SHOP TALK: Appointments, Promotions, Honors, Grants, & People News

Oncology Times:
doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000425700.79163.26
Shop Talk

    Peter J. Ratcliffe, MD, Professor and Head of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine at Oxford University, has been appointed a Member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. His research focuses on the role of hypoxia in cancer, heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, and anemia.

    Joseph R. Testa, PhD, Professor at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has been awarded the International Mesothelioma Interest Group's Wagner Medal for his research on the genetic underpinnings of malignant mesothelioma and for identification of cell signaling pathways that hold promise as targets for future therapeutic interventions.

    Two pediatric oncology specialists at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Colleen Annesley, MD, and Kathy Ruble, PhDc, RN, have been awarded grants totaling $204,865 by the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Annesley's project will focus on proving if two specific gene mutations contribute to the formation of acute myeloid leukemia, to allow the development of novel drugs to interfere with those mutations. Ruble's research focuses on finding ways to get survivors healthier through participation in physical activity.

    Paul Goodfellow, PhD, has joined Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center—James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute as Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. His research focuses on the role that loss of DNA mismatch repair plays in tumor initiation and progression, and how the molecular events could help develop approaches to preventing and treating endometrial and breast cancers. He was most recently at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Also at OSCC-James, Sameek Roychowdhury, MD, PhD, has been appointed Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Oncology and the School of Biomedical Sciences' Department of Pharmacology. His clinical research focuses on personalized approaches to patient treatment through genomics. He was most recently at the University of Michigan.

    Marina Glibicky, MD, has joined ColumbiaDoctors of the Hudson Valley as an internist with a focus on treating women and the elderly. She had been at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.

    Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, has been named editor-in-chief of the AACR journal Molecular Cancer Research. She is Professor and the Hilary Koprowski Chair in the Departments of Cancer Biology, Urology, and Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University and Deputy Director for Basic Science at the Kimmel Cancer Center.

    The Lustgarten Foundation and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have opened the new Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Research Laboratory, which will focus exclusively on pancreatic cancer research, with initial studies centered on early detection, drug development, and drug delivery.

    “Too few laboratories in the world are dedicated solely to pancreatic cancer research. The Foundation welcomes the opportunity to establish one at a world-class facility such as Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory,” Kerri Kaplan, Lustgarten Foundation's Executive Director, said in a news release.

    David Tuveson, MD, PhD, the Foundation's Director of Research and CSHL Professor, will direct and lead the lab's research efforts. He also has an appointment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he will conduct clinical trials.

    A new Professorship in Pediatrics has been established at City of Hope, funded by a $1.5 million pledge from the Norman and Sadie Lee Foundation. “This generous gift exemplifies their commitment in the fight against pediatric cancers,” Michael A. Friedman, MD, City of Hope's Chief Executive Officer and Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director's Distinguished Chair, said in a news release. “This endowment will fuel innovative research to develop better treatments and models of care so that our youngest cancer patients will lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.”

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    ACS Announces Annual Awards and New Board of Directors Officers

    The American Cancer Society has awarded its most prestigious award, the Medal of Honor, to four individuals who have made outstanding contributions to cancer research. “These honorees represent the very best in the fight against cancer,” ASCO CEO John R. Seffrin, PhD, said in a news release.

    * Medal of Honor for Basic Research: Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, the Kraft Family Professor of Medicine and Associate Medical Director at Brigham and Women's Hospital Blood Bank; Vice Chair in the Joint Program in Transfusion Medicine at Harvard Medical school; and Director of the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center, Chief in the Division of Hematologic Neoplasia, and Director of the Lebow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics, at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His research has identified the varying growth mechanisms of myeloma at the cellular and molecular level, and mechanisms of resistance to apoptosis.

    * Medal of Honor for Clinical Research: Waun Ki Hong, MD, Vice Provost for Clinical Research and Head of the Division of Cancer Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. His research includes: (1) the landmark Veterans Administration Cooperative laryngeal preservation trial, which changed the way the disease is managed and served as a model for organ preservation for many other cancers; (2) the trial that showed that chemoprevention with a retinoid could block cancer development, but that the harsh side effects of the high-dose retinoid meant it could not be used preventively; and (3) the BATTLE (Biomarker-integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination) trials, the first successful biopsy-driven trial in lung cancer, which opened up a new paradigm of personalized cancer therapy in solid tumors.

    * Medal of Honor for Cancer Control: Diane E. Meier, MD, Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, Director of the Lillian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute, Professor of Geriatrics and Internal Medicine in the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine; and the Catherine Gaisman Professor of Medical Ethics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Her research focuses on bringing non-hospice palliative care into mainstream medicine. She is currently principal investigator of an NCI-funded five-year multisite study on the outcomes of hospital palliative care services in cancer patients.

    * Medal of Honor for Philanthropy: Janet Mordecai, a retired nurse living in Denver, Colo., who created the Daniel and Janet Mordecai Rural Health Nursing Endowed Chair, as well as four Rural Health Nursing Endowed Fellowships at her alma mater, the University of Colorado College of Nursing; she also inspired the board of directors of the Society's Great West Division to launch an effort across the division's 12 states to increase the research investment through volunteer-based fundraising, which resulted in an additional $507,000 for new research grants; and she made one of the largest individual scientific research gifts in the ACS's history to establish the Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2 (MEN2) Thyroid Cancer Consortium, which includes research in epidemiology, drug development, and fundamental genetics.

    * Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Award: Barbara Berkman, DSW/PhD, LICSW, the Helen Rehr/Ruth Fizdale Professor of Health and Mental Health at Columbia University School of Social Work and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, for her research, practice, and advocacy of social work and its importance in caring for cancer patients and their families. She is responsible for advancements in the assessment instruments oncology social workers use to identify patients and families who are at risk for poor psychosocial adjustment to changes in health status.

    * National Volunteer Leadership Award: Sigurd Normann, MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida's Department of Pathology, recognizing his volunteer work with ACS since 1976. He has served the Society in numerous capacities, including a term as president of the Florida Division Board of Directors (1998-1999) and national service as a delegate to the former national assembly. He has made significant contributions to tobacco policy, governance, field operations, public policy, and two Hope Lodge task forces, the Society notes.

    * Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Award: David S. Rosenthal, MD, Director of Harvard University Health Services and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, received the ACS Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Award. He is a past president of both the former Massachusetts Division and the American Cancer Society, Inc. He played an instrumental role in the effort to bring an ACS Hope Lodge to Boston, and as chairperson of the Massachusetts Coalition for a Healthy Future he helped lead the state's groundbreaking initiatives in tobacco control during the early implementation of its new tobacco tax. Rosenthal also serves as a senior physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he is also Medical Director of the Zakim Center for Integrated Therapies.

    * Pathfinder in Palliative Care Award: Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, founder of the palliative care program at Northwestern University Medical School and Hospital, recognizing his innovation and ingenuity in his contributions to the advancement of the palliative care field. Under his leadership, among the earliest palliative medicine graduate fellowship training programs were launched at Northwestern University, and he now leads the largest palliative medicine fellowship training program in the nation at San Diego Hospice and the University of California, San Diego. He initiated, conceptualized, sought, and received Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and NCI-R25 funding for, and wrote the national physician curriculum on palliative medicine which has provided intensive two-day training in palliative medicine for hundreds of thousands of physicians worldwide through a train-the-trainer model.

    * Scientific Research Award: Massimo Cristofanilli, MD, Leader of the Breast Service Line and the G. Morris Dorrance Jr. Endowed Chair in Medical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center, and Director of Translational Science in the Cancer Genome Institute there. The award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of basic or clinical cancer research.

    * Cancer Control Award: David Weinberg, MD, MSc, Chair of the Department of Medicine at Fox Chase Cancer Center. The award honors an individual for a non-research activity that has contributed to clinical practice, administration, or education and training.

    And, the society has installed 11 new officers to its volunteer 2012-2013 Board of Directors, the organization's sole governing body:

    * Chair: Gary M. Reedy;

    * President: Vincent T. DeVita, Jr., MD;

    * Chair-elect: Pamela K. Meyerhoffer, FAHP;

    * President-elect: Tim E. Byers, MD, MPH;

    * Vice Chair: Robert E. Youle;

    * First Vice President: Douglas K. Kelsey, MD, PhD;

    * Second Vice President: Enrique Hernandez, MD;

    * Treasurer: Daniel P. Heist, CPA;

    * Secretary: Robert R. Kugler, Esq.;

    * Immediate Past President: W. Phil Evans, MD; and

    * Immediate Past Chair: Cynthia M. LeBlanc, EdD.

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