May 09 2021

Life in the Time of Corona(virus) – Day 418

by at 11:20 pm under Uncategorized

I can feel life beginning to return to normal. Traffic is becoming bothersome, and people are out and about. I still see lots of masks, so people continue to exercise precautions in our region. That said, restaurants are filling up, people are shopping and there is a hum in the city. We’ve even gone out to restaurants, though only with other vaccinated couples, and we still prefer to sit outside when it is possible. While the analogy to this moment in history is certainly imperfect, I can understand how cities can be bustling under some wartime conditions. Human civilization is remarkably resilient.

Research density on our campus is slowly returning to normal. As we begin to intensify our work on the competitive renewal of our CCSG, I continue to marvel at the resilience of Georgetown Lombardi’s research. Lombardi’s scientists have published — a lot — despite the many very real obstacles to conducting our work. In fact, just yesterday we learned that our work on the use of BXCL701, a broad inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidases, as a potentiator of PD1 antibody therapy in murine models of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, is potentially acceptable with revisions in the Journal of Immunotherapy of Cancer (JITC). Kudos to Allison Fitzgerald, Shangzi Wang, Zoe Malchiodi and the rest of our lab for getting this work done while adhering to Georgetown’s research density and social distancing requirements. As a side note, JITC was a bit of an also-ran journal for many years until the recent boom of interest in cancer immunotherapy; now it has an impact factor of 10.252, making it a “high impact” paper in the CCSG world. Go figure!

Over the weekend, we set up a new bicycle rack on one of our cars. We are taking bikes to the beach this coming weekend, as I plan to do a lot of training there for the BellRinger. Fundraising for my ride is now up to $19,651, but I have a few tricks left up my sleeve! My team has been formed, and if you don’t have a team and want one to join, please join mine.

Today is Mother’s Day, and Elana and her family are coming over so we can celebrate together. So, you’ll forgive me if this week’s blog is a bit shorter than usual. I have grandchildren to hug.

Stay safe and be well.


PS: I am excited to be able to introduce Dr. Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute, as the speaker at Monday’s Dean’s Seminar Series at 3:30 p.m. You can access his talk, titled “The National Cancer Institute: Leading Cancer Research in 2021 and Beyond,” at Please make every effort to attend.



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