Feb 26 2009

Getting ready for spring

by at 10:54 am under CCSG,Events,Research

I don’t know about you, but knowing that Spring Training has started gives me some hope that Winter is finally winding down! It will feel good to walk around without needing a coat.

As always, this is a very busy time of the year. Last week, John Marshall and I had a very interesting conference call regarding a new vaccine that could be used in pancreatic cancer patients. This week, Khaled El Shami, Carolyn Hurley, and I are meeting with the NCI bone marrow transplant program people to further develop an exciting allogeneic natural killer cell infusion protocol for refractory myeloid leukemia patients. This collaboration truly represents an integrated clinical and laboratory research initiative with our NCI colleagues.

And, on Wednesday, Anton Wellstein showed me some really interesting data from the new Translational Laboratory headed by Narayan Shivapurkar, who joined us in January from the University of Texas, Southwestern, where he worked with John Minna. This laboratory plans to use multiplexed protein and phosphoprotein detection assays on a novel instrument, the Meso Scale Discovery Platform, and the data thus far indicate that a sensitive and fairly comprehensive analysis of key protein phosphorylation events can be monitored using small tissue samples. This tool should greatly expand our capacity to conduct correlative science in the context of clinical trials; if you have any questions, check with Anton or Narayan. Narayan is also developing microRNA expression assays; the very early returns are encouraging. Once the assays have been successfully developed, they too can serve to extend our clinical trial support repertoire. Needless to say, both the phosphorylation and microRNA technologies will prove to be valuable for all types of science that is done at Lombardi.

I’ve also had some interesting meetings in the last week. For example, I participated in a conference call with our Population Science focused External Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC) on Monday, and received helpful suggestions and very positive feedback as we head into the homestretch for our CCSG submission. I’ll have more information about this at Wednesday’s Town Hall Meeting.

On that note, have a great rest of the week and please make sure to join us at the Lombardi Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, March 4th.

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