Dec 23 2008

Best wishes for the holidays

by at 12:19 pm

It’s hard to believe that it’s been one year since I joined Georgetown and assumed my responsibilities as director of Lombardi. I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I have found this year to be utterly remarkable – challenging, exciting, and rewarding on many personal and professional levels.

While Harriet and I certainly miss our friends and family in Philadelphia, we love living in DC. And I still got to march in the Phillies victory parade in October!

It has been a privilege to get to know so many wonderful people at Lombardi and Georgetown University. And I already feel as if I have a new professional family. Hardly a day goes by when I am not surprised and delighted to learn about another exciting research finding or translational research opportunity here at Lombardi. I am constantly amazed by the collegiality, warmth, and loyalty of our faculty and staff to the very important work we do – and to each other.

At this time of the year, it is always nice to take a step back and reflect on where we’ve been and where we might go. I feel very good about where we’ve been and truly excited and humbled by where we are headed.

Please accept my very best wishes for the holiday season, a very happy New Year, and a healthy and productive 2009.

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Nov 07 2008

A Great Week

by at 9:26 am

Sorry I missed you last week, but I was a little busy. We had an opportunity to host a delegation from the largest hospital in China last week. The Chinese PLA 301 General Hospital – also known as Hospital 301 – is, I am told, the Chinese equivalent of a hybrid of Massachusetts General Hospital and Walter Reed Hospital. The chairman of the Chinese Traditional Medicine Department presented his work on using traditional medicines to limit radiation therapy-related injury to the lung, and several Lombardi investigators described our work in drug discovery and establishing G-DOC. There’s strong interest from both sides in continuing to explore collaboration opportunities.

It was also very interesting to be a guest for dinner at the Chinese Embassy where I learned the elaborate rituals for drinking shots of a traditional liquor called Maotai. I lost count after the 7th toast, but our hosts seemed to have a very good time.

However, the true highlight of the week for me occurred on Wednesday. I was in Philadelphia for a cancer center site visit and the baseball gods decreed that my beloved Phillies should win the World Series while I was in town. I got to join a horde of surprisingly well-behaved Philadelphians in an impromptu victory parade that lasted well into the night. Hence, the absence of a blog last week…

Like many of you, I was up far too late on election night this week. It’s hard to know how the changes in the administration and Congress will affect the work we do here at Lombardi. However, President-Elect Obama has previously indicated a desire to double the NCI budget in 5 years. I don’t have to tell you how I would feel if he and Congress are able to deliver on that particular promise.

Harriet and I are wondering whether we should watch the inaugural parade in person, from our home, or if we should get out of town. We’ll probably hang around because it should be quite a remarkable occasion.

And while I can’t promise that next week’s Town Hall meeting will be as remarkable as a Presidential Inauguration, I do hope to see you all there.

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