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Boris Kuvshinoff II, MD, MBA, has been named Chief Medical Quality Officer and Interim Chief Medical Officer at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. In the newly created position of Chief Medical Quality Officer, he will oversee initiatives involving organizational performance improvement, infection control, occupational and environmental safety, radiation safety, medical staff credentialing, ongoing professional practice evaluation, and the development of clinical pathways and guidelines. He will continue as an Associate Professor in the Division of Gastrointestinal/Endocrine Surgery within the Department of Surgical Oncology at Roswell Park; Director of RPCI's Liver and Pancreas Tumor Center; and Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the University at Buffalo.

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"Dr. Kuvshinoff's leadership has been marked by innovative ideas, smart strategy, and a deep commitment to the needs, priorities, and concerns of the patients and families we serve," Roswell Park President and CEO and Cancer Center Director Candace S. Johnson, PhD, said in a news release.


Kuvshinoff joined the medical staff at Roswell Park in 2002 as attending physician in the Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery from the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, part of University of Missouri Heath Care. He has also previously served as President of the Roswell Park medical staff.


Gang Bao, PhD, will join the faculty of Rice University as the Foyt Family Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the CPRIT Senior Scholar in Cancer Research on March 1. Bao was most recently the Robert A. Milton Chair in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, until his recent move to Houston to join the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, where he will receive $6 million in funding. Bao's primary research interest is in the genetic roots of disease and the possibilities of nanotechnology and biomolecular treatment approaches.


"Dr. Bao has an outstanding track record of center leadership in developing and applying nanomedicine for disease diagnosis and treatment, and is a fantastic addition to the Rice effort in translational nanomedicine," Michael Deem, PhD, Chair of the Department of Bioengineering and the John W. Cox Professor of Biochemical and Genetic Engineering, said in a news release. "His work in the mid-2000s involved groundbreaking contributions to the molecular imaging field, and he has turned to nanomedicine and nanomaterials-based interventions, for example, with special contributions to the isolation of specific cell types from differentiating human pluripotent stem cells. Most recently, Dr. Bao has made major contributions to the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system for genome editing."

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Along with his lab, Bao brings his Nanomedicine Center for Nucleoprotein Machines to Rice. The National Institutes of Health-funded center is developing gene correction techniques to address an estimated 6,000 single-gene disorders.


A team of researchers from the Indiana University-led AMPATH (Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare)-Oncology Institute in Eldoret, Kenya, has been awarded a $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study HPV and cervical cancer in Kenyan women with HIV/AIDS.


The five-year grant will enable the researchers to create a sustainable approach to education, clinical care, and research, with the goal of providing early detection screenings for HPV and cervical cancer.


The three lead scientists on the project are Patrick Loehrer, MD, Director of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center; Darron Brown, MD, Professor of Medicine and of Microbiology and Immunology from IU School of Medicine; and Elkanah Omenge Orango, MD, from Moi University School of Medicine.


"With this grant, we expect to build a sustainable, multi-institutional, and transdisciplinary mentoring program that will foster the development of new cancer researchers in Kenya," Loehrer said in a news release. "By training Kenyan nurses, technicians, physicians, and scientists, our goal is to significantly reduce the prevalence of HPV and cervical cancer among women by studying the various subtypes of HPV in HIV-positive and HIV-negative women. We hope to optimize future vaccination efforts in developing nations."

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Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation has awarded three, three-year, $1.5 million grants for research investigating biological therapies. This is the first time grants have been awarded by the Foundation in this category. The grant category was created to support preclinical testing of promising new therapies in anticipation of applying for FDA approval as Investigational New Drugs (INDs), as well as clinical trials for therapies approved by the FDA.


The inaugural recipients of these grants are:


* Leonid Metelitsa, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Immunology in the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children's Cancer Center of Baylor College of Medicine, who is working to develop and clinically test a new form of cancer immunotherapy of neuroblastoma utilizing natural killer T cells;


* Marie Bleakley, MD, PhD, Assistant Member in the Program in Immunology, Clinical Research Division, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington, who is examining immunotherapies, including vaccines, to help patients with high-risk leukemia; and


* Theodore Johnson, MD, PhD, Member of the Cancer Immunology, Inflammation and Tolerance Departments and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Principal Research Scientist at Georgia Health Sciences University Research Institute, who is working on a Phase I trial of the immunotherapy target indoximod in combination with temozolomide-based therapy for children with progressive primary brain tumors.



Six cancer research projects at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital & Richard J. Solove Research Institute have received two-year Idea Grants, funded by Pelotonia, the grassroots bicycle tour established in 2009 to raise money for cancer research at Ohio State (OT 10/25/14 issue). Awardees are selected through a peer-review process conducted by both internal and external scientists not competing for grants in the current funding year. In total, $650,000 will be awarded in this latest round of grants.

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Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute has awarded $108,976 to researchers to promote and support promising early-stage drug-discovery research and facilitate collaborative translational research partnerships. The grants are part of the Indiana Drug Discovery Alliance, a new initiative of the Molecular Therapeutics Program of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), which is a National Institutes of Health-funded collaboration of Indiana University, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame. The recipients are:


* Theodore Cummins, PhD, Professor and Interim Chair of Pharmacology and Toxicology at IU School of Medicine, for his work on chronic pain management;


* Chang-Deng Hu, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Purdue University, for his work on leukemia and lymphoma, which is also related to cancers of the breast, lung, colon and rectum, ovaries, skin, and brain;


* Julia C. Van Kessel, PhD, Assistant Research Scientist in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at IU Bloomington, for her work on antibiotic-resistant infections in collaboration with Laura C. Brown, PhD, of the Department of Chemistry;


* Tao Lu, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology at IU School of Medicine, for his work on colon cancer;


* Samy Meroueh, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the IU School of Medicine and a Member of the IU Simon Cancer Center, for his work on breast cancer in collaboration with Clark D. Wells, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the IU School of Medicine;


* Maria Teresa Rizzo, MD, Associate Investigator at the Methodist Research Institute and Adjunct Professor of Medicine and of Pharmacology and Toxicology at IU School of Medicine, for her work on glioblastoma in collaboration with Mingji Dai, PhD, Professor of Organic Chemistry at Purdue; Karen Pollok, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at IU School of Medicine; and Aaron Cohen-Gadol, MD, Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery at IU School of Medicine;


* Stanley Spinola, MD, Professor and Chair of Microbiology and Immunology at IU School of Medicine, for his work on drug-resistant bacteria, such as those responsible for urinary tract infections, pneumonia, sepsis, and sexually transmitted disease; and


* Jingwu Xie, PhD, Jonathan and Jennifer Simmons Professor of Pediatrics and a member of the Herman B. Wells Center for Pediatric Research at IU School of Medicine, for his work on pancreatic cancer.



Yuh Min Chook, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology and of Biophysics at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been selected by the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) as the recipient of the 2015 Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Science. TAMEST presents four Edith and Peter O'Donnell Awards each year-in medicine, science, engineering, and technological innovation-to recognize Texas researchers whose work exemplifies excellence in advancing understanding of important unmet needs. Each award consists of a $25,000 honorarium, a citation, a trophy, and an invitation to speak at the conference, which was held in January.


"Dr. Chook's efforts to understand the underlying basis of an uncommon disorder have led to profound new insights into a fundamental mechanism of cellular transport of broad biologic importance," UT Southwestern Medical Center President Daniel K. Podolsky, MD, said in a news release. "Her advances are moving remarkably quickly from fundamental discovery to translational science with the potential to establish new paradigms for drug development for a range of disorders."

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Advances from her laboratory have helped lead to the development of potential therapeutics that are now the subject of nearly two dozen clinical trials for a variety of cancers, including leukemia, neuroblastoma, and melanoma.


Senator Scott Oelslager (R-OH) and Robert Massie, Ohio State's Cancer Hospital's Operating Board Chair, have received 2014 James Hope Awards, which are bestowed by The Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Institute to recognize community partners who have shown commitment to exceptional cancer care, education, and research. Awardees are selected based on advocacy, collaboration, innovation, and leadership.


Oelslager was recognized for sponsoring legislation to ensure that oral chemotherapy agents have parity in insurance coverage with intravenous chemotherapy agents, ending the practice of charging greater pharmacy co-payment amounts for oral chemotherapy medications than for office co-payment amounts for intravenous therapies. He also co-authored the 2014 Ohio Senate Bill 230 that ended the practice of directly sending medications to cancer patients that cannot be self-administered and must be injected.


Massie, former President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Chemical Abstracts Service, all at the James, was recognized for his advocacy for the institution. He is Chair of Ohio State's James Cancer Hospital Board and former Chair of University Medical Center Partners, a nonprofit corporation to develop commercial enterprises for research coming out of Ohio State University Medical Center. He also donated the lawn of Chemical Abstracts Service to hosting James Cancer Survivors Days as well as serving as the original starting point for Pelotonia.


Susan Horwitz, PhD, the Rose C. Falkenstein Chair in Cancer Research and Distinguished Professor and Co-chair of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, has received the 2014 John Scott Award from Philadelphia's Board of Directors of City Trusts. The award was established in the early 1800s as a tribute to the scientific achievements of Benjamin Franklin and has been awarded every year in Philadelphia since 1822.


Horwitz's early work in oncology focused on investigating paclitaxel (Taxol) for the National Cancer Institute, which became the prototype of a new type of anti-cancer drug now used for the treatment of breast, ovarian, and non-small cell lung cancers. Horwitz's current research focuses on developing new therapeutic approaches that combine Taxol with other natural substances to overcome drug resistance. Horwitz has worked with the National Foundation for Cancer Research since 2001.

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Paul B. Fisher, MPh, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, was recognized as a Virginia Outstanding Scientist for 2014. The award is sponsored by the Science Museum of Virginia and honors scientists who have made a recent contribution to basic scientific research that extends the boundaries in their field of science.


Fisher was recognized for his work in the field of molecular cancer biology, and the translation of his research from "bench to bedside." He is also Director of the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine and Thelma Newmeyer Corman Chair in Cancer Research and Co-leader of the Cancer Molecular Genetics Research Program at VCU Massey Cancer Center. Fisher has worked with the National Foundation for Cancer Research since 2007.

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Yale-New Haven Hospital has received the 2014 award for excellence in medication-use safety by the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation. The award, sponsored by Cardinal Health Foundation, is the only national honor that recognizes a pharmacist-led interprofessional team for implementing significant institution-wide improvements in medication safety.


YNHH was selected based upon Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven's acquiring nine oncology physician practices and integrating them into its cancer network. Pharmacy leadership, in collaboration with nursing, medical staff, and the hospital's community and government relations, developed an innovative 'telepharmacy' model to meet all regulatory requirements and provide safe, high-quality, and efficient patient care. The system enabled pharmacists to provide clinical and patient care activities that improved the patient experience, and it also allowed for flexible pharmacist staffing as the telepharmacy model can be quickly deployed at any location.


"The project showed how technology can enable advanced pharmacist clinical support for safe and effective cancer medication treatments for our patients," Lori Lee, Executive Director of Yale-New Haven's Pharmacy Services, said in a news release. "The pilot's success led to approval of a change to Connecticut State Drug Law on May 14, 2012, authorizing the telepharmacy model to be used broadly in the state."


Yale-New Haven received the $50,000 award to further promote medication-use safety at a ceremony during the 2014 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in Anaheim, California.


Sally M. Davis, has been named Chief Executive Officer of the National Brain Tumor Society. She will oversee all aspects of the organization's operations, including its national events and fundraising program. She most recently served as National Vice President of Development and Foundations at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.


"Sally's successful track record as a senior-level fundraiser, as well as her experience in organizational planning and management, will be an asset for the National Brain Tumor Society during this important time in brain tumor research and development," Michael J. Nathanson, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Brain Tumor Society, said in a news release.


Davis has also previously served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Morehouse School of Medicine for five years and before that ran her own consulting firm that specialized in providing strategic fundraising, human resources, executive organization, development effectiveness, and communications guidance to nonprofits.