Oct 10 2008

Celebrating Lombardi’s Past, Present & Future

by at 1:27 pm

One of the most remarkable features of Lombardi is that our total funding for research actually rose over the past six years, despite the end of the NCI doubling in 2003. This certainly reflects the excellence of our investigators, as we all compete in much deeper and more treacherous funding waters than in the past. So, I am delighted to report that we continue to compete very successfully. For example, our T32 grant, which supports many of our most important educational programs, fared extremely well in review, and will be highly competitive for a favorable funding decision. Congratulations and thanks to Anna Riegel for taking the lead on this very important initiative.

I spent Monday and Tuesday in Chicago, at the AACI meeting, with other Cancer Center Directors. One session focused on the importance of creating tissue banks, and developing high-quality methods for accessing, processing and distributing tissue specimens. We are fortunate to have developed a powerful collaboration with Indivumed to facilitate these activities; needless to say, this will be a fundamental backbone of efforts to create integrated clinical and molecular cancer databases. John Niederhuber, the Director of the NCI, gave a very thoughtful address, and was mercifully spared the onerous task of defending federal funding decisions regarding the NCI budget during the question and answer period.

Speaking of Dr. Niederhuber, I hope everyone will attend the inaugural John F. Potter, MD, Distinguished Lecture, which will be held at 4 pm today in the Gorman Building auditorium. We are honored by Dr. Niederhuber’s presentation of his lecture, but it is important to recognize that he in turn joins us in honoring Dr. John Potter, who is the founding director of the Lombardi Cancer Center. Dr. Potter was on the team of doctors that cared for Vince Lombardi, and occupies a special place in the history of Georgetown University and the Medical Center for having recognized, advocated and developed the Cancer Center. We are all here today because Dr. Potter had the vision and energy to make cancer research and cancer care a priority at Georgetown. To commemorate Dr. Potter’s accomplishments, a reception will follow his comments and Dr. Niederhuber’s presentation, with a rededication of his portrait, which currently hangs in the Martin Marietta conference room, to a more prominent location in the Atrium of the Lombardi building. I do hope you can join us for this memorable event.

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