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ASCO Elects President for 2018-2019 Term

Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, a long-time member and volunteer, has been elected to serve as the President of ASCO for the term beginning in June 2018. She will take office as President-Elect during the ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago in June 2017.


"Serving as ASCO President is a tremendous personal honor for anyone in the field of oncology," said Bertagnolli. "Much more importantly, it is an opportunity for me to make a meaningful difference by providing a strong voice in the health care community for those whom I consider to be my particular constituency: clinical and translational researchers, community and academic oncologists participating in clinical research, and surgical oncologists."

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Monica M. Bertagnoll... - Click to enlarge in new windowMonica M. Bertagnolli, MD. Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD

An active ASCO member since 1995, Bertagnolli is Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, and an Associate Surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She has served on the ASCO Board of Directors, the Cancer Prevention Committee, and the Strategic Planning Committee, among others.


Bertagnolli will be the first ASCO President-Elect to serve 4 years on the ASCO Board (first year as President-Elect, second year as President and Chair of the Board, third year as Chair of the Board, and fourth year as Past President), following the Bylaws changes that were approved by members in May 2016.


New Members Elected to ASCO Board of Directors & Nominating Committee

Three new members were elected to the ASCO Board of Directors, as well as two new members to the ASCO Nominating Committee.


ASCO's Board of Directors is comprised of oncology leaders elected to positions reflecting various specialties within the oncology field. The following physicians will begin 4-year terms as members of ASCO's Board of Directors starting in June 2017:


Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, has been elected to an Undesignated Specialty seat. She is Professor and Deputy Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan where she serves as residency program director, treats patients with breast cancer, and conducts health services research.


Michael P. Kosty, MD, FACP, FASCO, has been elected to a Community Oncologist seat. Kosty is a member of the Scripps Clinic Medical Group, where he has practiced hematology and medical oncology since 1989 and currently serves as the Director of Scripps Green Cancer Center and the Director of Graduate Medical Education and the Hematology/Oncology Fellow Training Program at Scripps Clinic/Scripps Green Hospital.

Reshma Jagsi, MD, DP... - Click to enlarge in new windowReshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil. Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil

Eric J. Small, MD, FASCO, has been elected to a Medical Oncologist seat. Small is the Deputy Director of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and Professor in Residence in the Department of Medicine and Department of Urology.

Michael P. Kosty, MD... - Click to enlarge in new windowMichael P. Kosty, MD, FACP, FASCO. Michael P. Kosty, MD, FACP, FASCO

The following physicians will each serve a 3-year term on the ASCO Nominating Committee:

Eric J. Small, MD, F... - Click to enlarge in new windowEric J. Small, MD, FASCO. Eric J. Small, MD, FASCO

Cora N. Sternberg, MD, FACP, will serve as Chair of the Nominating Committee in 2017-2020. Sternberg is the Chief of the Department of Medical Oncology at the San Camillo-Forlanini Hospital in Rome, Adjunct Professor at La Sapienza University in Rome, Adjunct Professor of Urology and Urological Oncology at Tufts University Medical School, and Adjunct Professor at Temple University's College of Science and Technology.


Debra A. Patt, MD, MPH, MBA, is the Vice President of Public Policy and Academic Affairs at Texas Oncology and a medical oncologist at Texas Oncology Cancer Center. Patt also serves as the Medical Director of the Pathways Task Force at McKesson Specialty Health/The US Oncology Network, the Medical Director of Publications and Outcomes at McKesson Specialty Health, the Medical Director of the Breast Cancer Committee at Seton Family of Hospitals, and the leader of Breast Health Services for The University of Texas Dell Medical School at Austin.

Cora N. Sternberg, M... - Click to enlarge in new windowCora N. Sternberg, MD, FACP. Cora N. Sternberg, MD, FACP

Ludwig Institute Appoints Scientific Director

The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research recently appointed Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, its Scientific Director. A hematological oncologist and renowned researcher, Dang joins Ludwig from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center, which he has directed since 2011.


As scientific director, Dang will oversee the execution of Ludwig's scientific strategy to advance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer, with a special focus on the operations and staffing of the Lausanne, Oxford, and San Diego Branches of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. He will also align these efforts with those of the six independent Ludwig Centers across the U.S. to further cultivate collaboration within Ludwig's global research community.

Chi Van Dang, MD, Ph... - Click to enlarge in new windowChi Van Dang, MD, PhD. Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD

Dang is best known for his elucidation of the molecular signaling pathways and mechanisms that govern the unusual metabolism of cancer cells, which require vast quantities of energy and molecular supplies to sustain their wild proliferation. His laboratory was the first to show that a master regulator of gene expression named MYC-a gene whose mutation or aberrant expression is associated with many types of cancer-alters the utilization of a key sugar in cancer cells.


This body of work, which explained a hallmark of tumor metabolism known as the "Warburg effect," bolstered the hypothesis that cancer cells can become addicted to their reengineered signaling pathways and dependent on particular nutrients. Dang and his colleagues also showed that disrupting those pathways could be a powerful approach to treating cancer and identified drug targets to that end. Therapies based on this work are today in various stages of clinical development.


He was recently appointed to the Blue Ribbon panel that provided strategic guidance to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's Cancer Moonshot initiative. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Chair of the NCI's Board of Scientific Advisors.


Moffitt Professor Inducted Into 2016 National Academy of Inventors

Nicholas Lawrence, PhD, Senior Research Faculty Member at Moffitt Cancer Center, has been named a Fellow of the 2016 National Academy of Inventors (NAI).


Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction for academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

Nicholas Lawrence, P... - Click to enlarge in new windowNicholas Lawrence, PhD. Nicholas Lawrence, PhD

With the election of the 2016 class, there are now 757 NAI Fellows representing 229 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes. The 2016 Fellows are named inventors on 5,437 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 26,000.


Lawrence is a senior member of Moffitt's Drug Discovery Department and Professor in the Department of Oncologic Sciences at the University of South Florida. He has made important contributions to the field of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry. The goal of Lawrence's laboratory is to design and synthesize organic molecules to act as selective anticancer agents targeting a range of processes important in cancer cell biology including signal transduction, tumor angiogenesis, epigenetic gene regulation, and cell cycle control.


"These efforts are driven by a passionate desire to discover new anticancer drugs that will increase the spectrum of human cancers that can be more effectively treated," he said. Lawrence has published over 100 peer reviewed papers and 15 review articles in organic and medicinal chemistry and anticancer drug design.


The academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.


The 2016 NAI Fellows were evaluated by a selection committee, which included 19 members, comprising NAI Fellows, recipients of U.S. National Medals, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies and senior officials from the USPTO, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Association of American Universities, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Association of University Technology Managers, and other prominent organizations.


Yale Professor Receives CT Cancer Partnership Award

Andrea Silber, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology) at Yale School of Medicine, was recently awarded The CT Cancer Partnership 2016 Cancer Champion Award. The award recognizes contributions to cancer prevention and control in the state of Connecticut.


Silber specializes in breast cancer and leads a program called OWN-IT (Oncologists Welcome NewHaven Into Trials). OWN IT's purpose is to get more minorities from inner city New Haven into clinical trials being conducted at Smilow Cancer Hospital. For over 30 years Silber has worked towards decreasing cancer health disparities in New Haven and surrounding communities.

Andrea Silber, MD. A... - Click to enlarge in new windowAndrea Silber, MD. Andrea Silber, MD

The Connecticut Cancer Partnership unites the members of our state's diverse cancer community-academic and clinical institutions, state and local government health agencies, industry and insurers, advocacy and community groups, and cancer survivors. Together, the coalition has developed and is now implementing a comprehensive plan to reduce the suffering and death due to cancer, and improve the quality of life of cancer survivors throughout Connecticut.


Oncologist Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

William B. Fisher, MD, of IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, received the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from Hoosier Cancer Research Network (formerly known as Hoosier Oncology Group).


Fisher was one of six oncologists who founded the organization in the mid-1980s, and served as its founding vice chair. He has remained a strong supporter of the vision for collaborative research to expand patient access to clinical trials throughout the state of Indiana and beyond.

William B. Fisher, M... - Click to enlarge in new windowWilliam B. Fisher, MD. William B. Fisher, MD

"Dr. Fisher was and is a pioneer in providing high-quality cancer care and bringing research opportunities to patients in the community setting," said Hoosier Cancer Research Network Chairman Christopher A. Fausel, PharmD. "He has served his patients and families in the Muncie area with distinction and compassion for more than 40 years."


Fisher completed fellowships in oncology and hematology at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, and then served for 3 years in the military at Fort Carson in Colorado, where he practiced hematology/oncology. His desire to establish roots in community practice led him back to Muncie and to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in 1976, where he continues to practice today.


Fisher served as the initial Director of Oncology and directed the internal medicine residency program at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, where his residents included numerous East Central Indiana physicians. As principal investigator for more than 40 protocols at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, The IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, and The IU Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center at Forest Ridge in New Castle, Fisher has assisted in the treatment of melanoma, lung cancer, head and neck cancer, lymphomas, Hodgkin's Disease, breast cancer, and renal cell cancer.


Fisher and his wife, Terri, are financial supporters of cancer research through the George and Sarah Jane Fisher Fund. He established the fund in the mid-1990s in memory of his mother, Sarah Jane, and brother, George, both of whom died of cancer within the span of 3 years. Through the fund, Fisher established two awards, given annually by Hoosier Cancer Research Network to early-career cancer researchers as well as clinical research staff.


AACR Receives NCI Grant to Continue Clinical Trials Workshop

The NCI has awarded the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) a 5-year, $1.125 million grant to continue providing clinical fellow and junior faculty clinical researchers the opportunity to learn the essentials of effective oncology clinical trial design through the Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop.


The annual, weeklong workshop, which is jointly administered by the AACR and ASCO, provides intensive training in clinical trial methodology and implementation to early-career clinical researchers in all oncology subspecialties, including radiation and surgical oncology and radiology. AACR Past President Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, FAACR, distinguished Professor and Physician-in-Chief at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, has served as the principal investigator for the workshop since it was launched in 1996.


"On behalf of the American Association for Cancer Research, I'd like to thank Dr. Von Hoff for conceptualizing the idea for this course and for his tireless commitment to securing continued financial support for the Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop," said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), CEO of the AACR. "The workshop has a proven track record of training early-career clinical researchers who have gone on to become world-renowned leaders in clinical trial design and conduct. We are thrilled to be able to continue this rich tradition, which will increase the number of therapeutic interventions that can be tested and made available in a timely manner to improve the care and treatment of cancer patients worldwide."


The workshop is designed to increase the reliability and effectiveness of clinical trials by:


* introducing clinical fellows and junior faculty in any oncology subspecialty to the principles of good clinical trial design;


* exposing early-career clinical investigators to the full spectrum of challenges in clinical research; and


* developing a cadre of well-trained, experienced clinical researchers whose expertise will foster better clinical trial design.



Nearly 2,100 clinical fellow and junior faculty clinical researchers have attended the workshop over the past 21 years.


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