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SHOP TALK: Appointments, Promotions, Honors, Grants, & Other ‘People News’

doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000438522.80349.50
Shop Talk

Three members of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center have been appointed to federal advisory posts:

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* Louis M. Weiner, MD, the Center's Director, has been named Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for Clinical Sciences and Epidemiology for the National Cancer Institute. The board, on which he has been serving a five-year term that began last year, oversees the activities of the NCI's intramural branch, as well as advising the NCI Director on budget and personnel allocations.

* Michael B. Atkins, MD, Deputy Director, has been appointed to the NIH's Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, which advises the NIH Director on all human research involving gene therapy in the country, as well as on new developments in recombinant DNA technology. He will serve a four-year term, which began in August.

* Milton L. Brown, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology, has been appointed to the National Toxicology Program Board of Scientific Counselors by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. He will serve a four-year term, which began in September.

Patrick Johnston, MD, PhD, FMedSci Dean of the School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Biomedical Sciences at Queen's University Belfast, has been named the University's 12th President and Vice-Chancellor, to begin early next year.

Johnston was appointed Professor of Oncology at Queen's in 1996, and has since served as Director of its Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology in addition to his current post.

James Abbruzzese, MD, has left the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to join Duke Cancer Institute as Chief of the Division of Medical Oncology and Associate Director for Clinical Research. A Fellow of the American College of Physicians as well as the American Society of Clinical Oncology, he currently serves as Chair of the NCI's Clinical Trials and Translational Research Advisory Committee. As Chief of Medical Oncology at Duke, he succeeds Jeff Crawford, MD, who remains at Duke; and in the Clinical Research post, Abbruzzese succeeds Christopher Willet, MD.

Michael Choti, MD, MBA, has joined UT Southwestern Medical Center as Chair of the Department of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief of William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital (opening in 2014). He was most recently at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery and Professor of Surgery, Oncology, and Radiology. His clinical research interests focus on pancreas and liver malignancies.

David R. Jones, MD, has joined Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center as Chief of the Thoracic Service in the Department of Surgery, and Charles M. Rudin, MD, PhD, has joined as Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service in the Division of Solid Tumor Oncology in the Department of Medicine. They will also co-chair the Thoracic Disease Management Team. Jones has also been appointed Vice Chair for Quality and Safety in the Department of Surgery.

Jones succeeds Valerie W. Rusch, MD, FACS, who has served as Chief of the Thoracic Service since 2000, and who will continue her clinical practice and research activities at MSKCC, as well as continuing to serve as Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Surgery. Rudin succeeds Mark G. Kris, MD, who has served as Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service since 1990, and who has been appointed Lead Physician, MSKCC-IBM Watson Collaboration.

Bryan Schneider, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical and Molecular Genetics at Indiana University School of Medicine, and a researcher at the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, has been named the Vera Bradley Investigator in Oncology there.

“Bryan Schneider is the obvious choice to hold the Vera Bradley title. Through his collaborative spirit, passion for the work, and pure brilliance, he personifies what makes the whole team great,” Catherine Hill, Executive Director of the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, said in a news release.

Ashutosh K. Tewari, MB, BS, has been named Chairman of the Milton and Carroll Petrie Department of Urology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Dr. Tewari is a top-flight urologist and physician scientist of national and international repute who will position Mount Sinai as a urologic center of excellence, offering world-class urologic care, practice-changing research, and patient-centered care,” Dennis S. Charney, MD, the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and President for Academic Affairs of the Mount Sinai Health System, said in a news release. “Dr. Tewari is known for his work in developing the fields of robotic prostatectomy, and outcomes research using novel medical imaging and genomics research.”

Napoleone Ferrara, MD, Professor of Pathology and Senior Deputy Director for Basic Sciences at Moores Cancer Center in the University of California San Diego Medical Center, has been named Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, an American Association for Cancer Research journal.

“His extraordinary expertise in basic cancer research and anticancer drug development, coupled with his substantial experience in publishing cutting-edge peer-reviewed articles in the field, will help us build on the journal's success and enhance the exchange of knowledge among scientists,” AACR CEO Margaret Foti, PhD, said in a news release.

A team of researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, have been awarded an $11 million, five-year National Cancer Institute Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to study novel immunotherapy approaches for the treatment of and risk assessment for ovarian cancer. The research is led by principal investigator Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, Chair of Gynecologic Oncology and Director of the Center for Immunotherapy at Roswell Park.

The research includes four projects: three clinical trials evaluating newly developed immunotherapies and one epidemiological study looking for ways to reduce risk in women at high risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Two researchers have received the Japanese Cancer Association-Mauvernay Award: Issay Kitabayashi, PhD, Member of the Division of Hematological Malignancy at the National Cancer Center Research Institute of Kanazawa University, for his basic research on acute myeloid leukemia; and Seiji Yano, MD, PhD, Member of the Cancer Research Intsitute at Kanazawa University, for his applied research on molecular targeted drug resistance in lung cancer.

The recipients were selected by a committee of JCA members, and were presented with the awards during the General Assembly of the Annual Conference of the JCA in Yokohama last month by Tetsuo Noda, MD, PhD, JCA President, and a representative from the Debiopharm Group.

Paul F. Engstrom, MD, Acting Chairman of Medical Oncology and the Senior Vice President of Extramural Research Programs at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has received the Association of Community Cancer Centers' 2013 Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Research Award for his work in advocating for cancer prevention and screening programs in research globally. He received the award at the ACCC's 30th National Oncology Conference last month.

Lee Greenberger, PhD, has been appointed Chief Scientific Officer of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. “LLS will benefit greatly from Lee's depth and breadth of experience in oncology, which will enable us to significantly enhance our ability to meet our ambitious strategic goals and deliver on LLS's mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families,” LLS Chief Mission Officer Louis DeGennaro, PhD, said in a news release.

Andrew L. Warshaw, MD, FACS, Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus of Massachusetts General Hospital and the W. Gerald Austen Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, is the new President-Elect of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS).

He is Director of the Andrew L. Warshaw Institute for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he has held various positions since 1972 as well as at Harvard Medical School. Warshaw has held several roles for ACoS, including Treasurer (2007-2013), First Vice-President (2004-2005), and a member of the Board of Governors (1997-2003).

The American College of Surgeons has also elected two Vice-Presidents-Elect:

* Jay L. Grosfeld, MD, FACS, the Lafayette F. Page Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine, as First Vice-President-Elect.

* Kenneth L. Mattox, MD, FACS, Distinguished Service Professor and the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, and Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Ben Taub General Hospital, as Second Vice-President-Elect.

David W. Chang, MD, FACS, has been appointed Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine. His work has led to the development of lymphaticovenular bypass treatment for lymphedema—and he is one of the few surgeons in the country able to perform the technique routinely.

Anand P. Jillella, MD, has joined Emory University as Professor in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology and Associate Director of Community Outreach in the Winship Cancer Institute there. “Dr. Jillella is the ideal person to fill this critical new role in Winship's community outreach. He has the skills and experience in both cancer network development and clinical research to lead the way in adapting complex clinical trials to enable cancer patients and community physicians in outlying areas to use them effectively,” Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, Deputy Director of Winship, said in a news release.

Hannah Hazard, MD, has been named Chief of Surgical Oncology at West Virginia University. She has been a been a member of the department of surgery for six years and is also part of the WVU Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program. She is Assistant Dean for Admissions at WVU School of Medicine and is a member of the WVU School of Medicine Admissions Committee.

Also at WVU, the following physicians have recently joined the Cancer Center team: Richard Jurevic, DDS, PhD; Ofelia Crombet, MD; Abraham Kanate, MD; Christopher Watson, MD; Sung Cho, MD; Jon Cardinal, MD; R. William Farmer, MD; Mohamad Adham Salkeni, MD;, Matthew Smolkin, MD; and Javier Gonzalez, MD.

Rachel Goble, DO, has joined Rex Comprehensive Breast Care Program at UNC Health Care, after completing a surgical oncology fellowship at Moffitt Cancer Center and a general surgery internship and residency at Kettering Health Network, Grandview Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio.

Rafat Abonour, MD, Professor of Medicine and of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a researcher at the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, biked 225 miles in two days in September to raise more than $200,000 for multiple myeloma research with a group of fellow cyclists. Since 2005, Abonour has biked and run more than 1,500 miles to raise some $2 million for research at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

Charles J. Sherr, MD, PhD, Chair of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Department of Tumor Cell Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, has been selected to receive the 2013 Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine by the American-Italian Cancer Foundation. The Prize recognizes important discoveries in cancer biology, prevention, diagnosis, and/or treatment.

Sherr, whose work has advanced understanding of the mammalian cell cycle and tumor-suppressor genes, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy. He also holds the Herrick Foundation Endowed Chair.

Hua Yu, PhD, has been named the first Billy and Audrey L. Wilder Professor in Tumor Immunotherapy at City of Hope; and Peter P. Lee, MD, has been named the first Billy and Audrey L. Wilder Professor in Cancer Immunotherapeutics, there. The professorships were created as a result of a $6.25 million gift from the estate of Billy and Audrey L. Wilder.

Yu studies tumor cell and normal cell interaction with the goal of creating drugs that can attack cancer on multiple fronts. Her lab was the first to demonstrate that inhibition of the Stat3 protein activates immune cells to fight cancer, in addition to killing tumor cells.

Lee's work focuses on understanding how cancer interacts with the immune system in order to develop treatments that harness the patient's own immune response to control cancer in a more specific and less toxic way. Lee is also the new chair of the Department of Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology at City of Hope. His lab has found that the distribution, function, and patterns of immune cells have a strong correlation with clinical outcome.

The Wilder gift also funds the new Wilder Archives Recognition Gallery at City of Hope, which will serve as a visual guide to showcase the past and present generosity of donors since City of Hope's founding in 1913.

Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute is one of 25 organizations in Ohio to receive Magnet designation as part of the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Magnet Recognition Program. The voluntary hospital recognition program is considered the highest honor an organization can receive for quality patient care and professional nursing practice.

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Institute of Medicine Names New Members

The Institute of Medicine has named 70 new members and 10 foreign associates this year. Election to the IOM recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service among those in the fields of health and medicine.

“These individuals have inspired us through their achievements in research, teaching, clinical work, and other contributions to the medical field,” IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg, MD, PhD, said in a news release.

“Their knowledge and skills will deeply enrich the IOM.”

New members are elected by current active members, and the Institute's charter stipulates that at least one-quarter of the membership be selected from outside of the health professions to ensure a diversity of talent among the membership. Newly elected members from the oncology community include:

* Janis L. Abkowitz, MD, the Clement A. Finch Professor and Head of the Division of Hematology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington;

* Frederick R. Appelbaum, MD, Executive Vice President and Deputy Director of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and President and Executive Director of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance;

* Katrina Alison Armstrong, MD, Physician-in-Chief of Massachusetts General Hospital and the Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard Medical School;

* James R. Downing, MD, Executive Vice President, Scientific Director, and Deputy Director of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital;

* Jeffrey Adam Drebin, MD, PhD, the John Rice Barton Professor and Chairman in the Department of Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania;

* Eric M. Fearon, MD, PhD, the Emanuel N. Maisel Professor of Oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine and Professor of Medicine, both at the University of Michigan;

* Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers;

* Waun Ki Hong, MD, Division Head and Professor, an American Cancer Society Professor, and a Samsung Distinguished University Chair in Cancer Medicine, at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center;

* Clifford R. Jack Jr., MD, Professor of Radiology and Diagnostic Radiology at Mayo Clinic;

* Richard Kolodner, MD, Member and Professor of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the University of California San Diego;

* Sally Kornbluth, PhD, the James B. Duke Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and Vice Dean for Basic Science in the School of Medicine at Duke University;

* Quynh Thu Xuan Le, MD, Chairman and Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Stanford University;

* Ruslan Medzhitov, PhD, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and David W. Wallace Professor of Immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine;

* Joan M. O'Brien, MD, the William F. Norris and George E. de Schweintz Professor and Chairman in the Department of Ophthalmology and Director of the Scheie Eye Institute at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania;

* Helen Piwnica-Worms, PhD, Vice Provost for Science and Professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center;

* J. Evan Sadler, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; and

* George M. Shaw, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Newly elected foreign associates from the oncology community include:

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* Patrick Couvreur, PhD, PharmD, Professor at the Institut Galient at the University of Paris-Sud;

* Daiming Fan, MD, PhD, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering in Beijing and Professor and Director of Xijing Hospital of Digestive Diseases at the Fourth Military Medical University in Xi'an, China;

* Moshe Oren, PhD, Professor of Molecular Cell Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel; and

* Xiaoming Shen, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics at Xin Hua Hospital and Shanghai Children's Medical Center at Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in China.

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ASH Elects New Executive Committee Members

The American Society of Hematology has elected three new members to its Executive Committee, who will begin terms after this year's Annual Meeting:

* Charles S. Abrams, MD, Director of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Blood Center for Patient Care & Discovery and Associate Chief of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, will serve a one-year term as Vice President, followed by successive terms as President-Elect and President. Abrams has been active in mentoring young hematologists and developing continuing medical education programs in clinical hematology, and previously served a four-year term as ASH Secretary (2009 to 2012).

* Michelle Le Beau, PhD, Director of the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of Chicago Cancer Cytogenetics Laboratory and the Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Chicago, will serve a four-year term as councillor.

* Martin S. Tallman, MD, Chief of the Leukemia Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, will also serve a four-year term as councillor.

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