field of medical oncology.

Dr. Levitan, a graduate of Brandeis University and Tufts University School of Medicine, completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Boston University and the Boston VA Medical Center and a fellowship in hematology and oncology and blood banking at the Boston VA Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. He also earned a Master of Business Administration from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

Contact Dr. Levitan at 216-844-3695


Stanton L. Gerson, MD, is Director, UH Seidman Cancer Center and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Asa and Patricia Shiverick – Jane Shiverick (Tripp) Professor of Hematologic Oncology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Dr. Gerson is an internationally recognized clinical researcher in the areas of stem cells, hematologic malignancies and developmental therapeutics. In the School of Medicine laboratory, he was the first to describe low levels of MGMT gene expression in hematopoietic stem cells and te first to identify both MGMT gene transfer into hematopoietic stem cells as a drug protection mechanism and the role of MGMT in protection from alkylating agent-induced cancers. He described the use of novel drugs that inhibit MGMT and base excision repair in cancer treatments, which are now in early phase trials. His recent work focuses on the role of DNA repair in stem cell maintenance and protection from leukemogenesis.

Dr. Gerson has received several prestigious honors from the American Cancer Society and the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, is a member of the American Association of Physicians and the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors, and is a past member of the Association of American Cancer Institute’s board of directors. He was presented with the 2012 Case Western Reserve Medal for Excellence in Health Science Innovation.

Contact Dr. Gerson at 216-844-1232


Julian Kim, MD, MS, Chief Medical Officer, UH Seidman Cancer Center; Charles A. Hubay Chair in Surgery, UH Cleveland Medical Center; and Professor of Surgery, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, is responsible for quality and inpatient clinical services for the cancer hospital. A renowned cancer surgeon, Dr. Kim has been Chief of Oncologic Surgery at UH Seidman Cancer Center since 2006, and unified all cancer surgery capabilities for the transition to the new cancer hospital. In this role, Dr. Kim has overseen and aligned various cancer surgery services throughout University Hospitals and has integrated all surgical specialties with UH seidman Cancer Center’s multidisciplinary care teams.

Dr. Kim is a recognized expert in the treatment of patients who have melanoma, breast cancer, soft tissue sarcomas or gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies. He also heads a translational research laboratory that is developing a next generation of activated T cells for adoptive Immunotherapy of patients with advanced melanoma.

Contact Dr. Kim at 216-844-8247


Neal J. Meropol, MD, is Chief, Division of Hematology and Oncology, and Dr. Lester E. Coleman, Jr., Chair of Cancer Research and Therapeutics, UH Cleveland Medical Center, and Professor of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

He also serves as Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Associate Director for Clinical Programs, UH Seidman Cancer Center. Dr. Meropol has a national reputation for his research contributions in GI malignancies, including evaluation of new agents, predictors of response and outcome, and assessment of the economic impact of care. He is also well recognized for his work in patient decision-making and doctor-patient communication with regard to clinical trials. His national leadership roles include co-chair of the NCI GI Steering committee and past-chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Cancer Research committee and Comparative Effectiveness Task Force. 

Contact Dr. Meropol at 216-983-4752


Mitchell Machtay, MD, Chairman, Department of Radiation Oncology, UH Cleveland Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; Vincent K. Smith Chair in Radiation Oncology, UH Cleveland Medical Center; and Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, is highly regarded as a national clinical research leader in radiation oncology. Dr. Machtay’sareas of interest and expertise include lung cancer, head and neck cancer and tumors within or near the central nervous system.

In his position, he works closely with the clinical investigators at UH Seidman Cancer Center. He is nationally recognized for his outstanding leadership, serving as the deputy chair of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) since 2000. The RTOG is the major coordinating center for clinical trials in radiation therapy in the country. Dr. Machtay is on the editorial board for the International Journal of Radiation Oncology- Biology-Physics. He also has been an editorial board member of several medical journals and has delivered numerous national and international presentations.

Contact Dr. Machtay at 216-844-2530


Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD, medical oncologist, UH Seidman Cancer Center; and Francis Wragg Ingalls Professor of Cancer Genetics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and a team of researchers published findings in the April issue of Science Translational Medicine on the effects of aspirin on colorectal cancer risk in people with the gene 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH) RNA. The study, which included nearly 128,000 participants, found that people with high levels of 15-PGDH in their colons could cut their colorectal cancer risk in half by taking aspirin. Researchers now hope to develop a cost-effective test for measuring the levels of 15-PGDH in the colon to determine which patients would benefit from aspirin therapy. 

Contact Dr. Markowitz at 216-844-3951


Afshin Dowlati, MD, Director, Thoracic Oncology Program, Rosalie and Morton A. Cohen Chair in Oncology, Endowed Director of the Gries Center for Cancer Drug Development, UH Seidman Cancer Center; and Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine, a research team published two studies that have the potential to advance the treatment of small cell lung cancer (SCLC), one of the fastest-growing cancers.

The first study, published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, found a new mutation in SCLC, called RET, that was linked to rapid cell growth. Examining specimens in its database of metastatic SCLC tumors, the team discovered that the RET protein was sensitive to two new targeted therapies, ponatinib and vandetanib. The second study, published in PLOS One, focused on analyzing SCLC tumors to examine drug sensitivity to predict which drugs would be most effective at slowing tumor growth. 

Contact Dr. Dowlati at 216-844-1228