Archive for July, 2010


Jul 22 2010

July 26th Faculty Meeting

by at 12:59 pm

I hope everyone is staying cool. When everyone told me that this city was built on a swamp, I thought it was a historical reference. Sadly, I now know my assumption was mistaken. Things are a bit quiet as people take their vacations, I sure have had no shortage of work to do! I’ll be taking a few weeks off to do some traveling in the second half of August so this will be my last blog post for a few weeks.

We have a Faculty Meeting scheduled for this coming Monday (July 26) at Noon in Warwick-Evans. We have a full agenda. As you know by now, Joe has agreed to take on the interim role as AVP of Development for the Medical Center as a search proceeds for Bill Bishop’s successor. While taking on these additional responsibilities, Joe will continue to oversee Lombardi’s fundraising efforts. He will provide a Development update at Monday’s meeting. We will welcome Lauren Wolcoff as our new Director of Communications; Lauren replaces Allison Whitney, who is now enjoying life in the City by the Bay. Lauren’s official start day will be August 18th. We look forward to welcoming her to Lombardi. John Deeken and John Marshall will provide updates on a new clinical care and clinical research initiative at Montgomery General Hospital that is being led by John Deeken. this is an exciting opportunity for us and I look forward to hearing about the progress that is being made.

Finally, I will give an update regarding the CCSG; I am sure many of you have questions. As I’ve mentioned earlier, we’ll have a Town Hall closer to the end of the summer to describe our plans to all interested parties for responding to the critique in more detail.

There will be lots to talk about, and I look forward seeing many of you there. In the meantime, have a great weekend.

No responses yet | Categories: Administration

Jul 16 2010

Lombardi Community

by at 9:59 am

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer. It sure has been hot!

While the pace of meetings has slowed down a bit as many of us enjoy vacations, I have found no shortage of work. Aligning all of the key constituencies as we prepare to respond to the CCSG critique is occupying a lot of time, but I have been very gratified by the support shown to Lombardi. I have received many fine suggestions about ways to better focus our research programs and support our shared resources. However, I am always open to new suggestions!

One of the continuing joys of my job is the opportunity to be a part of the clinical and research communities of Lombardi. Today was a great example in that I attended Thursday’s Data meeting, and listened to two students (Ivana Peran and Joe Murray) present their interesting work. Of course, I may be a bit biased, since Ivana spoke about pancreatic cancer models (more about that later) and Joe, who works in my lab, talked about his efforts to uncover the tumor-derived molecular determinants of sensitivity to antibody-dependent cell mediated cytotoxicity. Later in the day, I had my usual clinic where I met a new patient who was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer last week. While there is new evidence that a combination of three standard drugs may improve median survival to about 12 months in this setting, we desperately need innovative approaches that will attack the relevant biology of this cancer. Efforts such as those being done by Ivana and her mentor, Anton Wellstein, are desperately needed and most welcome. I can conceive of no more compelling rationale for the concept of translational research that truly spans the lab and the clinic. My patient, and so many others just like her, are counting on us.

Have a great weekend, and stay hydrated.

No responses yet | Categories: Clinic,Education,Research

Jul 02 2010

CCSG Funding Announcement

by at 3:04 pm

I’d like to provide additional context to the announcement I circulated
earlier this week regarding the status of our CCSG. First of all, we have
retained our Comprehensive Status, and I foresee no additional impact on our operations beyond our ongoing efforts to be fiscally responsible.

We were all surprised by the final decision to reduce our support following recommendations from the committee for five years of support and level funding. As I previously mentioned, I will update you when I receive the official letter from the NCI in the coming months.

I recognize that our investigators need and deserve high-quality support of their research activities. Accordingly, I am delighted to welcome Bob Brier as the Director of the Grants Office effective September 20. This is a crucially important position to support the work of all Lombardi investigators, and it is essential for our CCSG-related activities. Additionally, I am also pleased to welcome Dan McDermott, who replaces Stephanie Pomerleau as a Proposal/Program Specialist for the Breast Cancer and 3DT programs beginning August 4. Both Bob and Dan come to Lombardi from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA, and thus are well-versed in cancer research and in the CCSG funding process.

I know how good we are and I am confident about our quality. I would welcome the opportunity to host a repeat site visit. In fact, if it were up to me, I’d have that site visit right now. However, we will have to wait for about three years, and I can assure you that we will use this time productively, starting right now. Over the next few weeks, with the help of senior leadership, I will develop a process of evaluation and action that positions us to respond rapidly and effectively. I will use the next two months to develop our strategy, and I will hold a Town Hall to roll out that strategy and get feedback from everyone in an open forum once that process has been completed.

No matter how good I think we are, the critique is the “reality” that must form the baseline for our next competitive renewal. It is imperative that we demonstrate to the next group of reviewers that we have delivered on the promises we made at the site visit, and that we have been meticulously responsive to the concerns articulated in the Summary Statement.

I am deeply grateful to both Jack DeGioia and Howard Federoff for their
unstinting support. I also have been delighted by the many positive steps made by Rich Goldberg, Acting President of Georgetown University Hospital, to support the recruitment of a number of key clinicians who will be essential for our clinical research enterprise. A new Associate Vice President for the Cancer Service Line at GUH has been hired, which will allow us to concentrate on building our clinical and clinical research profiles. These activities are essential for a healthy CCSG and for all of Lombardi.

That’s enough fireworks for now. Enjoy the real fireworks, and have a great July 4th weekend.

No responses yet | Categories: Uncategorized