Feb. 4 CCTalkRadio: Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute


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Thursday, Feb. 4 at 4pm EST, CCTR interviews Jonathan Agin, Development Liaison and General Counsel for the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute, or CC-TDI, a non-profit biotech company dedicated to eradicating childhood cancer in all forms.  Jonathan is an attorney by trade and has become one of the United States foremost advocates for children with cancer following the death of his daughter Alexis in January of 2011.  Director Charles Keller MD also joins us to describe the very innovative and proactive design of this company, addressing the “pre-clinical gap” in our medical research system that has resulted in the neglect of the deadliest childhood cancers, many of which have been awaiting effective therapy development for decades.


Guest Biographies

Jonathan Agin

Jonathan Eric Agin, JD, is the General Counsel, Institutional Official and Development Liaison for the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute (www.cc-tdi.org), a non-profit childhood cancer research biotech located in Portland, Oregon, and he is the Executive Director of the Max Cure Foundation (www.maxcurefoundation.org).  In addition, he is the Cancer Knowledge Network (Canadian Oncology Journal) Childhood Cancer Awareness and Advocacy Section Editor and frequent contributor to the Huffington Post.  He has testified before the United States Congress on issues of identity theft impacting the childhood cancer community, which ultimately led to the introduction of bipartisan legislation named after his daughter Alexis (HR 2720, The Alexis Agin Identity Theft Protection Act of 2013).  He is an original founding steering council member of the DIPG Collaborative.  Jonathan became involved in the childhood cancer community following the diagnosis of his daughter Alexis at the age of two with DIPG (an inoperable brain tumor) in April 2008.  Alexis battled heroically for thirty-three months until January 14, 2011.  Jonathan is an attorney by training and a former civil defense trial lawyer from Washington, DC.  Jonathan frequently interacts with members of Congress and their staff, the White House, as well as various regulatory agencies.  Jonathan resides in Falls Church, Virginia and has four children, Alexis (1-31-06 to 1-14-11), Gabriel age 6, Trevor age 3 and Kylie, 22 months.  Jonathan maintains his own website for his advocacy activities: www.jonathanagin.com and can be followed on Twitter @jonathanagin.  In his spare time he also competes in endurance events like running marathons and triathlons.

Charles Keller, MD

Charles’s research focuses on the development of more effective, less toxic therapies for childhood cancers. His special interest is advanced disease that has spread beyond the initial location of the cancer. Charles co-chairs the brain tumor developmental therapeutics committee (CNS-DVL) of the Children’s Oncology Group and is a member of the soft tissue sarcoma (STS) committee of Children’s Oncology Group, and recently completed a 5-year rotation as a Standing Member of the National Cancer Institute NCI-I Study Section. Charles attended Tulane University where he received a degree in Biomedical Engineering prior to attending Baylor College of Medicine where he received his M.D. degree. After completing his internship and residency in Pediatrics at Texas Children’s Hospital, Charles trained in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at the University of Utah and with 2007 Nobel laureate, Mario Capecchi. Charles has authored over 80 scientific publications and is a recognized expert in the biology of childhood sarcomas and the preclinical investigation of childhood cancers. Charles is also a co-founder of First Ascent Biomedical, a company* developing personalized medical approaches to therapy for canine and human solid tumor patients. In their spare time, Charles, his wife Kelly & their daughters enjoy outdoor adventures, as well as designing and building treehouses.

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