Jun 10 2010

Taking the Time to Reconnect

by at 9:27 am

I attended ASCO last Friday through Sunday, and it was very interesting. It is an unbelievably huge meeting making it impossible to take in more than a tiny sliver of the many simultaneous session. It takes so long to get from one end of the convention center to the other, especially if one knows a lot of people. Combine that with the meetings that surround the ASCO meeting and it is all a bit overwhelming. That said, it was good to reconnect with colleagues and friends from around the country.

I left half way through ASCO’s annual meeting to attend the Georgetown University Executive Committee meeting which was held at the Aspen Institute Wye River Conference Center located in Maryland. I really enjoy these meetings because they remind me of the general excellence of our University and the commitment of its leadership to sustaining that excellence. Many of you may take this association for granted, having always been based at a university. However, I spent 23 years at a freestanding comprehensive cancer center, while that undiluted focus on cancer has its advantages; there are so many unexpected and delightful opportunities that emerge at a university based cancer center.

I returned to Lombardi on Wednesday just in time to attend the Shared Resource Symposium. I was delighted to see how much of a success the symposium was. Steve Byers told me it had something to do with free lunch. Personally, I thought it had more to do with the free pens with the cool logos…

Thursday and Friday will be dominated by my attendance as an ad hoc member of my old study section (CII). I have found the new grant format and review criteria to be challenging but have found the process to be perfectly reasonable and fair. I know this experience will make it easier when it’s time for me to prepare my R01 renewals. On Monday, I look forward to the eleventh annual Mens’ Event, which, like the Women and Wine Event held in April, raises money for Lombardi and provides a rallying point for many of our strongest supporters. The Mens’ Event focuses on prostate cancer, while Women and Wine emphasizes breast cancer. The two events are competing this year to see which one can raise the most money. I am rooting for both of them to win! The event will be held at Morton’s, and I am sure the steaks will be great. Whoever figures out a way to spike steak sauce and condiments with statins will no doubt make a fortune.

Have a great weekend.

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Jun 12 2009


by at 5:32 pm

I went to Franklin Square Hospital on Tuesday to meet with John Zapas. He is chief of surgical oncology there and also happens to be head of Georgetown University’s oncology IRB. He is interested in melanoma and is academically-oriented, as are his colleagues at Franklin Square. I came away from those meetings with a request from John to include him and his colleagues as Lombardi members. Since Franklin Square is a MedStar hospital there is a natural affinity for interaction and collaboration in the future.

Speaking of MedStar, I was delighted to congratulate Rich Goldberg on his promotion to interim President of GUH. Also congratulations to Joy Drass in her new role as Executive Vice President for Operations of MedStar South. Her tenure as President here was remarkably successful in that she rescued the hospital from ruin and positioned it for future growth and success.

One of the highlights of my week was going to Politics and Prose Tuesday night to hear PJ O’Rourke speak about his new book, “Driving Like Crazy”. I’ve enjoyed his writing for years and he’s nearly as funny and insightful in person.

Another highlight was the Men’s Event on Monday Night. We had almost 160 people turn out to support our research programs in prostate cancer. I was touched by everyone’s commitment and generosity to our mission. It was especially nice to meet Charlie Neal who is an ESPN sportscaster with the most amazing bass baritone speaking voice I’ve ever heard. It was also great to see long-time Lombardi supporters Paul Schweitzer, Jack Schneider, Harvey Weiss, and many others, including Howard Adler. Howard and his wife Tanya Potter Adler are the chairs for this year’s Gala.

For once I wasn’t the tallest guy in the room because one of the guests was former Congressman Tom McMillen who played basketball at Maryland and then in the NBA for twelve years. This was his first Men’s Event, and like many others, I’m sure he was moved by our mission.

That’s all for now.

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