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Theodore S. Lawrence, MD, PhD, has been named Director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. He will also be the Max S. Wicha, MD, Distinguished Professor of Oncology and Chair of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan Medical School. Lawrence plans to advance the Cancer Center's research efforts in precision medicine, drug discovery, and health policy, as well as in clinical and translational work.

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He also aims to grow the center's statewide presence as part of an effort to bring cancer care closer to home, a news release from the Cancer Center noted. "The vast majority of cancer care can be done in the community with strong partnerships. We want to create more of those partnerships to allow more patients in our state to receive the right care in the right place," Lawrence said.


He has been a member of the faculty at the University of Michigan since 1987. His research has focused on chemotherapeutic and molecularly targeted radiosensitizers, with his clinical research specifically focusing on combining these laboratory studies with conformal radiation guided by metabolic and functional imaging to treat patients with pancreatic and other gastrointestinal cancers.


Lawrence will continue his patient care and research activities while serving as the Cancer Center's Director. He is also Co-editor of Wolters Kluwers' DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg's Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology.


Lawrence succeeds Max S. Wicha, MD, who founded the Cancer Center 27 years ago.


Andrew K. Lee, MD, MPH, has been named Medical Director of the Texas Center for Proton Therapy. The new center is a collaboration of Texas Oncology and the US Oncology Network (supported by McKesson Specialty Health and Baylor Health Enterprises, an affiliate of Baylor Health Care System), and is expected to begin treating patients by the end of the year.


Lee joins from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he launched proton therapy there in 2006.

ANDREW K. LEE, MD, M... - Click to enlarge in new windowANDREW K. LEE, MD, MPH. ANDREW K. LEE, MD, MPH

He most recently served as the first and founding Director of the Program for Advanced Technology and Medical Director of the Proton Therapy Center, both at MD Anderson. Lee was the first physician in North America to treat patients with spot-scanning proton therapy; and he also developed the use of fiducial markers and image-guidance at MD Anderson to improve tumor localization to optimize the accuracy of proton therapy. He has also served as Program Director of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Proton Fellowship.


Howard Fine, MD, has been appointed Director of the Brain Tumor Center and Associate Director for Translational Research in the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Chief of the Division of Neuro-Oncology in the Departments of Neurology at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. He has also been named to the faculty of Weill Cornell Medical College.


Fine has most recently served as Deputy Director of the Cancer Center and Director of the Brain Tumor Center at NYU Langone. He also previously helped develop the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for Neuro-Oncology at Harvard Medical School and the Neuro-Oncology Branch at the National Institutes of Health.

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Raymond Bergan, MD, has joined Oregon Health & Science University as Head of Hematology & Medical Oncology in the School of Medicine and Associate Director of Medical Oncology for the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.


"Dr. Bergan shares our urgency to better understand how best to treat cancer using an understanding of what drives the growth of each patient's cancer. He will make a significant contribution to the world-class team we are bringing together to ensure that treatment plans are personalized to each patient's unique situation as we strive to improve outcomes for all patients with cancer," Brian Druker, MD, Director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and Associate Dean for Oncology in the OHSU School of Medicine, said in a news release.

RAYMOND BERGAN, MD. ... - Click to enlarge in new windowRAYMOND BERGAN, MD. RAYMOND BERGAN, MD

Bergan was most recently Director of Experimental Therapeutics for Northwestern University's Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center, Co-director of the Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery, and Professor in the Department of Medicine. At Northwestern, he led a research team whose work focused on understanding how early-stage cancer progresses. At OHSU, Bergan will establish a research laboratory continuing this work as part of his new role with the goal of providing highly tailored treatments to patients, including those with early or advanced cancer, and change the course of their disease.


Larry W. Kwak, MD, PhD, has joined City of Hope as Director of the Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center within the institution's new Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute. He will also serve as the inaugural Associate Director for Developmental Therapeutics and Translational Research for COH; and he will be the Dr. Michael Friedman Professor for Translational Medicine.


"Dr. Kwak's remarkable expertise in translational research and hematologic malignancies make him a uniquely perfect fit for City of Hope," Steven T. Rosen, MD, COH's Provost and Chief Scientific Officer, said in a news release. "His ability to guide research breakthroughs from the lab to the clinic will help us break new ground in the treatment of a variety of cancers, including lymphoma and other blood and bone marrow diseases, and we're extremely pleased to have him on board."

LARRY W. KWAK, MD, P... - Click to enlarge in new windowLARRY W. KWAK, MD, PHD. LARRY W. KWAK, MD, PHD

Kwak was most recently Chairman of the Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma and Co-director of the Center for Cancer Immunology Research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.


His research has included integrating basic discoveries in academic laboratories with translational clinical development, bringing to fruition several first-in-human trials of novel therapeutics.


He was also previously Head of the NCI's Vaccine Biology Section of the Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch.


The National Institutes of Health has awarded $6.2 million in first-year funding to support a research collaboration between six institutions working in alliance with voluntary pharmaceutical partners in an effort to stop tuberculosis from becoming progressively less treatable worldwide. The total funding, provided by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, could total $45.7 million over seven years.


"Neither academia nor pharma can solve this problem working alone. We have to work together to improve treatment of tuberculosis, or it will continue to spread and become even more resistant to treatment than it is today," TB Research Unit Principal Investigator Carl Nathan, MD, Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College and Director of the Abby and Howard P. Milstein Program in Translational Medicine, said in a news release.


The Tuberculosis Research Unit involves two parallel tracks. The first, overseen by the TB Research Unit Co-principal Investigator, Michael Glickman, MD, FIDSA, an infectious disease specialist and the Alfred Sloan Chair at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, addresses TB infection biology in patients. The center of this work shifts to Haiti, where TB, including drug-resistant TB, is a major health problem. Researchers there will investigate biological factors that affect the course of TB infection-and likely treatment.

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The second track, led by Nathan, continues and expands ongoing efforts by investigators at Weill Cornell and other institutions who have been working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's TB Drug Accelerator.


Robert Ivkov, PhD, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, has been awarded a three-year grant totaling $1,005,000 by the Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy to develop nanoparticles that may help the body's immune system recognize breast cancer cells. The research combines the fields of immune-oncology and nanotechnology.


"The foundation is pleased to support the exciting research of Dr. Ivkov," Theodore Giovanis, the foundation's President, said in a news release. "His examination of nanotechnology-based immune therapy is innovative, and we believe it will greatly benefit the field of cancer research."

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Raghu Kalluri, MD, PhD, Chair of Cancer Biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has received the Jacob-Henle Medal from the Georg-August University in Gottingen, Germany. The medal recognizes high-impact scientific achievements in physiology and medicine.


Kalluri was honored for his discoveries related to autoimmune and genetic kidney diseases, organ fibrosis, and cancer biology. His research has led to new methods of diagnosis of kidney diseases, and identified diagnostic methods and therapy targets for fibrosis and cancer. Kalluri has also trained more than 70 postdoctoral fellows, as well as 20 graduate students in his career.

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"This very prestigious award is given for truly outstanding, medically relevant scientific achievements," Ethan Dmitrovsky, MD, Provost and Executive Vice President at MD Anderson, said in a news release. "It is no surprise that Dr. Kalluri was selected as he is a highly accomplished scientist. It is an honor well deserved."


The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has received a $250,000 gift from Disney, together with Disney-ABC Television Group and 6abc, which will be used to build the Wait. Play. Learn. area at CHOP's Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care. The new outpatient facility is scheduled to open this summer.


"We support CHOP's belief that every child deserves a story of hope. Here at 6abc, it's our hope that this gift will help write many of those stories. We're happy to build the interactive Wait. Play. Learn area, which will add a few smiles to those stories of hope. And who better to deliver those first smiles than Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse," 6abc President and General Manager Bernie Prazenica said in a news release.


Children's Hospital Los Angeles has made an institutional commitment of $50 million to expand its Center for Personalized Medicine. The investment will focus on three areas: cancer, inherited diseases, and infectious diseases-using genetic testing to refine and make treatment and care more precise for each.


"When we look at our peers using personalized medicine for children, the area where CHLA will be investing its efforts is in taking research outcomes and innovations and translating them into improvements in bedside care-an area where we already excel. This is where the real impact for children will be," said Alexander R. Judkins, MD, Executive Director of the Center for Personalized Medicine at CHLA and Head of the hospital's Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. The Center will be part of the hospital's Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.


The investment will be dispersed over the next five years; and CHLA will seek an additional $50 million in philanthropic funding to support the translation of research outcomes in the lab into bedside care for infants, children, and adolescents.


AACR Inducts 11 New Fellows for 2015

The American Association for Cancer Research had inducted 11 new fellows to its Academy. The AACR Academy recognizes and honors distinguished scientists whose major scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer. All fellows were nominated and elected through a peer-review process conducted by existing fellows of the Academy and ratified by the AACR Executive Committee. Candidates for fellowship are assessed on the basis of their scientific achievements in cancer research and cancer-related biomedical science.

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The 11 new fellows for 2015 were formally inducted at the AACR Annual Meeting earlier this month in Philadelphia. They are:


* Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, Director of the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center and LeBow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute;


* Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, Director of the Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies, Director of the Breast Cancer Program, and Associate Director for Clinical Research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center at Vanderbilt University;


* Anton J.M. Berns, PhD, Senior Group Leader in the Division of Molecular Genetics at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, and Director of the Skoltech Center for Stem Cell Research in Moscow, Russia;


* Bruce A. Chabner, MD, Director of Clinical Research at Massachusetts General Hospital;


* Ronald A. DePinho, MD, President of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center;


* Susan D. Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;


* Robert N. Eisenman, PhD, Member of the Division of Basic Sciences at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center;


* Douglas R. Lowy, MD, Deputy Director of the Center for Cancer Research, Chief of the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, and Head of the Signaling and Oncogenesis Section at the National Cancer Institute;


* Carol L. Prives, PhD, Da Costa Professor at Columbia University;


* Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, Chief of Surgery at the National Cancer Institute; and


* Craig B. Thompson, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.



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