Mar 06 2017

A Week of Spores and SPOREs

by at 9:39 am under Uncategorized

So, I took our oldest grandson Isaac to see Georgetown play Villanova on Saturday at the Verizon Center. Even though the Hoyas lost to a clearly better team, we had a simply great time. Isaac was in a winter basketball league and knows just enough about basketball to allow us to discuss a bit of strategy, while also working on his math skills (monitoring the point differential during the game). It’s great fun to have a front-row seat as a young mind blossoms and absorbs new information, turning it into an ever-richer understanding of how the world works.

That experience, which is reminiscent of how spores germinate and create new life, naturally morphed (for me) into the highlight of last week’s many meetings – an all-day Breast Cancer Program retreat, on the main campus, in the beautiful Healy Family Student Center on Monday. The retreat, led by Program co-leaders Bob Clarke and Claudine Isaacs, focused on how a new SPORE application might be structured. There were a number of really interesting presentations of possible projects, and I am sure that the eventual proposal will be compelling. The work week was bookended by a Friday afternoon meeting with visitors from Bristol-Myers Squibb to discuss opportunities to collaborate in the Immuno-Oncology area. This latter meeting was organized by Sandy Swain in her new role as Associate Dean for Research Development here at GUMC. We came away with some concrete ideas for collaboration and look forward to future interactions.

It was also very nice to have Naiyer Rizvi as our Grand Rounds speaker on Friday. Naiyer was a faculty member here a while back, and he has gone on to make very important contributions to the field of lung cancer immunotherapy. It is very impressive to look back at the list of really wonderful physicians and scientists who spent time here earlier in their careers. In addition to the wonderful group we now have at Lombardi, the cancer center has been an incubator of many leaders in our field.

The coming week for me will be dominated by two NCI meetings – first the Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) on Monday, and then the Clinical Trials Advisory Committee (CTAC) on Wednesday. Fortunately the CTAC meeting is a 3-hour webinar this time, so I can tend to other business that day. Both meetings require a fair bit of preparation, but I still have had time to work on my annual faculty evaluations. I am caught up (I have reviewed about 25 so far), though I am still waiting for the rest of the self-evaluations assigned to me to trickle in for my action. I hope everyone has submitted their self-evaluations, so we have the time to review them and send the completed evaluations to GUMC. It’s important to do.

Have a great week.

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