National Academy of Medicine Announces New Hematology/Oncology Members, Winship Cancer Institute Earns NCI Designation, and more

Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute Earns NCI Designation

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, was granted comprehensive cancer center designation by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), making it the first in the state. Under the leadership of Chief Medical Officer Sagar Lonial, MD, the center earned its status following a rigorous evaluation process conducted by the NCI that included submission of a written grant and a site visit conducted by more than two dozen scientists from peer institutions.

“Winship’s achievement is the result of years of hard work and commitment by many people, both within the university and the greater Georgia community,” said Claire E. Sterk, president of Emory University. “The NCI comprehensive cancer center designation will help Emory expand its extraordinary faculty of scientists and innovative thinkers by attracting new and highly qualified investigators.”

Source: Emory University press release, May 15, 2017.

Mrinal Patnaik, MBBS

Mrinal Patnaik Receives Mayo Clinic Gerstner Award

Mrinal Patnaik, MBBS, received one of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine’s Gerstner Family Career Development Awards in Individualized Medicine. The award provides seed money for early-stage investigators to conduct research to predict, prevent, treat, and potentially cure diseases through individualized therapies.

Dr. Patnaik’s research includes defining the impact of the NRAS geneon chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) and using patient tumor samples to evaluate the effectiveness of different therapies for CMML.

“With the support provided by the Gerstner Award, we will be able to address the urgent need to develop an effective treatment for this deadly disease,” said Dr. Patnaik. (Not related to this research, Dr. Patnaik was recently profiled in ASH Clinical News’ pASHions.)

Source: Mayo Clinic news release, August 23, 2017.

National Academy of Medicine Elects 80 New Members

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) announced the election of 70 regular members and 10 international members during its annual meeting, increasing the Academy’s total active membership to 2,127 and the number of international members to 172. The Academy recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service in the fields of health and medicine.

“These newly elected members represent the most exceptional scholars and leaders in science, medicine, and health in the U.S. and around the globe,” said NAM President Victor J. Dzau, MD.

The following hematology/oncology clinicians are among the newly inducted NAM members:

  • Scott Allen Armstrong, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Pediatric Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; associate chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital; and the David G. Nathan Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA
  • Lewis A. Chodosh, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Cancer Biology; associate director for basic science at the Abramson Cancer Center; and co-director of the 2-PREVENT Translational Center of Excellence at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA
  • Alan D. D’Andrea, MD, Fuller–American Cancer Society Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA
  • Serpil Erzurum, MD, Lerner Research Chair at the Lerner Research Institute at Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, OH
  • Ramon E. Parsons, MD, PhD, director of the Tisch Cancer Institute and professor and chair of the Department of Oncological Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NY
  • Suzanne L. Topalian, MD, professor of surgery and oncology and associate director at the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD

For a complete list of newly inducted members, visit

Source: National Academy of Medicine news release, October 16, 2017.

Two Georgia Universities Join NIH-Funded Study of Bone Marrow Transplants

The Medical College of Georgia (MCG) and Augusta University Health have joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH)–funded national clinical trial investigating whether bone marrow transplantation (BMT) should be considered standard of care for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD).

These sites join approximately 20 others that are actively enrolling patients (ages 15-40) with SCD. The study provides a BMT for participants with severe disease if they have an appropriate donor (most likely a sibling); however, when a donor is not identified, participants receive standard of care and researchers follow them for two years, observing outcomes in each cohort.

“We want to be able to offer the option of cure to our patients who struggle the most with this chronic disease,” said Jeremy Mark A. Pantin, MD, a hematologist/oncologist in the Department of Medicine at MCG and a principal investigator of the study. “These are people who are particularly thwarted by the side effects of their disease.”

Source: Medical College of Georgia press release, October 30, 2017.

Robert A. Hromas, MD
Robert A. Hromas, MD

Robert A. Hromas Named Dean of Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine

Robert A. Hromas, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine at University of Florida Health and vice president of the University of Florida Physicians Clinical Practice Association, will assume the role of dean of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at University of Texas (UT) Health San Antonio and the university’s vice president for medical affairs in February 2018. He succeeds the interim dean, Ronald Rodriguez, MD, PhD, who has served since January 1, 2017.

“UT Health San Antonio is poised to bring new treatments and new diagnostics to the patients for whom there has been [few] other effective therapies,” said Dr. Hromas.

Previously, Dr. Hromas served as chief of hematology/oncology and deputy director of the Cancer Center at the University of New Mexico and helped the institution achieve designation as a NCI Cancer Center. He was also deputy director of the Indiana University Cancer Center and previously served as the Chair of ASH’s Committee on Scientific Affairs. Dr. Hromas has received continuous funding from the NIH for more than two decades.

Source: University of Texas, San Antonio news release, October 31, 2017.