Coming Together Against Cancer

Coming Together Against Cancer

Although the Sat., April 4th events are cancelled, we are refocusing our efforts to accommodate the current environment. We will keep you informed so you can continue to make an impact in advancing cancer research and supporting the critical support networks for those with cancer.
The CTAC Committee

Congratulations CTAC Community

We are excited to inform you that together we raised over $1 million dollars for 30+ cancer institutions and organizations at CTAC 2019.

Please save the date of Saturday April 4th, 2020 for CTAC 2020, where we will again gather at Eloise Werlin Park to learn more from the programs we funded this year and welcome the CTAC Pioneering Physicians for 2020.

CTAC is…
A new paradigm in collaborative donor engagement, where leading cancer researchers from around the country interact directly with CTAC community members supporting their programs.
The Event is…
An opportunity for attendees to learn first-hand about the latest cancer research from the nine pioneering physicians leading the innovative effort, ask the doctors questions about their research and personally interact with the pioneering physicians.
The Venue is…
Surrounded by the beautiful Sarasota Bay at Eloise Werlin Park and sheltered by the renowned Ringling Bridge. The newly refurbished park is a place for adults and children to dream, play, and spend time together...


A New Model of Engagement

CTAC Circle

The 2018 CTAC event raised $750,000 from over 200 participants - 100 % of which was passed directly through to 35 cancer treatment, support and research programs, including Johns Hopkins, Duke, Sarasota Memorial Hospital Cancer Institute, Moffitt, M.D. Anderson, U.N.C.-Lineberger and Sloan Kettering, to name just a few. Donors leveraged CTAC’s unique educational resources to make informed giving decisions and maximize the impact of their philanthropy with 100 % donation pass-through and the potential for matching funds awards. In 2018, four pioneering physician researchers were selected to engage closely with the CTAC community and in March of 2018, doctors from Moffitt, Duke, Sarasota Memorial Hospital Cancer Institute and Johns Hopkins joined CTAC supporters to present their research, engage with interested donors and answer their questions. At the 2019 CTAC event held April 13th, four new cancer research programs joined CTAC supporters to present their programs, while the 2018 CTAC physician inductees presented research updates. The CTAC Physician participation cycles serves a multiplicity of purposes:

  1. To educate donors and the community on advances in the fight against cancer;
  2. To facilitate direct engagement and participation between researchers and donors; and
  3. To provide a clear and actionable relationship between support and results.


In our mission to provide you with valuable information and educational resources, we would like to share with you this recent COVID-19 Clinical Research Update press briefing from the leadership team at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. In this video created on April 9, 2020, Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Fiorica, Medical Director of Clinical Research Dr. Kirk Voelker and Manager of Clinical Research Tamela Fonseca discuss COVID-19 clinical trials currently underway at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

The Details

Although the Sat., April 4th events are cancelled, we are refocusing our efforts to accommodate the current environment. We will keep you informed so you can continue to make an impact in advancing cancer research and supporting the critical support networks for those with cancer.


Eloise Werlin Park
920 John Ringling Causeway
Sarasota, FL 34236

This is a free event featuring finger foods provided by Jeremy Hammond-Chambers' Innovative Dining Catering, a performance by the West Coast Black Theatre Troupe, and a panel discussion and question session with four premier Oncologists. Parking - Marina Jacks North parking lot with shuttle service to and from the park provided.


The CTAC Committee

Ernest "Doc" Werlin - Founder
Lori J. Kayser - CEO
Kerry Essex
Lucy Halasz
Dr. Dean Hautamaki
Lizzie Hautamaki

Tom Koski
Jill Levine
Scott Levine
Tony McEachern
Elizabeth Moore

2020 CTAC Moderators

Photo Coming

Dr. Dean Hautamaki
Hautamaki & Horiuchi, Personal Physicians of Sarasota

Bio coming soon

Photo Coming

Dr. Scott Lunin
Florida Cancer Specialists

Bio coming soon

2020 CTAC Physicians

Dr. William Chapman (Liver)
Washington University School of Medicine

William Chapman, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a Professor of Surgery, the Chief of Abdominal Organ Transplant and the Eugene M. Bricker Chair of Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, as well as the Chief of the Division of General Surgery at Barnes Jewish Hospital. He has been an active member in many surgical societies, including President of the AHPBA for the 2013-2014 year and President of the Western Surgery Association for the 2015-2016 year and, most recently, Treasurer of the ASTS for the 2018-2019 year and President of the Southern Surgical Association for the 2020 year. He is currently a director of the American Board of Surgery and is on the editorial board of six surgical journals, including the American Journal of Transplantation, Transplantation, Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Annals of Surgery, and Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. His clinical interest is adult and pediatric liver transplantation, adult kidney transplantation, and HPB surgery for both benign and malignant diseases.

Dr. Kirk Ludwig (Colorectal)
Medical College of Wisconsin

Full Bio

Dr. Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D (Brain)
University of Florida

Duane A. Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D. is the Phyllis Kottler Friedman Professor and Vice Chair of Research for the Lillian S. Wells Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida. He serves as the Director of the Preston A. Wells, Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy and Co-Leader of the Cancer Therapeutics & Host Response Program for the UF Health Cancer Center. Dr. Mitchell is a leading expert in the development of immunotherapeutic treatments for adults and children with malignant brain tumors. His work has pioneered many novel immunotherapy treatments that have been translated into first-in-human clinical trials and multi-center phase 2 studies. Dr. Mitchell has received numerous awards and recognition for his work including a 2016 Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award from the Clinical Research Forum in Washington, D.C. Dr. Mitchell's work is funded by the NIH, Department of Defense, and numerous private foundations. He serves on many national and international advisory boards for industry, academia, and government agencies including the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), and Gubernatorial Appointee to the Scientific Advisory Board for the Florida Center for Brain Tumor Research (FCBTR). Dr. Mitchell lives with his wife of twenty years, Michelle Mitchell, and their three sons, Anthony, Brandon, and Austin, in Gainesville, Florida.

Dr. Javier Pinilla (Hematology)
Moffitt Cancer Center

Javier Pinilla-Ibarz, MD, PhD, is physician scientist who works as Senior Member, Head of the Lymphoma Section and Director of Immunotherapy in the Department of Malignant Hematology at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Pinilla-Ibarz is also a Professor in the Department of Oncologic Sciences, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.

Dr. Pinilla-Ibarz has been leading the chronic leukemia program at Moffitt since 2006; and its principal interests in the clinic are patients with myeloid and lymphoid chronic leukemia. In this regard, Dr. Pinilla-Ibarz has participated in multiple clinical trials involving several kinase inhibitors many of them now FDA approved. He continues to be involved in the clinical development of new kinases inhibitors through participation in multiple clinical trials.

As Director of Immunotherapy for Malignant Hematology, he has been involved in developing new immunotherapeutic approaches in malignant hematology with special emphasis of restoring the impaired immune response of patients with chronic leukemias. He has participated in several clinical trials of peptide and cellular vaccines in different hematological disorders. He has been involved in the development of a Wilms tumor 1 vaccine for leukemias and other solid tumor now in phase III trial across the world.  His laboratory is interested in epigenetic immunoregulation in lymphoid malignancies such as B and T cell lymphomas through the use of epigenetic modifiers such as histone deacetylase inhibitors and hypomethylating agents. Other research focuses are on the interaction of kinase inhibitors with the immune system and how to use these drugs to improve current immune therapeutics approaches. Dr. Pinilla-Ibarz frequently presents his findings at annual meetings of the American Hematology Association and the American Society of Clinical Oncology and he lectures in other national/international meetings. His work has been published in journals including New England Journal of Medicine, Blood, Nature Immunology, Journal of Leukocyte Biology and Leukemia. He has also authored multiple book chapters.

2019 CTAC Returning Physicians

Paul Chomiak, MD
Director of Thoracic Surgical Oncology,
Cancer Institute, Sarasota Memorial Hospital Health Care System

Dr. Paul Chomiak is a well-established thoracic oncology surgeon best known for utilizing state-of-the-art technologies dovetailed with innovative treatment options to maximize patients options for diagnosis and therapy. Dr. Chomiak is Director of Thoracic Surgical Oncology at Sarasota Memorial Hospital Cancer Institute.

Full Bio | Video

Paul Crispen, MD
Research Leader GU Disease Site Group
UF Health Cancer Center, University of Florida College of Medicine

Dr. Paul Crispen is an innovate urological surgeon and leading-edge researcher in the field of prostate cancer. He is committed to breakthrough research in the causes and amelioration of renal tumors and specifically bladder cancer. Dr. Crispen is U of F Health Cancer Center Scientific Review and Monitoring Committee Chair Department of Urology.

Full Bio | Video

Douglas Evans, MD
Donald C. Ausman Family Foundation Professor & Chair, Department of Surgery
Medical College of Wisconsin

Dr. Douglas Evans is a world-renowned researcher in the field of pancreatic cancer. His research focuses on translational laboratory research in the biology of pancreatic cancer and in clinical trial development for patients with localized disease. He is the Donald C. Ausman Family Foundation Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at The Medical College of Wisconsin.

Full Bio | Video

Susan J. Hoover, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery, Breast Surgical Oncology
Moffitt Cancer Center

Dr. Susan Hoover is a nationally recognized Breast Surgery Oncologist. She has been involved in clinical research over the course of her career. Dr. Hoover is Principal Investigator for projects involving evaluation of breast surgical margins. Immunotherapy in the treatment of high-risk breast cancers is her most recent research interest. Dr. Hoover is Associate Professor of Surgery at Moffitt Cancer in Tampa specializing in Breast Surgical Oncology.

Full Bio | Video

Stephen Rosenberg, MD
Radiation Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute

Dr. Stephen Rosenberg is a Radiation Oncologist. His work plays a significant part of the FORT (Future of Radiation Therapy) departmental research program. Dr. Rosenberg is interested in combining radiation with immunomodulatory drugs and targeted therapies. He is interested in utilizing radiomics as part of his research efforts. Dr. Rosenberg is an assistant member in the Section of Thoracic Oncology of the Moffitt Cancer Center.

Full Bio | Video

Pioneering Physicians 2018

Sarah  Hoffe, MD
Radiation Oncology,
Moffitt Cancer Center

Annick Desjardins, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery,
Duke Cancer Institute

Kenneth Meredith, MD
Medical Director of Gastrointestinal Surgical Oncology
Cancer Institute, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

Michael Gorin, MD
Director of Urology Clinical Trials,
Johns Hopkins - The Brady Urological Institute

Ways to Donate

There are three ways to donate through CTAC. It is personal preference how you wish to accomplish this. They are the following:

1. Make the check out to the institution and/or organization of your choice and put CTAC 2020 in the memo section. Please make a copy and email it to Having a record of your donation allows us to properly account for your donation.

2. Make the check payable to Team Tony Cancer Foundation and put CTAC 2020 and the institution and/or organization you want your gift to go to in the memo section. Our CPA will make a gift-directed donation to your institution and/or organization. Mail your check to:

Team Tony Cancer Foundation
3562 S. Osprey Ave., Ste. C
Sarasota, FL 34239

3. Click the Donate Now button below. Please note there is a 3.5% processing fee to use this method. This is a charge by the company we use to process your donation and not a CTAC expense.

Whichever way to choose to donate, 100% of your gift is passed through to the institution/organization (unless you use a credit card and incur the processing fee). Thank you for your gift.

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