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Ethan Dmitrovsky, MD, has been named Provost and Executive Vice President at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he will lead the research and educational programs and be responsible for execution of the Moon Shots Program.

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

"Ethan Dmitrovsky is an outstanding leader as well as a highly accomplished scientist and lung cancer clinician who knows what it takes to successfully connect those two roles as a physician-scientist to improve our understanding and treatment of cancer," MD Anderson President Ronald DePinho, MD, said in a news release.

Figure. ETHAN DMITRO... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. ETHAN DMITROVSKY, MD

Dmitrovsky replaces Raymond DuBois, MD (@rndubois), now Executive Director of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, who tweeted in response to an OT mention noting that: "My best wishes to Ethan-This is a tough job that demands high integrity and hard work & he is up to the task at hand!"


Dmitrovsky, who will start the new job on July 15, currently serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, where he is also Senior Advisor for Science and Technology to the President. He holds an American Cancer Society clinical research professorship and chairs the National Cancer Institute's Board of Scientific Counselors-Clinical Sciences and Epidemiology and the PREVENT Cancer Drug Developmental Program external steering panel.


His main research has focused on lung cancer. His team discovered a protein-destroying pathway responsible for retinoids' effects on cancer because it degrades the PML-RAR alpha fusion protein that leads to tumor development.


Other research has focused on the mechanisms behind the tumor-suppressing effects of natural and synthetic derivatives of retinoids to identify how pathways activated or suppressed by retinoids might be used to treat or prevent cancer. His team helped establish the use of all-trans retinoic acid for promyelocytic leukemia, and developed a genetic test often used to diagnose PML and monitor treatment.


Three physician scientists have been awarded the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, a $500,000 award given to those who have altered the course of medical research. This year's prize recognizes research that led to a new generation of cancer drugs including imatinib (Gleevec) for chronic myeloid leukemia.


"Their collective achievements opened new fields of cancer research and have improved the lives of many," said Joseph R. Testa, PhD, Co-Director of the Cancer Biology Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, who called the trio's work on chronic leukemia "one of the finest examples ever of translational research."


The recipients are:


* Peter C. Nowell, MD, the Gaylord P. and Mary Louise Harnwell Professor Emeritus in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, for his discovery of the Philadelphia chromosome;

Figure. PETER C. NOW... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. PETER C. NOWELL, MD
Figure. JANET D. ROW... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. JANET D. ROWLEY, MD

* Janet D. Rowley, MD, Professor of Medicine and Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, for discoveries of consistent chromosome abnormalities (including the Philadelphia chromosome defect) in leukemia that established that cancer was a genetic disease; and


* Brian J. Druker, MD, Director of the Knight Cancer Institute and Associate Dean for Oncology at the Oregon Health & Science University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, for his pivotal role in developing Gleevec by identifying the compound in the drug that inhibits the activity of the type of tyrosine kinase that causes CML.



Cancer researchers David M. Altshuler, MD, PhD; Arturo Alvarez-Buylla, PhD; Shelley L. Berger, PhD; John T. Lis, PhD; Scott S. Lowe, PhD; John Mendelsohn, MD; Randall T. Moon, MD; Charles Sherr, MD, PhD; and Jerry Workman, PhD, are among the 198 newly named Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The diverse group of other honorees, all of whom will be inducted during a ceremony on October 12, include Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger, Robert De Niro, Martin Amis, Annie Dillard, Sally Field, Renee Fleming, Herbie Hancock, and Albert Maysles.

Figure. BRIAN J. DRU... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. BRIAN J. DRUKER, MD
Figure. SHELLEY L. B... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. SHELLEY L. BERGER, PHD

The stated aim of the 230-year-old academy is to cultivate the arts and sciences and gather scholars, professionals, government officials, and business leaders to work together in the national interest. New fellows are nominated by current fellows.

Figure. SCOTT S. LOW... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. SCOTT S. LOWE, PHD
Figure. JOHN MENDELS... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. JOHN MENDELSOHN, MD

Kimberly Blackwell, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Breast Cancer Program at Duke Cancer Institute, was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world (4/19/13 issue,


Blackwell (shown here speaking at last year's ASCO Annual Meeting), who joined Duke as an intern in 1994, was the only cancer specialist on the list and was included in the category of "pioneers," cited for her breast cancer research developing and improving treatments that target the HER-2 protein. She was principal investigator on the pivotal study of TDM-1 (now FDA approved and with the brand name Kadcyla), as well as a leader in the development of lapatinib.

Figure. KIMBERLY BLA... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. KIMBERLY BLACKWELL, MD

"Being recognized by TIME not only reflects my work, but the thousands of patients who have bravely participated in the clinical trials that allow us to move the field of breast cancer therapy forward," she said in a news release from Duke. "Although TIME is recognizing me as an individual involved in some of the exciting breast cancer therapies that have been developed in the last five years, it is really an acknowledgment of the patients and the scientists who have been instrumental in this important pursuit."


Carlo Croce, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology, and Medical Genetics, and Director of Human Cancer Genetics at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, has been awarded the InBev-Baillet Latour Fund's 2013 Health Prize. The 250,000-euro award recognizes his outstanding contributions to the field of cancer.


Croce was also honored at this year's AACR Annual Meeting, selected to present the Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lecture, which he titled "Causes and Consequences of MicroRNA Dysregulation in Cancer."

Figure. CARLO CROCE,... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. CARLO CROCE, MD

His research has established genetic links to a variety of cancers including Burkitt's lymphoma, T-cell lymphoma, and acute leukemia. His discoveries have shown that chromosomal abnormalities such as translocations are capable of contributing to both cancer initiation and progression. He discovered and sequenced BCL2 and later defined its role in various lymphomas including follicular lymphoma. His current research focuses on identifying the genes involved in the development of lymphocytic leukemia.


Robert S. Miller, MD (@rsm2800), has been named Editor-in-Chief of ASCO's patient information website, Cancer.Net, effective June 1, succeeding Diane Blum, MSW, CEO of the Lymphoma Research Foundation, who has served in that position for 10 years.


Miller, who has been an Associate Editor of the site for several years, is Assistant Professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an Oncology Medical Information Officer at Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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He is also podcast producer for ASCO's Journal of Oncology Practice; blogs at ASCO Connection, as well as for his own blog, "Perspicacity," at; and was featured in one of OT's Profiles in Oncology Social Media (4/10/12 issue).


He noted in a news release that key goals are to enhance the site's interactivity and social media capabilities-including hosting tweetchats and incorporating more guest blog posts by those with cancer with the aim of creating more opportunities for dialogue between well-known, prominent cancer researchers and people with the disease.


Nikhil C. Munshi, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School, has received the Waldenstrom's Award, given at the International Myeloma Workshop in Kyoto, Japan. The award recognizes his commitment to the community and his research in immune therapy.


The American Society of Hematology has named the first recipients of the ASH Bridge Grants, a new award program designed to help hematologists continue their critical blood disease research amid severe funding reductions to the National Institutes of Health (OT, 8/25/12 issue). The Society has committed $9 million to the grants and says at least 30 will be awarded each year for the next three years.

Figure. NIKHIL C. MU... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. NIKHIL C. MUNSHI, MD

The announcement of the award winners was planned to coincide with the Society's participation in the "Rally for Medical Research," held in Washington to call on U.S. policymakers to prioritize medical (see article on page 30). Seventeen basic, clinical, and translational hematology researchers each received a $100,000 grant for this first round (


"We know that continued, devastating cuts to NIH funding pose a real threat to the future of medicine and will likely cause many talented investigators to abandon biomedical research as a career path," ASH President Janis L. Abkowitz, MD, said in a news release. "While the establishment of this program represents an unprecedented financial commitment on the part of ASH, we recognize it provides nowhere near what is needed to replace the NIH funding that has been cut for hematology research."


The team of Sara Sadan, MD, Joshua Raff, MD, and Anney Mannacheril, MD, and nurse practitioners Annie Borofsky, ANP, and Sandra Aufiero, ANP, are the first oncology and hematology practice to join White Plains Hospital Physician Associates, a division of the hospital aligning local physicians with hospital services. The group will continue to provide comprehensive medical care to patients with cancer and malignant and non-malignant blood disorders.


"Over the years, I have seen White Plains Hospital grow and develop into the exceptional health care facility that it is today," Sadan said in a news release. "I believe that collaboration by providers strengthens the continuity of care for cancer patients and helps to improve outcomes. I am delighted to more closely align our group with the Hospital and the services it provides for our community. The Hospital's Cancer Program has the exceptional resources and skilled medical talent to provide comprehensive, lifesaving treatment to patients in a caring and compassionate manner."

Figure. Left to righ... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Left to right: ANNEY MANNACHERIL, MD; ANNIE BOROFSKY, ANP; JOSHUA RAFF, MD; SARA SADAN, MD; and SANDRA AUFIERO, ANP

Sadan will serve as Director of Breast and Women's Medical Oncology at the hospital, where she will help expand the breast center to provide a full spectrum of prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and survival resources.


AACR Annual Meeting Awards and Lectureships

The following individuals were recognized by the American Association for Cancer Research at the Annual Meeting, held last month in Washington, D.C.


* Laurence N. Kolonel, MD, PhD, Professor at the University of Hawaii, received the AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention and presented the award lecture, "Advancing Epidemiologic Research Studies in 'Special Populations.'"

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* Hagop M. Kantarjian, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Leukemia at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, received the AACR Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research and presented the award lecture, "Leukemia Research and Progress-A Look Back at the Future."


* James P. Allison, PhD, Chairman of the Immunology Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center, received the inaugural AACR-Cancer Research Institute Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology and presented the lecture, "Mobilizing the Immune System for Cancer Therapy."


* Alexander Levitzki, PhD, MSc, the Wolfson Family Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry in the Unit of Cellular Signaling in the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, received the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research and presented the lecture, "Eradicating Tumors by Targeting Non-Viral Vectors Carrying PolyIC."


* Michael R. Stratton, PhD, Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, U.K., received the AACR G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award and presented the lecture, "The Causes of Mutations in Human Cancer."


* Harold L. Moses, MD, Professor and Chair of Cancer Biology, the Hortense B. Ingram Professor of Molecular Biology, and Director Emeritus of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, received the AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research.


* Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, received the AACR-Minorities in Cancer Research Jane Cooke Wright Lectureship and presented the lecture, "Dual Targeting for Endocrine Therapy of Breast Cancer."


* Roger S. Lo, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at UCLA, received the AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research and presented the lecture, "How Melanoma Escapes from BRAF Inhibition."


* Peter K. Vogt, PhD, Professor in the Department of Molecular & Experimental Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute, received the Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research and presented the lecture, "PI3K-From Simplicity to Complexity and Back."


* Fadlo R. Khuri, MD, Professor & Chair of Hematology/Oncology and Deputy Director of the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University School of Medicine, received the AACR Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award and presented the lecture, "Targeting Survival Signaling in Aerodigestive Cancers."


* The Johns Hopkins Cancer Pancreatic Sequencing Team in the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins University received the AACR Team Science Award. The team included N. Volkan Adsay, MD, of Emory University; Peter Allen, MD, and David S. Klimstra, MD, both at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; and Michael Chotti, MD, Luis Diaz, MD, James Eshleman, MD, PhD, Michael Goggins, MD, Joseph Herman, MD, Ralph H. Hruban, MD, Christine Iacobuzio-Donohue, MD, Scott Kern, MD, Kenneth Kinzler, PhD, Alison Klein, PhD, Anirban Maitra, MBBS, Alan Meeker, PhD, Nick Papadopoulos, PhD, Victor Velculescu, MD, PhD, Bert Vogelstein, MD, Christopher Wolfgang, MD, PhD, and Laura Wood, MD, PhD, all at Johns Hopkins University.


* Christine Nusslein-Volhard, PhD, Director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tubingen, Germany, received the AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship and presented the lecture, "The Development of Colour Patterns in Zebrafish: Toward an Understanding of the Evolution of Beauty."


* Guillermina Lozano, PhD, Professor and Chair in the Department of Genetics at MD Anderson Cancer Center, received the AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship and presented the lecture, "Activities of Mutant p53 Proteins in Cancer."



ACCC Innovator Awards Recognize Pioneering Cancer Programs

The Association of Community Cancer Centers recognized the following recipients as the winners of the ACCC Innovator Awards (sponsored by GE Healthcare) for forward-thinking strategic planning and developing pioneering programs that are replicable models:


* Akron General Medical Center's McDowell Cancer Center for bridging the psychosocial and financial needs of oncology patients with an innovative patient navigation program that reduced psychosocial distress, secured direct financial assistance for patients, and reduced institutional debt;

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* Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Cancer Institute at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md., for its rapid access chest and lung assessment program;


* The Dorcy Cancer Center at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo, Colo., for its comprehensive team approach for patients with head and neck cancer;


* Fox Chase Cancer Center for its new approaches to maximize patient flow and reduce inpatient hospital length of stay;


* OhioHealth Grant Medical Center's Grant Cancer Center in Columbus for its unique screening outreach program, ConvenientCare Mammography;


* St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute in Boise, Idaho, for its multidisciplinary supportive oncology clinic with integrated medication therapy management;


* Southwest Cancer Center of UMC Health System in Lubbock, Texas, for its process improvement through patient and employee feedback; and


* The following Minnesota institutions: Virginia Piper Cancer Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospitals in Minneapolis, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute at Unity Hospital in Fridley, Mercy Hospital Cancer Program in Coon Rapids, and United Hospital Cancer Program in St. Paul, all part of Allina Health, for developing a breast cancer clinical program across health systems that focuses on patient experience, quality of care, physician engagement, performance improvement, and cost efficiencies.



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