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City of Hope Researcher Receives Margaret L. Kripke Legend Award for Promotion of Women in Cancer Medicine & Cancer Science

Leslie Bernstein, PhD, Director of City of Hope's Division of Biomarkers of Early Detection and Prevention, received the Margaret L. Kripke Legend Award for Promotion of Women in Cancer Medicine and Cancer Science. Bernstein has made a substantial mark on both science and society by identifying modifiable factors that can reduce cancer risk. She has worked tirelessly to champion the careers of women in cancer research and has served as a role model and mentor for female investigators. Bernstein has personally mentored over 120 students, postdocs, and junior faculty from all over the world who subsequently went on to productive careers in cancer research-roughly seven out of eight of them women.


Bernstein's efforts to identify practical choices and behaviors that women can adopt has saved and extended lives, yielded unparalleled scientific achievement, and earned her status as a leader among her peers in biomedical research. Bernstein helped develop, and led for nearly 25 years, the California Teachers Study, a collaborative research project that created and tracks a cohort of 133,500 female public school professionals, providing crucial data to cancer epidemiologists. Her greatest contribution has been to our understanding of the impact of physical activity. Her studies clearly established that exercise over one's lifetime can reduce the risk of cancer, and that physical activity can affect disease prognosis and quality of life in survivors. She led the first studies that suggested physical activity could reduce women's risk of breast cancer. Bernstein's research has shown how breast cancer is affected by hormones, environmental chemicals, diet, and obesity.

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Leslie Bernstein, Ph... - Click to enlarge in new windowLeslie Bernstein, PhD. Leslie Bernstein, PhD

Established in 2008, the Kripke Award recognizes a person who has made significant contributions in advancing and promoting women in cancer medicine and cancer science. It honors Professor Emerita Margaret L. Kripke, PhD, for her advocacy for and promotion of women in academic medicine and science.


Ana Maria Lopez, MD, Appointed to New Role at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center - Jefferson Health

The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center - Jefferson Health (SKCC) appointed Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, MACP, FRCP, as Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). This new leadership role will facilitate and coordinate DEI efforts across the SKCC enterprise.


Lopez, who is Professor and Vice Chair of Medical Oncology and Chief of Cancer Services at SKCC - Jefferson Health New Jersey, is a board-certified medical oncologist and health service researcher with a focus on health equity research. Her research portfolio includes holding simultaneous awards as principal investigator of a Center of Excellence Grant and a Health Care Opportunities Program Grant.

Ana Maria Lopez, MD,... - Click to enlarge in new windowAna Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, MACP, FRCP. Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, MACP, FRCP

In this newly created role, Lopez will be responsible for enhancing infrastructure while utilizing institutional resources to expand the pipeline of members of diverse backgrounds. This will be accomplished through training or mentoring opportunities to encourage participation of students, postdoctoral researchers, and co-investigators from diverse backgrounds, including those groups shown to be nationally underrepresented in the research workforce.


She will work collaboratively with SKCC's Edith P. Mitchell, MD, Associate Director for Diversity Affairs; Amy Leader, DrPH, MPH, Associate Director for Community Integration; Felix Kim, PhD, Associate Director for Education and Training Programs; Bernard Lopez, MD, Associate Provost, Diversity and Inclusion, and Associate Dean, Diversity and Community Engagement at Thomas Jefferson University; and Lisette Martinez, MBA, Jefferson's EVP & Chief Diversity Officer. This team will facilitate SKCC learning, support best practices, and forge a path towards equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. These efforts will enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging in the SKCC community, support recruitment and retention efforts at all levels at SKCC, and expand partnerships with local, national, and global communities.


When asked about the significance of this role, Lopez noted, "Given the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased data on the adverse impact of racism, ageism, sexism, and all the other -isms on health outcomes, the time is ripe for evolution. The opportunity that diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging bring to science is transformative. It is a privilege to partner with colleagues and communities to advance opportunities for all."


Lopez came to Jefferson from the University of Utah, where she served as Associate Vice President for Health Equity and Inclusion for University of Utah Health and held a similar role at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. She currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Group on Women in Medicine and Science at the Association of American Medical Colleges and as Co-Chair of the Health Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Taskforce at the Society for Integrative Oncology. She recently served as Chair of ASCO's Cancer Health Equity Committee, Steering Committee Member of the Group on Diversity and Inclusion at the Association of American Medical Colleges, and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Hispanic Medical Association.


"We are incredibly thankful that Dr. Lopez will be bringing her expertise and unique perspective to the role of Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion," said Andrew Chapman, DO, Enterprise Director of SKCC and EVP of Oncology Services at Jefferson Health. "Throughout her career, Dr. Lopez has focused on health equity, garnering a national presence in the field. Her knowledge and deep understanding will guide DEI efforts that are already underway at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, as well as expand our duty in advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism."


Yuman Fong, MD, Honored With 2022 Flance-Karl Award By American Surgical Association

Yuman Fong, MD, Chair of City of Hope's Department of Surgery and Director of its Center for Surgical Innovation, received the 2022 Flance-Karl Award by the American Surgical Association. It is given annually to one surgeon in the United States who has made seminal contributions in translational research that have applications to clinical surgery. It is one of the world's most prestigious recognitions in scientific achievement.


A pioneer both in the operating room and in the laboratory, Fong is an internationally recognized expert in cancers of the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and bile ducts. He has led the research effort to employ genetically modified viruses to destroy cancer cells and to harness the human immune system for the treatment of cancer. He has also helped design and deploy many surgical tools and techniques, including robotic technologies, for the surgical treatment of cancer. Both an author and innovator, Fong has written and edited more than 1,000 scholarly articles and 22 textbooks.

Yuman Fong, MD. Yuma... - Click to enlarge in new windowYuman Fong, MD. Yuman Fong, MD

"My work is focused on advancing cancer therapies for the benefit of patients," Fong said. "This is a great honor to be recognized among such an extraordinary group of surgeons who have received this award in previous years. I am so grateful to City of Hope for providing an environment that has allowed me to invent and to mentor young surgeons in research. I am particularly happy because this recognition puts City of Hope surgical research in the national spotlight."


ACR Announces 2022 Hillman Fellows in Scholarly Publishing

The American College of Radiology (ACR) awarded the 2022 Bruce J. Hillman Fellowship in Scholarly Publishing to Randy Christopher Miles, MD, MPH, and Courtney Tomblinson, MD. The fellowship provides qualified staff radiologists or radiologists-in-training with a concentrated experience in medical editing, journalism, and publishing at the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR).


"The Hillman Fellowship remains one of the journal highlights," said Ruth C. Carlos, MD, MS, FACR, Editor-in-Chief of JACR. "I look forward to a long relationship with Drs. Miles and Tomblinson. Many of our Hillman fellows subsequently join the journal as assistant editors and members of the editorial board."

Randy Christopher Mi... - Click to enlarge in new windowRandy Christopher Miles, MD, MPH. Randy Christopher Miles, MD, MPH
Courtney Tomblinson,... - Click to enlarge in new windowCourtney Tomblinson, MD. Courtney Tomblinson, MD

Miles is Division Chief of Breast Imaging and Associate Director Of Research (Radiology) at Denver Health Hospital. He has served as an ad hoc reviewer of many health journals, including JACR. Tomblinson is Director of Women in Radiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). She will assume the position of Program Director of the VUMC Neuroradiology Fellowship in July. Tomblinson has served as a JACR Assistant Editor during the past year.


The fellows will report to the ACR headquarters in September to gain experience editing and publishing the JACR with Dr. Carlos and JACR staff, as well as spend time in New York City with the publisher of the JACR. The fellowship also includes an ongoing project with the journal, a 1-year appointment to the editorial board and an invitation to the editorial retreat.


The Hillman Fellowship is named for the JACR founding editor-in-chief Bruce J. Hillman, MD, who helmed the journal from its launch in 2004 until 2019. The fellowship began in 2015, and the journal has hosted a total of nine fellows.


TJ Gan, MD, to Head Anesthesiology, Critical Care & Pain Medicine at MD Anderson

Tong Joo (TJ) Gan, MD, will become Division Head of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center this September. He will lead a division composed of 117 faculty members whose clinical practice and research activities include pediatric and adult anesthesia inside and outside of the operating room environment; care of the critically ill cancer patient; optimization of patients' pre-operative and peri-operative medical status; and management of acute and chronic cancer-related pain, as well as the attendant effects on function and quality of life. The division also includes more than 260 support staff consisting of certified registered nurse anesthetists, advanced practice providers, and technical and administrative staff.


"TJ is a world-renowned researcher and is known for his leadership accomplishments," said Peter WT Pisters, MD, President of MD Anderson. "We are excited to bring his talents to MD Anderson, where his experience and knowledge will benefit all who have the opportunity to work and learn alongside him."

Tong Joo (TJ) Gan, M... - Click to enlarge in new windowTong Joo (TJ) Gan, MD. Tong Joo (TJ) Gan, MD

Gan has published over 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts focused on enhanced recovery after surgery and perioperative outcomes, investigating topics related to postoperative nausea and vomiting, pain, fluid and hemodynamic management, and anesthetic pharmacology. He is internationally known for his clinical research in perioperative outcomes and anesthetic pharmacology. He is also the primary author of the four international consensus guidelines on the management of postoperative nausea and vomiting, including the one published in 2020.


"It is a privilege and honor to join one of the world's most highly regarded and respected cancer centers," Gan noted. "I look forward to working closely with the extremely talented and dedicated faculty and staff at MD Anderson to better serve our patients and community. Together, we will strive to achieve our mission of Making Cancer History."


New Partnership Launches Focused Ultrasound Cancer Immunotherapy Center

UVA Health and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation have launched the Focused Ultrasound Cancer Immunotherapy Center, the world's first center dedicated specifically to advancing a focused ultrasound and cancer immunotherapy treatment approach that could revolutionize 21st century cancer care.


Immunotherapy, which harnesses the immune system to battle cancer, is the most important breakthrough in cancer treatment in decades. So far, however, it has proven effective for only 20-40 percent of patients. But combining immunotherapy with focused ultrasound-a game-changing soundwave technology-has been found to overcome existing limitations of immunotherapy and may open new fronts in the war against many different forms of cancer, from breast cancer to brain tumors.


"We are excited to announce this powerful multidisciplinary and interdepartmental collaboration effort with the FocusedUltrasound Foundation and the Commonwealth of Virginia to expand treatment options for our cancer patients in this advancing field," said K. Craig Kent, MD, Chief Executive Officer of UVA Health and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs at UVA.


"Focused ultrasound is proving to enhance the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy throughout the cancer immunity cycle in a variety of ways," said Neal F. Kassell, MD, Founder and Chairman of the Foundation, which works in partnership with the Cancer Research Institute and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy to fund focused ultrasound cancer immunotherapy research around the world. "It can stimulate the body's immune response to convert immunologically 'cold' tumors-such as most breast cancers-into 'hot' tumors, making more patients responders. It can also enhance the delivery of immunotherapeutics to tumors, and it may also augment the effectiveness of immunotherapeutics, enabling more robust and prolonged response to drugs and decreasing the doses needed."


The center is designed to capitalize on UVA's strengths-including cancer immunotherapy, focused ultrasound, and medical imaging-and to leverage the expertise of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation to better understand focused ultrasound's ability to improve a patient's immune response to their cancer. The center's goals include understanding how to optimize the antitumor effect of focused ultrasound, developing new focused ultrasound technologies, and improving quality of life and survival for patients with a variety of cancers while enhancing access to cutting-edge care and reducing costs.


The center will be led by Co-Directors Craig Slingluff, MD, the Joseph Helms Farrow Professor of Surgery and Director of UVA Cancer Center's Human Immune Therapy Center; David R. Brenin, MD, the M.C. Wilhelm Professor in Diseases of the Breast and Division Chief of Breast and Melanoma Surgery at UVA Health; and Richard Price, PhD, Lawrence R. Quarles Professor of Biomedical Engineering at UVA.


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