Philip A. Pizzo, MD, the David and Susan Heckerman Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbiology and Immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, has joined the Board of Directors of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, which consists of nine other members who oversee both the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the Ludwig Fund. Nominees for the Board are selected by the trustees of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Charitable Trust.
“Dr. Pizzo brings a wealth of talent and experience, and a distinct perspective, to Ludwig Cancer Research,” Ed McDermott, Ludwig Trustee and President and CEO of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, said in a news release. “He has a keen and deep understanding of science and medicine and a firm grasp of the challenges that face organizations such as Ludwig in their drive to alter the course of cancer.”
Pizzo's work has focused on pediatric cancer care and he is a former Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine (2001-2012). He is the founding Director of the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute, a year-long program that prepares established leaders for roles that have a social impact on the local, national, and global levels. Prior to joining Stanford, Pizzo served at the National Cancer Institute for over two decades as the Chief of Pediatric Oncology and Head of Infectious Diseases.
Jennifer Pietenpol, PhD, the B.F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Oncology and Director of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, has been named an at-large member of the National Cancer Policy Forum, an advisory group of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. She will serve a three-year term.
“It is a wonderful privilege and honor to be invited to participate as a member of this forum,” Pietenpol, said in a news release. “We are at a crucial juncture in cancer research as we elucidate genetic changes that contribute to cancer and we will need a focused and coordinated effort to use this information for the development of improved prevention strategies and therapies for patients worldwide.”
Members of the National Cancer Policy Forum work together to identify emerging high-priority policy issues in science, clinical medicine, and public health relevant to the prevention and treatment of cancer. Participants include clinicians, patients, researchers, professional and advocacy organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and policy makers.
Pietenpol has been at VICC since 1995 and has served as Director since 2008. She also heads a research laboratory there that focuses on the molecular underpinnings of cancer. She was appointed to serve a six-year term on the 12-member National Cancer Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute by President George W. Bush in 2008 (OT 7/25/08) and is a member of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Scientific Advisory Committee.
Four new officers have been elected by the members of the American Society for Radiation Oncology to serve on ASTRO's Board of Directors, and three members have been elected to the Nominating Committee. The new officers will begin their terms at the Annual Business Meeting at the Society's Annual Meeting in September.
David C. Beyer, MD, FASTRO, Medical Director of Arizona Oncology Services, will serve as President-elect. He was on the ASTRO Board of Directors from 2007 to 2011 as Vice-chair and then Chair of the Health Policy Committee, Co-chair of the Best Practices Committee and the Health Policy Committee, and a member of the CPT/RUC Advisors Workgroup, the Clinical Affairs and Quality Committee, and the Nominating Committee. He specializes in prostate brachytherapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, and image-guided radiation therapy, and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Brachytherapy.
Also elected to the Board of Directors are:
- Clinical Affairs and Quality Council Vice-chair: James A. Hayman, MD, MBA, Professor of Radiation Oncology and Associate Chair for Clinical Activities at the University of Michigan;
- Education Council Vice-chair: Stephen M. Hahn, MD, FASTRO, Chair and Henry K. Pancoast Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania; and
- Government Relations Council Vice-chair: Sameer R. Keole, MD, Assistant Professor and Senior Associate Consultant of Radiation Oncology at the Mayo Clinic.
And the new members of the ASTRO Nominating Committee are:
- Academic Physician: William M. Mendenhall, MD, the R.R. Million University of Florida Resident Alumni Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Florida;
- Community Practice Physician: Patricia Hardenbergh, MD, Director of Radiation Oncology at Shaw Regional Cancer Center in Edwards, Colorado; and
- Radiobiologist: Kathryn Held, PhD, Associate Radiation Biologist in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology (Radiation Biology) at Harvard Medical School.
The LUNGevity Foundation has granted three Early Detection Awards for Translational Lung Cancer Research for 2014. Each of the multi-year awards range from $100,000 to $250,000 for the first year and are renewable for the same amount, based on research progress, for each subsequent year. The awards support research projects directed at new approaches to improve clinical methods for the detection and diagnosis of primary tumors. The recipients are:
- Zeynep Gumus, PhD, of Joan & Sanford Weill Medical College of Cornell University, for “Identifying germline risk mutations for early-onset and familial non-small cell lung cancer”;
- Abhijit Patel, MD, PhD, of Yale University, for “Detection of early-stage lung cancers via tumor DNA in blood”; and
- Kimberly Rieger-Christ, PhD, of Lahey Clinic Foundation, for “Nasal biomarkers for the evaluation of lung nodules found by low-dose computed tomography screening.”
LUNGevity has also granted three Targeted Therapeutics Awards for Translational Lung Cancer Research for 2014 to support the discovery and validation of biomarkers or novel targeted therapies for lung cancer, including immuno-oncology. Each of the multi-year awards ranges from $100,000 to $200,000 for the first year and is renewable in that amount, based on research progress, for each subsequent year. The recipients are:
- Alberto Chiappori, MD, of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, for “Antagonism of adenosine A2A receptor to improve lung cancer immunotherapy”;
- Julien Sage, PhD, of Stanford University, for “Activating phagocytosis to inhibit small cell lung carcinoma”; and
- E. Alejandro Sweet-Cordeo, MD, of Stanford University, for “Protein engineering to target tumor-stroma interactions in non-small cell lung cancer.”
And, LUNGevity has also granted three Career Development Awards for Translational Research for 2014 to support the work of future research leaders. Each three-year grant awards $100,000, renewable in the second and third year based on career and research progress. And the awardees join the 2012 and 2013 recipients as ex-officio members of the Foundation's Scientific Advisory Board for the terms of their awards. The recipients are:
- Patrick Forde, MD (MB, BCh), of Johns Hopkins University, for his research “Neoadjuvant anti-PD-1 antibody, Nivolumab, in resectable nonsmall cell lung cancer”;
- Christine Lovly, MD, PhD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, for her research “Dissecting the role of negative feedback inhibition in ALK+ lung cancer”; and
- John Poirier, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, for “Molecular mechanisms of acquired drug resistance in small cell lung cancer.”
Also, the LUNGevity Foundation has partnered with the Lung Cancer Research Foundation and Melanoma Research Alliance to co-fund new innovative research on PD-1 inhibitor treatment options for patients with non-small cell lung cancer with brain metastases or metastatic melanoma with brain metastases. The award recipient is Lucia Jilaveanu, MD, PhD, of Yale University, for her project “Response to PD-1 Inhibitors in Melanoma and Lung Cancer Patients with Brain Metastases.”
The Don Shula Foundation has donated $1.5 million to Moffitt Cancer Center to establish The Don Shula Breast Cancer Research Fund, which will support research projects that will generate new treatment and prevention strategies for breast cancer patients.
“Cancer has touched our family personally, and I know that the more we give to cancer research, the closer we are to finding a cure,” said Don Shula, former head coach of the Miami Dolphins (1970-1995) and a member of Moffitt's national Board of Advisors.
The Don Shula Foundation was established in Miami more than 20 years ago as a tribute to Shula's late wife, Dorothy. The organization has supported breast cancer research at Moffitt for over a decade, donating nearly half a million dollars. A committee comprised of Shula designees, Moffitt leadership, and a Moffitt breast cancer physician-scientist will select the most promising breast cancer research projects to be funded by The Shula Fund.
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