Amber Simpson, Ph.D.

Dr. Simpson is a computer scientist in the Hepatopancreatobiliary Service in the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York. Dr. Simpson’s team in the Simpson Lab is focused on the development of novel computational strategies for cancer treatment. Using machine-learning techniques, Dr. Simpson’s lab uses computers to analyze the patterns in CT scans to decide on tumor type and aggressiveness.

 With support from the Dean Paras Foundation, she will apply these techniques to pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs). Incidental PanNETs are identified at an increasing rate due to the widespread use of abdominal cross-sectional imaging. Current laboratory and imaging technologies are limited in their ability to distinguish between PanNETs that are slow growing, indolent tumors from aggressive tumors with the potential for early metastases. The goal of this research is to fill this gap by providing non-invasive and objective prognostic quantitative imaging markers (called radiomics) for personalized treatment of PanNETs.

 Dr. Simpson’s radiomic research started at MSK three years ago as a Visiting Professor from Vanderbilt University where she was a close friend of Dean Paras. She was recruited to join the MSK faculty as the first PhD in the Department of Surgery. Dr. Simpson is a current recipient of an American Association of Cancer Research and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Career Development Award. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario

Dean and Amber happen to be best friends at Vanderbilt and for her to be a recipient of the proceeds of the fund raising from 2017 was an such an honor for her and for us.  We know that she will do his memory proud with her efforts.

The Constantine A Paras

Bio-Medical Engineering Graduate Memorial Fellowship

This is now a fully funded Fellowship!  The first Fellowship was offered in September of 2015 and allows Graduate students in the Bio-Medical Engineering Department of Vanderbilt University 

the opportunity to pursue their studies.

 To dream, design and to help find solutions to so many of today's Research questions.

This past school year, the recent recipient was able to take the design that Dean had been working on to the next level of design and was issued an additional patent on his work.  

About Neuroendocrine Tumors

The endocrine and nervous systems are essentially about communication. The endocrine system sends messages throughout the body using hormones that regulate mood, growth and metabolism. The nervous system uses electrical impulses to transfer information about movement and sensation.

The neuroendocrine system includes both, and so neuroendocrine cells have features of both the endocrine and nervous systems. These cells can receive signals from the nervous system and trigger the release of hormones into the blood. This system regulates key functions throughout the body. These cells are found in many places including the lungs, gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines), and pancreas.

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are rare cancers that arise when these cells begin to grow abnormally. Unlike most cancers, they tend to grow very slowly. Since a neuroendocrine tumor arises from cells that produce hormones, the tumor itself can produce extra hormones, causing illness. Many symptoms of neuroendocrine tumors are caused by hormones the tumor secretes. Because the symptoms can be varied and vague, they are easily misdiagnosed.

The genetic basis of NETs is largely unknown. Recently scientists have deciphered the genetic code for some pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

Jennifer Eads, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine

Division of Hematology and Oncology
University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center
Case Western Reserve University
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Eads received funding from our 2014 and 2015  Race proceeds for her research. 

Dean A Paras Student Internship Grants

​This an newly established fund in conjunction with  University Hospitals here in Cleveland for Current students or Alumni from University School here in Cleveland, Ohio.  Since the summer of 2015, this Grant has made it possible for two young men to pursue Summer Research in the area of Cancer Research in  the AYA cancers. Each young man receives a stipend of $2500 to help in their work.

The young men have help us in our Annual fundraiser in October and often continue on with their research at UH after their summer experience.

We are a tax-deductible  501c3 Foundation

The Foundation's dual purposes are to fund Neuroendocrine Research and to fund a Graduate Fellowship in BioMechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University and University Hospital here in Cleveland, Ohio.

Eric H. Liu, M.D.

VICC Member,Neuroendocrine Oncologist. Dr. Liu is a general surgeon who cares for many types of diseases. His major focus is in neuroendocrine tumors, but he also performs endocrine, gastrointestinal, liver, pancreas, and skin surgery. Dr. Liu completed his surgical training at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY. He also completed specialty training in diabetes and transplantation research at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. He actively engages in research, developing new biomarkers and imaging techniques for better diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors.In the past, his research has focused on diabetes, cell transplantation, and complementary/alternative medicine. He is a frequent invited speaker to major national and international meetings.EducationHarvard University, Cambridge, MAColumbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, NY. 

​Dr. Liu works closely with world reknowned Dr. Oberg to help as many people as he can who are suffering and to find a cure as quickly as possibly.

Dr. Liu is currently located at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center in Denver, Colorado and is the Chief Medical Officer of the Healing Net Foundation.

Our funds raised for Neuroendocrine Research have gone directly to help him in his research, from our first two Fundraisers in 2012 & 2013.