Archive for December, 2008


Dec 23 2008

Best wishes for the holidays

by at 12:19 pm

It’s hard to believe that it’s been one year since I joined Georgetown and assumed my responsibilities as director of Lombardi. I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I have found this year to be utterly remarkable – challenging, exciting, and rewarding on many personal and professional levels.

While Harriet and I certainly miss our friends and family in Philadelphia, we love living in DC. And I still got to march in the Phillies victory parade in October!

It has been a privilege to get to know so many wonderful people at Lombardi and Georgetown University. And I already feel as if I have a new professional family. Hardly a day goes by when I am not surprised and delighted to learn about another exciting research finding or translational research opportunity here at Lombardi. I am constantly amazed by the collegiality, warmth, and loyalty of our faculty and staff to the very important work we do – and to each other.

At this time of the year, it is always nice to take a step back and reflect on where we’ve been and where we might go. I feel very good about where we’ve been and truly excited and humbled by where we are headed.

Please accept my very best wishes for the holiday season, a very happy New Year, and a healthy and productive 2009.

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Dec 18 2008

Exciting projects for the New Year

by at 3:35 pm

I very much enjoyed attending the clinic’s holiday party on Wednesday, and I was impressed by Tod Greene’s excellent taste in music. I’m looking forward to tonight’s Lombardi-wide celebration as well.

I was very pleased by the positive response when I presented at last week’s Committee on Medical Center Affairs (COMCA) Board meeting. Our COMCA members are incredibly knowledgeable, deeply engaged, and very interested in helping the cancer center succeed in its mission. I came with a 12 slide presentation, but could only get through 9 slides because I was peppered by so many questions. While some of the COMCA members primarily have backgrounds in business, several of them are extremely knowledgeable about medical center operations and provided valuable feedback and informed advice.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Subha Madhavan yesterday to review the status of the G-DOC effort. It seems hard to believe she’s only been here for 3 months since she’s been an absolute whirlwind of activity since her arrival. I’m extremely excited to see our ideas transforming into tangible action, and am very excited to see what happens in the next 3 months.

I was gratified that my comments about Mike Pishvaian’s Drug Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics meeting generated such a nice response. Mike has organized a follow-up meeting on January 6th at 4 pm in E501, and we look forward to identifying the most promising clinical trial concepts for cancer center investment and rapid activation.

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Dec 10 2008

Looking forward to science

by at 12:59 pm

I hope everybody is surviving the holidays so far. I am off again, this time to San Diego for the yearly Antibody Engineering meetings sponsored by the Antibody Society. I am looking forward to the excellent science and to giving a talk about work going on in the lab. While it will be nice to enjoy the wonderful San Diego weather, it is even nicer to stay connected to science. It keeps me centered as I grapple with the day to day challenges (most of them are actually very interesting!) of running a Cancer Center.

Yesterday, I attended a very interesting meeting of the CCSG program formerly known as MTDT (no, we are not renaming it Purple Rain), organized by Mike Pishvaian. The objective was to identify new and exciting clinical trial concepts that would rapidly emanate from science being done at Lombardi, with support provided by me. Despite all of Mike’s efforts, the turnout was relatively sparse, though the discussions were vibrant and interesting. Those of us who attended got to have their ideas discussed and used as bases for a whole new generation of exciting clinical trials. Folks who chose not to attend really missed the boat on this opportunity!

Have a great rest of the week.

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Dec 04 2008

Greetings from Miami

by at 7:37 pm

Greetings from Miami, where I am attending the AACR Tumor Immunology Conference. The high today was 75 degrees. Cuban coffee is wonderful.

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving as we head into the full force of the holiday season. As you do your holiday shopping, please remember to check out, which is a fundraising initiative of the Cancer Research Alliance; a portion of sales through that organization goes to the 11 member institutions (including Lombardi).

Things are very busy as we prepare for the meeting of the Committee on Medical Center Affairs (COMCA) of the Board of the Directors. I always look forward to the opportunity to share my vision and excitement about the cancer center, and the Board has proven to share in that enthusiasm.

I hope everyone stays warm (I guess I’ll miss Miami when I return to DC tomorrow).

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