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Our Team


Consortium Principal Investigator

Dr. Seema Ahsan Khan is Professor of Surgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and is trained in Surgical Oncology. Her clinical practice at the Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Center includes the surgical therapy of women with breast cancer, and the evaluation and management of women at high risk for breast cancer. Dr. Khan’s current research is focused on the development of novel agents for breast cancer prevention, and on transdermal drug delivery to the breast through the breast skin so as to avoid or reduce the systemic effects associated with oral drug administration.



Dr. Kocherginsky is a biostatistician and Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine. Her primary research focus is the design and analysis of clinical trials. She is the Director of Quantitative Data Sciences Core (QDSC) at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, a shared resource that provides support to cancer researchers in the areas of biostatistics, bioinformatics and clinical informatics. She is the lead statistician on multiple clinical trials in cancer, rehabilitation medicine and emergency medicine, and a co-leader of the Biomedical Informatics and Statistics Core for a study of epigenomic biomarkers of HIV-Associated cancers in Nigeria.  In her role as the Statistician for CT-CPNet, she works with clinicians to design clinical trials, and serves as the study statistician for the ongoing trials.



Dr. Latifa Bazzi is a senior statistical analyst for the Department of Preventive Medicine, where she supports a variety of cancer research projects as a member of the Quantitative Data Sciences Core. Latifa has worked in cancer research since 2015 and received her MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan. In her role for NCPC, she prepares datasets for delivery and analyzes data for ongoing clinical trials.

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Senior Project Administrator

Kelly Benante is a public health professional with extensive experience in cancer clinical trial development, monitoring, and coordination. Kelly joined NCPC in 2016 as a Quality Assurance Monitor and stepped into her current role as Senior Project Administrator in 2019. A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Kelly is passionate about cancer prevention, education, and research. Kelly received her MPH from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan University. Prior to NCPC, Kelly worked at the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center as a coordinator for the AIDS Malignancy Consortium.

Senior Research Administrator

Chris has been working as Sr. Research Administrator at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center since December 2021. In addition to his research administrator work, he also holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and does part-time teaching work to first year physical therapy students in anatomy lab. He has held a variety of roles in the field of Research Administration over his 7+ years in the field from departmental level administration to central sponsored programs administration

Quality Assurance Monitor


Tia Schering has been in cancer research since 2016. She received her MPH at University of Illinois at Chicago, where she also worked as a clinical research coordinator. In August, 2019 she joined the NCPC team as a quality assurance monitor.

Quality Assurance Monitor


Yanfei Xu has extensive experience in cancer research and clinical trials management.  Yanfei joined NCPC in December 2019 as a Quality Assurance Monitor.  Prior to NCPC, she worked as a research associate at Northwestern University and clinical research coordinator and team lead at Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. Yanfei received her Bachelor’s degree in China and her PhD from the University of Chicago.

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Project Coordinator

Natalie Friedman is an administrative professional who joined NCPC as a Project Coordinator in 2020. She received her Master’s Degree in Sociology from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2013 and has been supporting surgical oncologists Dr. Seema Khan and Dr. Swati Kulkarni at Northwestern Medicine since 2015. In addition to providing administrative support to the team and working on study recruitment materials, Natalie manages the team’s web presence.


Isra is an experienced clinical research coordinator with vast medical knowledge and clinical experience. She was awarded her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Research Methodology and Biostatistics from the University of Medical Sciences and Technology in Khartoum, Sudan. Isra joined the NCPC team in December of 2022 as a Senior Project Coordinator to take the lead on recruitment initiatives across the NCPC network, and to assist with coordinator training and regulatory tasks.

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