Apr 07 2009

The importance of teaching (and the core grant)

by at 3:58 pm

Congratulations to Aykut Üren for receiving the Geza M. Illes Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Georgetown University School of Medicine’s 31st Annual Golden Apple Awards Ceremony. The award honors an outstanding first-year teacher “who serves as an inspirational role model in the field of gross anatomy.” This is a real testimony to his dedication and effectiveness as a teacher. It’s wonderful to know that a fine researcher such as Aykut is able to find the time and energy to make a contribution to training medical students. Speaking of Aykut’s research, he is hosting the Wnt 2009 Conference to be held on June 11-14 here at Georgetown’s Gaston Hall.  Clearly he is able to do more than one thing well at a time!

I’ve been feeling a bit jet-lagged. I was in Whistler, British Columbia, co-chairing a Keystone Symposium on Antibodies as Drugs. The meeting was co-located with the Targeted Cancer Therapies Keystone Meeting so I had the wonderful opportunity to go to two meetings in areas of great interest to me. I am told that the skiing was great though all I remember of my down time was staring into a laptop screen editing core grant program write-ups. At least I didn’t break an ankle while using track changes.

Last Thursday afternoon, I chaired the Systems Medicine task force for the GUMC strategic planning initiative. We’re making good progress in understanding how to roll out systems medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center using G-DOC as a template. However we still have a lot of work to do.

I also chatted with Joe Teague and Elena Jeannotte about the upcoming Lombardi Celebration on November 7th. I am pleased to announce Tanya Potter Adler and her husband, Howard Adler, will be our co-chairs. Tanya is the daughter of Dr. John Potter, the founding director of Lombardi, and she is embracing her role with enthusiasm. We are grateful to her for taking on this responsibility.

On the media front, kudos to Todd Waldman for his remarkable appearance on CNN. In contrast to my interview on Fox 5 last Wednesday (only one sentence was picked up), Todd really had a chance to share his ideas, and to an international audience.

Finally, I plan to spend the weekend (when I’m not reviewing core grant write-ups) preparing responses to the various ARRA initiatives. I hope everyone is taking advantage of this remarkable funding mechanism. It is a great way to add depth and strength to our respective research programs.If you want to know more about the opportunities, please refer to the following links:

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Oct 24 2008

Introducing the new ACS Young Investigators

by at 4:16 pm

Congratulations to Suzanne O’Neill, Tapas Saha, Rebecca Riggins and Tushar Deb for successfully competing for our institutional American Cancer Society Young Investigator Awards. Suzanne’s project is entitled, “Breast Cancer Patients’ Experience with Risk for Recurrence Testing.” Tapas will study the role of chaperone-mediated autophagy in breast cancer. Rebecca is studying how exposure to BPA induces Tamoxifen resistance in ER-positive breast cancer, and Tushar is investigating the mechanism of Pnck-induced tumorigenesis in HER2 amplified human breast cancer.

Many of you may remember our very interesting and successful ACS symposium last month, where the talented young investigators who received last year’s awards presented their work to an audience that included representatives from ACS. I look forward to hearing presentations about these projects next year.

The GUMC strategic planning process is well under way, and I am helping to lead the Systems Biomedicine design team. It has been a pleasure to get to know Mark Smith from the Washington Hospital Center, who has designed what may be the leading medical informatics system that is available. Along those lines, we’ll be hosting a Chinese delegation next week hoping to engage them in collaborations around G-DOC and our drug discovery efforts.

Yesterday, Curt Harris, from the NCI gave a terrific Department of Medicine Grand Rounds discussing his approaches to analyzing polymorphisms and microRNA expression profiles to define cancer risk, prognosis and predictive value. Like many of us, he views the analysis of multiple parameters as being necessary to make sense of all the complex information that is being generated.

Have a great weekend.

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