Meet Our

Cancer Surveillance Team

Lihua Liu

Principal Investigator, Director

As Director, Dr. Liu is responsible for leading CSP to fulfill its legally mandated obligation to collect cancer diagnoses and monitor cancer risk patterns and trends among the diverse populations of Los Angeles County. She will ensure CSP’s compliance with the contractual scopes of work and USC requirements, foster relations with funding agencies and reporting facilities, oversee budgetary affairs and staff development, and promote the use of CSP data for cancer research. 

Q: If you had to give up one, would you give up your smart phone or car?

A: I would rather give up my car than my iPhone. The choice is actually easy – my iPhone is essential to me and I rely on it for a variety of needs constantly, while I can get from place to place without my car.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I am originally from Beijing, China, where I was born, grew up, and completed my college education. I came to the U.S. as an international student for graduate studies.

Andrea Sipin​-Baliwas

Director of Registry Operations, Program Manager

As Director of Registry Operations, Andrea oversees the operational units of CSP to ensure high quality, complete, and timely collection and processing of cancer data from hospital and non-hospital reporting sources in Los Angeles County. She oversees electronic pathology reporting activities, rapid case ascertainment for long-term research studies, and contributes to other efforts that support near-real-time data collection and utilization. Andrea serves in leadership roles at the state and national level and is an advocate for professional development and strengthened communications across the cancer surveillance community.

Q: Who are you inspired by?

A: My late grandmother, Constancia, inspires me to not be afraid to think unconventionally and always serve others. She started and sustained a Manila-based transportation company in a male-dominated field and served on committees in the public sector, all while raising a large family.

Q: I unwind by…

A: Listening to my “Sunday Afternoon” playlist on Spotify while cooking (Happy to share it, let me know!)

Amie Hwang


Dr. Amie Hwang is a cancer epidemiologist and is responsible for addressing any cancer related concerns raised by residents, private or public sectors and government organizations in Los Angeles County. To ensure that all public concerns are adequately addressed, she provides important facts and statistics about cancer, conducts a full cancer cluster analysis when warranted, and communicates the findings with stakeholders of the communities. Dr. Hwang also conducts registry-based research on cancer burden among underserved populations.

Q: Who are you inspired by?

A: My dad, for his resilience, gentleness and diligence.

Q: Favorite place to travel to?

A: The Rockies. The Canadian version that is.

Myles Cockburn

Scientific Director

As Scientific Director, Dr. Cockburn ensures that registry data are widely used to achieve effective cancer control and prevention. He works with researchers from cancer epidemiology and other fields to determine how cancer surveillance data can be best used to answer key scientific questions, and leads a team of analytic specialists to provide data analysis support as needed. He develops new methodological approaches for the use of registry data, especially the use of geospatial methods to discover new opportunities for cancer control, and targeting cancer control efforts to those communities most likely to benefit.

Q: Favorite sports team?

A: The New Zealand All Blacks

Q: If you had to give up one, would you give up your smart phone or car?

A: My children

Q: How many pages do you print each day?

A: None.  Zip.  Nada.  Save the trees.

Ann Hamilton

Research Administrator

As Director of Human Subjects Research, Dr. Hamilton responds to requests by investigators and community groups who wish to obtain cancer registry data for reports, grant applications, funded research projects that involve patient data, or other research projects that involve provision of patient level data not involving patient contact. She counsels them on the availability and appropriateness of registry data for their needs, and assures that necessary approvals (including Institutional Review Board human subject approvals as well as  administrative approvals) are obtained. She works with registry staff to provide the requested data. In addition, she has extensive experience in collaborating with interested investigators by providing expertise and staffing to conduct fieldwork for patient contact studies, and has also provided expertise on studies involving medical record review.

Q: I unwind by…

A: . . .tending to my landscaping around my house which includes a lot of cactus and succulents. I love to just look at the plants and notice minute changes—a new growth, or new bud that will flower. I attend the San Gabriel Valley Cactus and Succulent Society meetings to learn more about the plants and see slide shows from people who have traveled to see them in their native habitats (i.e. South Africa, Mexico, Peru, etc.). I have been to South Africa myself to see some of them.

Q: How do you stay active?

A: I love to go contra dancing almost every weekend. It is great form of exercise and you have to smile and that alone makes you happy. Hearing the live music and remembering the sequences in the dances helps your brain I think!

Eunjung Lee


As an epidemiologist, Dr. Lee participates in providing consultation, epidemiologic, and statistic support for cancer data analysis with special emphasis on understanding and expanding utilization of tumor biomarkers. Dr. Lee communicates with researchers and investigators to promote use of CSP data and other external datasets linked to the CSP data.

Q: Favorite food or restaurant?

A: Pork Xiao Long Bao (dumpling) at Din Tai Fung

Q: Greatest accomplishment?

A: Created an 8-minute video clip for my son’s 1st birthday party in 2008, the best ever presentation in my entire career.

Alex Kazemi

IT Manager

As IT Manager, Alex manages Information technology and programming projects at the CSP. Alex oversees technical support, confidentiality and security compliance, project management of hardware and software upgrades, programming support for various cancer research studies and data submissions to national programs.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?

A: A brain surgeon.

Q: Quote to live by: 

A: “I can and I will.”

Denise Alcantara​

Data Collection Supervisor

As Data Collection Supervisor, Denise supervises the field and in-house data collection staff, oversees data screening and processing of electronic pathology (ePath) reports and non ePath reports, monitors quality of data, and participates in the development of policies and procedures.​

Q: At what battery percentage do you plug in your phone?

A: During the week I don’t let my phone go below 50% but on the weekend it usually dies on me. 

Q: Favorite song at the moment?

A: I’m all over the place as far as music goes but my all-time favorite is Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith.  Memories of my first concert.

Stephanie Wilson

Quality Control Supervisor

As Quality Control Supervisor, Stephanie ensures that the highest quality of data are maintained in Los Angeles County, while building good relationships between various standard setters and institutions that use our data for research. She monitors timeliness and completeness of every incidence of cancer in our catchment area and provide feedback to all facilities that submit cases to us. Stephanie provides assistance to our Director as he pioneers new nationwide linkages, represent CSP on various state and national initiatives, and serve as the subject matter expert for our Analytic Support group. 

Q: Greatest accomplishment?

A: Other than becoming a QC Supervisor at USC at 31? Being a positive influence on my nieces and nephews (by taking them to Disneyland).

Q: Quote to live by?

A: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?

A: How much longer do I have to decide?!



Staff In The Spotlight

My career path (so far) has been in two completely different arenas; one in the concert hall and the other at the Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program, at USC. 

I was born in Pasadena, California and along with my three sisters (one older, two younger), we all studied and participated in music from an early age.  I began as a boy soprano, also studying piano, violin, French horn, and later choral and instrumental conducting.  I went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in music education from Cal State University, Fullerton.  After I graduated (1980), I auditioned for a position as a professional chorister with the Los Angeles Master Chorale led by its founding director, Roger Wanger, and began what would become a 27-year singing career with the ensemble.  I pursued and finished a master’s degree in music from Cal State University, Los Angeles and at the same time enjoyed a full schedule of rehearsals and concerts with the Master Chorale, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and many local churches.  In 1989, I began studies towards a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Music from USC. 

At the time I began my DMA program, I needed flexible employment to help support our growing family while going to school during the day, and rehearsals/concerts in the evenings.  After singing a set of performances of the Verdi Requiem at the L.A. Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with Zubin Mehta and the LA Phil, I was walking up the stairs post-concert to meet my family when I ran into an old high school friend, Bryan Langholz, a Professor of Biostatistics at USC.  I asked what the hiring environment was like at USC, and by the end of that conversation, I had an hourly job in his office doing anything and everything associated with keeping their office relatively organized.  Flash forward a bit, and I was hired by Dr. Tom Mack to work on some of the International Twin Study projects.  Flash forward a bit more, and in 1993 I was hired full-time by Dr. Dennis Deapen at the CSP.  At this time, I was just finishing my doctoral coursework in Choral Music on the main USC campus, and Dennis and I thought it would be a good idea for me to pursue CTR certification while writing my dissertation, and studying for my written and oral exams.  I completed my CTR, finished my dissertation, passed my exams, and graduated with a DMA in Chorale Music all about the same time.  And continued my singing career with the Master Chorale as a professional chorister.  Whew. 

Since I have been with the CSP now for more than 30 years, I do a little bit of everything, including:

  • Create and maintain the CSP Bibliography – A compendium of the published scientific research based on cancer data provided by the Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program.  Create reports and provide CSP Bibliography data for progress reports and grant applications.
  • Create and maintain the MD database that contains the contact information of all the licensed physicians in Los Angeles County and their specialties.  Edit physician contact lists for individual studies as requested by PI’s. 
  • Update contact information for all cancer reporting sources.
  • Participate in projects to classify diseases, code tumor behaviors, identify contact physicians, and computerize records.
  • Monitor non-hospital reporting source case listing for missed cases and/or missing treatment.
  • Manually process cancer cases in the registry database.
  • Developed and direct the annual online CSP Confidentiality & Security Training program for CSP staff, and non-CSP staff.
  • Monitor Rapid Case Ascertainment (RCA) pathology report feeds from the E-path system, and record/report study cases to PI’s.
  • Provide support for Institutional Review Board approvals.

Lenard Berglund, MA, DMA
Data Management Specialist