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ICRF Presents Brilliant Minds Webinar Series - Mind-Body Connection: How the Brain Affects Cancer Immunity

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Asya Rolls, PhD
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology
Asya Rolls, PhD of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is an ICRF grantee under the Immunotherapy Promise, a funding partnership with the Cancer Research Institute (CRI). Using advanced neuroscience tools, her lab aims to dissect the effects of innervation - the distribution of nerve fibers to an organ or body region - on the tumor microenvironment in order to improve the efficacy of immunotherapy. ​Dr. Rolls’ team is characterizing the neuronal activity in two mouse models of cancer, specifically ​lung cancer and ​breast cancer. In response to the pandemic, her lab is also attempting to understand how our thoughts and expectations may impact the body’s ability to fight off COVID-19, with the goal of decreasing infection rates among exposed individuals.
Johanna (Jojo) Harris
Breast Cancer Survivor and Supporter of ICRF Chicago
Johanna (Jojo) Harris and her husband, Pastor Chris Harris of Bright Star Church of God in Christ, are ICRF supporters based in Chicago. They are the proud parents of four beautiful children Chrystal (28), Christopher Jr. (22), Christian (21) and Christiana (18) and one God-son Keshon (17). As a breast cancer survivor, she is often asked to share her unique perspective on the blessings of cancer to encourage and inspire others. Jojo, who serves as SVP of Human Resources at The Jacobson Group, is also an avid supporter of Bright Star Community Outreach, a 501c3 organization founded by her husband whose mission is to strengthen families and communities in low-income areas of Chicago; has served as a member of the Women’s Leadership Council of the Metropolitan Chicago United Way and as a Board Member for My Favorite Outfit: a nonprofit organization that uses fashion to empower at risk youth to succeed in middle, high school, college and beyond.
David Hakimian, MD
Medical Oncologist and Hematologist and President @Illinois Cancer Specialists
David Hakimian, MD is a medical oncology and hematology specialist at Illinois Cancer Specialists, where he has served as president for the past 10 years. His clinical interests include breast cancer, colorectal cancer, general medicine, leukemia, lymphoma, lung cancer and urological oncology. He completed his MD at University of Illinois Medical School and hematology-oncology fellowship at Northwestern University. Dr. Hakimian is currently a member of the ICRF Chicago Chapter Board.