Archive for September, 2016


Sep 26 2016

Quick Trip to an Unhealthy Past

by at 9:28 am

Greetings from Geneva, Switzerland! I am on a brief trip to meet with folks developing a new anti-CD47 antibody. We have some evidence that CD47 regulates the induction of anti-tumor immunity mediated by T-cells, so here I am. It’s a quick trip as I hope to be back in DC in time for a Lombardi Gala reception
on Wednesday evening.

I am about to take a stroll around Lake Geneva in advance of a dinner meeting. However, I must say I am amazed by the amount of cigarette smoking, especially by young adults. They sure would benefit from tobacco control efforts!

Now, for that walk.

Have a good week.

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Sep 19 2016

Perceptions, Policy, Memories and a Walk in the Woods

by at 11:08 am

This is always a busy time of the year. The past week was highlighted by a number of events, all of which were wonderful. For example, my very busy Tuesday started at 7 am with a meeting at MedStar Washington Hospital Center with the cancer surgeons, followed by a couple of additional meetings there. I then hustled back to Georgetown for a meeting about the Clinical Research Management Office, followed immediately thereafter by an hour-long “Lunch with Lou”. I really enjoy these events with a wide spectrum of folks from the Cancer Center, and from the broader GU community. If you haven’t yet been to one of those lunches, sign up!

After a few more meetings I headed home to help Harriet host a small dinner for some of the Board Members of Lombardi’s Arts and Humanities program. Julia Langley has not only continued the marvelous legacy of Nancy Morgan, but has taken the Program in new and exciting directions. For example, one of the attendees was Amy Herman, whose “Art of Perception” sessions have helped physicians, nurses, law enforcement and the military learn how to look at people and situations and rapidly draw conclusions without making precipitous and potentially deadly miscalculations. Amy has become a regular contributor to the Program, which is one of Lombardi’s treasures.

Wednesday started and closed with presentations at the Ruesch Center Symposium, held at the Law Center. The morning session, which focused on cancer and policy included former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. I very much wanted to see him, but I had to rush out to get to a dental appointment. I really regretted not having a chance to chat with Howard; he was one year behind me in the Internal Medicine Training Program at the University of Vermont, and I was his Chief Resident for one year. So, we go back a long way. No worries, Howard – my lips are sealed!

Friday afternoon was highlighted by a Program Leaders meeting where Professor Larry Gostin of the O’Neill Institute was a guest speaker to discuss potential collaborative opportunities. I wasn’t able to make that meeting but caught up with Larry on Sunday morning as he and his wife Jean hosted an O’Neill Institute hike and brunch. The group walked along the Canal to Great Falls, and it was just remarkable – so much beauty and tranquility so close to the nation’s capital.

I’m looking forward to another very busy week, but will start off with fond memories of some memorable activities and great opportunities.

Have a great week.

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Sep 12 2016

Are You Ready for Some Football?

by at 10:24 am

If I know my fellow Philadelphians as I think I do, all flights from Philly to Houston have been booked in anticipation of the 2017 Super Bowl on February 5. The Eagles methodically steamrolled the Cleveland Browns behind their dynamic rookie quarterback, Carson Wentz. Ironically the Browns’ quarterback was none other than RGIII, who dominated the Washington sports scene as the electric new quarterback of the local team back in 2012. So, while the first game sure was fun, it’s a long season and we won’t know if this was the beginning of a glorious era or just a shooting star for quite some time. I think I’ll hold off on booking my flights…

Making the weekend even sweeter was the opportunity to celebrate our oldest grandson Isaac’s 6th birthday with family and 25 or so of his friends at Lake Roland Park in Baltimore. It’s a lovely park, by the way. We had the privilege of buying him his first two wheeler bicycle as our birthday gift. How time flies!

The first week back from vacation was certainly a jolt – every day seemed to start at 7 am and end at 11 pm or so. But, I was pleased to be part of Bob Clarke’s U54 proposal for a Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB), which was submitted on Friday. It is a wonderful application. Bob has pulled together a stellar team of internal and external collaborators.

In other news, earlier in the week the Cancer Moonshot Panel recommendations were released, and I had an opportunity to comment on this for the Washington Business Journal. Then, I was interviewed by the local NBC affiliate in conjunction with the Stand Up to Cancer Telethon, which was held on Friday evening and shown on virtually every TV network simultaneously. My interview was shown on the 11 o’clock news. All they wanted to know about was immunotherapy. How times have changed!

I imagine many of you won’t be doing much work tomorrow night in order to watch Washington play Pittsburgh on Monday Night football. Just think of it. If Washington wins it will be tied with Philly for first place in the NFC East!

Have a good week.

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Sep 05 2016

Labor Day Special!

by at 6:29 pm

Well, I guess summer is now over unofficially, though we are in for quite a heat wave this week. The last couple of weeks have been somehow both busy and lazy. I worked on three grants and have been finalizing a submission of a paper based on Casey Shuptrine’s thesis project that focused on using tumor cells infected with a murine shRNA library to probe the molecular determinants of in vivo tumor susceptibility to immune recognition and attack. And, thanks to the “miracle” of email I was able to keep up with a reduced torrent of messages without too much difficulty.

But, I did much of that work at the beach, and that somehow made it seem not so much like work. We had simply glorious weather for most of the week we were there, and even got a chance to hit the Rehoboth Beach outlets and see a good movie on the one day we had bad weather. On Friday evening we went to an outdoor concert with friends at the Carl Freeman Center near Bethany Beach by the Drifters, and had a wonderful time.

With a tropical stormĀ  bearing down on the beach we left early on Saturday and drove home through Baltimore to see the family and do a bit of babysitting. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful week.

The coming few months promise to be crazy busy, and I look forward to jumping back into the fray, refreshed and recharged. I hope you are in the same state of mind!

Have a great week.

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