The NEXT Oncology Team
Anthony W. Tolcher, M.D., FRCPC, FACP
CEO & Founder, Director of Clinical Research
CEO and Founder, Director of Clinical Research
Dr. Anthony Tolcher is a medical oncologist and co-founder of NEXT Oncology. He is dedicated to the development of new anticancer agents — including clinical trials and therapies — for patients looking for their next option now that their current cancer therapy is no longer working to their benefit. Dr. Tolcher is proud that the NEXT Oncology team scours the world to bring the best new agents back to its patients and centers.
This is much more than a job for Dr. Tolcher. It is his life’s work.
He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He performed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Toronto and his fellowship in oncology at the University of British Columbia. He followed this with a research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.
He was a Fogarty Fellow at the National Institute of Health and received the Murray Muirhead Award for humanitarian and academic excellence and the Goel Prize in Medicine for excellence in the Clinical Disciplines. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada; a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology; and a member of the American College of Physicians, and the American Society of Clinical Oncologists. He also serves as a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Scientific Program Committee and the Cancer Education Committee.
Sharon T. Wilks, MD, FACP
Dr. Sharon T. Wilks is a valuable member of the Phase 1 Clinical Investigation Team. She focuses on research and advancement in the treatment of breast cancer with more than 32 years of research and clinical experience as a hematologist and medical oncologist. Dr. Wilks has been involved in breast cancer research since her early career in the Air Force. At NEXT Oncology she is involved in all Phase I and drug development projects with a dedication to breast cancer research.
Dr. Wilks was born in Baltimore and received her medical degree at Uniformed Services University of Health Science in Bethesda, Md. She obtained additional training and her fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
She received the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, was the 2003 American Cancer Society Volunteer of the Year for the San Antonio Metro Unit. She is a member of the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Oncology, and a 2004 inductee into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame. She received the KLRN Women’s Health Award for 2000 and the Chi Eta Phi Sorority Humanitarian Award, San Antonio Chapter.
Andrae Vandross, M.D.
Medical Oncologist / Austin
Dr. Andrae Vandross is trained, and board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine. He leads the Phase 1 clinical trial group at NEXT Oncology in Austin. Dr. Vandross is experienced in comprehensive and clear discussions with advanced cancer patients who are navigating the complex decisions associated with novel therapeutics. His highest priority is patient education in the context of Phase 1 clinical trials.
Dr. Vandross earned his medical degree from the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. He performed residencies in general surgery and internal medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut. He was a Hematology/Oncology Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an assistant clinical professor-hematology/oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
David Sommerhalder, M.D.
- Medical Oncologist and Clinical Investigator
Dr. David Sommerhalder specializes in and is board certified in medical oncology and hematology and is also board certified in internal medicine. He works at NEXT Oncology San Antonio as an investigator on numerous clinical trials, where he helps to find additional treatment options for patients who otherwise may be out of options. He does this with the ultimate goal of finding more and better treatments for future cancer patients, but his priority is always the patient he is actively caring for.
Dr. Sommerhalder earned his medical degree from the Ross University School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at Louisiana State University Health, Shreveport, Louisiana where he also served as Chief Resident. Dr. Sommerhalder was also the Chief Fellow at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center at LSU Health, Shreveport.
Shiraj Sen, MD, PhD
Medical Oncologist and Director / Dallas
Dr. Shiraj Sen is a medical oncologist and director of NEXT Oncology Dallas. Meeting some of the first individuals with cancer treated on modern immunotherapy clinical trials and watching them feel better and live longer after being told that there were no further standard treatments for them to receive motivated him to pursue a career in drug development in order to continue bringing the newest treatments to individuals with cancer. As a native Texan, Dr. Sen calls NEXT Oncology a perfect fit for him both personally and professionally as it allows him to serve his community and provide compassionate care while developing new treatments against cancer and offering them to his patients if standard treatments are no longer helping.
Dr. Sen received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Texas at Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. His post graduate training in internal medicine was performed at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas prior to completing his hematology and medical oncology fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Dr. Sen is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology and is the recipient of numerous awards for his research such as the Waun Ki Hong Award for Achievement in Clinical Investigation, the Marion D. Edwards Fellowship in Hepatic Oncology, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Conquer Cancer Foundation merit award. He has also authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, presented his research at over 20 international conferences, and has served as a member of the ASCO Scientific Program Committee.
Ildefonso Ismael Rodriguez, M.D.
Medical Oncologist and Clinical Investigator
Dr. Ildefonso Rodriguez specializes in hematology and medical oncology. He is also board-certified in internal medicine, hematology, and medical oncology. Dr. Rodriguez is also a Phase 1 clinical investigator. With a focus on hematology early in his career, he had made a shift to Phase I clinical research and trials to offer patients an opportunity for hope with new treatments.
Dr. Rivera earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and completed his internal medicine resident at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Austin, Texas. He was the internal medicine chief resident at the Dell Medical School in Austin. Dr. Rivera was the Hematology and Medical Oncology Fellow at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York City.