Article Content

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Names 2016 Manhattan Light the Night Corporate Chair

The New York City Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has announced John P. Leonard, MD, of Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, as its 2016 Manhattan Light the Night corporate chair. Light the Night is LLS's largest annual fundraising event held each fall to find cures and provide access to treatments for blood cancer patients.


Leonard is the Richard T. Silver Distinguished Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology and Associate Dean for Clinical Research at Weill Cornell Medicine. He is Vice Chairman for Clinical Research of the Weill Department of Medicine and Associate Director of Clinical Trials in the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine. He is also an Attending Physician and Chief of the Lymphoma Service at NewYork-Presbyterian and Director of the Joint Clinical Trials Office at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.
John P. Leonard, MD.... - Click to enlarge in new windowJohn P. Leonard, MD. John P. Leonard, MD

An expert in hematology and oncology, Leonard's research has been published in numerous medical journals, and he has served as a member of the editorial boards of Blood and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. He is Chair of the Lymphoma Committee of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology (formerly CALGB, ACOSOG, and NCCTG), a multicenter cooperative group and key component of the National Cancer Institute's National Clinical Trials Network. Leonard has been an elected member of the American Board of Internal Medicine subspecialty board for Hematology, and he has also been elected to membership in the American Society of Clinical Investigation. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the New York City Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.


Each year, Light the Night brings together friends, family members, and co-workers who form fundraising teams to support lifesaving research and improve the quality of lives of patients and their families. Participants in nearly 200 communities across North America join together carrying illuminated lanterns to take steps to end cancer-white for survivors, red for supporters, and gold in memory of loved ones lost to cancer.


Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian will host the 2016 Manhattan Light the Night event, which will be held on Oct. 6, 2016, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.


Komen Chicago Welcomes CTCA Medical Oncologist to Board of Directors

Susan G. Komen Chicago recently announced the newest member of its board of directors, Dennis L. Citrin, MB, PhD, Medical Oncologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Illinois. He is also Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University School of Medicine, and author of Knowledge Is Power: What Every Woman Should Know About Breast Cancer.


Citrin will lead Komen Chicago's Medical Advisory Committee to guide the board of directors and staff to maximize its grant-making efforts in Chicagoland to stress the importance of early detection, address cultural and educational barriers, and provide quality care for all.

Dennis L. Citrin, MB... - Click to enlarge in new windowDennis L. Citrin, MB, PhD. Dennis L. Citrin, MB, PhD

"Each week, nearly 5,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer. I am honored to be on the board of directors for Komen Chicago and help further impact this population positively," said Citrin. "The missions at CTCA and Komen Chicago mirror one another, rallying around and supporting those diagnosed with cancer."


Winship Cancer Institute Researchers Awarded NIH Grant

Adam Marcus, PhD, and Theresa Gillespie, PhD, researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, are the recipients of an R25 Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institutes of Health.


Only one SEPA grant per institution is eligible for NIH funding throughout the U.S. The 5-year award, totaling nearly $1.2 million, will create the Center for Advancing Health and Diversity through Citizen Science.

Adam Marcus, PhD,  T... - Click to enlarge in new windowAdam Marcus, PhD, & Theresa Gillespie, PhD. Adam Marcus, PhD, & Theresa Gillespie, PhD

Gillespie, who is a Professor in the Department of Surgery, and Marcus, Associate Professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, have created the Citizen Science Health and Diversity (Citizen Science HD) curriculum to not only enable citizen science in the classroom, but provide the students an opportunity to impact human health and their own communities. Targeting the entire state of Georgia, which experiences high rates of cancer and chronic diseases as well as disparities, the SEPA grant will focus its efforts on urban underserved and rural Title I schools, and students who are under-represented in science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) fields, including girls and minorities.


The Citizen Science HD program encompasses three main components: after school STEM, a national Citizen Science STEM curriculum, and outreach throughout Georgia. It is estimated that Citizen Science HD will impact thousands of students in Georgia, the U.S., and globally through projects such as pollen counting and the effect on pediatric asthma; mapping food deserts and their role in community obesity and chronic disease rates; and using Big Data to answer research questions.


This award partners with the Georgia Department of Education; the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Georgia Institute of Technology; Winship Cancer Institute; the Emory chapter of the Association of Women in Science; and other Emory investigators.


Penn Medicine Professor Receives AACR Frohlich Visiting Professorship

Katherine L. Nathanson, MD, a Professor of Medicine in the division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, has received the 2015 Frohlich Visiting Professorship through the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).


The professorship provides a unique opportunity for a physician-scientist, whose career is on an outstanding trajectory for future major national leadership appointments, to visit colleagues in the United Kingdom to promote an exchange of information and to foster international collaboration in medicine.

Katherine Nathanson,... - Click to enlarge in new windowKatherine Nathanson, MD. Katherine Nathanson, MD

Nathanson, who is also Associate Director for Population Sciences, co-Leader of the Cancer Control Program, and Chief Oncogenomics Physician in the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, will embark on her professorship this summer.


Her research focuses on inherited and somatic genetic/genomic changes in cancer and how discoveries in this area can be applied to improve patient care. Her studies have touched on various tumor types, including inherited breast/ovarian cancer, melanoma, testicular germ cell tumors, renal cancers and pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas. Some studies characterize the contribution of inherited susceptibility to development of these tumor types, and others elucidate the relationship of somatic genetics/genomics of tumors to therapeutic response.


The Royal Society of Medicine Foundation selected the AACR to offer a visiting professorship to its membership for 2015. The professorship is underwritten by a donation from the trustees of the L.W. Frohlich Charitable Trust.


Memorial Sloan Kettering Names Department of Pediatrics Chairman

Andrew L. Kung, MD, PhD, has been named the new Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.


An accomplished physician, researcher, leader, and mentor, Kung most recently served as the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplantation at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center. Kung formally assumes his new role as Richard J. O'Reilly, MD, steps down as Chairman after more than 30 years.

Andrew L. Kung, MD, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowAndrew L. Kung, MD, PhD. Andrew L. Kung, MD, PhD

Kung succeeds O'Reilly, who for more than three decades helped create one of the world's largest programs in pediatric oncology. A world-renowned immunologist and physician, O'Reilly pioneered the development and clinical application of bone marrow transplants for patients with cancers of the blood and marrow and both genetic and acquired disorders of the immune system. His visionary leadership and scientific achievements led to vast improvements in outcomes for these patients.


Kung is an internationally recognized physician-scientist with a special interest in identifying new targets and developing new treatments for childhood cancer. His translational oncology research has been powered by diverse experimental approaches including genomics, molecular biology, cell biology, drug development, and experimental therapeutics.


As Chairman, he will maintain a clinical practice within the Stem Cell Transplantation Program in addition to leading expansion of the clinical program and heading a program of laboratory-based research. His laboratories will use whole-genome sequencing and integrative analysis to identify genetically encoded and non-oncogene vulnerabilities in pediatric cancers. He will also continue to search for epigenetic vulnerabilities in a variety of cancer types.


Among his significant accomplishments, Kung was honored with the Robert and Ellen Kapito Professorship of Pediatrics, was awarded the Eugene D. O'Kelly Award by the American Cancer Society, and was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and Society for Pediatric Research.


Researcher Awarded $2.8 Million to Study Use of Nanotechnology

Julia Ljubimova, MD, PhD, Director of the Nanomedicine Research Center in the Cedars-Sinai Department of Neurosurgery, Los Angeles, has received a $2.8 million federal grant to advance her research of tumor nanoimmunology to treat cancers of the brain, breast, lung, and other organs.


The 5-year grant was awarded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The funds come on top of four previous grants to support Ljubimova's work. In all, the institute has awarded Ljubimova $16.5 million over the past 5 years.

Julia Ljubimova, MD,... - Click to enlarge in new windowJulia Ljubimova, MD, PhD. Julia Ljubimova, MD, PhD

The Ljubimova Laboratory strives to improve the treatment of brain, breast, and lung cancers, focusing in particular on forms of the disease that have a poor prognosis or are largely incurable with current therapies. Ljubimova said the goal of engineering and producing nanomedicines is to reduce the toxic effect of anti-cancer drugs by delivering them directly to cancer cells, leaving non-tumor cells intact.


Nanodrugs have been shown to effectively treat tumors that originate in the brain, as well as breast, and brain cancers that metastasize from the lungs and breasts. The nano imaging MRI diagnostic agents engineered at the Nanomedicine Research Center have the potential to replace invasive tissue biopsies, particularly in patients who have multiple brain lesions. Ultimately, Ljubimova and her team want to bring these novel imaging and treatment drugs to clinical practice with patients.


Share Your News!

Send information and photos for this column to