Of Note

Grants

Denis Guttridge, PhD, professor of Medicine and member of the OSUCCC – James Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics Program, has received a four-year, $1.4 million grant (CA180057) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) entitled Muscle Stem Cells and Cancer Cachexia. The study explores the inability of muscle stem cells to repair muscle injured by a growing tumor and will identify new therapeutic targets.

Peter Houghton, PhD, professor of Medicine and a member of the OSUCCC – James Experimental Therapeutics Program, has received a five-year, $7.8 million grant from the NCI entitled “Studies of Childhood Sarcomas” (CA165995-01A1), which seeks to identify novel therapeutic strategies for childhood sarcoma. The Program Project Grant includes researchers at the University of Virginia, the University of Central Florida and the NCI.

Thomas Schmittgen, PhD, professor and chair of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and MITCH PHELPS, PhD, assistant professor of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, both of Ohio State’s College of Pharmacy and of the OSUCCC – James Experimental Therapeutics Program, have received a five-year, $3.2 million grant (TR000914) from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Entitled “Targeted Delivery of microRNA-Loaded Microvesicle for Cancer Therapy,” the study will develop new technology for delivering microRNA drugs to tumor cells.

Matthew Ringel, MD, professor of Medicine and member of the OSUCCC – James Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics (MBCG) Program, was awarded a five-year, $11.3 million Program Project Grant (CA124570) from the NCI. The grant is a continuation of a study that ran from 2008 through 2013 entitled “Genetic and Signaling Pathways in Epithelial Thyroid Cancer.” Ringel also has been awarded a five-year, $11.3 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant (CA168505-01A1) also to support thyroid cancer research.

Rebecca Jackson, MD, associate dean for Clinical Research in Ohio State’s College of Medicine and a member of the OSUCCC – James Cancer Control Program, has been awarded a $25.4 million grant by the National Institutes of Health to support The Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science, a collaboration between the University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital created to accelerate basic science discoveries into life-saving medical advances. Read more online

Awards and Honors

Miguel Villalona-Calero, MD, professor of Medicine and of Pharmacology and director of the Division of Medical Oncology has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions in experimental therapeutics and conducting clinical trials for translational research in cancer patients.

Wolfgang Sadee, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Ohio State, director of Pharmacogenomics and member of the OSUCCC – James Experimental Therapeutics Program, has been named one of six 2013 University Distinguished Scholars. The award recognizes exceptional scholarly accomplishments by senior professors.

Faculty and Programs

Bhavana Bhatnagar, DO, has joined the cancer program as an assistant professor in the Division of Hematology. Her clinical interests include acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. Her research interests include experimental therapeutics for myeloid malignancies. She came to Ohio State from the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center.

Aharon Freud, MD, PhD, has joined the cancer program as an assistant professor of Pathology. His clinical interests include the diagnosis of leukemia and lymphoma. His research interests include innate lymphocyte biology, and EBV-associated T-cell and B-cell lymphomas. He came to Ohio State from Stanford University Medical Center.

Raphael Pollock, MD, PhD, has joined the cancer program as a professor and as director of the Division of Surgical  Oncology. His clinical interests include soft-tissuesarcoma. His research interests include sarcoma molecular biology and development of novel therapies for sarcoma. He came to Ohio State from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The Ohio State University Foundation has received a gift of $10 million from the JEGS Foundation. The gift to the new 306-bed cancer hospital, due to open in 2014, is intended to help transform cancer treatment and research at the OSUCCC – James. JEGS Foundation was started by the Coughlin family, who own JEGS Automotive Inc.

The Ohio State University has signed a worldwide agreement with Microlin Bio Inc. to license a large portfolio of Ohio State cancer discoveries. It includes nearly 100 issued and pending microRNA patents related to the diagnosis and treatment of prostate, ovarian, colon and lung cancers. OSUCCC – James researchers Carlo M. Croce, MD, Robert Lee, PhD, and collaborators at the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health developed the technologies. Read more online

Leadership Activities and Accomplishments

Arnab Chakravarti, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and a member of the OSUCCC – James Experimental Therapeutics Program, will serve as scientific program chair for the 2014 American College of Radiation Oncology annual meeting.

Richard Goldberg, MD, physician-in-chief at the OSUCCC – James, has been appointed to the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) Government Relations Committee. The Committee advocates on behalf of the Society’s more than 30,000 professional oncology members and the patients they serve.

Pierluigi Porcu, MD, associate professor in the Division of Hematology and member of the OSUCCC – James Viral Oncology Program, has been elected to a three-year term as president of the United States Cutaneous Lymphoma Consortium, a multidisciplinary society of physicians who collaborate to improve the quality of life and prognosis of patients with cutaneous lymphoma.

Leigha Senter-Jamieson, CGC, associate professor in the Division of Human Genetics, has been elected as an at-large member of the 2014 Board of Directors for the National Society of Genetic Counselors. Two other Ohio State faculty serving on the national board are Rebecca Nagy, MS, CGC, immediate past president, and Amy Sturm, MS, CGC, director-at-large. Nagy and Sturm are also associate professors in the Division of Human Genetics.

Charles Shapiro, MD, director of Breast Medical Oncology and leader of the Breast Cancer Research Program at the OSUCCC – James, has been appointed to serve for a year as chair-elect for the Survivorship Committee of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). After his term, Shapiro will become chair for a year and then serve as immediate past chair for another year. Read more online. The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center –\ Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute

In Memoriam

Bertha A. Bouroncle, MD, a professor emerita of Medicine at Ohio State who was the first to identify hairy cell leukemia and later helped develop an effective therapy for it, died Aug. 16. “Dr. Bouroncle was a compassionate physician, a superb researcher and a highly respected educator,” says OSUCCC Director and James CEO Michael A. Caligiuri, MD. “With her passing, we have lost a great scholar and friend.”

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