Archive for August, 2017


Aug 14 2017

Last Blog Before September!

by at 9:48 am

The summer has been busy. This is my last week before we go on an eagerly awaited vacation at the beach. I’ll spend some of the time working, no doubt, but there is something about the sea air that makes the work seem easier. How time flies!

Last week was highlighted by a few meetings – one at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and another at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital – as we continue to develop the cancer network. It is an exceedingly complex endeavor, but at the same time, the effort is well worth it as we secure a sound clinical base for the important research at hand. I also had some outstanding meetings with grad students in my lab, as we work through really exciting data regarding the molecular determinants of ADCC resistance (led by Dalal Aldeghaither, assisted this summer by David Zahavi) and the molecular determinants of pancreatic cancer resistance to immune attack (led by Reham Ajina, newly returned from maternity leave, with the able collaboration of Garrett Graham, now working in Jeff Toretsky’s lab). All of this is happening as we gear up a pancreatic cancer SPORE effort, to say nothing of preparing for the CCSG renewal.

The coming week promises to be quite busy, but I can handle anything knowing that the car will be loaded by Saturday morning for our drive to the beach!

Have a great week. My blog will resume after Labor Day.

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Aug 07 2017

Building Translational Research Tools

by at 12:01 pm

As another glorious summer weekend winds down, I continue to plow ahead with the CCSG renewal and our pancreatic SPORE application. I guess I must be a glutton for punishment! But I am generally happier when I am busy. I had an interesting highlight on Wednesday afternoon when I drove up to Columbia, MD to help Neil Weissman and my other colleagues roll out the MedStar-wide collaboration with Indivumed. Lombardi and MGUH have worked with Indivumed for nearly a decade, and this wider roll-out will be done in conjunction with our work here at the cancer center. It is another example of how the cancer center truly functions as the research engine of the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute. I look forward to seeing this extraordinary tissue collection – pristinely obtained, processed and annotated specimens of tumor, adjacent normal tissue, blood and urine – used to support Lombardi translational research for years to come.

We got a taste of the power of this approach in a paper we published in 2013 (Madhavan SM et al, Front Genet. 2013 Nov 20;4:236. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2013.00236. eCollection 2013. PMID:24312117). Now, as we begin to gear up for the pancreatic SPORE, we have a sample resource of more than 300 pancreatic adenocarcinoma patients – more than enough to support a wide variety of important studies. I hope that many of us will make use of this wonderful resource.

A busy week awaits, but our vacation looms at the end of August – and I cannot wait!

Have a great week.

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