Jonas Sokolof Named Director of NYU Langone’s New Rehab Program for Cancer Survivors, and more

Jonas Sokolof, DO

Jonas Sokolof Appointed Director of NYU Langone’s New Rehabilitation Program for Cancer Survivors 

NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation has opened the Division of Oncological Rehabilitation, launching a new program to address the rehabilitative needs of people living with cancer. Jonas M. Sokolof, DO, was appointed the center’s director; he joins NYU Langone from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he spent 10 years as an attending physician.

Working in conjunction with NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, the new division will deliver individualized rehabilitative care to patients during and following cancer treatment, with the primary goal of restoring their optimal function. Treatment plans will incorporate rehabilitative services like physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech–language pathology and swallowing therapy, vocational therapy, psychological services, music and recreational therapy, nutrition counseling, and social work services.

Source: NYU Langone Health press release, May 31, 2018

Hal E. Broxmeyer, PhD

Indiana University Researcher Receives NHLBI Outstanding Investigator Award

Hal E. Broxmeyer, PhD, a Distinguished Professor at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine, received a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Outstanding Investigator Award. This seven-year, $5.4-million grant will fund the continuation of Dr. Broxmeyer’s decades of research into umbilical cord–blood transplantation.

Dr. Broxmeyer and colleagues first proposed the concept of using umbilical cord blood as an alternative source of hematopoietic cells for transplant in 1983. He and his team also searched for ways around limitations to the use of cord blood for transplant, including collecting blood in a more controlled environment with lower oxygen levels, which could lead to more harvestable cells.

Dr. Broxmeyer is a professor of microbiology and immunology, the Mary Margaret Walther Professor Emeritus, and chair emeritus of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at IU. He also is a co-leader of the hematopoiesis and malignant-hematology research program at the IU Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.

Source: Indiana University press release, July 18, 2018.

Pershing Square Sohn Announces Winners of 2018 Young Investigator Prize 

The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance announced the seven winners of the 2018 Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research, including immunotherapy and leukemia researchers. The prize is awarded annually to early-career investigators working in the New York City area. Each winner receives $200,000 in funding yearly for up to three years to pursue explorative research.

Daniel Bachovchin, PhD
  • Daniel Bachovchin, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, for his work in determining the mechanism of action behind anti-cancer protease inhibitors
Benjamin Greenbaum, PhD
  • Benjamin Greenbaum, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, for his work in analyzing complex data to better understand immunotherapy responses
Dan Landau, MD, PhD
  • Dan Landau, MD, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Genome Center, for his work defining genetic and nongenetic changes that enable leukemia cells to diversify and become treatment-resistant.

Source: Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance press release, May 22, 2018

Fran Paschall, MBA, DNP, RN, CENP

Fran Paschall Appointed Chief Nurse Executive for Cancer Treatment Centers of America 

Francine (Fran) Paschall, MBA, DNP, RN, CENP, has been named chief nurse executive of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, a nationwide network of hospitals and outpatient care centers. In this role, Ms. Paschall will pursue strategies to enhance patient care, quality, and safety. She also will represent the voice of the nursing staff across the organization.

Ms. Paschall previously served as chief nursing executive for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) East Florida Division. Earlier, she was senior vice president of patient care services/chief nursing officer for HCA’s Riverside Community Hospital in California.

“Providing powerful and innovative therapies to heal the whole person, as well as providing hope and trust, are vital to care for our patients and their families,” Ms. Paschall said. “Nurses are central to this commitment, which is why I want to prioritize inspiring nurses to stay motivated through challenging times and ensure they believe in what they are doing to ensure meaningful and impactful work.”

Source: Cancer Treatment Centers of America press release, August 6, 2018.

Keith McCrae, MD
Alok Khorana, MD

Researchers Receive $4.7-Million NIH Grant to Study Cancer-Associated Thrombosis 

The NHLBI awarded researchers at Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute a $4.7-million grant to study the prevention of cancer-associated thrombosis. The five-year grant, led by Keith McCrae, MD, and Alok Khorana, MD, will support the creation of a risk-assessment tool to better predict which patients will develop blood clots during cancer treatment.

With this project, investigators at Cleveland Clinic, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the University of Cincinnati will analyze data from more than 5,000 patients with colorectal, lung, and pancreatic cancer enrolled in clinical trials. The team hopes to build on research suggesting that activation of a specific blood-clotting pathway may contribute to thrombosis and that biomarkers related to that pathway may identify patients at particularly high risk of developing blood clots.

Ultimately, the team plans to synthesize these data to develop a comprehensive risk calculator that incorporates the identified biomarkers and statistical modeling. The online risk-assessment tool would be available for clinical use.

Source: Cleveland Clinic press release, August 8, 2018.