Archive for December, 2009


Dec 16 2009

Good news in time for the holidays

by at 4:29 pm

I’m on my way to the Lombardi holiday party and I can’t believe that it’s already my third holiday party, even though I officially started two years ago. I’m happy to say that we have a lot to celebrate this year – we have continued to make wonderful progress scientifically and I’m firmly convinced that Lombardi has never been better.

I’m also pleased to report that we received news from the parent committee reviewing our CCSG application. Lombardi has been recommended for continued comprehensive status with five years of support. Of course, specific funding decisions will occur at a later date, but I sure am glad we’ve gotten through this part!

Although I’ve written this before, I want to again thank all of the many people who contributed to our CCSG application and site visit, which I thought was simply spectacular. I can’t tell you how proud I am to have the privilege of leading Lombardi and working with so many fabulous people.

So I hope to see you all at this afternoon’s party at the Leavey Center so we can raise a glass and celebrate together.

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Dec 04 2009

Working with Wellness

by at 3:20 pm

It was nice to be back home and at work this week. I really enjoyed the opportunity to speak at the Wellness Community in Rockville about new treatments for cancer. We had a good turnout and a lively discussion. It is so important to reach out to the community, and I have found that when I do that, the community reaches back. As many of you know, John and Liza Marshall have been very involved in the Wellness Community, which is a really wonderful organization. It was particularly interesting for me because I have given this talk before at the Philadelphia branch. Before I spoke, their director suggested that I use a particular presentation that was considered to be particularly effective. Of course, it was John’s presentation! Knowing that I could never adequately replicate his oratorical brilliance, I used it as a template, modified it to fit my less effective style, and have used it ever since. Thanks, John, for all your help (and let me know if you’d like a copy).

It was fun to attend Kim Lyerly’s Grand Rounds presentation today. Kim is Director of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, and he is a real leader in the field of cancer vaccines. His talk was provocative and actually aligned with my own interests in many ways. After the talk, he, John Marshall, Milt Brown and I exchanged cancer center war stories. It is remarkable how differently Duke handles tenure, compensation issues, and even how their cancer center is organized. Like humans, cancer centers are outbred species. As I once heard someone say, “When you’ve seen one cancer center, you’ve seen one cancer center…”

Have a great weekend.

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