Peter C. Adamson, MD, Director of Clinical and Translational Research and Chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, has been named Chair of the Children's Oncology Group (COG). Dr. Adamson, who previously led a 21-site Phase I COG consortium that conducted some 25 studies, was elected by the principal investigators of the 200+ COG sites. While serving in this position, he will remain on the staffs of the Children's Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine where he is a Professor of Pediatrics and Pharmacology. His chairmanship started on January 1, and there will be a one-year transition overlap with the current Chair, Gregory H. Reaman, MD, who will finish up his second five-year term as the first chair of the organization, formed in 2000 as a merged organization for four previous pediatric cancer research groups.
Smita Bhatia, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Cancer Survivorship and Chair and Professor of Population Sciences at City of Hope, has received the 2010 Frank A. Oski Lectureship Award from the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology (ASPHO). Dr. Bhatia was chosen for her “pioneering work in population-based science, including studies of the survivors of childhood Hodgkin's lymphoma and the late effects of bone marrow stem cell transplantation,” ASPHO President Holcombe Grier, MD, said in a news release. Dr. Bhatia will receive her award and deliver a lecture during ASPHO's annual meeting in April.
Mary-Ann Bjornsti, PhD, Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), has been appointed Associate Director for Translational Research at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Bjornsti is also Co-leader of the UAB cancer cell-biology program and holds the Newman H. Waters Chair of Clinical Pharmacology. In her new role, she will be responsible for linking all of the cancer center's basic science and experimental therapeutics programs together in a translational and interdisciplinary approach.
UAB, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University and the University of Colorado at Boulder, has also won an $11.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute. The Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant will be used to develop next-generation human papillomavirus vaccines for the prevention of cervical cancer and test therapeutic agents that have shown promise in preventing or treating the disease.
Stephen A. Cannistra, MD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has been named Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Cannistra has been a member of the JCO Editorial Board since 1989 and has served as a reviewer, associate editor, and consultant editor. He will replace Daniel G. Haller, MD, who will complete his second term as Editor-in-Chief in May 2011.
David Carbone, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Cell, and Developmental Biology and Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, has been awarded approximately one million dollars to study genetic variations among minorities with non-small cell lung cancer. The two-year grant is part of stimulus funds allocated to the NCI by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A supplemental grant of $700,000 has also been awarded to the Lung Strategic Partnering to Evaluate Cancer grant also led by Dr. Carbone, which will be used to measure proteins in the blood of cancer patients to determine if they might be useful as a biomarker to diagnose disease.
Massimo Cristofanilli, MD, has been appointed Chairman of the Department of Medical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Dr. Cristofanilli, who will hold the G. Morris Dorrance Jr. Endowed Chair in Medical Oncology, will also oversee all breast cancer care at Fox Chase's new Women's Cancer Center and co-direct the Women's Cancer Program there. He will also serve as Associate Director of Clinical Research for the cancer center's NCI Support Grant. Dr. Cristofanilli comes to Fox Chase from the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, where he founded and served as Executive Director of the Morgan Welch Inflammatory Breast Cancer Program and Clinic.
William S. Dalton, PhD, MD, has been appointed Vice President/ President-Elect of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI). Dr. Dalton, who is CEO and Director of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, was the founding director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Arizona before joining Moffitt in 1997. He will assume the AACI presidency in 2011.
Donald L. Durden, MD, PhD, has been named Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics and Research Director of the Division of Hematology/ Oncology at the Moores University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Cancer Center. Dr. Durden comes to UCSD from Emory University where he was the Aflac endowed chair and professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine, as well as director of basic and translational research at Emory's Aflac Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
Bassel F. El-Rayes, MD, has joined Emory Winship Cancer Institute as Director of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program and Associate Professor in Hematology and Medical Oncology. Dr. El-Rayes comes to the institute from the Karmanos Cancer Center at Wayne State University.
Also at Emory, Omer Kucuk, MD, Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology, has received the Mark Bieber Academic Award from the American College of Nutrition, recognizing academic excellence and professional dedication to the fields of nutrition and health. Dr. Kucuk has published many papers on various nutrients in combination with chemotherapy and radiation and is currently exploring how soy isoflavones can make such treatments more effective.
Steven Grant, MD, the Shirley Carter Olsson and Sture Gordon Olsson Chair in Oncology and Associate Director of Translational Research at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center, has received a $1.2 million grant from the NCI to partially fund a Phase I clinical trial studying the combination of belinostat and bortezimob as a novel therapeutic approach for treating acute myeloid and lymphoid leukemias. The study will be carried out in collaboration with the University of Texas M. D. Anderson and H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Centers.
Heather Hampel, MS, CGC, Clinical Associate Director of the Division of Human Genetics at Ohio State University Medical Center, has been re-elected for a second term as President of the American Board of Genetic Counseling. Ms. Hampel provides genetic counseling for patients at high risk for hereditary cancer syndromes, including breast-ovarian cancer syndrome, Lynch syndrome, and familial adenomatous polyposis, and coordinates research studies to identify novel cancer susceptibility genes. She is also a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, the American Society of Human Genetics, and the Ohio Cancer Genetics Network.
Leslie L. Montgomery, MD, has joined the Department of Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center as Chief of the new Division of Breast Surgery. Dr. Montgomery comes to Montefiore from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where she was Director of the Breast Surgery Fellowship Program.
Martin J. Murphy, Jr., PhD, DMedSc, has been appointed Chair of the ASCO Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. Dr. Murphy founded the Hipple Cancer Research Center in 1977, known today as the Cancer Prevention Institute, which under his leadership, developed a research program that raised more than $30 million. Dr. Murphy also co-founded AlphaMed Press, which currently publishes The Oncologist and Stem Cells, and has authored some 150 peer-reviewed papers and been the principal investigator of $21 million in peer-reviewed NIH grants.
Also appointed to the Foundation Board, are Richard L. Schilsky, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Section of Hematology-Oncology at the University of Chicago; and Thomas A. Marsland, MD, Vice President of the Integrated Community Oncology Network.
The American Association for Cancer Research named Charles M. Perou, PhD, the recipient of the Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure; and Mark W. Schiffman, MD, MPH, recipient of the AACR-Prevent Cancer Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research. Dr. Perou, Associate Professor of Genetics, Pathology, and Laboratory Medicine at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, was recognized for his classification of breast tumors into five molecular subtypes, which has helped physicians tailor treatment to patient's specific disease types. The award was given at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Dr. Schiffman, Senior Investigator of the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch at the National Cancer Institute, was honored at the AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research conference for his research on the mechanisms of cervical carcinogenesis using a model of infection of the human papillomavirus.
Thomas Schwaab, MD, PhD, has been appointed staff physician and Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Departments of Urology and Immunology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Dr. Schwaab comes to RPCI from the Center for Urologic Care at Concord (NH) Hospital. He also served as an adjunct assistant professor of medicine in the Immunologic Therapy Program at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and Dartmouth Medical School and an adjunct assistant professor of surgery at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.
RPCI physicians and researchers have also received the following grants:
- Gokul Das, PhD, of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Swati Kulkarni, MD, Director of the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment and Prevention Program and the High Risk Breast Cancer Clinic, have been awarded a two-year, $650,000 grant by the NIH to develop screening guidelines to identify patients who are likely to be responsive to tamoxifen therapy.
- Clement Ip, PhD, Professor Emeritus in Oncology in the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control, has received a $5.4 million P01 grant from the NIH to study the role of finasteride and selenium in the prevention of prostate cancer.
- Roberto Pili, MD, Chief of the Genitourinary Section in the Department of Medicine and Co-leader of the Genitourinary Program, has received a two-year, $675,000 R01 grant from the NIH to study the role deacetylase inhibitors play in treating renal cell carcinoma.
Wendy K.D. Selig, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Melanoma Research Alliance. She was previously at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, most recently as Vice President of External Affairs and Strategic Alliances.
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has honored Frederick F. Becker, MD, with a permanent exhibit to celebrate his contributions to cancer research during his career there. The exhibit contains milestones from Dr. Becker's 33-year tenure at M. D. Anderson and memorabilia from his early years as a researcher. Dr. Becker joined the cancer center in 1976 as chairman of pathology and served as the first vice president for research from 1979 to 1998, during which time he redesigned the center's research format, recruited leading basic scientists and department chairs, promoted collaborative interdisciplinary research, and drove extensive physical expansion. From 1998 to 2001, Dr. Becker was a special advisor to M. D. Anderson President John Mendelsohn, MD, and now serves as Professor of Molecular Pathology.
Also at M. D. Anderson, Shiaw-Yih Lin, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Systems Biology, has received a five-year, $3.5 million Era of Hope Scholar Award from the US Department of Defense to study early defects that lead to breast cancer; and Elizabeth Travis, PhD, Associate Vice President for Women Faculty Programs and a professor in the Departments of Experimental Radiation Oncology and Pulmonary Medicine, has received the Association of American Medical Colleges Women in Medicine Leadership Award, recognizing organizations and individuals who encourage academic women leaders through professional development and individual accomplishments and who create an environment conducive to their success.
Also joining the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Orlando staff are Elizabeth Morgan, PhD, who will serve as a clinical neuropsychologist, and Steve Fahey, who has been appointed Director of Oncology Business Development for Orlando Health.
Thomas Vaughan, MD, Head of the Epidemiology Program in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has received a three-year, $7.9 million grant from the NCI to study genetic susceptibility for Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Dr. Vaughan and David Whiteman, PhD, senior research fellow at Queensland Institute of Medical Research, will use pooled data and DNA from 18 epidemiological studies of some 7,000 individuals with the diseases to determine how genetic factors interplay with both environmental and personal risk factors for these conditions.
The Harry R. Horvitz Center for Palliative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute has been recognized as a European Society of Medical Oncology Designated Center for Integrated Oncology and Palliative Care. The center, which coordinates medical care for patients as they face the complications associated with their illness, is the only US medical institution to receive the award.
The Indiana University School of Medicine has received a $60 million grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. to implement the Indiana Physician Scientist Initiative, an effort to promote the development of translational research there. The money will be used to recruit top physician scientists to the school, train the next generation of physician-researchers, expand the school's international programs, and support existing research programs.
ACS Awards & New Officers
The American Cancer Society presented the following awards at its annual meeting, recognizing outstanding contributions to the fight against cancer:
Medals of Honor, the Society's highest honor, went to Lance Armstrong; Arnold J. Levine, PhD; Edward E. Harlow, PhD; and Marvin Zelen, PhD.
Mr. Armstrong received the Medal of Honor for Cancer Control for creating LIVESTRONG to support fellow survivors and for raising millions of dollars for the fight against cancer.
Dr. Levine, Professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, and Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, received the Medal of Honor for Basic Research for his contributions to the discovery and understanding of the role of p53.
Dr. Harlow, now Chief Scientific Officer of Constellation Pharmaceuticals and previously Chair of the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School, also received the Basic Research Medal of Honor for his pioneering work on the study of the cell cycle.
Dr. Zelen, Professor of Statistical Science at Harvard School of Public Health and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, received the Medal of Honor for Clinical Research for his successful efforts to introduce statistics as a key component of the national program in cancer clinical trials, which in turn has had a major impact in fostering interdisciplinary research in oncology.
Also receiving awards were:
- Paul F. Engstrom, MD, Senior Vice President of Extramural Research Programs and Medical Director of Fox Chase Cancer Center Partners, the Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to cancer control through clinical practice, education, and administration.
- Samuel J. LaMonte, MD, a now retired head and neck surgeon in Florida, was recognized with the National Volunteer Leadership Award for his 33 years of service to the American Cancer Society in various capacities.
- Adnan Hammad, PhD, received the Humanitarian Award for his role in the founding, growth, and development of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) Community Health and Research Center, for which he currently serves as Health Director.
The ACS also elected the following new officers to its volunteer 2009–2010 National Board of Directors:
- Alan G. Thorson, MD, Clinical Professor of Surgery at Creighton University and the University of Nebraska is the new ACS President, succeeding Elizabeth T.H. Fontham, MPH, DrPH, Dean and Professor of Epidemiology at Louisiana State University School of Public Health and Professor of Pathology at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine, who remains an officer as Immediate Past President.
- George W.P. Atkins is the new Board Chair, succeeding Van Velsor Wolf, JD, senior environmental lawyer at Snell & Wilmer, who will remain on the board as Immediate Past Chair.
- Edward E. Partridge, MD, Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is now President-Elect.
- Stephen L. Swanson, President of his own business advisory company, is Chair-Elect.
- Cynthia M. LeBlanc, EdD, MA, is Vice-Chair.
- Daniel P. Heist, CPA, Director of Internal Audit at Penn State University, is Treasurer.
- Lila R. Johnson, RN, MPH, CHES, Statewide Coalition Coordinator for the Hawaii Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Education Program, is Secretary.
- W. Phil Evans, MD, Director of the University of Texas Southwestern Center for Breast Care and Associate Vice President for Clinical Imaging Services, is First Vice-President.
- Vincent T. DeVita, Jr., MD, Professor of Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University School of Medicine, is Second Vice-President.