The Institute of Medicine has elected the following cancer-related researchers as new members:
- Patrick Brown, MD, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine.
- Martin Chalfie, PhD, Nobel Laureate and the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Biological Sciences and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University.
- Setsuko Kuki Chambers, MD, Arizona Cancer Center.
- Arul M. Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Michigan.
- Michael L. Cleary, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine.
- Thomas Curran, PhD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania.
- Michael R. Debaun, MD, MPH, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.
- Daniel A. Haber, MD, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, and Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.
- Eric C. Holland, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
- Tyler E. Jacks, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, MIT.
- Alexander L. Joyner, PhD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
- Michael B. Kastan, MD, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
- Mary V. Relling, PharmD, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
- Ralph Weissleder, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital.
- Maximilian F. Resier, MD, University Hospitals, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, elected as one of five new foreign associates.
Lodovico Balducci, MD, Chief of the Senior Adult Oncology Program at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, has received the Nimmo Professorship from the Royal Adelaide Hospital in South Australia. Dr. Balducci is the first medical oncologist to receive the professorship, which sponsors a distinguished international medical authority to spend two weeks at the hospital. While there, Dr. Balducci delivered 11 lectures to the Division of Geriatrics and was involved with the hospital's conferences department and Tumor Board to help create the foundation for the geriatric oncology program.
Edward De Robertis, MD, PhD, has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to a lifetime term to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Dr. De Robertis is a professor of biochemistry and the Norman Sprague Professor of Molecular Oncology at UCLA School of Medicine and a member of the Jonsson Cancer Center, as well as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. His research into embryonic cell differentiation helped found the discipline of evolution and development, called Evo-Devo, and uncovered connections between growth factor signaling pathways that control cell proliferation.
Chad D. Ellis, PhD, has been appointed Deputy Director for Research at Yale Cancer Center. He was previously at the National Cancer Institute, where he was a program director for the Cancer Centers Program. In his new role, Dr. Ellis will oversee the Yale Cancer Center's eight research programs and 12 shared resources and lead application efforts for the Cancer Center Support Grant from NCI.
Bernard Fisher, MD, has received the 2009 Jacobson Innovation Award, given by the American College of Surgeons to honor living surgeons who have been innovators of a new development or technique in any field of surgery. Dr. Fisher, Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, was recognized as the first scientist to establish a scientific basis for breast-conserving surgery, overturning the use of radical mastectomy as the standard treatment for breast cancer.
Kathleen M. Foley, MD, Attending Neurologist in the Pain and Palliative Care Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, was selected to receive the 17th Annual Herbert and Maxine Block Memorial Lectureship Award for Achievement in Cancer. Dr. Foley started the nation's first pain service in cancer care in 1981 at MSKCC and has devoted her career to pioneering treatment and support for patients with serious or terminal illnesses. As part of her award, Dr. Foley received $25,000 and delivered the annual Block lecture at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, speaking on the topic, “Advancing Palliative Care for Cancer: A National and International Perspective.”
Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, has been named Deputy Director of the Emory Winship Cancer Institute. Dr. Khuri holds the Robert C. Goizueta Distinguished Chair for Cancer Research and is a professor of otolaryngology, medicine, and pharmacology, as well as Director of Emory's Discovery and Developmental herapeutics Scientific Program. Also, a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar and Chairman of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Dr. Khuri will retain those duties along with his new role.
Lamar S. McGinnis, Jr., MD, has been named President of the American College of Surgeons. A Clinical Professor of Surgery at Emory University, Dr. McGinnis has been an active leader and participant in the college for more than four decades, and in 1998 he was awarded the college's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Dr. McGinnis has also served the American Cancer Society for 35 years, most recently as a senior medical consultant and advisor for the Department of Research and Cancer Control Science there, and has been actively involved with the American Medical Association, serving in various leadership roles since 1992.
The NCI presented the following Clinical Investigators with its new Team Leadership Award:
- Jordan Berlin, MD, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
- Jeffrey Clark, MD, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.
- Steven Devine, MD, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
- Jeffrey Lancet, MD, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.
- Robert Maki, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
- Wells Messersmith, MD, University of Colorado Cancer Center.
- Julian Molina, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic.
- Melanie Royce, MD, PhD, University of New Mexico Cancer Center.
- Christopher Ryan, MD, Oregon Health and Science University.
- Melanie Thomas, MD, Hollings Cancer Center.
- Antonio Wolff, MD, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Medical College of Wisconsin has presented Ann Nattinger, MD, PhD, with its third annual Women Pioneers in Research Award. Dr. Nattinger, Professor and Chief of General Internal Medicine and Director of the Center for Patient Care and Outcomes Research there, will receive a $10,000 research award recognizing her research on health services, including disparities in care, physician communication with patients, and screening tests for breast cancer.
Owen A. O'Connor, MD, PhD, has been appointed Deputy Director of Clinical Research and Cancer Treatment at the NYU Langone Medical Center Cancer Institute and Chief of the new Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Medical Oncology in the Department of Medicine there. Dr. O'Connor, who comes to NYU from Columbia University where he was director of the Lymphoid Development and Malignancy Program and chief of the Lymphoma Service in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at New York Presbyterian Hospital, will also serve as Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at NYU School of Medicine.
Novartis Oncology and Veridex have received Prix Galien USA Awards for two treatment discoveries related to cancer therapy. Novartis, for Best Pharmaceutical Product for Gleevec (imatinib); and Veridex received the Best Medical Technology Award for the CellSearch Circulating Tumor Test used to isolate and identify tumor cells in patients with breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers.
Researchers at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center have received the following awards and appointments:
- John C. Byrd, MD, Associate Director for Translational Research, received the Michaele C. Christian Oncology Development Lectureship and Award for 2009. The award, presented by the NCI's Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, recognizes the contributions of mid-career scientists involved in the development of cancer therapy agents. Dr. Byrd, a nationally recognized leukemia specialist and researcher, received his award at the program's annual fall meeting, where he also presented a lecture on the pre-clinical and clinical development of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors.
- Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, Director of the Cancer Center and Professor of Cancer Research, has been appointed President of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI). Dr. Caligiuri served a two-year term as Vice President and President-Elect for AACI and began his two-year term as President at AACI's Annual Meeting last month.
- Joseph M. Flynn, DO, MPH, Clinical Director of Hematology, received the Dr. John D. Kenny National Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's National Board of Trustees, recognizing his contributions to the society and professional education and patient services. Dr. Flynn was honored for his “Myths and Facts” about cancer presentation that he has given to several companies and community organizations over the past several years, helping to educate and raise awareness of blood cancers.
- Matthew D. Ringel, MD, Professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism with joint appointments in the Division of Medical Oncology and the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Genetics, received the American Thyroid Association's Van Meter Award, presented to an investigator up to age 45 who has made significant contributions to thyroid disease research. Dr. Ringel's research centers on the pathways in the development and spread of thyroid and endocrine tumors, a subject on which he has authored nearly 100 book chapters and review articles.
Charles J. Rosser, MD, has joined the Department of Urology at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Orlando. He was previously at the University of Florida/ Shands Gainesville, where he served as Director of the Genitourinary Oncology Program and Associate Professor of Urology.
Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has appointed Elizabeth Dexter, MD, to the Department of Thoracic Surgery and John Kasznica, MD, to the Department of Pathology. Dr. Dexter comes to RPCI from SUNY Upstate Medical University and Veterans Administration Medical Center, where she was Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery. Dr. Kasznica comes from Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, RI, where he was a part of the obstetric/newborn service line evaluation committee, as a staff physician and pathologist. He was also a member of the multidisciplinary boards for OB/GYN, Breast, and GI tumors and Medical Director of the Clinical Microbiology and Outreach Laboratories.
RPCI has also received a $2.1 million grant from the NIH to assess smokers’ interest in smokeless tobacco products. Richard O'Connor, PhD, of the Department of Health Behavior, will be the principal investigator of the study that seeks to determine whether current smokers use such products only as a substitute for cigarette smoking or if they are willing to switch completely from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco.
John R. Seffrin, PhD, CEO of the American Cancer Society, has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Seffrin, who completed his master's degree in health education there in 1967, was honored for his contributions to health promotion and education, particularly as head of ACS, where he is credited as integrating prevention and health education into its mission.
Toshikazu Ushijima, MD, PhD, Chief of the Carcinogenesis Division at the National Cancer Center Research Institute in Tokyo, has received the JCA-Mauvernay Award from the Japanese Cancer Association (JPA) and Debiopharm Group, a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical company. Dr. Ushijima was recognized for his innovative contributions to basic science, particularly in the epigenetic field for cancerization, where he demonstrated a correlation between the accumulation of aberrant DNA methylation and a risk of cancer development.
The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio has received $300,000 from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to expand its incoming nursing classes for the 2010–2011 academic year. The funds were awarded based on the School of Nursing's successful track record of increasing the number of incoming nursing students and then graduating them to enter the workforce. The school expects to increase its class size by 30 students in 2010–2011, and will receive an additional $450,000 if that benchmark is met, allowing its class size to increase by 15 more students for 2011–2012 school year.
Kristoffer Valerie, PhD, Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine and Co-leader of the VCU Massey Cancer Center's Radiation Biology and Oncology Research Program, has received a $1.25 million grant from the NCI to study the ability of a new drug to improve radiation treatment of glioblastoma multiforme in mice, focusing on developing a highly specific inhibitor of the ATM kinase.
David H. Vesole, MD, PhD, has joined the Division of Multiple Myeloma at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. Dr. Vesole, an expert in stem cell transplant therapy for multiple myeloma, led the cancer center's participation in the Multiple Myeloma Genomic Initiative and is a member of the International Myeloma Foundation's Scientific Advisory Board. He was previously Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Loyola University Chicago-Stritch School of Medicine.
John Weinstein, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center's Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, has received a five-year $8.3 million grant from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to test new computational tools parsing the multiple genetic pathways linked to cancer. Dr. Weinstein and his colleagues are developing a bioinformatics pipeline to more efficiently analyze TCGA data on gene expression and tumor variation and translate findings to the clinic, which is expected to lead to more personalized cancer medicine.
Ruth Kirschstein, MD, Former NIH Deputy Director & First Woman to Head NIH Institute, Dies at 82.
Ruth Kirschstein, MD, former Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health, died October 6 at the NIH Clinical Center at the age of 82 of complications of myeloma. Dr. Kirschstein was the first woman to lead an NIH Institute, heading the National Institute of General Medical Sciences from 1974 to 1993, after which she served as NIH Deputy Director until 1999. She was NIH Acting Director for two periods: July to November 1993, and January to May 2002.
Prior to her work at the NIH, Dr. Kirschstein performed research in experimental pathology at what is now the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. During that time she tested the safety of vaccines for polio, measles, and rubella, and her work on polio led to the selection of the Sabin vaccine for world-wide public use. For her role, she received the DHEW Superior Service Award in 1971 along with numerous other honors, including the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award in 1980.
NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, called her “an icon who embodied the spirit of the NIH,” writing in an email to NIH staff. “There are few at the NIH who have not been touched by her warmth, wisdom, interest, and mentorship,” and he noted that although she had been in poor health for quite some time, she continued working and participated in a conference call just a few days before her death.
Association of American Medical Colleges President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, said in a statement that Dr. Kirschstein “leaves a legacy that will continue to enrich the scientific evidence and the health of the American people for generations to come.”
Dr. Kirschstein is survived by her husband of 59 years, former NCI deputy director Alan S. Rabson, MD, and their son, Arnold B. Rabson, MD, Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Associate Director for Basic Science at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; and a granddaughter.© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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