Achievements, Awards and Honors

Exceptionally Rated, Nationally Ranked

Accolades kept coming for Ohio State’s cancer program in 2011. A year after receiving the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) highest rating, “exceptional,” the OSUCCC – James learned that it would receive from the NCI a $23 million support grant – a 16-percent increase over the previous NCI support award. Also in 2011, the OSUCCC – James earned a spot on the U.S.News & World Report annual list of America’s Best Hospitals for cancer care for the 13th consecutive year. U.S.News ranked the OSUCCC – James 20th in the nation, a jump from the previous year’s ranking of 26th. The hospital first made the list in 1999, less than a decade after opening, and has remained there ever since.

New Breast Center Offers Full Continuum of Care

In 2011 the OSUCCC – James opened the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center, the only facility of its kind in the Midwest to offer the full continuum of breast cancer care, from prevention and screening to detection, diagnosis and treatment. The Center, located on Olentangy River Road near the Ohio State campus, also contains a radiation oncology wing. The Center is named for the late Stefanie Spielman, who after being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30 in 1998 spent more than a decade heightening public awareness of the disease and raising millions of dollars for research.

Croce Named to Institute of Medicine

Carlo Croce, MD, director of Human Cancer Genetics at Ohio State, was named to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies, one of the highest honors in the field of health and medicine. Croce also chairs Ohio State’s Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics, and he is a member of the Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics Program at the OSUCCC – James. IOM election recognizes those who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Croce’s research has uncovered early events in the pathogenesis of many malignancies. He also discovered the role of microRNAs in the genesis of various cancers.

Bloomfield Elected to Academy of Arts and Sciences

Clara D. Bloomfield, MD, a Distinguished University Professor who also serves as cancer scholar and senior adviser to the OSUCCC – James, was one of 212 accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, the humanities and the arts who were elected to the 2011 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research. An internationally renowned expert in leukemia and lymphoma, Bloomfield was one of only 11 members elected in 2011 in the Academy’s Medical Sciences (including physiology and pharmacology), Clinical Medicine and Public Health section. The Academy’s 4,000 American Fellows and 600 Foreign Honorary Members conduct a range of interdisciplinary, long-term policy research.

Paskett Honored for Stellar ASPO Presidency

The American Society of Preventive Oncology (ASPO) created a scholarship in the name of Electra Paskett, PhD, MSPH, associate director for population sciences and leader of the Cancer Control Program at the OSUCCC – James, in honor of her highly successful two-year term as president of that multidisciplinary society. The Electra Paskett Scholarship Award will be presented each year to help a cancer research trainee attend ASPO’s annual meeting, which in 2011 had a record attendance. The scholarship was only the second named honor ever bestowed by ASPO, for which Paskett is now serving a two-year term as past president. She also presided at the 2011 annual meeting and presented “The Promise of a Cancer-Free World: Where Are We?” Succeeding Paskett as president of ASPO was Peter Shields, MD, a professor of Internal Medicine at Ohio State who also is deputy director of Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

Caligiuri Completes Term as AACI President

In October 2011, OSUCCC Director and James CEO Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, completed a two-year term as president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) and now serves as immediate past president. Representing 95 academic and free-standing cancer research centers in the United States, the AACI promotes efforts by member institutions to eradicate cancer through a multidisciplinary program of research, treatment, patient care, prevention, education and community outreach. One of Caligiuri’s main initiatives as AACI president was Project Cancer Education, an advocacy platform devised at the OSUCCC – James that helps legislative and opinion leaders learn how cancer research is translated to treatments by having them spend a day at a cancer center and assume the roles of researchers, oncologists and patients.

Cancer Facilities Continue to Expand

An effort to expand facilities for Ohio State’s cancer program was boosted in 2011 by the continuing construction of a 276-bed James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and the “build-out” of two more floors for cancer research in the Biomedical Research Tower:

  • Steel beams began to rise for the new hospital, which is targeted for completion in 2014. The hospital’s 21 stories will make it the 14th tallest healthcare facility in the nation. Its design integrates research, clinical and education areas to allow greater interaction among researchers, clinicians, patients and families.
  • The University used an $8 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to start developing the fourth and fifth floors of the Biomedical Research Tower for additional lab space for cancer research. This work will be finished in 2012. 

Ohio State Hosts National Roundtable on Drug Development

As part of the cancer program’s drug development innovation, Ohio State in May 2011 hosted a Drug Development Roundtable that enabled national leaders from industry, academia and government to focus on methods of working together to speed drug discoveries to patients. “In particular, we discussed ways to accelerate the development of multi-compound drugs when the compounds are owned by different companies – usually a showstopper for research,” says OSUCCC Director and James CEO Michael A. Caligiuri, MD. “Good conversation and collaboration occurred, and we believe we’ll be announcing progress very soon.”

Drug Development Institute Will Expedite Clinical Research

An effort to create the Ohio State Drug Development Institute got under way in 2011, launched by the OSUCCC – James in collaboration with leaders in the colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy and Business. The institute will create a cancer drug development pipeline for taking new compounds through phase II clinical trials. Timothy Wright, a former executive of several pharmaceutical companies, was recruited to direct this effort in conjunction with Brian Cummings, the University’s lead for technology commercialization.

Ohio State Selected for Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network

The Ohio State University is one of 27 research institutions in North America selected to join the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN) funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). William Carson III, MD, associate director for clinical research at the OSUCCC – James, is principal investigator for the project at Ohio State. As a new initiative in immunotherapy, the CITN will establish a group of top academic immunologists to conduct multi-center research on agents that boost patients’ immune systems to fight their cancer. The NCI held an open competition for institutions to apply for member-site status in the CITN.

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