Michael Kuettel, MD, PhD, MBA, the Barbara C. and George H. Hyde Chair in Radiation Medicine at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, has received the American College of Radiation Oncology Gold medal in recognition of distinguished service to the organization and to the field of radiation oncology. The award was presented at the ACRO Annual Meeting in February.
Kuettel has been at RPCI in his current role since 1999 and is also Chair of the Department of Radiation Medicine at the University at Buffalo. A past President and Board Chairman for ACRO and the current Director of the organization's Practice Accreditation Program, he is also on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Prostate Cancer Practice Guidelines Panel.
Yuman Fong, MD, has been named Chair of the Department of Surgery at City of Hope, where he started earlier this month. “He has been a pioneer both in the operating room and in the laboratory, crafting new surgical techniques and instruments and creating entirely new modalities of therapy,” Alexandra Levine, MD, MACP, Chief Medical Officer and the Dr. Norman & Melinda Payson Professor in Medicine at City of Hope, said in a news release. “Especially notable is his track record of launching human clinical trials of genetically modified viruses with the potential to fight cancer.”
Fong, who was most recently the Murray F. Brennan Chair in Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Professor of Surgery at Cornell Medical College, has expertise in cancers of the liver, bile duct, gallbladder, and pancreas.
Marion E. Couch, MD, PhD, has been named the Richard T. Miyamoto Professor and Chair of Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. She will start there on June 1, pending approval by the IU Trustees.
“Dr. Couch is a distinguished clinician and researcher who will expand clinical programs across Indiana, build on the strengths of the IU otolaryngology program in hearing, and further the department's translational programs in head and neck cancer,” Jay Hess, MD, PhD, IU Vice President of University Clinical Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine, said in a news release.
Couch is currently Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and Surgeon-in-Chief of Fletcher Allen Health Care. Her research has focused on cancer cachexia; and she lectures nationally on health care reform and its potential impact on academic medicine.
She will succeed Richard T. Miyamoto, MD, Chair and the Arilla Spence DeVault Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Medical Director of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, who has been at IU School of Medicine since 1978.
In other IU news, Jiali Han, PhD, has been named the Rachel Cecile Efroymson Professor in Cancer Research at the IU Simon Cancer Center (also pending approval by the IU Trustees), as well as Professor and the inaugural Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the new Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis. He will also serve as Co-Leader of the IU Simon Cancer Center Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program.
His work focuses on revealing the genetic traits that trigger disease when exposed to certain behaviors and then translating that knowledge into public policy and prevention strategies. He was most recently Associate Professor of Dermatology and Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.
Sarah Thayer, MD, PhD, has been named the Merle M. Musselman Centennial Professor of Surgery and Chief of Surgical Oncology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Associate Director for Clinical Affairs and Physician-in-Chief for the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center there, starting on May 1.
She is currently the W. Gerald Austen Scholar in Academic Surgery and Director of the Pancreatic Cancer Biology Lab at Harvard Medical School.
“I'm extraordinarily excited and honored to be part of this innovative cancer center and to be working with the wonderful intellectual powerhouse that already exists. There's a great synergy between clinical care and scientific progress that works really well at UNMC—and we believe that translation between the two is where our next inventions and innovations in patient care will come from,” she said in a news release.
Her research group was the first to categorize and classify three distinct forms of pancreatic ductal lesions and their role in regeneration and cancer. She is currently working on a $2 million pancreatic cancer research project funded by the National Cancer Institute.
The following researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) were recognized with Seattle Business Magazine's 2014 Leaders in Health Care Awards. The awards honor individuals and organizations in Washington's health care industry who have made significant contributions to health and well-being.
Frederick R. Applebaum, MD, Executive Vice President and Deputy Director of Fred Hutch and President of SCCA, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, his leadership at Fred Hutch, and his role in founding and leading SCCA to become a leader in cancer prevention and care.
Beti Thompson, PhD, a member of the Public Health Sciences Division and Head of Fred Hutch's Health Disparities Research Center, received an Achievement in Community Outreach Gold Award for her work devoted to improving cancer prevention efforts among underserved populations.
Julie Gralow, MD, Director of Breast Medical Oncology at SCCA and a member of Fred Hutch's Clinical Research Division, received the Achievement in Community Outreach Silver Award for her research on breast cancer treatment, prevention, and survivorship—and for founding several organizations dedicated to improving the lives of patients and survivors.
Elizabeth Trice Loggers, MD, PhD, Director of SCCA's Supportive and Palliative Care Service and Assistant Member of Fred Hutch's Clinical Research Division, received the Outstanding Health Care Practitioner Silver Award for her work in palliative and end-of-life care—specifically being recognized for her efforts to implement distress screening for all cancer patients and refine SCCA's Death with Dignity program.
Mary Gullatte, PhD, RN, ANP, BC, AOCN, FAAN, President of the Oncology Nursing Society, has been appointed to The Joint Commission Nursing Advisory Council for a 2014–2016 term. The Council advises The Joint Commission on current and evolving nursing and patient care-related issues that affect health care quality and patient safety.
Avon Foundation for Women, the National Cancer Institute, and the Center for Advancing Innovation, (CAI) have named 10 teams winners of the organizations' Breast Cancer Startup Challenge, to receive funding to launch startups to commercialize promising new breast cancer technologies.
For the competition NCI and CAI selected 10 new breast cancer research technologies developed at an NCI- or Avon Foundation-funded lab judged to show promise to advance breast cancer research. A total of 46 teams of business, legal, medical, engineering, and computer science students and professionals, as well as experienced entrepreneurs then created business plans to start new companies to develop and commercialize those technologies for the challenge.
The Avon Foundation provided $250,000 in funding for the Challenge.“NCI has always had a strong interest in fostering young investigators and the fact that this challenge pairs each student team with entrepreneur-mentors to assist in the development of the business plans is another example of how we can bring new ideas and energy to cancer research,” Douglas Lowy, MD, NCI Deputy Director, said in a news release.
A list of the 10 winning teams that will enter the next phase of the challenge, as well as information about the schedule of subsequent phases of the competition, can be found online at breastcancerstartupchallenge.com.
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