About UGO

University Gynecologic Oncology (UGO) is one of the world leaders in oncology care for women with cancer of the female reproductive tract. Founded by renowned gynecologic surgeon and oncologist Dr. Benedict Benigno, UGO works on the cutting edge, specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for women with gynecologic cancers.

Patients at UGO get more than just medical care; they get an experience that brings healing and hope. UGO takes a team approach to treatment. We understand that patients are going through more than just the treatment; they are learning a new way of life.

We work with each person to draw up a blueprint for their treatment, tapping into state-of-the-art medical care and comprehensive educational services. We also serve as an ambassador to help patients navigate their journey over a lifetime. At UGO, we are a family, working together to help patients and their families obtain the care they need plus so much more.

Dr. Benigno received his M.D. degree from the Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center in New York City. He completed two fellowships in gynecologic oncology, one at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and the other at the M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute in Houston. He was a visiting professor at the University of Saigon for three years during the War in Vietnam where he set up a residency training program for young Vietnamese surgeons. From 1974 to 1982, he was on the faculty at the Emory University School of Medicine where he was the Director of Gynecologic Oncology at Emory Hospital and at Grady Memorial Hospital. Recently, Dr. Benigno founded University Gynecologic Oncology where he serves as President. He also serves as the Director of Gynecologic Oncology at Northside Hospital.

Dr. Benigno has published numerous articles and textbook chapters and speaks regularly on various aspects of gynecologic cancer. In 2008, he brought the technique of heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) to Northside Hospital where it has become routine in the treatment of patients with ovarian cancer. Because the five year survival rate in patients with advanced cancer of the ovary has not improved significantly in the last 25 years, Dr. Benigno founded the Ovarian Cancer Institute (OCI) in 1999 and continues to serve as its Chief Executive Officer. The laboratories are located at the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Tissue and serum are collected in the operating room and flash frozen prior to being transported to Georgia Tech. Numerous basic science publications have emerged from this work, which is committed not only to the discovery of a screening test for ovarian cancer, but also to finding more efficacious and less toxic ways of treating this dreadful disease. OCI has the largest tissue and serum bank for this disease in the world, and it has created the most advanced computerized database for ovarian cancer that exists today.

Dr. Benigno is a member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, the Felix Rutledge Society, and is a clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Emory University School of Medicine. He serves on the St. Joseph's Translational Research Institute Board and the Parker H. Petit Institute of Bioengineering and Bioscience Board at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was honored in 2002 with the Hero of Medicine Award for the Most Innovative Cancer Research in the State of Georgia. In addition to his medical and scientific interests, Dr. Benigno supports the Atlanta Symphony and Atlanta Opera. He is fluent in French and has been a lifelong student of the piano. His wife, Sheila, is a prominent portrait artist, and they have three children, Justin, Alexander and Serena.

Dr. Guilherme Cantuaria is amongst the most distinguished and experienced robotic gynecologic cancer surgeons in the country, specializing in the
da Vinci Surgical System. He completed his fellowship training in gynecologic oncology at Jackson Memorial Hospital and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. During that time he also received his doctorate in health sciences from the University of Brasilia. Dr. Cantuaria holds his medical degree from the University of Brasilia and completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL. He is board certified in gynecologic oncology and general obstetrics and gynecology.

Prior to joining University Gynecologic Oncology, Dr. Cantuaria held an academic appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Brasilia and served as medical director and principal investigator for the Gynecologic Oncology Program at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, NC.

Dr. Cantuaria's honors and accomplishments include: fluency in four languages (English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese), and was voted an unprecedented three years in a row as one of the most outstanding doctors in the Best Doctors list for North Carolina (2007-2010). In addition, during his tenure at the University of Miami, his medical students evaluated him as the Most Outstanding Teacher (1999, 1997, 1995, and 1994). Over the years Dr. Cantuaria has authored and co-authored numerous publications focusing on his expertise in gynecological cancers and has lectured nationally and internationally. He is an active member of several key professional societies including: the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, the International Gynecologic Cancer Society, the Brazilian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Cantuaria is committed to providing exceptional and dedicated medical service to each of his patients throughout her cancer experience. He is a strong advocate for individualized cancer therapy, and it is his belief that every patient undergoing cancer care and treatment is unique and must be treated as such.

Dr. Cantuaria has a passion for soccer, travel, and Formula One car racing. During his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Ana Lucia and two boys, Lucas and Gabriel.

Sherry Tobia is a certified nurse practitioner that has devoted her practice to working with gynecological cancer patients. Sherry joined Dr. Benigno in 2004 and now acts as clinical manager at University Gynecologic Oncology.

Sherry has a passion for bringing wellness to her patients and optimizing their health. She lives by the philosophy that as a caregiver, she treats every patient as she would want her family members to be treated. At UGO, Sherry ensures that every patient receives the highest quality of care from the moment they enter the door.

Sherry received her master's degree in nursing and public health from Emory University in Atlanta, GA., where she worked in surgical intensive care and later as a research supervisor. She became a registered nurse in 1979 after graduating from Grady School of Nursing in Atlanta, Georgia.

In her leisure time, Sherry enjoys being with her family, taking long walks, reading, music, and volunteering.

Cecilia Jaramillo is a certified nurse practitioner that is committed to making every patient feel comfortable, educated, and empowered in her treatment. Cecilia is a strong believer that modern medicine and will-power go hand-in-hand when fighting cancer. By using the power of the mind and having a positive attitude you can and will, rise to the challenge. Cecelia joined Dr. Benigno and University Gynecologic Oncology in 2010.

Cecilia received her master's degree in nursing from Georgia State University and has worked in the fields of medical oncology and reproductive endocrinology for most of her career. Cecilia received her undergraduate in 1996 from Felecian College in Lodi, NJ.

Cecilia, a native of Columbia, is fluent in Spanish. In her spare time, Cecilia enjoys rock climbing, listening to music, watching foreign films and spending time with her daughter and toy poodle.

The Ovarian Cancer Institute (OCI) was founded on the notion that there is a dire need for novel, more productive approaches to ovarian cancer research. OCI is an innovative collaboration between noted Atlanta gynecologic oncologist Benedict B. Benigno M.D. and internationally-recognized scientist John F. McDonald Ph.D., Associate Dean and Director of the Integrated Cancer Research Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

OCI is not your traditional research institute. Dr. McDonald and his colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology are taking an "outside the box" integrative approach to ovarian cancer research. Rather than operating in "academic silos" of research specialization, the OCI approach is to combine state-of-the-art molecular biology with new, emerging technologies and expertise in nanotechnology, biomedical engineering and high-throughput computer science to take a multi-discipline approach to ovarian cancer research and is already generating dramatic results.

The goal of the Ovarian Cancer Institute is to find an early screeening test for cancer of the ovary as well as more efficacious and less toxic ways of treating this disease.

To learn more about OCI visit www.ovariancancerinstitute.org or call (404) 300-2997.

Ovarian Cancer Institute Publications:

Gynecologic Oncologist/Robotic Surgeon

Dr. Ellison earned her medical degree from Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia. She completed her obstetrics and gynecology residency at University of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama and her fellowship in gynecologic oncology at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She is board certified in gynecologic oncology and general obstetrics and gynecology.

While serving in the United States Army Dr. Ellison was assistant chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology. She has a master in health care administration from the University of Phoenix. Dr. Ellison is actively involved in research and has written many publications. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family of 4 boys, snowboarding.

Dr. Ellison is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons as well as a member of the American Medical Association, the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, the Society of Robotic Surgery, the Minimally Invasive Robotic Association and the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, where she sits on the Clinical Practice Committee. Dr. Ellison is accepting new patients and welcomes most major insurance plans.

Gynecologic Oncologist/Robotic Surgeon

Communicating with patients about the impact of a diagnosis is integral for Dr. Stephanie Yap who works to build strong partnerships among patients, referring physicians, and their support team to help women navigate their health care journey.

Board-certified in gynecologic oncology and general obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. Yap brings expertise in minimally invasive surgical techniques, including daVinci robotic procedures. Additional areas of clinical interest include managing endometrial and cervical cancer, as well as complex benign disease such as endometriosis and pelvic masses, and GYN cancer clinical research.

Her experience stems from earning her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, Calif. She completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California-San Francisco and her gynecologic oncology fellowship at the joint Stanford-UCSF program.

Dr. Yap came to UGO to work with a team that champions a multidisciplinary approach, offering patients streamlined care and comprehensive services at Northside Hospital. Working to maintain the dignity of patients as individuals, Dr. Yap is committed to combining compassionate care with evidence-based medicine to improve the lives of her patients.

In addition to holding academic positions at Stanford and Morehouse, she has also served on the Society of Gynecologic Oncology's Clinical Practice Committee. Dr. Yap lives in Atlanta with her husband, a researcher, and two sons.