Archive for July, 2019


Jul 28 2019

A weekend in Baltimore

by at 4:14 pm

We have been enjoying a beautiful weekend, especially after the sauna we experienced last week. Last week was highlighted by a half-day meeting up at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, where we discussed potential collaborations. It was very productive, and we can see potential engagement in the use of big data to answer important questions related to cancer risk, in the development of novel approaches to personalized immunotherapy and in drug discovery/drug development. I look forward to next steps.

We hung around this weekend, so to speak. After spending a few hours with our grandson Eli, we then drove up to Baltimore to help our son celebrate his birthday, joined by his wife, daughter and in-laws. They live in the Canton section of the city, where new construction is as pervasive as it is in DC. When we got there we were surprised to see our daughter Elana (who works at Johns Hopkins) and granddaughter Aviva there; they stopped by as well to wish Dave a happy birthday. We hung out together, cooed over Clara, who turned 4 months old on Sunday, and then went out for a simply wonderful Italian meal at Cinghiale, located on the waterfront. There, David convinced me to spring for a glass of the legendary, rare bourbon, Pappy van Winkle, in honor of his birthday. It was amazing, and quite simply the finest bourbon (or any spirit) I have ever tried.

We drove home, and then headed back up to Baltimore on Sunday afternoon for a picnic at a dear friend’s house – she and Harriet have been friends since college, and both she and her husband are federal judges. Elana, Ben and their kids joined us. It was wonderful.

Baltimore was great. There was not a rat in sight.

Have a great week.

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Jul 22 2019

Summer Swings into High Gear

by at 6:17 am

(July 22, 2019) Well, I hope it is hot enough for you! Harriet and I spent the weekend in Bethany Beach with old friends from Philadelphia. We never set foot on the beach, and plans for a round of golf were scuttled by the oppressive heat and humidity. I was able to hit a few balls at a local driving range, and my rebuilt swing seems to be holding up so far. It’s too bad that hitting on a real golf course is much more difficult. However, I am certainly not complaining! We had a wonderful time.

My work week was pretty busy for mid-July, but was highlighted by a dinner Harriet and I shared with Phyllis Rand, a long time administrator for Lombardi Office Operations. Phyllis is very busy, very happy and still has shrewd insights about Lombardi! It was delightful to spend time with her.

I am getting ready to drive home, looking forward to a work week that will include an important meeting with colleagues from the Frederick National Lab for Cancer Research. I hope the heat wave breaks soon, because I’d like to try out my new swing on a real golf course!

Have a good week, and stay cool.


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Jul 15 2019

Summer in the City

by at 6:18 am

Happy Summer!

I returned from vacation last week and got back into the swing of things pretty quickly.

The week was highlighted by an all day trip to New York and Hackensack on Wednesday. A group of us spent the morning at the New York Genome Center, meeting with Tom Maniatis and his colleagues regarding potential collaborations of the Lombardi consortium with NY Genome Center investigators. We then decamped to Hackensack for a series of organizational meetings that included important planning around our cancer prevention and control research. It was a very long but productive day. Thursday was highlighted by a presentation by the Tumor Biology visiting professor, Dr. Mark Fereshteh, a T BIo PhD (with Anna Riegel), now at Genmab.

Mark recently moved to Genmab from BMS and was describing his new emphasis on bispecific antibodies, not knowing that I starting working in that field about 30 years ago. As the presentation continued he began to have the look of someone who realized he has encountered a hungry predator. I was so excited to think about this area again, having moved away from it more than 15 years ago; I fear my excitement may have disrupted his presentation. However, he was a good sport about it, and we had a very good discussion about new opportunities in the bispecific antibody therapy space.

The Tumor Biology Retreat, held on Friday, is always one of my favorite work days of the year. I am always inspired by the creativity and depth of the work our trainees do, and of the genuine sense of community they have and foster throughout the cancer center. Moreover, the engagement of our breast cancer advocates and other cancer patients adds an important dimension to the day. It was just a great day. Kudos to the organizers, and to this year’s awardees!

I am looking forward to a busy and productive week, and to stealing a beach weekend with some old friends starting next Friday evening.

I hope you have a good week too.


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