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The National Foundation for Cancer Research has awarded Alex Matter, MD, the 8th Annual Szent-Gyorgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research for his role in the development of imatinib. Matter is currently CEO of the Experimental Therapeutics Centre, A*STAR, Singapore,

Figure. Shop Talk... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Shop Talk

"Alex Matter is the father of targeted cancer therapies," said Chinese Minister of Health Chen Zhu, MD, PhD, Chair of the Prize Selection Committee and winner of the 7th Szent-Gyorgyi Prize. "His leadership in building the synergy between pharmaceutical companies, universities, and research hospitals changed both the way we treat CML and our approach to developing new anticancer drugs."

Figure. ALEX MATTER,... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. ALEX MATTER, MD

Matter has served as Director of the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (2003-2009), Global Head of Oncology Research for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Head of Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel, and Global Head of Translational research there. He is also Emeritus Professor of the Medical Faculty of the University Basel and an Honorary Adjunct Professor of the Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore.


Two oncologists received awards from the Association of Community Cancer Centers at the organization's Annual National Meeting last month:


* Patrick J. Flynn, MD, received the David King Community Clinical Scientist Award to recognize service, leadership, and commitment to the oncology community. Flynn serves as Director of Research at Minnesota Oncology Hematology, Medical Director of Autologous Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, adjunct associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and principal investigator at the Metro-Minnesota Community Clinical Oncology Program. Under his leadership, clinical trial accrual there has risen from 50 to 500 patients a year. "My goal has been to take the research to where people live rather than expect people to travel to the research," he said in a news release.

Figure. PATRICK J. F... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. PATRICK J. FLYNN, MD

* Jimmie C. Holland, MD, received the Annual Achievement Award for excellence in advocacy, dedication, and commitment to the care and treatment of patients with cancer. The Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, she is widely recognized as the founder of the subspecialty of psycho-oncology. She was the first chair of MSKCC's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the founding president of both the International Psycho-Oncology Society and the American Psychosocial and Behavioral Oncology Society.



Dale Shepard, MD, PhD, Co-Director of the Taussig Oncology Program for Seniors and a staff physician in the Department of Solid Tumor Oncology, has been selected as a member of the Cancer in the Elderly Committee for the Alliance Cancer Control Program.

Figure. JIMMIE C. HO... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. JIMMIE C. HOLLAND, MD

Robert Stone, President of City of Hope, has been appointed by the Board of Directors to also assume the role of Chief Executive at the end of the year when the current CEO, Michael A. Friedman, MD, steps down. Before becoming president in 2012, Stone was the initial President and Executive Officer of the City of Hope Medical Foundation created to increase collaboration between physicians and staff and to enable more coordinated care for patients. He has also served previously as City of Hope's general counsel and secretary.

Figure. DALE SHEPARD... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. DALE SHEPARD, MD, PHD

Holly Goe, RN, MSN, has been named Vice President of Indiana University Health Cancer Centers after serving as interim Vice President since October. She was also named the program's Executive Director for Clinical Operations last April. Before joining IU Health last year, Goe worked at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, serving in leadership roles in clinical research services.

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She will report to James Terwillinger, President of IU Health Methodist and University Hospitals and work in partnership with Doug Schwartzentruber, MD, the System Medical Director for Cancer Services at IU Health.


At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center:

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* David S. Klimstra, MD, has been appointed Chair of the Department of Pathology and the incumbent of the James Ewing Alumni Chair of Pathology. He joined MSKCC in 1992, and has served as Director of the Pathology Fellowship Program (1998-2005), Chief of the Surgical Pathology Service (2005-2011), and Acting Chair of Pathology (2011-present). He has made substantial contributions to the World Health Organization's classifications of tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and neuroendocrine system.

Figure. DAVID S. KLI... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. DAVID S. KLIMSTRA, MD

* Julio Garcia-Aguilar, MD, PhD, has been named Chief of the Colorectal Service in the Department of Surgery and the incumbent of the Stuart H. Q. Quan Chair. His research focuses on improving quality of life in patients by performing smaller operations and identifying individuals whose tumors might respond sufficiently to radiation and chemotherapy to avoid surgery.


* Wolfgang Weber, MD, has joined MSKCC as Chief of the Molecular Imaging and Therapy Service (formerly the Nuclear Medicine Service) in the Department of Radiology and Director of the Laurent and Alberta Gerschel Positron Emission Tomography Center. His translational research and clinical studies focus on monitoring how tumors respond to therapy and developing radiotracers for targeted imaging and therapy.



Also in MSKCC news, Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Cell Engineering and the Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair at Sloan-Kettering, is a recipient of the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Tumor Immunology for the development of chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy for cancer. Sadelain has also played a lead role in developing a cell-based treatment for the inherited blood disorder beta-thalassemia. And, he was recently appointed a member of the Stand Up To Cancer Dream Team for Cancer Immunology.

Figure. JULIO GARCIA... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. JULIO GARCIA-AGUILAR, MD, PHD
Figure. WOLFGANG WEB... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. WOLFGANG WEBER, MD
Figure. MICHEL SADEL... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. MICHEL SADELAIN, MD, PHD

The Basic Sciences Division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has announced the following 13 winners of the Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Awards. The recipients were selected on the basis of the quality, originality, and significance of their work, which they will present in a scientific symposium at the cancer center in May. The award honors the late Harold M. Weintraub, PhD, a founding member of the Basic Sciences Division. The winners are:


* Christopher Baker, PhD (in genetics, awarded 2012), UCSF;


* Teresa Davoli, PhD candidate in cell biology and genetics, Rockefeller University;


* Ruei-Jiun Hung, PhD candidate in neuroscience, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center;


* Robert Orchard, PhD candidate in molecular biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center;


* Timothy Kelliher, PhD candidate in biology, Stanford;


* Thomas Vierbuchen, PhD (in cancer biology, awarded 2012), Stanford;


* Kathryn Kohl, PhD candidate in genetics and molecular biology, University of North Carolina;


* Tara LeGates, PhD candidate in biology, Johns Hopkins;


* Paolo Manzanillo, PhD candidate in microbiology and immunology, UCSF;


* Sheila Teves, PhD candidate in molecular and cellular biology, University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center;


* Jakob von Moltke, PhD candidate in infectious disease, UC, Berkeley;


* Adam Williamson, PhD (in molecular and cell biology, awarded 2012), UC, Berkeley; and


* David Weinberg, PhD (in biology, awarded February 2013), MIT.



Long-Time Cancer Advocate Zora Brown Dies

Zora Brown, a trustee for the American Association for Cancer Research Foundation for the Prevention and Cure of Cancer, died on March 3 at the age of 63.


Brown was also the founder and chairperson of Cancer Awareness Program Services and the Breast Cancer Resource Committee, an organization dedicated to lowering the breast cancer mortality rate among African-Americans. A two-time breast cancer survivor (diagnosed first in 1981 and again in 1997) as well as a survivor of stage III ovarian cancer, she was a dedicated advocate for cancer research and awareness among minorities.


"There is a hole in our hearts as we mourn the loss of Zora Brown, who despite her many years of dealing with two cancers and multiple relapses, maintained an amazing and courageous spirit that inspired everyone around her," said AACR CEO Margaret Foti, PhD. "Her life's work as a cancer advocate has been extremely important in increasing public awareness about cancer, especially among women.


Brown shared the personal story of her cancer diagnosis in AACR's 2011 Cancer Progress Report and testified at a U.S. Senate Cancer Coalition forum last year. "I cannot stress enough the importance of her work as an advocate for cancer research," said AACR President Frank McCormick, PhD, Director of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. "She, along with other advocates, are the unsung heroes in the fight against cancer. Zora's strength in battling her cancers and her passion for advocating for women with cancer were an inspiration to us all."


Brown has served as an administrative assistant in the White House under the Ford administration, in a division focused on women's programs, and went on to serve as Director of the Minority Enterprise at the Federal Communications Commission. She was appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Board by President Bush in 1991, and helped the board urge Congress to appropriate $500,000 for breast and cervical screening for low-income, uninsured, inner-city women. Brown served as a member of the board of trustees for the AACR Foundation for the Prevention and Cure of Cancer since 2008.

Figure. ZORA BROWN (... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. ZORA BROWN (1949-2013)

In 1992, she was awarded the Marilyn Trist Robinson Community Service Award from the Washington Association of Black Journalists, the Susan G. Komen Community Service Award, and the Breast Cancer Award from the National Women's Health Resource Center. She also received the Gretchen Post Award (1993) and was cited by the U.S. Senate (1995).