Host Bios

Lynn Wilson, Cancer Answers

Dr. Anees Chagpar

A member of the New England Division Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society, Dr. Anees Chagpar is the Director of the Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, the Program Director of the Interdisciplinary Breast Fellowship at Yale University, and the Assistant Director for Diversity and Disparities at Yale Cancer Center. Born and raised in Canada, she completed her BSc in Honors Biochemistry and MD with Honors in Research at the University of Alberta, and her general surgery residency training and MSc at the University of Saskatchewan. She went on to complete the Susan G. Komen Interdisciplinary Breast Fellowship at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, an MPH at Harvard School of Public Health and an MA in Bioethics and Medical Humanities at the University of Louisville.

After fellowship, she joined the University of Louisville as an Assistant Professor of Surgery, rising rapidly through the ranks to become an Associate Professor with tenure, and also served as an Academic Advisory Dean. She built the first nationally accredited Breast Center in the state of Kentucky at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center prior to being recruited to Yale in September 2010 where she led the effort for Yale to become the first NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Northeast to have a nationally accredited breast center. She has taken on leadership positions in a myriad of professional organizations, and her clinical practice and research interests are dedicated solely to breast cancer.  She is a busy breast surgical oncologist who participates in investigator-initiated and cooperative group clinical trials, as well as translational and clinical research. She has NIH funding to evaluate markers of non-sentinel node metastases, and is the principal investigator on the SHAVE trial to evaluate optimal surgical management of breast cancer patients undergoing partial mastectomy.

She enjoys teaching and mentoring medical students, residents, fellows and junior faculty, and is the Director of the Surgical Oncology Clerkship at Yale. In her spare time, Anees enjoys reading, travelling and being physically active.

Dr. Steven Gore

Dr. Steven Gore, Director of Hematologic Malignancies at Smilow Cancer Hospital, is an internationally known hematologist. Dr. Gore’s national leadership on clinical trials for patients with leukemia and meylodysplastic syndromes and focus on translational research elevates the Hematology Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. He has just opened a national trial for transfusion-dependent patients with low-grade myelodysplasic syndrome, and is in the process of opening other trial for patients with more advanced or relapsed disease. He is actively recruiting more physicians with particular expertise in clinical trial development. The goal is to have high-impact clinical trials open for patients with all of the major hematologic malignancies at all stages, while maintaining the current level of outstanding personalized care.

He is a member of the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the American Association for Cancer Research.  Dr. Gore is a member of the Leukemia Core Committee and the Leukemia Correlative Science Committee of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.  He also Chairs the Hematologic Malignancies Committee of the Mayo Phase 2 Consortium. 

Dr. Gore received his undergraduate degree from Yale College and his medical degree from Yale University.  He completed his internship and residency at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics and his fellowship in oncology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on hematologic malignancies and myelodysplastic syndromes.

Dr. Susan Higgins

Dr. Susan Higgins, Associate Professor of Therapeutic Radiology at Yale Cancer Center, graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in biochemistry and then entered a PhD program at New York University. After graduating from medical school, Dr. Higgins completed her residency in Therapeutic Radiology at Yale.  After spending a few years in private practice, she returned to Yale as a faculty member.  She notes that there are many aspects of her department that appeal to her, “Clinically it is a large program, but not so large that it becomes impersonal.  It is a great work environment, and many of the mentors that I had are still working here today, which makes for a very comfortable and positive workplace. I always felt that Yale was the perfect fit for me.”

Dr. Higgins has many roles within Therapeutic Radiology.  She has significant expertise in the treatment of breast and gynecologic cancers, and extensive experience in performing brachytherapy procedures (brachytherapy is a term that refers to the implantation of radioactive seeds to treat tumors).   She is co-director of the Gynecologic Oncology Cancer Program at the new Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven.  As part of that program, she works with other physicians to treat cancers in a multidisciplinary fashion, using the appropriate combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.