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Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FASCO, Professor of Internal Medicine, the Stuart B. Padnos Professor in Breast Cancer, and Clinical Director of the Breast Oncology Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been elected President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology for the term beginning in June 2016. He will take office as President-Elect during the ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago this June.

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"I'm honored to be elected incoming president of ASCO, which has had such a major influence on my professional career," Hayes said in a news release. "I look forward to working with ASCO leadership and staff on the critical initiatives within the oncology community including new strategies for health care reform; the development of CancerLinQ; efforts to improve value in cancer care; personalized cancer care; and reducing global disparities in cancer treatment.

DANIEL F. HAYES, MD,... - Click to enlarge in new windowDANIEL F. HAYES, MD, FASCO. DANIEL F. HAYES, MD, FASCO

"ASCO is uniquely positioned to tackle these issues head-on, and I look forward to being part of this exciting time in the life of the Society."


Hayes has been a member of ASCO since 1986; he served on the Board of Directors from 2011 to 2014; and he has also been a member of the Conquer Cancer Foundation Grants Section Committee, Chair of the Scientific Program Committee, and a member of the Journal of Clinical Oncology Editorial Board.


He has served on several expert panels related to breast cancer, including the ASCO-College of American Pathologists Estrogen Receptor/Progesterone Receptor and the HER2 Testing Panels (Co-Chair), the Breast Cancer Consensus Panel, Use of Tumor Biomarkers in Advanced Breast Cancer and Early-Stage Breast Cancer Panels, and the Breast Cancer Guideline Advisory Group, among others.


In other ASCO news, four physicians were elected to ASCO's Board of Directors to serve four-year terms, which will start in June 2015.


* Craig R. Nichols, MD, Co-Director of the Testicular Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, will be Treasurer. He serves as co-primary investigator on the recently funded Northwest National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program and is the Executive Officer of Cancer Control and Prevention Research for the Southwest Oncology Group. He has been a member of ASCO since 1986.


* Chris Nunnink, MD, FASCO, Attending Physician in Medical Oncology at Fletcher Allen Health Care and Associate Professor at the Vermont Cancer Center, has been elected to a Community Oncologist Seat. He has been a member of ASCO since 1986.


* Stephen B. Edge, MD, FACS, FASCO, Director of the Baptist Cancer Center and Adjunct Professor of Surgery at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, has been elected to a Surgical Oncologist seat. He has been a member of ASCO since 1988.


* Jedd D. Wolchok, MD, PhD, Chief of the Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service in the Department of Medicine and the Associate Director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, has been elected to an Undesignated Specialty seat. Wolchok is also an Associate Professor in the Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program at Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. And he is an Associate Member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. He joined ASCO in 1998.



And the following physicians were elected to serve three-year terms on the ASCO Nominating Committee:

CRAIG R. NICHOLS, MD... - Click to enlarge in new windowCRAIG R. NICHOLS, MD. CRAIG R. NICHOLS, MD
STEPHEN B. EDGE, MD,... - Click to enlarge in new windowSTEPHEN B. EDGE, MD, FACS, FASCO. STEPHEN B. EDGE, MD, FACS, FASCO
JEDD D. WOLCHOK, MD,... - Click to enlarge in new windowJEDD D. WOLCHOK, MD, PHD. JEDD D. WOLCHOK, MD, PHD

* Lisa A. Carey, MD, Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Physician-in-Chief of the North Carolina Cancer Hospital and the Jacobs Preyer Distinguished Professor in Breast Cancer Research and Associate Director for Clinical Research at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center; and


* Primo N. Lara, Jr., MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of California Davis School of Medicine and Associate Director for Translational Research at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.



David Currow, MD, has been named Director of Palliative Medicine and Hospice Care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, as well as Professor of Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine. Currow began in January.

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PRIMO N. LARA, JR., ... - Click to enlarge in new windowPRIMO N. LARA, JR., MD. PRIMO N. LARA, JR., MD

Currow will lead Dartmouth-Hitchcock's new Center for Palliative and Hospice Care, which is currently in the planning stages. The Center will provide interdisciplinary patient- and family-centered care, applying the latest thinking and techniques, while offering expanded opportunities for teaching, training, and research for health care providers and clinicians in training from across the U.S.

DAVID CURROW, MD. DA... - Click to enlarge in new windowDAVID CURROW, MD. DAVID CURROW, MD

"David's skills and experience in training doctors, nurses, and other professionals in conducting research that advances the field of hospice and palliative care will help propel the palliative care center to become a regional and national resource, working with hospice providers from around New England to smooth transitions of care for patients and families," James N. Weinstein, DO, Darmouth-Hitchcock CEO and President, said in a news release.


Currow has served as Professor of Palliative and Supportive Services at Flinders University, Bedford Park, in South Australia. He was also Chief Cancer Officer in New South Wales and Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Institute, New South Wales, the state's cancer control agency. His research includes clinical trials, population-based planning, and codifying the evidence base underpinning palliative care. Currow is the principal investigator for the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative, and also is co-principal investigator on, an anthology of evidence in palliative care.


Peter Friedl, MD, PhD, Professor of Genitourinary Medical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has received the 13th annual City of Florence Prize in Molecular Sciences, which recognizes advancements in key technical developments that have provided novel insight into biomedical processes. Friedl has been recognized for his work with advanced microscopy to further the understanding of metastasis.


"His deep experience in the field of microscopy has allowed him to develop a novel method to obtain 3D images of living tissue, making them fluorescent rays with low energy. This technique is ideal for observing the dynamics of the cells in the deep tissues of the tumor," noted a statement from the University of Florence's Center for Magnetic Resonance, which sponsors the award.

PETER FRIEDL, MD, PH... - Click to enlarge in new windowPETER FRIEDL, MD, PHD. PETER FRIEDL, MD, PHD

Lodovico Balducci, MD, Senior Adult Oncology Program leader at Moffitt Cancer Center, has received the fifth annual Enzo Piccinini Prize from the Enzo Piccinini Foundation in partnership with the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia School of Medicine in Italy.


The annual prize honors remarkable individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and contributed to significant scientific or clinical work in any health care field, with special consideration given to doctors who pay particular attention to a more human approach to patients' care, clinical research, and education.


Balducci was recognized for his dedication to the care of older patients with cancer, his pursuit of scientific investigations relevant to the management of cancer in older adults, and for his contributions to training younger medical students and physicians worldwide. The program Balducci leads at Moffitt focuses on unique issues related to aging, including missed diagnoses and day-to-day functional abilities.


Dong Moon Shin, MD, Associate Director for Academic Development at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and Professor and Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, has been selected to receive a Korean Broadcasting System Overseas Compatriots Award in the category of science and technology, which includes a $30,000 prize.


The award recognizes exceptional individuals of Korean heritage living overseas who have done an exemplary job of promoting the image, people, and culture of Korea. Shin has expertise in nanotechnology and chemoprevention.

DONG MOON SHIN, MD. ... - Click to enlarge in new windowDONG MOON SHIN, MD. DONG MOON SHIN, MD

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center faculty were awarded seven grants totaling more than $22 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas for research in leukemia, liver cancer, and immunotherapy, and to recruit new faculty. The awards include:


* A $2 million grant to ChengCheng Zhang, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology and Developmental Biology and a member of the Simmons Cancer Center, for the study of a new antibody therapy for the treatment of leukemia;


* A $1.35 million grant to Hao Zhu, MD, Assistant Professor with the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, the Simmons Cancer Center, and Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, for research on targeting the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex in liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma;


* A $1.1 million grant to Kiyoshi Ariizumi, PhD, Associate Professor of Dermatology, and Ponciano Cruz, MD, Vice Chairman and Professor of Dermatology with the Simmons Cancer Center, for research on targeting the DC-HIL receptor for anti-cancer immunotherapy; and


* Four grants totaling $18 million to recruit and support promising investigators and distinguished senior researchers making outstanding contributions to the field of cancer research.



Researchers from Roswell Park Cancer Institute have received more than $3.5 million in grants from the United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command to pursue work in prostate and kidney cancers. The awards went to the following individuals:


* David Goodrich, PhD, Professor of Oncology in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and James Mohler, MD, Associate Director, Senior Vice President for Translational Research, and Chair of the Department of Urology, received a three-year, $1.19 million grant to evaluate the utility of a new biomarker, Thoc1, for predicting whether newly diagnosed prostate cancers will progress to life-threatening disease;


* Yue Wu, PhD, Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Department of Urology, and Li Tang, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology in the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, received a three-year, $764,100 grant to address the biological perspectives of racial differences in prostate cancer between African-Americans and European Americans;


* Moray Campbell, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Dominic Smiraglia, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology in the Department of Cancer Genetics, received a three-year, $636,370 grant to investigate how the most aggressive and lethal form of prostate cancer arises following hormonal therapies, and to develop blood markers to predict the risk of this progression;


* John Ebos, PhD, Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Genitourinary Section of the Department of Medicine, received a two-year, $602,966 career-development award for his study of antiangiogenic therapy resistance in kidney metastasis, looking to determine whether tumor and nontumor cell reactions to treatment coordinate to produce tumor rebounds when therapy is halted [and the award includes a nested post-doctoral fellowship to Michalis Mastri, PhD];


* Wendy Huss, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Richard Hershberger, PhD, MBA, Chief Academic Officer, received a three-year, $189,766 grant for a project that matches Howard University honors biology students with RPCI research faculty for mentoring in a comprehensive research experience on a topic related to prostate cancer; and


* Irwin Gelman, PhD, Professor of Oncology and John & Santa Palisano Chair in Cancer Genetics, received a one-year, $127,350 grant for an investigation that will use a genetic screening method to identify the genomic mechanisms that lead to resistance to the newest generation of drugs being used against advanced prostate cancer.



The Brain Cancer Discovery Collaborative has received $2.8 million from the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. The research team at BCDC is led by Terry Johns, PhD, Director and Professor of the MIMR-PHI Institute of Medical Research at Monash University, and is comprised of neuro-oncological researchers in six labs in four Australian states. The objective of the Collaborative is to bring diverse skill sets into one team to tackle the problem more quickly than could be done in isolation. The researchers are working on multiple projects including some aimed at repurposing existing cancer treatments for brain cancer


"The approach of the collaborative is very much aligned with our own, which looks at the entire research pathway and how we can deliver treatments to patients as quickly as possible. Our strategy supports projects that build research capacity and critical mass in Australia, and this is precisely what the BCDC is achieving," Michelle Stewart, Head of Research at Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, said in a news release.

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing joins the Louisiana Cancer Prevention and Control Programs at Louisiana State University Health New Orleans School of Public Health and the University of Mississippi Medical Center in a five-year, $2.24 million Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant that will create the Gulf South Young Breast Cancer Survivors network.


The project will provide targeted online resources to women in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, building on the UAB School of Nursing's Young Breast Cancer Survivorship Network in central Alabama and LCP's successful SurviveDAT project in south Louisiana.


"Young breast cancer survivors face unique issues when dealing with the disease, including more serious strains of the disease, fertility questions and barriers, partner/child concerns, career implications, sometimes severe financial ramifications, and more," UAB School of Nursing Associate Dean for Research Karen Meneses, PhD, Principal Investigator for the Young Breast Cancer Survivorship Network, said in a news release.


"Resources like the YBCSN and Gulf South Young Breast Cancer Survivors Network are important to maintain the quality of life for survivors and their families."


The project's website and social media will contain a variety of national, state, and local resources from each state for young breast cancer survivors, ranging from educational and technical information on breast cancer and breast cancer risk to more day-to-day, practical advice on matters such as to where to buy wigs locally or listing makeup artists skilled in creating eyebrows for women who have lost them to chemotherapy.


There will also be videos and interactive opportunities for these women to share their stories and provide advice. In addition, there will be information for the people surrounding young breast cancer survivors, including providers, family members, and children. The project will also target minority women.


Seattle Children's Hospital and Research Foundation has launched a $100 million, multiple-year fundraising initiative, "Strong Against Cancer," which will support immunotherapy research trials for pediatric cancers, including patient access to the clinical trials. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has joined the initiative and will help grow the network of donors.


"Annually, pediatric cancers receive less than three percent of the National Cancer Institute budget, which is why it's so important for all of us to support initiatives like Strong Against Cancer," Wilson said in a news release. "The scientists working on immunotherapy have the treatment and the results to get us to a place where childhood cancer is no worse than a common virus. All that's needed now are the resources to bring it to every kid who needs it."


The funding garnered by Wilson and others will help pediatric cancer patients who qualify for the immunotherapy research trial to be treated at Seattle Children's Hospital, with the goal of bringing the treatment to hospitals across the country.


Weill Cornell Medical College has received a $25 million gift from Ira Drukier, MEng, PhD, and his wife, Gale Drukier, MS, EdD, to establish a premiere, cross-disciplinary institute dedicated to understanding the underlying causes of diseases that are devastating to children, with the goal of rapidly translating basic research findings into therapies for advanced patients.


It will be named the Gale and Ira Drukier Institute for Children's Health. Ira is a graduate of Cornell (1966); he conducted research in the field of microwave semiconductors; and he has served on the Weill Cornell Board of Overseers since 2012, as well as serving on the Board of Trustees and as a member of the Cornell Tech Task Force.


"The gift from Gale and Ira Drukier establishing the Drukier Institute for Children's Health makes a powerful statement about the importance of focusing the energies of a major research institution on improving the health and wellbeing of children," Gerald M. Loughlin, MD, the Nancy C. Paduano Professor of Pediatrics and Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College and Pediatrician-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, said in a news release. "It is a wonderful legacy for these visionary philanthropists."


The gift will allow the medical college to recruit five top investigators, including a faculty member who conducts clinical research in pediatric genetics, to join the Weill Cornell team at the new Institute. The gift will also fund equipment and the infrastructure to establish a biobank, as well as endow the Drukier Lectureship, an annual lecture at Weill Cornell on a research or clinical topic in the field of children's health and will establish the Drukier Prize, which will be awarded once a year to a junior faculty member in the United States or abroad for excellence and achievement in advancing research on childhood diseases or disorders.


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