New National Academy of Medicine Members, NIH’s High-Risk High-Reward Program Awards, and more

National Academy of Medicine Elects 79 New Members

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) announced the election of 70 regular members and 9 international members during its annual meeting, increasing the Academy’s total active membership to 1,947 and the number of international members to 146. 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 are outstanding professionals who care deeply about advancing health and health care in the United States and globally,” said Victor J. Dzau, MD, president of NAM. “Their expertise will help our organization address pressing health challenges and improve health, science, and medicine for the benefit of us all.”

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

  • Peter Brian Bach, MD, director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
  • Deborah Watkins Bruner, RN, PhD, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Nursing; associate director of cancer outcomes research at Winship Cancer Institute; and professor of radiation oncology at Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  • Maura Lianne Gillison, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and Jeg Coughlin Chair of Cancer Research at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • Maria Jasin, PhD, member of the Developmental Biology Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
  • Donald P. McDonnell, PhD, Glaxo-Wellcome Professor of Molecular Cancer Biology; chair, department of pharmacology and cancer biology; co-director, Women’s Cancer Program, Duke Cancer Institute; and professor, department of medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC
  • Kenneth Offit, MD, MPH, member and vice chair of academic affairs in the Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

For a complete list of newly inducted members, visit

Source: National Academy of Medicine news release, October 17, 2016.

Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Announces Award Honorees

At its annual conference, the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) recognized several pediatric hematology/oncology nurses for their contributions to the field and patient advocacy.

  • Pamela S. Hinds, PhD, RN, director of nursing research and quality outcomes at the Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC, was awarded the first Dr. Nancy E. Kline Mentoring Award, which recognizes an APHON member who demonstrates excellence in mentoring; who provides support, encouragement, and promotion of the professional development of others; and whose impact has resulted in tangible accomplishments or outcomes.
  • The following nursing professionals were named winners of the 2016 Dr. Patricia Greene Leadership Award: Julia M. Challinor, RN, PhD; Courtney Sullivan, MSN, NP, RN; Kristin Belderson, DNP, MS, RN; Linda Abramovitz, RN, MSN; Richard J. Ramos, PNP, MS, CNS, RN; Janie Avila, BSN, RN; Paola Viveros Lamas, RN; and Lorena Weber, RN. This award recognizes people who actively contributed to expanding the APHON Pediatric Chemotherapy/Biotherapy Program internationally.
  • Beth A. Siever, MSN, RN, CPNP, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, was awarded the 2016 Dr. Casey Hooke Distinguished Service Award, in recognition of her advocacy efforts on behalf of pediatric hematology/oncology nurses.

Source: APHON news release, October 20, 2016.

Case Western Reserve Researchers Receive $380,000 in Funding for Pediatric Cancer Research

St. Baldrick’s Foundation awarded $380,000 in funding to two researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine to advance their work in pediatric cancer.

  • Reshmi Parameswaran, PhD, assistant professor of hematology and oncology, was awarded $330,000 to develop immunotherapy options for pediatric patients with acute myeloid leukemia, with a goal of minimizing the physical and emotional consequences that can result from more toxic treatment regimens.
  • Nora L. Nock, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, was awarded a $50,000 grant to conduct a pilot study of “cybercycling” (stationary cycling with interactive video gaming) to improve fitness and quality of life and to increase motivation to exercise and improve body composition, cognition, and sleep, as well as reduce fatigue and depression in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors.

Source: St. Baldrick’s Foundation press release, October 5, 2016.

NIH Announces High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program Awards

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the winners of 88 grants, awarded through the agency’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research (HRHR) program, which is part of the NIH’s Common Fund. The HRHR program identifies scientists with potentially high-impact ideas that may be too early in development to fare well in the traditional peer-review process.

The 2016 list of awardees included 12 Pioneer Awards, 48 New Innovator Awards, 12 Transformative Research Awards, and 16 Early Independence Awards, totaling approximately $127 million in grants. Below is a list of grant recipients with hematology-related projects:

  • Bassem Al-Sady, PhD, University of California at San Francisco

Project Title: Reconstructing Dynamic Epigenetic Genome Partitioning in Single Stem Cells

  • Effie Apostolou, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY

Project Title: Defining the Role of Chromatin Architecture in Cell Fate Inheritance

  • Daniel E. Bauer, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Boston, MA

Project Title: High-Throughput Discovery of Essential Noncoding Sequences for Erythropoiesis

  • Shangqin Guo, PhD, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Project Title: Molecular Definition of Cancer Cell-of-Origin

For the complete list of awardees, visit

Source: National Institutes of Health news release, October 4, 2016.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Announces First Immunotherapy Clinic

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center announced the opening of The Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic, which is dedicated to providing immunotherapies for patients with cancer who are enrolled in clinical trials. The clinic was established to allow researchers to double the number of immunotherapy trials conducted at the site in 2017.

The clinic will focus on therapies involving T cells, and the organization anticipates that it will conduct approximately 12 immunotherapy trials in this year, increasing from just five trials in 2016.

Source: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center news release, November 1, 2016.