Meet The Team

Our Dedicated Team Focused on Helping Brain Tumor Patients

SUPPORT

Photo Credit:
Liz Stubbs Photography

HOPE

Photo Credit:
Liz Stubbs Photography

COURAGE

Photo Credit:
Liz Stubbs Photography

Board Members

SBTF Board

Our Board

SBTF Board members have all been touched by a brain tumor diagnosis. As a result, each is dedicated to raising funds for brain tumor research. Also, each member works diligently to provide support and outreach for those in the brain tumor community.

We know the feeling of isolation, confusion, and fear. We understand the importance of being hugged, and we treasure the talents of those who are good listeners.

We are your SBTF Board of Directors, diverse in background but all focused on the same outcome. We are patients, we are healthcare providers, we are caregivers, we are researchers. We work in a voluntary, unpaid capacity, and we are consumed with our mission to find a cure for brain tumors.

We are proud to serve you and to be of service to you.

Officers and Staff

SBTF President
vp John
SBTF Secretary
SBTF Treasurer
5
3
lizstubbs

Board Members: (In Alpha Order)

Farnaz Arabshahi, RN, NP

Farnaz Arabshahi, a support group facilitator for the SBTF, has served on the Board of Directors since 2010. As a certified nurse practitioner, Ms. Arabshahi has extensive experience in the field of (brain) cancer and palliative care.

Having over 15 years of diverse medical experience, most notably in the field of Hematology/Oncology, she is affiliated with many hospitals in the local Atlanta area.

Robert “Craig” Castellino, MD

Robert “Craig” Castellino, MD, a physician-scientist, joined the SBTF Board of Directors in 2015. Craig obtained both his undergraduate and medical degrees from Duke University. He completed his internship and residency training in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA, and his fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Texas Children’s Cancer Center/Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Craig has been on the faculty at Emory University since 2007 where he is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics.

Craig’s passion is not only treating children diagnosed with a brain tumor but furthering our understanding of what causes aggressive subtypes of brain tumors and using that knowledge to develop novel, less-toxic treatments for pediatric brain tumors. Craig is a member of various National and International Committees, as well as a recipient of numerous research grant awards, including grants from SBTF, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Department of Defense (DoD). Craig is excited about the opportunity to use his knowledge and experience in the field of neuro-oncology on the Board of Directors of the SBTF to help brain tumor patients and expand the reach and mission of the SBTF.

Chris Deibert, MD

Chris is Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine and sees patients at St. Joseph’s Hospital in metro Atlanta as well as John’s Creek Hospital just north of the city. Chris specializes in the treatment of malignant and benign brain tumors using modern surgical techniques and often non-invasive procedures such as Gamma Knife Radiosurgery. He and his family moved from Pittsburgh to the Atlanta metro area in 2017 with the hope of providing compassionate, high quality care to the residents of Georgia and the entire southeast. As a member of the SBTF Board of Directors Chris hopes to increase the awareness of all types of brain tumors, increase access to reliable high quality resources and support groups as well as advancing critical research efforts to help cure and eradicate brain cancer.

Erin Dunbar, M.D.

As the Director for Neuro-Oncology and a founding physician of the Piedmont Brain Tumor Center, Dr. Dunbar is front and center with brain tumors and brain cancer. She is never too busy to listen to a patient and never too busy to provide words of inspiration and comfort.

Her active involvement in clinical trials as well as numerous educational outreach and support services are exemplified by her tireless efforts to service organizations like the SBTF. Through her efforts, we have partnered with, and participated in, monthly brain tumor support group meetings at Piedmont Atlanta, as well as patient education programs organized through the ABTA. Dr. Dunbar’s passion for serving others is unequaled.

Holly Felker

Holly Felker is a member of the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation’s Board of Directors. She is also the Race Chair for the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation’s Race for Research. She is committed to promoting awareness of the importance to support brain tumor and brain cancer research, as well as promoting the need to provide encouragement and support to those impacted by this disease.

She has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2003. Driven by a spirit of volunteerism, she has been a volunteer for various nonprofit organizations such as Hands On Atlanta, the Special Olympics, and Robi Martin Foundation of G.R.A.C.E. At a young age, Holly was impacted by a family member being diagnosed with cancer and has been an advocate for cancer awareness and support ever since.

Jennifer Chandler Garvin

Jennifer has been a brain tumor advocate, since the diagnosis and loss of her Mom to a 6- month battle with GBM in 2016. Jennifer supports SBTF in memory of her Mom, with hopefulness in seeing the day where the struggle of a brain tumor diagnosis is no longer the greatest fight of your life, but instead, an obstacle that has an exceedingly high success rate of being defeated.

Jennifer volunteered with the SBTF Scholarship Committee in 2020. Jennifer holds a BA from the University of Arizona in Political Science and an MS from New York University in Risk Management from the Stern School of Business.

Costas Hadjipanayis, M.D., Ph.D.

Costas Hadjipanayis, MD, Ph.D., a brain tumor advocate, has been a member of the SBTF Board of Directors since 2009. During his 8 year tenure at Emory University School of Medicine, he held the position of Associate Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery, Chief of Neurosurgery at Emory University Hospital Midtown, and Director of the Emory Brain Tumor Center.

Costas currently serves as Professor and Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, Mount Sinai Beth Israel and Director of Neurosurgical Oncology, Mount Sinai Health System. A neurosurgeon, scientist, and scientific researcher, Costas was named a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar due to his extensive work with brain tumors. He has served on countless National and International Committees, is well published, and is well respected for his work in neurosurgery and specifically in the field of brain tumor surgery.

Chris Holcomb

Chris Holcomb is one of our longest-serving Board Members. Chris’ tenure started back in 2000. Chris wanted to find a way to honor his sister who died of a brain tumor in 1986 at 27 years old. The SBTF was the perfect place to do whatever he can to try to knock out brain tumors.

Chris was instrumental in the launch of the first Race for Research which was held in honor of Tom Clarke, Debbie Holcomb (Chris’ sister), and Hans Greathouse as well as the countless others affected by brain tumors. Chris did a live broadcast on 11Alive from that first race. Chris and 11Alive have broadcast live at every race since! Chris is an Atlanta native and also serves as Chief Meteorologist for 11 Alive.

Michelle Roback Kraynak

Michelle Roback Kraynak is a brain tumor survivor and advocate. While a young twenty-something traveling abroad, she suffered a grand mal seizure and was subsequently diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma in her front left temporal lobe. The surgery to remove the tumor was a success, and she has been a brain tumor advocate ever since.

She began volunteering with the SBTF in 2007 and served as the volunteer coordinator until she was elected to the board in 2011. Michelle has held various officer positions within the organization and also serves as its legal counsel, providing pro bono legal services. She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and obtained her law degree from Emory University School of Law.

Lauren Hollis

Elected in 2015, Lauren is a member of the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation’s Board of Directors. She has shown tremendous interest in furthering her involvement at the foundation.

Lauren served as SBTF Secretary since December 2016 and was elected to SBTF Vice President in 2020. She is a graduate of Kennesaw State University where she majored in Communication and minored in Spanish. Ms. Hollis lost her father to a brain tumor and has been a brain tumor advocate since 2007.

Peter Nicholas

Peter Nicholas has been a member of the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2010 and was elected to the officer position of SBTF Vice President in December of 2016 and rose through the ranks. He is a graduate of the University of Florida with an aerospace engineering degree and became familiar with brain tumors in 2008 when his boss was diagnosed with, and subsequently passed away from, a GBM.

Peter was a member of the Board of Directors for only a year when he received his own brain tumor diagnosis in August of 2011. In addition to leading the SBTF’s Corporate Sponsorship Committee, Peter is also on the strategic advisory for the board of the McNair Center for Aerospace Innovation & Research in South Carolina. A huge sports fan, and one of the Foundations’ Top Fundraisers, Peter also has a great interest in the work of those associated with the Epilepsy Foundation.

Bradley Roberts

Brad's wife, Reed, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015, and she has received incredible care from a variety of doctors and institutions. He is passionate about finding the best treatment possible for Reed's Glioblastoma. Brad and Reed have two children, Caroline and Graham. Brad is a Senior Vice President with UBS Private Wealth Management. He joined UBS in 2015 from Credit Suisse where he was a Director in the Private Banking Division from 2006 - 2015. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, Brad was a Vice President at Wachovia in the Capital Management Group and an Analyst with Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management in New York. Brad graduated from HampdenSydney College with a BA in Economics and received his MBA from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. Active in the community, shown through current and past involvement in various organizations, Brad's greatest area of interest is finding a cure for brain tumors with the SBTF and the Duke University Brain Tumor Board of Directors.

Brenda Tracey

Brenda Tracey joined the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2017. She is recently retired after a 35-year career in community and commercial banking. She became an advocate and caregiver when her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor (GBM) in 2003 which he battled for over 4 years.

She and her 3 daughters have been involved with Race For Research since 2004. Brenda is also very involved with the Brain Tumor Support Group meetings at Emory St. Joseph’s and at the Piedmont Brain Cancer Center in Atlanta.

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Our Scientific Advisory Committee members are involved in discussions which seek out and identify opportunities in which the SBTF might collaborate, or partner, with other organizations to identify, uncover, collect, and review research grant proposals. The Committee strives to identify which research grants proposals contain the most promising research pointed to deliver effective treatments for results. The Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation has no obligatory financial affiliation with a research institution or organization. We don’t care who finds the cure, just that a cure is found.

From the President

Board bios Kelly

SBTF President Kelly Turner

I’m Kelly Turner, your SBTF President. My journey with brain tumors began in 2007 with my mother’s Glioblastoma diagnosis. After a 16-month battle, it ended the way many GBM journeys end, with her death. After this devastating loss, I wanted to find a way to continue the fight against brain tumors. I became involved with the SBTF as a participant in the Race For Research 5k. I created a team and became a team captain. About four years later, I found my way to the Foundation’s Board of Directors. This year, I am honored to continue to serve as your president; this is an amazing organization. 

The SBTF is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit voluntary health organization and public charity. Our primary mission is to improve the quality of life for brain tumor patients and their families and to provide funding for research so that a cure for brain tumors can be found. SBTF Board members are volunteers; we come from different backgrounds and have regular jobs and regular daily stresses. We are current patients, healthcare professionals, and survivors. We are those touched by a friend or family member’s diagnosis, and we are those who support the SBTF’s mission. It is our common dedication to the SBTF that brings us together and enables us to succeed.

Over the last 25 years, the SBTF has funded more than $2.7 million in research grants. This funding resulted from the success of our annual fundraisers, the Race for Research, which is held in the fall in Atlanta, Georgia, and our spring event, the Muddy Duck Dash, held in Gainesville, Georgia. Event registration, individual donations, and fundraising, as well as the ever-important support and sponsorship by local corporations, enable us to fund brain tumor research.

In addition to raising funds for research, the SBTF offers support groups led by a nurse practitioner. Our support groups offer a safe and supportive environment for patients and families to share their experiences and receive support. The SBTF also strives to educate the brain tumor community by providing regular research updates and making available resource information for those affected by the disease.

We provide support, hope, and courage to those impacted by brain tumors. We offer a Voices of Hope Scholarship to students entering college who have themselves been or family members diagnosed with a brain tumor. In addition, we provide patient support services to patients in the midst of treatment.

It is you, our fellow advocates, who have enabled this organization to support the brain tumor community’s necessary emotional, informational, and scientific needs. We deeply appreciate your invaluable contributions.

To learn more about the SBTF, speak to a member of our board or volunteer, please contact us at (786) 505-SBTF or via email at info@sbtf.org.

With hope for a cure,

Kelly Turner
2020-2021 President, Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation