Steven T. Rosen, MD, is leaving his position as Director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine to become the first Provost and Chief Scientific Officer at City of Hope, a change that will take effect on March 1. Rosen has been at Northwestern for more than 20 years, both providing clinical care to patients and overseeing a basic science lab and clinical research team.
“City of Hope has established our reputation as an academic medical institution, known for leading-edge research, superior outcomes and compassionate, patient-focused care,” President and soon-to-be Chief Executive Officer Robert Stone, said in a news release. “Dr. Rosen's experience and vision will create the environment necessary to accelerate the pace of meaningful discoveries that extend both quality and length of life.”
Eric S. Lander, PhD, President and Founding Director of the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, has received the 20th Annual Herbert and Maxine Block Memorial Lectureship Award for Achievement in Cancer, given by Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. He also delivered the Block Lecture, which he titled “Lessons from the Cancer Genome.”
“Dr. Lander's work at the Broad Institute embodies this spirit of collaboration, as it brings together the top minds in science, across disciplines and organizations, to take on some of the big problems in biology, genetics, and genomics,” Michael Caligiuri, MD, Director of the OSUCCC and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, said in a news release.
The award, which includes a $25,000 prize, and lecture was established by the Block family of Columbus, Ohio, to honor the memory of Maxine and Herbert J. Block, who both died of cancer. It is given annually to a renowned cancer researcher, who is invited to The OSUCCC-James to accept the award and deliver the lecture.
Murray Brennan, MD, FACS, the Benno C. Schmidt Chair in Clinical Oncology, Director of the International Center, and Vice President for International Programs, all at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, has received the inaugural Burkitt Medal—which recognizes the achievements of world leaders in cancer care and research with integrity, compassion, and dedication to the field.
“Throughout his career, Dr. Brennan has designed and conducted numerous clinical trials, which have produced major findings in the management of patients with soft tissue sarcomas and pancreatic cancer. Together with his colleagues, Dr. Brennan created the world's largest database of sarcoma patients. He has always been interested in supporting young surgeons, with many of his ‘fellows’ now holding leadership positions in institutions around the world,” John Reynolds, MCh, FRCSI, Professor of Surgery in the School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Surgeon at St. James Hospital, said in introducing Brennan at the award ceremony at Trinity College Dublin in October.
David S. Alberts, MD, has been named Director Emeritus by the Arizona Health Sciences Center. The title is retroactive to July 1 and will accompany his current title of Regents Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology, Nutritional Science, and Public Health at the University of Arizona Cancer Center.
Alberts served as the UA Cancer Center Director from 2005 until stepping down earlier this year. His research has resulted in more than two dozen patents and the co-founding of five Arizona pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Anne Cress, PhD, became interim Director of the Center in July (OT 8/25/13 issue).
Ralph de Vere White, MB BCh, BAO, Associate Dean for Cancer Programs at UC Davis School of Medicine, Director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Distinguished Professor of Urology, has received the Huggins Medal Award from the Society of Urologic Oncology in recognition of his contributions and achievements in research and clinical practice in the field of genitourinary tumors.
He also gave the accompanying Huggins lecture preceding the award presentation at the SUO Annual Winter Meeting earlier this month, which covered the importance of team science to advance cancer research and knowledge.
“Dr. de Vere White is most deserving of this for his contributions to the understanding of tumor-suppressor gene regulation of bladder and prostate cancer and his discovery for a role for microRNA in regulating the androgen receptor in prostate cancer,” Christopher Paul Evans, MD, FACS, Chair of the UC Davis Department of Urology and Secretary of the SUO Board of Directors, said in a news release.
De Vere White was SUO President from 2007 to 2009, and is also the first urologist in the U.S. to serve as an NCI-designated cancer center director. A major accomplishment as Director has been to establish the SUO Clinical Trials Consortium, a mechanism for all SUO members and institutions to run large urologic oncology clinical trials together.
Richard Barakat, MD, FACS, has been appointed the first Deputy Physician-in-Chief for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Regional Care Network and Alliance. In the new role Barakat will help expand the network's presence throughout the New York metro area, as well as build relationships and alliances with medical institutions outside the region. Barakat will also lead the expansion of the network's current clinical research program and surgical service offerings. A news release notes that although he will step down from his role as Chief of the Gynecology Service at Sloan-Kettering, he will remain an active member of the surgical team.
Thomas J. Kipps, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Deputy Director for Research at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, has been awarded a five-year, $6.25 million Specialized Center of Research Program grant from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for his research on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)—a four-part project, titled, “Specific Targets for Therapy of Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.”
Kipps and his colleagues have already reported that the Receptor-tyrosine-kinase-like Orphan Receptor 1 (ROR1) acts as a switch that regulates cancer metastasis. The new grant will permit the team to advance the development of potential therapies to target ROR1, as well as other pathways.
Additional investigators on the project include William Wierda, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Dennis Carson, MD, UC San Diego Emeritus Professor of Medicine; and Michael Karin, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Pathology also at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
The National Cancer Institute has awarded two grants totaling $26 million to leukemia researchers and physicians at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine: a five-year, $14.3 million Program Project Grant (PPG) and a five-year, $11.3 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE).
“There's important synergy between the two grants,” Timothy Ley, MD, the Lewis T. and Rosalind B. Apple Chair in Oncology and principal investigator of the PPG, said in a news release. “The PPG focuses on basic research to generate ideas, concepts, and technologies that can be evaluated in clinical trials via the SPORE grant.”
The PPG was initially funded at the School of Medicine in 2003 and has been renewed twice. Ley and his team aim to identify all of the genetic changes underlying the development and progression of acute myeloid leukemia, which they hope will lead to more personalized treatments based on unique genetic and molecular signatures of leukemia cells.
Daniel Link, MD, the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Medicine, will be principal investigator of the SPORE grant.
Paula Rieger, RN, MSN, CAE, FAAN, has announced that she will retire as Chief Executive Officer of the Oncology Nursing Society, effective May 16.
“Paula has done a remarkable job of leading our organization for the past seven years,” ONS President Mary Gullatte, PhD, RN, ANP, BC, AOCN, FAAN, said in a news release. “Her loyalty, commitment, and dedication to ONS is greatly appreciated and will be truly missed.”
During her seven-year tenure, Rieger oversaw the completion of the development, testing, and validation of quality measures funded by the Breast Cancer Fund of the National Philanthropic Trust through the ONS Foundation. She also worked on issues related to quality and safety in nursing care—one such effort was an ONS partnership with the American Society of Clinical Oncology to develop joint Chemotherapy Safety Standards.
Under Rieger, ONS was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility earlier this year, and in 2008 ONS achieved the CEO Gold Standard Seal—and has earned reaccreditation every year since.
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has awarded five new Springboard Grants to jump-start new projects with high-impact potential for childhood cancer research. Each grant provides $100,000 over the course of one year to:
- Donald Durden, MD, PhD, Vice Chair for Research at the University of California, San Diego, in the Department of Pediatrics and the Associate Director for Pediatric Oncology at Moores UCSD Cancer Center, will examine astrocytomas;
- Subramaniam Malarkannan, PhD, Associate Professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology in the Department of Medicine at Medical College of Wisconsin, will examine leukemias and lymphomas;
- Sue O'Dorisio, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Iowa, will research neuroendocrine tumors;
- Archibald Perkins, MD, PhD, Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Rochester, will research Ewing's sarcoma; and
- Ren Sun, PhD, Professor in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology and Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, will research cancers in African children associated with infections of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV or HHV-4) and Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV or HHV-8).
Robert Figlin, MD, FACP, Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Director of the Division of Hematology Oncology, and Deputy Director at Cedars-Siniai's Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, has received a Kidney Cancer Association research award of $10,000 for his commitment to advancing research in renal cancers. The award supports the work of a promising young investigator through the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Figlin received the award at the 12th International Kidney Cancer Symposium in October, and delivered the Eugene P. Schonfeld keynote address there.
Figlin also holds the Steven Spielberg Family Chair in Hematology Oncology.
The following oncologists have recently joined Fox Chase Cancer Center:
- Yanis Boumber, MD, PhD, in the Department of Medical Oncology, a specialist in thoracic cancers, including lung cancer, thymoma, and mesothelioma. Boumber has completed both clinical and research fellowships at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and he received an ASCO Young Investigator Award in 2012.
- Elias Obeid, MD, MPH, in the Departments of Clinical Genetics and Medical Oncology, a specialist in breast and ovarian cancer risk assessment, as well as breast cancer treatment. He was previously at the University of Chicago.
- Charu Sharma, MD, MS, in the Department of Radiation Oncology. She sees patients at Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Center Radiation Oncology in Washington Township, N.J., providing community-based radiation therapy in a general practice setting. Her expertise includes breast cancer treatment and research. She completed her residency and was Chief Resident at Columbia University-New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Jacqueline Jonklaas, MD, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology at Georgetown University School of Medicine, was installed on the American Thyroid Association board during its annual meeting in October. She is a member of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science.
She has previously served on several committees for the ATA including the patient education and advocacy, the surgical task force, and the awards committees. She is also Co-chair of the task force on thyroid hormone replacement.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University have formed a collaboration to bring together scientists from multiple disciplines to better understand acute myeloid leukemia (AML). For the project, “Beat AML,” researchers will analyze samples of cancerous cells from 900 patients with AML to create a profile of the possible genetic drivers of the disease and test responses using those samples of various drugs and drug combinations. LLS has committed to investing some $8.2 million in the initial three-year project.
“This innovative collaboration—involving the world's largest nongovernment funder of blood cancer research, a group of leading academic research institutions, two advanced technology companies, and potentially multiple pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies—is among the first of its kind in the cancer space and unprecedented in terms of the range of expertise involved,” Brian Druker, MD, Director of the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU, said in a news release.
The initiative will be led by Druker and also includes researchers at Stanford University, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. Intel Corporation is providing computational analysis, and Illumina is providing genetic sequencing expertise. The project is looking for additional pharmaceutical and biotech collaborators.
The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation and Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation have established a joint research grant to fund research for triple negative breast cancer. The grant recipients, a team from Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami, are investigating reprogramming nonfunctioning genes in triple negative breast cancer cells to make them more responsive to hormonal therapy. Each foundation is contributing $50,000 a year for the next three years for the research.
The collaborative team includes Samuel Waxman, MD (Founder and CEO of the SWCRF), Ming-Ming Zhou, PhD, and Eduardo Farias, PhD, of Mount Sinai; and Arthur Zelent, PhD, of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami.
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