President : Arlene Mathew, MSW, LMSW
Arlene Thomas is currently an Associate Risk Manager at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. After completing her undergraduate degrees in Social Work and Government at the University of Texas at Austin, Arlene pursued her graduate training in Social Work at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. She started working at MD Anderson in 2004 as a Licensed Master of Social Work providing counseling and resources in areas including outpatient hematology and various inpatient units. In 2010, she transitioned to Risk Management where she primarily works on claims, pre-litigation settlements, and clinical/patient safety issues. She is also active in the Mar Thoma Church, previously serving as a Council Member for the Diocese of North America and Europe and representing the church in the National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches. She has also led mission trips to Mexico conducting Vacation Bible School at the Mar Thoma mission. She has served as a board member of IACAN since September 2014.
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 and London before moving to Houston in 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.
Dipika is a VP of Accounting with Memorial Credit Union and received her BS from India. Dipika has 25 years of experience with financial institutions. Dipika’s experience and strong leadership personality contributes to the continued success of IACAN. Dipika volunteers her time at community and social organizations in Houston. She has been an active volunteer of IACAN since its inception.
Raju Nandagiri has been active in the Houston community since moving here in 1975. She completed her bachelor’s of science degree in Hyderabad, India and a specialized training program at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Health Science Center in histotechnology. She spent her career working at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center primarily focused on breast cancer research alongside some of the most prestigious doctors in the country. This work initiated her passion for educating others and supporting those who have faced the challenges of a cancer diagnosis. After her retirement, she began volunteering for various community groups and has been an active member of Chinmaya Mission Houston since 1986.
Jagannadha Sastry, PhD
Dr. K. Jagannadha Sastry is a professor in the Department of immunology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. His group’s research in the broad areas of viral oncology and immunology focuses on understanding the biology, pathology and genetics of two viral diseases impacting human health: HPV-associated cancers and HIV-induced AIDS. The overall goal of the research is to develop procedures and reagents for prediction, treatment as well as prevention. Dr. Sastry’s group discovered formulated vaccines based on fragments corresponding to immunogenic sequences in HIV and HPV that have shown protective efficacy in animal models. Over the past 30+ years, Dr. Sastry has lead and/or participated in investigator initiated as well as team-oriented research programs supported by federal, state, industry, and philanthropy funds. Dr. Sastry serves regularly as a reviewer for federal grant applications at NIH. He has been a member of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (UT-GSBS) at Houston for over 25 years and has mentored several post-graduate/post-doctoral trainees and junior faculty members in the areas of virology and immunology. Currently, he serves as the director of the immunology program within the graduate school for training MS and PhD students in immunology.
Vibhuti is a biochemist. She has worked in cancer research publishing papers on liver perfusion. She is a past president of DAYA and an active community leader and volunteer.
Monalisa Chandra, PhD Student
Monalisa Chandra is a behavioral scientist by training, with special focus in women’s health. She is a lecturer at the University of Houston in the department of Sociology and currently pursuing doctoral degree from UT School of Public Health in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences. Monalisa’s, research interest includes breast and cervical cancer and maternal health. She has a M.A. in Sociology, and B.S. in Economics and Sociology from University of Houston.
Past 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 with Galveston County Master Gardeners and IACAN.
Honorary Board Member Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray