Brian J. Bolwell, MD, has been appointed Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic's Taussig Cancer Institute. He has been Interim Chairman since last year, and is also Vice Chairman of the Office of Professional Staff Affairs, Executive Director of Strategic Space Planning, a member of the Cleveland Clinic Board of Directors and of the Executive Committee of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Bolwell has been Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program since 1988 and Chairman of the Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders since 2006, and is also Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.
Michelle M. LeBeau, PhD, and Frank Torti, MD, PhD, have been elected to leadership positions in the Association of American Cancer Institutes. Dr. LeBeau, Director of the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCC), is the organization's new Vice President/President-Elect; and Dr. Torti is now on the AACI's Board of Directors.
Dr. LeBeau is one of eight women heading an AACI member institute. She joined UCCC in 2004 and in 2008 oversaw its NCI designation. She also serves as Director of the University of Chicago's Cancer Cytogenetics Laboratory and is the Arthur and Marian Edelstein Professor of Medicine. Following her two-year vice presidency, Dr. LeBeau will become the AACI's first female President.
Dr. Torti is Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University and Chairman of the Department of Cancer Biology. In 2008 and 2009, he was the FDA's Principal Deputy Commissioner and First Chief Scientist.
William Pao, MD, PhD, Director of Personalized Cancer Medicine and Associate Professor of Cancer Research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, has been named the winner of the 2011 Addario Lectureship Award. The annual award from the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation recognizes remarkable individuals for their work to eradicate lung cancer and was presented at the 12th International Lung Cancer Congress, held earlier this month.
The Pao Laboratory at VICC performs translational research in the area of solid tumor biology, using lung cancer as a model. The goal is to develop molecularly tailored treatments, seeking to identify ways to overcome drug resistance.
Alex A. Adjei, MD, PhD, was appointed last month to a four-year-term on the Board of Directors of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). Dr. Adjei, Senior Vice President of Clinical Research and the Katherine Anne Gioia Chair in Cancer Medicine at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, also serves as a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine. As an IASLC Director, he will work with a multinational group of lung-cancer specialists. The organization represents more than 3,000 members from 80 countries.
“The IASLC is truly global in its makeup and its reach,” he said in a statement, “giving us a great opportunity to reduce mortality and improve quality of life for survivors in every corner of the world.”
Uma Borate, MD, Associate Scientist in Experimental Therapeutics and Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center, received the 2011 Young Investigator Award from the Conquer Cancer Foundation. The $50,000 award was for her research on a new blood test that measures telomeres in leukemia patients. Her studies were designed to help distinguish patients likely to relapse from those likely to stay in remission. The foundation was created by the American Society of Clinical Oncology to promote cancer research, patient education, and advocacy.
Also at UAB, Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Control, has been named President-Elect of the American Society of Preventive Oncology. The ASPO is a multi-disciplinary association promoting research in cancer prevention and control. Dr. Demark-Wahnefried's research has focused on nutrition for cancer patients. She also works as a Professor in the University's Department of Nutrition Science; and in May, was appointed to the National Cancer Policy Forum of the Institute of Medicine.
Richard J. Whitley, MD, a University of Alabama at Birmingham Cancer Center Senior Scientist and Professor in the Department of Medicine, has been appointed Associate Director for Drug Discovery and Development. Dr. Whitley's research has centered on antiviral therapies. He leads the Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance and is Co-Director of UAB's Center for Emerging Infections and Emergency Preparedness; and is also Vice Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics.
Amir Steinberg, MD, has joined the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Steinberg is an Assistant Professor of Medicine working within the hematologic malignancies/stem cell transplantation group in the division of hematology-oncology. Dr. Steinberg comes to Mount Sinai following his work the past few years with the blood and marrow transplantation team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he focused his research in the areas of CNS lymphomas, nonmyeloablative transplantation, and cancer survivorship.
The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research will receive $420 million over the next five years from the provincial government to continue and expand its research. The not-for-profit OICR was created by the Ontario government in 2005, and the new funding will support research throughout Ontario and expansion of OICR's Toronto headquarters.
“We have one of the highest rates of patient enrollment in cancer clinical trials in North America,” said OICR President and Scientific Director Tom Hudson, MD. “With renewed funding we will continue this important work.”
The University of California Davis Cancer Center has received a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to train junior faculty members in patient-focused cancer research. The program is slated to start next July and will be open to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and clinical scientists interested in patient-oriented cancer research. Primo “Lucky” Lara, Jr., MD, Professor of Medicine, will lead some two dozen senior faculty members mentoring the trainees. They will train participants in several interdisciplinary areas including clinical-trial design, molecular biology, and biostatistics. Ultimately, participants will launch their own studies involving cancer therapy.
“By investing in these young, talented researchers,” Dr. Lara said, “we are advancing patient care through development of new drugs, imaging techniques, and therapeutic targets.”
Keith L. Black, MD, Chairman of the Department of Neuro-surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, was awarded the National Urban League's highest honor, the Legend Award, at the organization's annual conference last month. The Urban League is a century-old organization working to improve the standard of living for underserved urban populations.
Dr. Black is known not only for his extensive surgery on brain tumors, but also for his research in immunotherapy. In 1997, he founded Cedars-Sinai's Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute, and 10 years later established the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Brain Tumor Center. The Cochran Center translates discoveries from the Dunitz Institute into clinical trials. Dr. Black has also conducted research on a variety of issues including cancer-causing stem cells and a brain-tumor vaccine that is undergoing clinical trials.
Dr. Black, who published his first research paper at age 17, also is a champion of budding scientists from underserved communities. He is involved with several youth programs including “Brainworks,” which gives middle-school students hands-on experience in the Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute.
The American Society for Radiation Oncology recently honored five physicians with grants. Abhijit Patel, MD, PhD, of Yale University, and David Kozono, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, each received the Junior Faculty Career Research Training Award. The award is given annually to a board-eligible radiation oncologist or radiobiologist within three years of a junior faculty appointment. Recipients receive $100,000 a year for two years to research radiation oncology, physics, biology or health services and outcomes.
Three other radiation oncologists earned ASTRO's Residents/Fellows in Radiation Oncology Seed Grant Award, given annually to residents or fellows planning a career in basic or clinical research. Recipients receive up to $25,000 for a one-year project. They are Michael Pacold, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber, Young Cha, MD, PhD, of Vanderbilt University, and David Lee, MD, PhD, of William Beaumont Hospital Research Institute in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center once again has been chosen by the NCI to coordinate the Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer initiative, a five-year, multi-site investigation of the link between obesity and cancer. The Center coordinated the first, five-year TREC effort, which started in 2005. The new investigation brings $8.2 million of the $45-million project funds to Hutchinson, which as the project hub, will amass and share data among the participating institutions.
Biostatistician Mark Thornquist, PhD, will head the effort, as he did with the first TREC. Dr. Thornquist is the Principal Staff Scientist at the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division. “The idea behind TREC was to attack the problem of obesity and cancer with teams of researchers from many scientific fields, such as nutrition science, molecular epidemiology, and behavioral science,” he said. “The coordinating center helps to tie all of these researchers together.”
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