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Mary-Claire King, PhD, Professor of Genome Sciences and of Medicine and Medical Genetics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, received the 2014 Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award from the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation for her contributions to medical science and human rights. The award was presented in September and includes a $250,000 honorarium.

MARY-CLAIRE KING, PHD

MARY-CLAIRE KING, PHD

King's work demonstrated the existence in 1990 of familial susceptibility to breast cancer through the discovery of the BRCA1 gene locus. Her approach for identifying that gene has become a model for the identifications of other genes that cause complex diseases.

She also developed DNA-based analysis to help families prove genetic relationships and find the “lost children” of Argentina who had been kidnapped as infants or born while their mothers were in prison during the military regime of the late 1970s and early 1980s. This and related approaches have been used to identify soldiers who went missing in action, as well as victims of natural disasters and man-made tragedies.

Stephen Hahn, MD, has been named Division Head of Radiation Oncology and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and will start in January.

STEPHEN HAHN, MD

STEPHEN HAHN, MD

Hahn has been at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine since 2005, as the Henry K. Pancoast Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology He established a proton therapy center there, and increased National Institutes of Health-funded research and clinical trials at the institution. Hahn's clinical interests and expertise include both lung cancer and sarcoma.

His research focuses on the molecular causes of the tumor microenvironment, particularly the study of aberrant signal transduction pathways, and the evaluation of proton therapy as a means to improve the efficiency of radiation therapy.

Hahn recently joined the American Society for Radiation Oncology Board of Directors (OT 8/25/14 issue), and he also serves as a Trustee for the American Board of Radiology.

The Association of American Cancer Institutes has elected Stanton L. Gerson, MD, the Asa and Patricia Shiverik-Jane Shiverick (Tripp) Professor of Hematological Oncology and Director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cleveland, as its new Vice-President/President-elect.

STANTON L

STANTON L

Gerson is also Director of the National Center for Regenerative Medicine and is Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University. He is also Director of University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland and a member of the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors.

He has been an active member of AACI for the past 12 years and has served on the Board of Directors (2007-2009); he is currently a member of the AACI Molecular Diagnostics Initiative, which is tasked with coordinating optimal approaches to cancer genomics across cancer centers.

Also elected to AACI's Board of Directors were: Patrick J. Loehrer, Sr., MD, Director of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center; and Thomas A. Sellers, PhD, MPH, Director and Executive Vice President of Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.

PATRICK J

PATRICK J

THOMAS A

THOMAS A

Their two-year terms will all begin this month during the AACI/Cancer Center Administrators Forum Annual Meeting. Also at the meeting, George Weiner, MD, Director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, the C.E. Block Chair of Cancer Research, Professor of Internal Medicine, and a faculty member in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Immunology at the University of Iowa, will begin his two-year term as AACI President. He was elected in 2012 (OT 2/25/13 issue).

GEORGE WEINER, MD

GEORGE WEINER, MD

Margaret Foti, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for Cancer, has received the Ellen V. Sigal Advocacy Leadership Award from Friends of Cancer Research. The award from the national advocacy organization honors an advocate who has made “unprecedented” contributions to the cancer research community.

MARGARET FOTI, PHD

MARGARET FOTI, PHD

“[Foti's] dedication to cancer research, trailblazing work as CEO of the AACR, and steadfast advocacy for science and patients is unparalleled and invaluable to all in the community,” Ellen Sigal, PhD, Chairperson and Founder of Friends of Cancer Research, for whom the award is named, said in a news release.

During Foti's tenure as CEO, AACR membership has grown from 3,000 to more than 35,000. In addition to her leadership at the AACR, Foti has been elected president of three professional societies in scholarly publishing and cancer research. She has also served as a board member, committee member, and consultant to several other nonprofit, scientific, and cancer-related organizations, and is a founding board member and member of the Executive Committee of Friends of Cancer Research.

Wafik El-Deiry, MD, PhD, FACP, is now Deputy Director for Translational Research and co-Program Leader inDevelopmental Therapeutics at Fox Chase Cancer Center. He was previously at Penn State University's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State College of Medicine, where he was the Rose Dunlap Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division, as well as Associate Director for Translational Research and Program Leader of Experimental Therapeutics at Penn State Cancer Institute.

Wafik El-Deiry, MD, PhD, FACP

Wafik El-Deiry, MD, PhD, FACP

He is one of 40 active American Cancer Society Research Professors, and had been Interim Cancer Center Director at Penn State from 2013 to 2014. He continues as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Cancer Biology and Therapy, and was inducted as a Member of the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars earlier this year.

As a practicing physician-scientist, he specializes in colorectal cancer, and leads several clinical trials for this patient population.

Dominica Anderson, a certified nursing assistant at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has received the Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence in Patient Care from the institution. The award recognizes employees who consistently demonstrate excellence in their work and dedication to MD Anderson's mission to end cancer. She received $15,000 and a certificate of merit.

DOMINICA ANDERSON

DOMINICA ANDERSON

Additionally, four finalists were also recognized, and each received $1,500 and a certificate of merit. Those finalists were:

  • Thomas Aloia, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery and Surgical Oncology, Deputy Chair for Education, Associate Director of the Gastrointestinal Program, and Director of Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery and International Surgical Oncology Fellowships;
  • Maria Cielo Foudray, RN, Senior Leukemia Research Nurse;
  • Ellen Manzullo, MD, Professor and Deputy Clinical Division Head of Internal Medicine, Clinical Deputy Chair of General Internal Medicine, and Chief of the Section for General Internal Medicine; and
  • Nancy Perrier, MD, the Walter and Ruth Sterling Endowed Professor, Professor of Surgical Oncology, Chief of the Section of Surgical Endocrinology, Director of the Surgical Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program, and Associate Director of the Multidisciplinary Endocrine Center.

The Broach Foundation for Brain Cancer Research has made a $5 million commitment to support glioblastoma multiforme research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The Foundation's inaugural grant in 2012 funded research led by Frederick Lang, MD, Professor and Director of Clinical Research in Neurosurgery, which focuses on a viral smart bomb developed at MD Anderson, Delta-24-RGD, a type of cold virus engineered to infect and kill tumor cells. This most recent funding will continue to support that and other research.

In recognition of the gift, MD Anderson has named one patient pod in memory of the late James Broach and a second pod in honor of the foundation established by James and his wife Jamie in 2011, months after he received his diagnosis.

City of Hope has received a $2.5 million gift from the Panda Charitable Foundation to help launch its new Program in Natural Therapies, which will help researchers investigate the potential of foods and other plant-based ingredients to fight disease. The gift will specifically expedite the testing of promising novel therapies from three researchers who are investigating natural products' abilities to treat cancer:

  • John Yim, MD, Associate Professor and Surgeon in the Division of Surgical Oncology, who is studying the effects of the compound baicalein, found in thyme and the Chinese herb huang qin, which has been shown to slow the growth of tumors in mouse models of breast cancer and shrink the tumors when used in conjunction with the chemotherapy drug cisplatin;
  • David Horne, PhD, Interim Director of the Beckman Research Institute, who is researching the anti-cancer potential of a compound, known as ETP, made by fungi, which he and his team redesigned to develop an extremely potent new drug candidate; and
  • Shiuan Chen, PhD, Professor and Chair in the Department of Cancer Biology, who has been exploring the potential of compounds in certain foods (including blueberries and mushrooms) to fight prostate and breast cancer.
JOHN YIM, MD

JOHN YIM, MD

DAVID HORNE, PHD

DAVID HORNE, PHD

SHIUAN CHEN, PHD

SHIUAN CHEN, PHD

The American Association for Cancer Research is accepting submissions for ideas for the Stand Up To Cancer-American Cancer Society Lung Cancer Translational Research Dream Team Grant, which will offer up to $20 million in research funding (with ACS and SU2C each providing half the funding over a three-year period). Bristol-Myers Squibb is also providing $5 million in funding to support the Dream Team.

The grant is intended to support projects that include therapeutic interventions for lung cancer and that deliver near-term patient benefit through investigation by a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional “Dream Team” of experts—and it is expected that new immunological approaches will be involved, a news release notes.

A SU2C-ACS Joint Scientific Advisory Committee comprised of researchers, physician-scientists, and advocates will conduct a multistep scientific review process to evaluate the applications. The committee is chaired by Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, Institute Professor at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Letters of intent for the grant are due by noon (ET), Nov. 5, 2014. Further details are available at www.aacr.org/su2cfunding/dreamteam.

AACR is also now accepting submission ideas for the SU2C-Ovarian Cancer Research Fund-Ovarian Cancer National Alliance-National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Translational Research Dream Team Grant, which will provide up to $6 million in funding over three years for research projects that must include therapeutic interventions for ovarian cancer and deliver near-term patient benefit through investigation by a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional Dream Team of experts.

Proposals for the grant must describe plans indicating how the group will use a transformative and synergistic approach, and how the work will be translated into the clinic, and the projects should span multiple disciplines and use modern scientific tools to attack research questions in a coordinated effort.

A Joint Scientific Advisory Committee appointed by SU2C, OCRF, OCNA, and NOCC will conduct a “unique, interactive, rapid, and rigorous” evaluation of the applications via a multistep scientific review process.

The committee is chaired by Arnold J. Levine, PhD, Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

Letters of intent for the grant are due by noon (ET), Nov. 7, 2014. Additional details are available at www.aacr.org/su2cfunding/dreamteam.

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Elizabeth Whelan Dies at 70

Elizabeth M. Whelan, MPH, MS, ScD, Founder and President of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), died in September. She was 70.

“She was an inspirational, amazing person, who was passionately dedicated to ACSH's mission,” Cheryl Martin, ACSH Associate Director and Director of Development, said in a statement. “She was truly science-driven on every issue, and uncompromising in her effort to ensure that science always prevailed, despite considerable obstacles. She dedicated her life so unselfishly to the greater public good.”

ELIZABETH M

ELIZABETH M

Whelan founded the ACSH in 1978 to promote “sound science” and independent peer review in public health. She recruited hundreds of scientists to join the initiative including: Norman E. Borlaug, PhD, who had received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his contributions to increase global grain yields; Fredrick J. Stare, PhD, who founded the nutrition department at Harvard School of Public Health; and others.

Whelan wrote or co-wrote 27 books, mostly on nutrition, smoking, or environmental issues including The Complete Guide to Cancer Prevention, Panic in the Pantry: Facts & Fallacies about the Food You Buy, and Toxic Terror.

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