Apr 22 2012

Baby on Board

by at 11:20 pm under Uncategorized

This was a different type of weekend for us. On Friday, our daughter and son-in-law dropped off our grandson, who is staying with us for a week while they are in Europe for a meeting. It has been some time since we cared for a baby in the house for that long. So far, so good. It all seems so familiar, yet at the same time it is a reminder of how challenging it is to mix child care with just about anything else. Isaac is an absolute joy to be with, though he does like to sleep in our bed, so that we spend the night forming an “H” — sometimes I get the foot; other times the head. Sleep is merely an option. So, we pretty much kept to the house, though Harriet had a training session on Saturday morning for the upcoming Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, which is May 5-6.

Lombardi/CBCC team

The Lombardi/CBCC team at the Washington Monument on an Avon training walk.

I did find time to work on a grant proposal for the Keck Foundation. Those of you who attended my research update seminar presentation two weeks ago will remember that I have become interested in considering how to integrate evolutionary biology concepts into the problem of clinical drug resistance. The Keck proposal addresses these ideas. It is only a few pages long, but as you know, the shorter the proposal is, the harder it is to get all of the points across.

Last week was quite intense, but generally rewarding. I had a meeting in New York City on Monday. On Tuesday I attended a welcome reception at Riggs Library for Georgetown University’s new Provost, who has a powerful interest in science. On Wednesday I had a make-up clinic, and had to hold chemotherapy for my young man with colon cancer; his white blood count was too low. Just because someone is young doesn’t mean that he is immune to treatment toxicity. In my opinion this is another good argument for more effective highly targeted therapy.

Wednesday was a full day, with several CCSG-related meetings in the afternoon. Then I drove up to the NIH campus for the NCI Cancer Center Directors’ retreat. I checked my car at the security kiosk, and they actually made me drag out my golf clubs, which were in the trunk of my car, so they could go through the metal detector. Now, that was an awkward moment!

The Wednesday night part of the retreat was primarily a dinner, with remarks by Harold Varmus, and a rather tame Q&A session. I drove back on Thursday for the full program (without the clubs) and was treated to a series of genuinely interesting presentations on diverse topics related to the cancer centers, including one on genomics and another one on international medicine.

I got back here in time to deliver the Sarah Stewart lecture; my title slide, which included the term, “When Research Worlds Collide,” was  followed by a video trailer from the 1951 movie, “When Worlds Collide.” Unfortunately, the talk was not well attended by the intended audience of medical students; I’ll have to find another excuse to use that slide.

Friday was highlighted by my attendance at the Ph.D. thesis defense of Joanna Fares from the GU: NIH program; I was a member of her committee.

This coming week will be plenty busy too, between watching our grandson, and very full days at work. I speak at an “Ask the Doctor” event for Hope Connections for Cancer Support this evening, but otherwise have arranged to get home at reasonable hours so I can be with Isaac. I am looking forward to a great week, and hope you have one too.

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