Conference Chairs

Grothey, Axel

Axel Grothey, MD, is a medical oncologist at the West Cancer Center and Reserach Institute in Memphis, TN.

Dr Grothey received his medical degree at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, and completed residencies at West German Tumor Center and the Institute of Pathology at the University of Essen and a residency and fellowship at the University of Bochum. He also completed a research fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. He joined Mayo Clinic as a consultant in 2005 and was appointed as Professor of Oncology in 2007. He left Mayo Clinic in summer of 2018 to join West Cancer Center.

Dr Grothey’s clinical interests focus on gastrointestinal cancers, in particular colorectal cancer, antiangiogenesis, signal transduction inhibitors, and clinical trial design and statistics. As a consultant and investigator, his research has been funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institutes of Health, among other organizations. He currently co-chairs the NCI Gastrointestinal Cancer Steering Committee after having served as chair of the Colon Cancer Task Force for 6 years. Until June, 2018 he was vice chair of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Committee of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, an NCI-funded cooperative group. He is also chaired the Academic and Community Cancer Research United (ACCRU) international research network based at Mayo Clinic until he joined West Cancer Center where he serves as director of the GI cancer research program.



David H. Ilson, MD, PhD, is a medical oncologist on the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Gastrointestinal Oncology Service. He is an attending physician and member at Memorial Hospital and a professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He completed a fellowship in medical oncology and hematology at Memorial Sloan Kettering after receiving master’s and PhD degrees in basic science and an MD degree from New York University. He is a member of the GI committees of the national clinical research groups Allliance/CALGB and NRG/RTOG and is co-chair of the NRG Upper GI Cancer Committee. He is also a member of the Upper GI Cancer Guidelines Committee of National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and former chairman of the Intergroup Esophageal and Gastric Cancer Task Force Committee.

Dr Ilson’s clinical interest is in colorectal, esophageal, pancreatic, gastric, and other gastrointestinal cancers as well as unknown primary tumors. He is an internationally recognized investigator and thought leader in the treatment of esophagogastric cancer.