icon   Jorge E. Cortes, MD
Jorge E. Cortes, MD

Principal Investigator

Professor and Director

Georgia Cancer Center, Medical College of Georgia

Research Summary

Dr. Cortes is a worldwide expert in leukemia research, with unique expertise in clinical and translational research, particularly myeloid leukemias. For the last 30 years, his efforts have focused on developing new therapies and predictive models for leukemia, reducing the toxicity of cancer therapy, and improving quality of life of patients under treatment. Dr. Cortes is a global leader in pivotal clinical trials. His team efforts resulted in the FDA-approval of 4 drugs for treatment of patients with leukemia (bosutinib, ponatinib, omacetaxine, glasdegib). Additionally, he actively participated in the development and FDA-approval of CPX-351, gilteritinib, quizartinib, and crenolanib.

As director of the Georgia Cancer Center, Dr. Cortes goals has extended to reducing the disparities in cancer diagnosis and treatment that some populations face in order to building strategies and interventions to accelerate progress toward health equity in cancer. He is leading the Teledermatology in Rural Georgia Program that provides remote consultations (telemedicine/teledermatology) for patients with skin lesions by partnering primary care providers practicing at clinics in rural Georgia with expert physicians in Department of Dermatology at Augusta University. He is also involved in the effort to provide partnerships with health systems and clinics in eleven counties in Georgia to implement interventions aiming at increasing colorectal cancer screening rates among underserved patients.

Contact Us

Dr. Cortes Research Team

Health Sciences Campus

Georgia Cancer Center - M. Bert Storey Research Building

1410 Laney Walker Blvd., CN-2222 Augusta, GA 30912

(706) 446-5732



Current Interests

figure drawing of doctor with patientClinical Trials

Our experienced clinical research team at Georgia Cancer Center offers a wide range of clinical trials aimed at developing new therapeutic options for hematologic malignancies, including leukemia. Clinical trials provide access to the most innovative treatment, closer medical monitoring, and reduced cost of drugs.


Drug Development for LeukemiasDrug Development image

To accelerate and optimize drug development, we are characterizing clinical trials of anti-leukemic drugs to identify predictive factors favoring the success of clinical trials.

Epidemiological, Clinical and Molecular Characterization of Patients with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

Epidemiological, Clinical and Molecular Characterization of Patients with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Our research focuses on understanding the clinical relevance of the molecular circuitry that rules CML onset and progression, the optimal treatment protocol, the management of adverse events, and the criteria for successful discontinuation of treatment.


Management and Treatment Outcomes of Hematologic Malignancies in Standard Practice

Management and treatment of hematologic malignancies chart

We use longer follow-ups involving large cohorts of patients with Hematologic Malignancies to improve patient management in terms of risk stratification, prognostication, and treatment strategies.

Social Determinants of Health in Cancer Care

Social determinants of health in cancer care graph


We are interested in understanding to what degree the Social Determinants of Health contribute to cancer outcomes disparities. Identifying these influences is a critical step to building strategies and interventions towards health equity in cancer.

Teledermatology in Rural GeorgiaTeledermatology image using cellphone

The goal of this program is to reduce health disparities and inequities in skin cancer screening for people living in rural, underserved, and underpopulated regions of the State of Georgia through a two-pronged approach by:

  • Providing remote diagnosis (telemedicine) of skin lesions to patients attending clinics in rural Georgia.
  • Providing dermatologic and cancer prevention education to healthcare providers as well as to rural communities using distance learning technology.





Research Team

photo of Marisol Miranda-Galvis, PhD

Marisol Miranda-Galvis, PhD

  • Assistant Research Scientist

(706) 729-2784

icon Marisol Miranda-Galvis, PhD

Dr. Miranda earned her dental degree from the University of Antioquia in her native Colombia (2012). Her passion for research led her to pursue a Master of Science degree in 2016 and culminating in a PhD in Pathology from the University of Campinas, Brazil (2019). Throughout her academic pursuits, Dr. Miranda's training was funded by three prestigious international scholarships, which allowed her to expand her research endeavors to the University of Michigan between 2018 and 2019.

Since 2021, Dr. Miranda serves the Georgia Cancer Center as a clinical researcher. Her primary focus lies in the realm of clinical and translational studies within the field of hematology oncology, with a particular emphasis on Myeloid Leukemia. She is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of patients and advancing the frontiers of medical knowledge through a blend of scientific inquiry, collaborative efforts, and an unwavering commitment to patient-centered care.

As a clinician and member of an underrepresented group, Dr. Miranda possesses a heightened awareness of the profound disparities in cancer survival that are often driven by Social Determinants of Health. Consequently, she maintains a special interest in meticulously evaluating and proactively addressing any potential disparities in cancer care and research that may disproportionately affect marginalized populations.

photo of Thalyta De Medeiros, MD

Thalyta De Medeiros, MD

  • Clinical Trials Research Manager

(706) 721-6487

icon Thalyta De Medeiros, MD

Dr. De Medeiros is a Bachelor in Biological Sciences and a Medical Doctor.  As a Biologist, she was involved in macrophage and HIV research, and has 12+ years of Clinical Hemotherapy Experience. As a Medical Doctor, she has 3+ years of experience as a General Practitioner at Emergency rooms, ICUs and Telemedicine.  As a Researcher, she has 4 publications and worked as a Post Doctoral Fellow in both University of Virginia and Augusta University.

Dr. De Medeiros is proud to be part of the Georgia Cancer Center Clinical Research team, which gives her the opportunity to participate in the patient care and help developing new anti leukemic drugs.

She believes learning is a continuous proccess and this belief pushes her forward. She is currently getting her Master of Public Health degree, and she believes this knowledge will enable her to take better care of the patients.

photo of Kellen Tjioe, PhD

Kellen Tjioe, PhD

  • Research Associate

(706) 729-2786

icon Kellen Tjioe, PhD

Dr. Tijoe received her DDS from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2007. Following dental school, she completed a Master of Science in Oral Medicine, a PhD in Oral Pathology, and specialty training in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. In addition, she was the recipient of three competitive fellowships to improve her research skills at the University of Paris (2013), British Columbia Cancer Centre (2013), and University of Michigan (2018).

She served as an Assistant Professor for Sao Paulo State University (Unesp) and University of Sao Paulo (USP) from 2015 to 2022. There, she has published several peer-reviewed manuscripts and supervised PhD and  MSc students.

Dr. Tjioe joined the Georgia Cancer Center in 2022 as a researcher and her main focus is the development of a machine learning and AI-based model to predict cancer survival outcomes using large-volume data. In addition, she has serving as the research manager for a multicenter initiative from RAD-AID International to increase the access of medically underserved women living in Georgia to cervical and breast cancer screening. 

photo of Brenda Santellano, MD

Brenda Santellano, MD

  • Research Associate

Dr. Santellano began her medical journey at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California. She dedicated her academic career to clinical research in the cardio-pulmonary field, worked as a primary contact physician in emergency and outpatient services and shared her knowledge as a professor of Clinical Propedeutics at Xochicalco University, School of Medicine.

In 2022, she joined the Georgia Cancer Center. Here, she works on the project ECHO focused on Cancer Screening, as well as Teledermatology in Rural Georgia program. She volunteers at MCG Clinica Latina, committed to serving the Hispanic/Latino community, which further fuels her mission to enhance healthcare equity.

Beyond her professional activities, Dr. Santellano enjoys hiking, and her favorite trails include Angels Landing in Zion and Panther Creek Falls in Georgia.

photo of Muhannad Sharara, MD

Muhannad Sharara, MD

  • Research Associate

(706) 446-5528

Dr. Sharara, a medical doctor and clinical researcher, believes that a patient's well-being extends beyond the boundaries of mere biological factors. He emphasizes the intricate nature of health, advocating for a comprehensive approach that encompasses psychological, social, and clinical considerations in patient care.

His research interest focuses on hematological malignancies, addressing treatment disparities, and improving patients’ quality of life. He was awarded the Young Investigator Award at the Society of Hematologic Oncology (SOHO) annual meeting in 2023. 

He holds his medical degree from the Alexandria Faculty of Medicine, Egypt.

photo of Mohammad Syam, MD

Mohammad Syam, MD

  • Research Associate

(706) 723-4348

icon Dr. Mohammad Syam, MD

Dr. Syam is a seasoned medical professional with extensive academic and research credentials. He did his medical schooling at Dhaka University and received a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of South Asia, Bangladesh. He has over a decade of clinical work experience in different healthcare settings at home and abroad. He mentored young physicians in his medical college, led the COVID-19 frontline team, and vaccinated thousands of people in Oman. Moreover, Dr. Syam's role as a researcher involved contributing to multifaceted research projects spanning different fields of medical science. He has authored several peer-reviewed articles.

Since 2022, he has been working with the Georgia Cancer Center to extend his career in ground-breaking oncology research. As a proud team member of GCC, he is currently working in hematology-oncology research. His scientific projects under development include:

- Improve cancer survival by implementing precision medicine and assisting in clinical trials of new anticancer drugs for evidence-based clinical practice.
- To reduce health disparities through analyzing social determinants of health (SDH) and allostatic  load influence in treatment outcomes of oncologic patients in the real world.

Photo Gallery

2023 Society of Hematologic Oncology (SOHO) Annual Meeting.  Houston, Texas. September 6 to 9, 2023. From L-R (Dr. Sharara, Dr. Cortes, and Dr. Miranda-Galvis)
2023 Society of Hematologic Oncology (SOHO) Annual Meeting Dr. Cortes Recipient of the Michael J. Keating Outstanding Achievement Award for all his work in leukemia research.
2023 Society of Hematologic Oncology (SOHO) Annual Meeting Oral abstract presentation by Dr. Miranda-Galvis.
2023 Society of Hematologic Oncology (SOHO) Annual Meeting Dr. Sharara presenting his work untitled “Define the Vulnerable - Social Determinants of Health Impact on Hematological Malignancies Affecting Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults”.
2023 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana. March 17-21, 2023. Medical student Mckenzie Maloney presenting “Overcoming Barriers to Specialty Care in Rural Georgia through Teledermatology”.
2022 PACELINE is a fundraising that supports innovative cancer research at the Georgia Cancer Center. PaceDay is an annual, bike ride that is all about rallying our community together to prevent, fight, and eradicate cancer.
2022 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting.  New Orleans, LA. December 10-13, 2022. Dr. Cortes presented the final 5-Year Results From the clinical trial DASCERN exploring the potential benefit of an early switch to Dasatinib in patients with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia who did not have favorable response to Imatinib.
2022 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting.  New Orleans, LA. December 10-13, 2022. The abstract “Clinical Trial Success Rates of Investigational Antileukemic Drugs was presented by Dr. Miranda-Galvis.   From L-R (Dr. Santellano, Dr. Mamouni, Dr. de Medeiros,  Dr. Tjioe, and Dr. Miranda-Galvis).
2022 Society of Hematologic Oncology (SOHO) Annual Meeting.  Houston, Texas. Sep. 28 to Oct. 1, 2022. Dr. Miranda-Galvis presenting the work “Immunological Response to SARS-CoV-2 After Infection and/or Vaccination Among Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients – A Prospective Study”.
Former Members. From L-R (Dr. Guillen, Dr. Miranda-Galvis, and Dr. De Medeiros) Dr. Guillen was the project manager of the  Teledermatology in Rural Georgia Program during 2022. Currently, she is an internal Medicine resident at Loyola Medical Center, Chicago, IL.
Unite in the Fight Against Cancer. This unique two mile walk hosted by and supporting the Georgia Cancer Center celebrates and honors all those who have been impacted by this disease. Together we unite to raise awareness, support, and hope and to become catalysts in the fight against this deadly disease.

Selected Publications

  • Ahluwalia P, Vashisht A, Singh H, Sahajpal NS, Mondal AK, Jones K, Farmaha J, Bloomquist R, Carlock CM, Fransoso D, Sun C, Day T, Prah C, Vuong T, Ray P, Bradshaw D, Galvis MM, Fulzele S, Raval G, Moore JX, Cortes J, James JN, Kota V, Kolhe R. Ethno-demographic disparities in humoral responses to the COVID-19 vaccine among healthcare workers. J Med Virol. 2023 Sep;95(9):e29067.

  • Miranda Galvis M, Tjioe K, Balas A, Agrawal G, Cortes J. Disparities in Survival of Hematologic Malignancies in the Context of Social Determinants of Health: A Systematic Review

  • Sekeres MA, Montesinos P, Novak J, Wang J, Jeyakumar D, Tomlinson B, Mayer J, Jou E, Robak T, Taussig DC, Dombret H, Merchant A, Shaik N, O'Brien T, Roh W, Liu X, Ma W, DiRienzo CG, Chan G, Cortes JE. Glasdegib plus intensive or non-intensive chemotherapy for untreated acute myeloid leukemia: results from the randomized, phase 3 BRIGHT AML 1019 trial. Leukemia. 2023 Aug 21.

  • Sasaki K, Morita K, Kantarjian H, Garcia-Manero G, Jabbour E, Ravandi F, Konopleva M, Borthakur G, Wierda W, Daver N, Takahashi K, DiNardo C, Bravo GM, Issa GC, Pierce SA, Soltysiak KA, Tingen MS, Cortes JE. Geographic Disparity of Outcome in Patients With Cancer Over Decades: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results. Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2023 Aug 6:S2152-2650(23)00234-3. doi: 10.1016/j.clml.2023.08.001. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37690903.

  • Cortes JE, Lipton JH, Kota V, Castagnetti F, Assouline S, Brümmendorf TH, Leip E, Viqueira A, Gambacorti-Passerini C. Cross-intolerance with bosutinib after prior tyrosine kinase inhibitors for Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukemia: long-term analysis of a phase I/II study. Haematologica. 2023 Jul 13.

  • Maloney ME, Miranda-Galvis M, Juarez BS, Mamouni K, Odhiambo L, Ibrahim S, Islam KMM, Markowitz RB, Desai K, Rabinovitz H, Buchanan K, Patten D, Davis LS, Cortes JE. Teledermatology for skin cancer screening in rural Georgia utilizing teledermoscopy and distance learning: An ongoing report. JAAD Int. 2023 Mar 2;11:140-142.

  • Swaminathan M, Cortes JE. Update on the role of gemtuzumab-ozogamicin in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. Ther Adv Hematol. 2023 Feb 9;14: 20406207 231154708.

  • Cortes JE, Rea D, Mauro MJ, Tran D, Wang P, Jadhav K, Yocolly A, Sasaki K. Health care resource utilization in 3L + patients with chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia receiving asciminib or bosutinib. J Med Econ. 2023 Jan-Dec;26(1):915-923.

  • Cortes JE, Kantarjian HM, Brümmendorf TH, Kim DW, Turkina AG, Shen ZX, Pasquini R, Khoury HJ, Arkin S, Volkert A, Besson N, Abbas R, Wang J, Leip E, Gambacorti-Passerini C. Safety and efficacy of bosutinib (SKI-606) in chronic phase Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia patients with resistance or intolerance to imatinib. Blood. 2011 Oct 27; 118(17):4567-76.

  • Cortes JE, Kim DW, Kantarjian HM, Brümmendorf TH, Dyagil I, Griskevicius L, Malhotra H, Powell C, Gogat K, Countouriotis AM, Gambacorti-Passerini C. Bosutinib versus imatinib in newly diagnosed chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia: results from the BELA trial. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Oct 1;30(28):3486-92. PubMed PMID: 22949154; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4979199.

  • Khoury HJ, Cortes JE, Kantarjian HM, Gambacorti-Passerini C, Baccarani M, Kim DW, Zaritskey A, Countouriotis A, Besson N, Leip E, Kelly V, Brümmendorf TH. Bosutinib is active in chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia after imatinib and dasatinib and/or nilotinib therapy failure. Blood. 2012 Apr 12;119(15):3403-12.
  • Cortes JE, Gambacorti-Passerini C, Deininger MW, et al. Bosutinib Versus Imatinib for Newly Diagnosed Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: Results From the Randomized BFORE Trial. J Clin Oncol. 2018;36(3):231-237.

  • Cortes JE, Kantarjian H, Shah NP, Bixby D, Mauro MJ, Flinn I, O'Hare T, Hu S, Narasimhan NI, Rivera VM, Clackson T, Turner CD, Haluska FG, Druker BJ, Deininger MW, Talpaz M. Ponatinib in refractory Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukemias. N Engl J Med. 2012 Nov 29;367(22):2075-88.

  • Cortes JE, Kim DW, Pinilla-Ibarz J, le Coutre P, Paquette R, Chuah C, Nicolini FE, Apperley JF, Khoury HJ, Talpaz M, DiPersio J, DeAngelo DJ, Abruzzese E, Rea D, Baccarani M, Müller MC, Gambacorti-Passerini C, Wong S, Lustgarten S, Rivera VM, Clackson T, Turner CD, Haluska FG, Guilhot F, Deininger MW, Hochhaus A, Hughes T, Goldman JM, Shah NP, Kantarjian H. A phase 2 trial of ponatinib in Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukemias. N Engl J Med. 2013 Nov 7;369(19):1783-96.

  • Cortes, JE, Lin, TL, Uy, GL, Ryan, RJ, Faderl, S, and Lancet, JE. Quality-Adjusted Time without Symptoms of Disease or Toxicity (Q-TWiST) Analysis of CPX-351 Versus 7 + 3 in Older Adults with Newly Diagnosed High-Risk/Secondary AML. J Hematol Oncol 2021 Jul 13;14(1):(110) 1.

  • Sakurai, K, Kantarjian, HM, Sasaki, K, Jabbour, E, Ravandi, F, Konopleva, M, Borthakur, G…..Cortes, JE. Geographic Disparity of Outcome in Patients with Cancer over Decades: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2020 May 20;38:15_suppl, 1574-1574.

  • Solem, CT, Bell, TJ, Kwon, Y, Cappelleri, JC, Johnson, Bhattacharyya, H, Hoang, CJ, and Cortes, JE. A Quality-Adjusted Survival Time without Symptoms or Toxicities Analysis of Glasdegib Plus Low-Dose Cytarabine Versus Low-Dose Cytarabine as Initial Therapy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia in Patients Who Are Not Considered Candidates for Intensive Chemotherapy. Cancer 2020 Oct 1;126(19): 4315-21.

  • Cortes, JE, Douglas Smith, B, Wang, ES, Merchant, A, Oehler, VG, Arellano, M, DeAngelo, DJ, Pollyea, DA, Sekeres, MA, Robak, T, Ma, WW, Zeremski, M, Naveed Shaik, M, Douglas Laird, A, O'Connell, A, Chan, G and Schroeder, MA. Glasdegib in combination with cytarabine and daunorubicin in patients with AML or high-risk MDS: Phase 2 study results. Am J Hematol 93(11): 1301-1310, 2018.

  • Cortes, JE, Heidel, FH, Hellmann, A, Fiedler, W, Smith, BD, Robak, T, Montesinos, P, Pollyea, DA, DesJardins, P, Ottmann, O, Ma, WW, Shaik, MN, Laird, AD, Zeremski, M, O'Connell, A, Chan, G and Heuser, M. Randomized comparison of low dose cytarabine with or without glasdegib in patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia or high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome. Leukemia 2019 Feb;33(2): 379-389.

  • Cortes, JE, Heidel, FH, Fiedler, W, Smith, BD, Robak, T, Montesinos, P, Candoni, A, Leber, B, Sekeres, MA, Pollyea, DA, Ferdinand, R, Ma, WW, O'Brien, T, O'Connell, A, Chan, G and Heuser, M. Survival outcomes and clinical benefit in patients with acute myeloid leukemia treated with glasdegib and low-dose cytarabine according to response to therapy. J Hematol Oncol 2020 13(1): 92.