IACAN is a member of
  • Asian Cancer Council at American Cancer Society
  • Asian American Health Coalition
  • Breast Health Collaborative of Texas

Board of Directors

  • President: Kumari Susarla, BS, MT(ASCP)

    Kumari Susarla is an ASCP board registered Medical Technologist and received her BS from University of Texas Health Science Center. She supervised Routine and Special Chemistry sections at UTMB Galveston. She has also worked in Laboratory Information Systems at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and taught Medical Technology students. She enjoys her retired life by volunteering at Galveston County Master Gardeners and IACAN.

  • Secretary: Sarvesh Bhavaraju, MS

    Sarvesh is a Project Engineer with Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc., Houston. He graduated with a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Chemical Engineering, and worked in New Delhi, London before moving to Houston 1997. Sarvesh has been actively involved in organizing Marrow Drives in the South Asian community and works closely with the Gulf Coast Marrow Program, the local affiliate of the National Marrow Donor Program.

  • Joint Secretary: Arlene Mathew, MSW, LMSW


  • Treasurer: Suresh S Agrawal, Ph.D.

    Dr. Agrawal is a chemical engineer with degrees from IIT’s (Mumbai / USA) and is founder and CEO of oil and gas downstream refining consulting company, Offsite Management Systems LLC. He has worked and consulted with many international companies providing consultancy in his areas of expertise for 30+ years and has traveled extensively worldwide for the purpose. He has been active in Chinamaya Mission Houston and has recently joined the IACAN board as treasurer .

  • Sarvamangala Prasad, Ph D, Ph.D.

    Dr. Mangala Prasad has a PhD. in Biochemistry from Bombay University with Post-doctoral Research Fellowships at University of Arizona and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. She was appointed Assistant Professor in 2000 in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology and after 18 years as a research scientist at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Mangala Prasad is now devoting her time as a community volunteer with various local Indian organizations.

  • Raju Nandagiri, BS

  • Dr. Lakshmi Koyyalagunta, MD

  • Dr. Jagannadha Sastry, Ph D

  • Vijaya Sista, BA

  • Dipika Varia

  • Advisory Board

  • Kanchan Kabad, MBA

    With an undergraduate degree in Clothing and Textiles from India, Kanchan came to United States in 1982 for her MBA. While working for the Drama Department at the University of Houston from 1986 to 1995, she managed 6 to 8 students and staff in the design and production of costumes for the plays of the Drama Department including the Houston Shakespeare Festival. In 1995 she joined her husband Jay at Jaykay Wealth Advisors Inc. As Vice President of Operations, she manages the accounting, payroll and compliance functions for the company. Her passion for the Arts continues as she volunteers her time at many community and social organizations in Houston.

  • V.K. Dorai, Ph.D., M.S., M.B.A., B.E.

    Dr. Dorai has over 20 years of experience in healthcare administration. His research interest is in the area of quality of life and measurement of health outcomes. He has a Ph.D. from the School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He has been a member of the research team focusing on patient safety at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center and of rapid cycle improvements in glucose management protocols of the UT system wide ICU Collaborative. He has also been a member of the research team at the Center for Research in Minority Health at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center focusing on the health needs of South Asians living in the USA. Since 2006 he has served as a member of the Health Disparities Index Initiative / Community Electronic Record and the HDI Indicator Working Group, Health Disparities Index Initiative, both organized by the Texas Department State Health Services.

  • Sewa Legha, MD

    Dr. Legha graduated from Punjab University, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana in 1970 and moved to the US in 1971. After completing a Fellowship in Medical Oncology from the National Cancer Institute (NIH) he moved to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 1976, where he spent the next 20 years of his illustrious academic career. He moved to St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in 1998 and was a teaching attending and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston for 10 years. He is currently working for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals where he is a Senior Director in Medical Affairs and is responsible for Drug development and Clinical Research in Oncology. During his Medical career of 35+ years as an Oncologist, Dr Legha was invited as a visiting Professor and has lectured to and educated oncologists in many countries across the globe. He has authored over 150 research papers and edited a popular book titled, Chemoradiation: an integrated approach to Cancer Treatment.

  • Gayathri Kongovi, MS

    Gayathri Kongovi is an active community volunteer. After retiring from M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, she has played a key role in developing the Indian American Cancer Network and to promote prevention and early detection of cancer.

  • Lakshmi Naik, MA, LCSW

    Founding member, Lakshmi received her Masters of Social Science in Medical and Psychiatric Social Work from the Tata Institute Of Social Sciences, India. She has 26 years of experience in clinical social work and recently retired after 17 and half years of service with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Lakshmi is highly valued for her skills in counseling, distress management, crisis intervention and resource building. She is specially acknowledged for her interventions with patients who have advanced stage disease and end of life care concerns. In 2006 she was nominated for the coveted National Outstanding Social Worker Award by the Social Work Leadership in Healthcare. She is highly revered and respected for her leadership abilities and being the trailblazer for many new initiatives and programs.

  • Neeta Pahwa, MS, RD, LD, CNSC

    Neeta Pahwa is a registered Dietitian and Licensed in the state of Texas, she is also certified in Nutrition Support. She has over 25 years of experience in Clinical Nutrition. Neeta is currently working at MD Anderson as Supervisor of Clinical Nutrition Services. Her interest is in Nutrition Support. Neeta Pahwa served as a Nutrition Support Dietitian specializing in Heart, Lung and LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist device) Nutrition for over 20 years at St Luke’s Episcopal hospital. She has authored several articles and chapters in Nutrition books. Neeta served as president and director at large for Texas Gulf Coast Society for Parental and Enteral Nutrition. She is a member of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Society and American Society of Parental and Enteral Nutrition. She has a MS from Mumbai, India and University Of Houston, TX.

  • Shalin Shah, MD

    Dr. Shah graduated from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York with a special distinction for research in Radiation Oncology. He completed his residency in Radiation Oncology at Albert Einstein/Montefiore Hospitals, where he served as the Chief Resident during his final year. He then completed his clinical fellowship in Radiation Oncology at MD Anderson. Prior to practicing in the Sugar Land and Oak Bend centers, he treated patients as part of the multidisciplinary head and neck cancer team at MD Anderson, and was listed among America's top oncologists in 2009 by the Consumers' Research Council of America. Dr. Shah is board certified by the American Board of Radiology. He is interested in researching how diet, exercise, and other integrative medicine strategies can improve the cure rates and side effects of treatment in cancer patients. Dr. Shah serves on the Board of Directors of the Indian American Cancer Network (IACAN). Languages spoken: Gujarati, Hindi and Spanish

  • Sunil Krishnan, MD

    Sunil Krishnan is an assistant professor of radiation oncology at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He specializes in the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers with radiation therapy. He has previously worked with the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Rochester, MN where patients were provided free temporary housing while undergoing cancer therapy at the Mayo Clinic.

  • Mitali Paul, MHA, MBA, FACHE

    Mitali Paul is a Director of Ambulatory Care Services at the Harris County Hospital District. She worked with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in various roles for over five years, most recently serving as Clinical Business Manager. During this time, she developed a passion for working with cancer prevention and awareness. She has a Masters in Business and Healthcare Administration (MHA/MBA) from the University of Houston, Clearlake and a Masters in Hospital Administration (MHA) from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Besides serving on the IACAN Board, she also serves as Co-Chair of the Southeast Texas Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is a member of the Asian Healthcare Leaders Association (AHCLA).

  • Mika Rao Kalapatapu, MS

    Mika Rao Kalapatapu has been involved with health care communications for over 15 years. After graduating from The University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School, Mika began her career as a change management consultant with Accenture, LLP. She later handled public relations for The LifeLink Foundation, an organ procurement organization. In 2007, she joined Memorial Hermann Health System where she was the Manager of Physician Communications and later the Marketing Director at Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital. Currently, Mika is the President of Rao Communications, a full service firm focused on PR, copywriting, marketing, and social media. Mika is also a health care journalist and is a regular contributor to Housecalls Magazine, absolutely!Katy magazine and other publications. Mika holds a Masters of Science in Health Communication from Boston University. A long time social entrepreneur, she is one of the founders of the national non-profit organization Project IMPACT for South Asian Americans, and involved with local charities assisting children with cancer.

  • Rachna Shroff, MD

    Dr. Rachna Shroff is an Assistant Professor in GI Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at Brown University and her MD at Jefferson Medical College in Philadephia. She did her Internal Medicine training and Chief Residency at Washington University in St. Louis before joing MD Anderson for her Medical Oncology fellowship. Dr. Shroff specializes in treating pancreatic and biliary cancers. Her research interests are in developing personalized, targeted therapy for biliary and pancreatic malignancies, as well as in biomarker development for novel pathways and therapies in gastrointestinal cancers.

  • Julie Rani Nangia, MD

    Dr. Nangia, assistant professor of Medicine in the section of hematology-oncology, is board certified in internal medicine & medical oncology. Dr. Nangia received her medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She completed an internal medicine residency at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston as well as a hematology-oncology fellowship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. Dr. Nangia specializes in the care of patients with breast cancer and breast cancer prevention.

  • Snehal Desai, M.D.

    Dr. Snehal Desai is a radiation oncologist at the Houston Methodist Hospital. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Houston in 2002; obtained his Doctorate of Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine in 2006, and completed his internship and residency in radiation oncology in 2011. During his final year of residency, he served as Chief Resident for the radiation oncology residency program. In 2011, he also completed a brachytherapy fellowship from the American Society of Brachytherapy.

    Dr. Desai holds leadership positions in American College of Radiology, Texas Radiological Society, and American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. In addition, he is a member of American Society of Radiation Oncology, Radiosurgical Society, Radiological Society of North America, Indo American Cancer Association, American Medical Association, and Harris County Medical Society.

  • Sanjay Sethi, M.D.

  • Polly Niravath, M.D.

  • Gayathri Rao, MS