Mar 12 2009

Stimulating discussions – and the stimulus package

by at 12:28 pm

It was a great pleasure for me to see Stan Gerson when he came to Lombardi to deliver Grand Rounds last Friday. Not only is he an old friend and study section colleague, but he’s also a valued member of our External Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC). As a cancer center director, his perspective and insight is very valuable to me as we head into the CCSG renewal. Even though Stan usually slept during sections on tumor immunology, I forgive him his transgressions and found his presentation on Friday to be interesting and provocative. I was, however, disappointed to be one of only a handful of clinicians in the audience. I don’t see how we could have better speakers at Grand Rounds, so hopefully this will change. Everyone is busy, but the opportunity to participate in exciting academic activities is and will remain a core value of this cancer center.

Harriet and I attended the Pediatrics Gala at the Omni Shoreham Saturday night. It reminded me that Jeff Toretsky and Aziza Shad are hosting a very significant symposium on Targeted Therapy for Childhood Cancers that will feature a great lineup of speakers. It will be held on Friday, April 17 in the Research Building Auditorium. Please remember to put it on your calendar and register for the event.

On Monday we had our first full senior operational team meeting where we welcomed John Marshall into the group. The senior operational leadership team now consists of Peter Shields, Michael Vander Hoek, John Marshall, and myself. I think it’s important to include a strong clinical perspective in these weekly operations meetings, and John’s input proved invaluable to the discussions.

I have also had several meetings related to fund raising in the past week. Aside from my routinely scheduled meeting with Joe Teague, I also met with the University Office of Advancement’s “Discovery Intiative” team, which consists of roughly 20 individuals who interface with Georgetown alumni, friends, and supporters. I was able to share our vision for the future and can assure you that vision was enthusiastically received. Since these people engage their constituents looking for opportunities to create relationships that can benefit the cancer center, I came away quite encouraged.

Finally, you have no doubt been bombarded by a variety of messages regarding stimulus package grant opportunities. We are doing our best to coordinate our activities and provide support to facilitate successful applications. The large construction grants will be handled centrally through the University, but many of the other proposals, including grant supplements, should be considered by all of us. If you have not already done so, please let us know your plans for submitting grants using this form.

Have a great week.

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Sep 22 2008

My Blue Suede Shoes

by at 9:14 am


I’m glad to be back at work, though my schedule has been pretty hectic this week.

My blue suede shoes

My blue suede shoes

In my last post, I neglected to mention the fabulous Doo Wop Concert for Cancer, held at the Warner Theater on October 6. Thanks to the fabulous efforts of the organizing committee the theater was full, and everyone seemed to have a great time (special kudos to Paul Schweitzer and Jack Schneider, and to Elena Jeannotte for carrying on the great work started by Bonnie Roberts). I do not know what I will do with the blue suede shoes I purchased for the occasion, though I am open to suggestions. We raised a lot of money for Lombardi programs, and I hope we will have similar events in future years. And, don’t forget that the Gala will be back next year!

For those of you who did not attend, we had a very nice reception yesterday in the E501 conference room to congratulate Chip Albanese, Rabindra Roy, Offie Soldin, and Ken Tercyak on their promotions. Expect this to become a Lombardi tradition. It was also great to see Arnie Potosky and Subha Madhaven at the reception, so I could informally welcome them too, as new members of our faculty.

I was at the Georgetown University Board of Directors meeting on Thursday morning, and as always, came away impressed by the commitment of the Board to the success of Lombardi.

Finally, I really enjoyed Jeff Toretsky’s research presentation this week. It is always fun to witness the early development of exciting translational research initiatives, though I was disappointed that Jeff did not bring his clarinet to play a tune appropriate for the occasion.

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