Article Content

Larry Corey, MD, has announced that he will step down as President and Director of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to return his focus to research, effective June 30. Mark Groudine, MD, PhD, who currently serves as Deputy Director, will serve as Interim President and Director until the Board of Trustees appoints Corey's successor. Corey will be a member of the faculty in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division and will hold the title of President and Director Emeritus.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

Corey has been President and Director since 2011. His work focuses on medical virology, especially viral infections associated with cancer. He founded and continues to direct the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, an international collaboration of scientists devoted to developing a globally effective HIV vaccine. He helped establish Juno Therapeutics, Inc., a new biotechnology company focused on bringing forward novel immunotherapies for cancer.

LARRY COREY, MD. LAR... - Click to enlarge in new windowLARRY COREY, MD. LARRY COREY, MD

"The Hutch's loss of Larry as President and Director is a major gain for the field of HIV vaccine research," Anthony S. Fauci, MD, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (which funds the HIV Vaccine Trials Network), said in a news release. "Dr. Corey is an extraordinary thought leader and practicing physician-scientist in this area, and we welcome him back on a full-time basis to this critical area of biomedical research and global health."


Glenn Balasky, has assumed the role of Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers in Greenwood Village, Colorado. Balasky was most recently Executive Director of the Mark H. Zangmeister Center in Columbus, Ohio, a position he had held for 10 years. He has also served as Project Director with the Denver-based OpTx Corporation, where he managed the implementation of oncology-specific electronic medical record conversions for Duke University Medical Center and Washington Cancer Institute.


"Glenn has extensive health care management experience that we believe will serve Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers well moving forward," John Fleagle, MD, one of the founding partners and current President of RMCC's physician partnership board, said in a news release. "We are pleased to welcome him back to Colorado and are excited for the expertise he will bring to our organization."

GLENN BALASKY. GLENN... - Click to enlarge in new windowGLENN BALASKY. GLENN BALASKY

Stuart Holden, MD, has joined the UCLA faculty as a Health Sciences Clinical Professor in the Department of Urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine and Associate Director of the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology. He has more than 36 years of experience working in prostate cancer, and has expertise in treating urologic cancers. In the new role, he will collaborate with Arie Belldegrun, MD, Professor of Urology and Director of the Institute of Urologic Oncology at UCLA, to establish an executive urology program there.


"I am looking forward to integrating oncology care with a multidisciplinary focus to help create groundbreaking results for the patients here at UCLA and beyond. In addition, I will have the privilege of joining with world-class colleagues as we teach and train future leaders in urologic oncology," Holden said in a news release.

STUART HOLDEN, MD. S... - Click to enlarge in new windowSTUART HOLDEN, MD. STUART HOLDEN, MD

Prior to joining UCLA, Holden was Director of the Louis Warchaw Prostate Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the first holder of the Warchaw, Robertson, Law Families Chair in Prostate Cancer. He was a founding partner at Tower Urology in Los Angeles. He is also Medical Director of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, a position he has held since the foundation was formed in 1993.


Noah M. Hahn, MD, has joined Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center as Associate Professor of Oncology and Urology. Prior to the new role, Hahn was most recently Director of the Genitourinary Medical Oncology program at Indiana University, where he led the Hoosier Oncology Group there since 2009. He is also a member of the Bladder Cancer Task Force for the National Cancer Institute Genitourinary Cancer Steering Committee and is Co-chair of the Bladder Cancer Subcommittee of the ECOG-ACRIN GU Committee.


His research focuses on evaluating epigenetic and immunologic strategies in bladder cancer and conducting trials of new agents in early bladder cancer. He will provide outpatient care, attend on the oncology inpatient services, and staff outpatient fellow clinics, as well as grow the Bladder Cancer Multi-Disciplinary Clinic.

NOAH M. HAHN, MD. NO... - Click to enlarge in new windowNOAH M. HAHN, MD. NOAH M. HAHN, MD

Also at Johns Hopkins, Patrick Forde, MB, BCh, has been appointed instructor of oncology. He recently completed his medical oncology fellowship at Kimmel Cancer Center, and his primary interest is in immunotherapy within the Center's Upper Aerodigestive Program. During his fellowship at Johns Hopkins, he was involved in the development of a clinical trial of single-agent preoperative anti-PD-1 antibody (nivolumab) in resectable stage II/IIIA non-small cell lung cancer.


The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the American Association for Cancer Research have awarded 14 grants through its 2014 Research Grants Program, which recognizes outstanding scientists throughout the country to support their innovative research in the field of pancreatic cancer. The grants total nearly $5 million:

PATRICK FORDE, MB, B... - Click to enlarge in new windowPATRICK FORDE, MB, BCH. PATRICK FORDE, MB, BCH

* Giulio F. Draetta, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Co-Principal Investigator Lewis C. Cantley, PhD, of the Joan and Sanford I. Weill College of Cornell University, received a $1 million Research Acceleration grant for their work, "Developing a novel oxidative phosphorylation inhibitor in pancreatic cancer";


* Dung Le, MD, of Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, and Co-PI Todd S. Crocenzi, MD, of Providence Portland Medical Center, also received a $1 million Research Acceleration grant for their work, "GVAX + CRS-207 heterologous prime boost vaccination with PD-1 blockade";


* Gina M. DeNicola, PhD, of the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University, received a five-year, $600,000 Pathway to Leadership Grant for her work, "Therapeutic targeting of NRF2-regulated metabolism in pancreatic cancer";


* Michael Thomas Barrett, PhD, of the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona, received a two-year, $200,000 Innovative Grant for his work, "Genomic drivers of therapeutic responses in metastatic disease";


* Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, of the New York University School of Medicine, also received an Innovative Grant for "PDA development: Heads or tails?";


* Anirban Maitra, MBBS, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, also received an Innovative Grant for "Macrophage function in pancreatic cancer-associated diabetes";


* George Miller, MD, of New York University School of Medicine, also received an Innovative Grant for "Regulation of pancreatic tumorigenesis by necroptosis";


* Diane M. Simeone, MD, of the University of Michigan Medical Center, also received an Innovative Grant for "Mesenchymal stem cells in pancreatic cancer biology and therapeutic development";


* David G. DeNardo, PhD, of Washington University in St. Louis, received a two-year, $200,000 Career Development Award for his work, "Origins and impact of macrophages in pancreatic cancer";


* Eugene J. Koay, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, also received a Career Development Award for "Changes in mass transport as a biomarker of response in pancreatic cancer";


* Florencia McAllister, MD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, also received a Career Development Award for "Targeting IL-17 signaling axis in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma";


* Kenneth L. Scott, PhD, of Baylor College of Medicine, also received a Career Development Award for "Functionalizing metabolic pathway driver aberrations in pancreatic cancer";


* Kathryn E. Wellen, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania, also received a Career Development award for "Understanding metabolic control of the pancreatic cancer epigenome"; and


* Barbara M. Gruner, PhD, of Stanford University, received a one-year, $45,000 Fellowship for her work, "Multiplexed in vivo drug screening: Inhibitors of metastatic seeding."



Don Small, MD, PhD, Director of Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center's Division of Pediatric Oncology, has received the Rally for Research Grant, a $50,000 grant from the national nonprofit Rally for Childhood Cancer Research to support his research in childhood leukemia. The grant is co-funded with The Truth 365, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness and funds for childhood cancer research.


"The money from the Rally Foundation will enable us to carry out experiments to try to improve treatments for one of the most deadly pediatric leukemia, FLT3 mutant AML" Small, said in a news release. "In this era of challenging funding from the NIH we are grateful to the Rally Foundation for these funds."

DON SMALL, MD, PHD. ... - Click to enlarge in new windowDON SMALL, MD, PHD. DON SMALL, MD, PHD

Rena Pasick, DrPH, Professor of Medicine and Assistant Director of Community Education and Outreach at the University of California San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been selected by the Women Health Care Executives as 2014 Woman of the Year-being recognized for her work to reduce cancer disparities in the diverse and underserved communities of the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond through research, education, and advocacy.


Pasick has expertise in community health and health promotion across cultures. She is a member of the Cancer Control and Breast Oncology research programs at Helen Diller. In 2005, she established a community advisory board for the center to build a bridge between academic research and the black community. She also established a Faith Communities partnership, which fosters new health ministries in African American churches and brings them "best practice" programs and training designed to build their capacity to promote health. Pasick obtained National Institutes of Health funding to establish the Minority Training Program in Cancer Control Research (funded 1998-2018) to encourage under-represented master's level public health students and professionals to pursue doctoral training and to become leaders in public health and disparities research.

RENA PASICK, DRPH. R... - Click to enlarge in new windowRENA PASICK, DRPH. RENA PASICK, DRPH

The following students and researchers at The Christie have received this year's annual Research & Education Awards from the U.K.-based cancer treatment center.


Within the School of Oncology:


* Marianna Christodoulou, whose work focuses on radiotherapy-related research and patient outcome reporting, received the Student of the Year award;


* The National Tracheostomy Safety Project Team, received the Christie Education award for work on preventing neck-breathing patients from developing life-threatening problems; and


* Raffaelle Califano, MD, Consultant in Medical Oncology at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospital of South Manchester, received the National/International award.



Within the Research Division:


* Lifen Wang, Research Governance and Information Manager in the Research and Development Office, received the Team Member award;


* Tony Elliott MBChB, BSc, MSc, PhD, a consultant clinical oncologist at The Christie, who specializes in research of urological cancers, received the National Researcher award (he currently serves as principal investigator for 13 out of 20 national clinical trials in urology at The Christie);


* Noel Clarke, MBBS, FRCS, ChM, FRCS (Urol.), Professor of Urological Oncology at The Christie, has received the International Researcher award for being involved in multiple national and international research groups-and for leading the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Prostate Group since 2007; and


* Malcolm Ranson, BSc, MBChB,PhD, FRCP, Professorof Pharmacology at The Christie, has received the Lifetime Achievement award for his work on lung cancer, having led the first Phase I clinical trial at The Christie for getifinib for non-small cell lung cancer.



Six New York City-based scientists have been awarded the inaugural Pershing Square Sohn Prizes for Young Investigators in Cancer Research. The $200,000 per-year prizes (for up to three years) are funded by a $25 million alliance between the Pershing Square Foundation and the Sohn Conference Foundation-and are intended to accelerate cures for cancer and build stronger relationships between the scientific and business communities. The recipients are:

MALCOLM RANSON, BSc,... - Click to enlarge in new windowMALCOLM RANSON, BSc, MBChB, PhD, FRCP. MALCOLM RANSON, BSc, MBChB, PhD, FRCP

* Emily Bernstein, PhD, Associate Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, whose research focuses on identifying and understanding the epigenetic factors that can be targeted for melanoma therapies;



* Adolfo Ferrando, MD, PhD, Associate Professor at Columbia University Medical Center, whose research focuses on developing new approaches to analyzing the dark matter of the leukemia genome;



* Ross L. Levine, MD, Associate Member of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, whose research focuses on how epigenetic mutations contribute to cancer development, particularly for myeloproliferative neoplasms and acute myeloid leukemia;



* Agata Smogorzewska, MD, PhD, Associate Professor at Rockefeller University, whose research focuses on Fanconi anemia, which leads to the development of cancer in children and young adults;

ROSS L. LEVINE, MD. ... - Click to enlarge in new windowROSS L. LEVINE, MD. ROSS L. LEVINE, MD


* Lloyd Trotman, PhD, Associate Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, whose research led to the development of a new mouse system to analyze genomes of single cancer cells for metastatic prostate cancer and which his team is now using as a platform for drug discovery; and



* Sihong Wang, PhD, Associate Professor at CUNY City College, whose research focuses on using a 3-D human tumor model using patients' own biopsy samples to search for more effective drugs.

LLOYD TROTMAN, PHD. ... - Click to enlarge in new windowLLOYD TROTMAN, PHD. LLOYD TROTMAN, PHD


The Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation has awarded ten $10,000 prizes to graduate student researchers to continue work in melanoma with the potential to better understand the disease, identify more effective treatments, or find a cure for the disease. The following students received the 2014 Research Scholar Awards:

SIHONG WANG, PHD. SI... - Click to enlarge in new windowSIHONG WANG, PHD. SIHONG WANG, PHD

* Scott Callahan, of Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center;


* Inna Fedorenko, of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center at the University of South Florida;


* Hengyu Lu, of the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine;


* Goran Micevic, of Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center at Yale University School of Medicine; and


* Kipp Weiskopf, of Stanford Institute at Stanford University School of Medicine.



The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons has granted its Outstanding Achievement Award to 74 accredited cancer programs throughout the U.S. The awards are based on qualitative and quantitative surveys conducted last year.


"These 74 cancer programs currently represent the best of the best when it comes to cancer care," CoC Chair Daniel P. McKellar, MD, FACS, said in a news release. "Each of these facilities is not just meeting nationally recognized standards for the delivery of quality cancer care, they are exceeding them."


The awards are intended to raise the bar on quality cancer care with the ultimate goal of increasing awareness about quality care choices among cancer patients. The full list of the winning programs is available at


Washington University School of Medicine has opened its new Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs (CHiiPs) for research that focuses on using the immune system to fight infections and cancers. The new center is housed within the BJC Institute of Health and is part of BioMed21, the university's initiative to accelerate basic science discoveries into improved diagnosis and treatment for patients.


"This laboratory will provide tests that are not ordinarily offered by our existing clinical facilities," the Center's Director, Robert Schreiber, PhD, Alumni Professor of Pathology and Immunology at the School of Medicine, said in a news release. "Until now, faculty performing immunological clinical trials or studying unique immunologic clinical syndromes had to set up these tests in their own labs, which is a lot of work and does not always produce standardized results."


Funding for the new Center comes in part from Alvin J. Siteman, Chairman of Site Oil Co., whose $35 million gift in 1999 established the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.


The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins plans to open its new Skip Viragh Outpatient Cancer Building in 2017 to serve as a primary entry point for cancer care. The new building will be funded mostly by philanthropic gifts, and is named for Albert P. "Skip" Viragh, Jr., a mutual fund investment leader and philanthropist, who was treated for pancreatic cancer at Johns Hopkins and died in 2003.


The Skip Viragh Building will be able to accommodate all adult medical oncology patient consultations and house multidisciplinary treatment clinics modeled on one established for pancreas cancer patients so that they can benefit from a wide range of coordinated surgical, medical, radiation, and other consultations and services. Plans call for cancer imaging services to be located right in the building for patients' convenience, and a specially designed cancer diagnostic and treatment planning center, where patients will receive coordination of diagnostics for new cancer cases, will also be located there.


Share Your News!

Send information and photos for this column to