ACS Announces Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award Winners, 2017 Eric G. Neilson, MD, Distinguished Professor Award, and more

ACS Announces Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award Winners
The ACS honored six cancer caregivers with the Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award, which recognizes individuals who consistently exhibit excellence and compassion in providing cancer care and going beyond their duties to make a difference in the lives of patients and their families.

The honorees are:

  • Lisa Capparella, MSS, LCSW, OSW-C, an oncology social worker at the Reading Health System/McGlinn Cancer Institute, who is currently manager of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Patient and Family Resource Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Thomas DiPetrillo, MD, a clinical director of radiation oncology at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence
  • Karen Mott, BSN, RN, OCN, an oncology nurse at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Massachusetts
  • Timothy Wm. Mullett, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network in Lexington, Kentucky; an Army Reserve surgeon; medical director of the Kentucky Clinical Trials Network; and charter member of the Lung Screening Excellence Project in Kentucky
  • Deborah Kirk Walker, DNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, an associate professor and coordinator of the Oncology Nurse Practitioner Sub-Specialty Track, an associate scientist at the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program/University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, and scientist at the Center for Palliative and Supportive Care in Birmingham
  • June K. Zimmerman, BS, an oncology social worker at Susquehanna Health Cancer Center in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Source: American Cancer Society press release, January 13, 2017.

ASH Awarded for Outstanding Live Continuing Education Activity

The Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEhp) presented the American Society of Hematology (ASH), in collaboration with the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the France Foundation, the 2017 ACEhp Award for Outstanding Live Continuing Education Activity for a program on a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The program, “Improving MDS Outcomes from Diagnosis to Treatment: A Multidisciplinary Approach,” was supported by an independent educational grant from Celgene Corporation.

The collaborative educational program consisted of a series of highly interactive meetings designed to enhance cross-disciplinary and inter-specialty collaboration. During the events, attendees participated in an interactive tumor board session, followed by hands-on activities. Afterward, attendees worked on case scenarios for MDS diagnosis and management via a problem-based learning method and presented their case recommendations to the entire group.

The faculty who participated in the grant program were:
Steering Committee
Tracy George
Timothy Miley
Mikkael Sekeres
Marilyn Slovak
David Steensma
Summit Faculty
Jessica Altman
Rafel Bejar
Anne Marie Block
Kathy Calvo
Guillermo Garcia-Manero
Sandeep Gurbuxani
Robert Hasserjian
Elias Jabbour
William Koss
Attilio Orazi
Ari Rao
Joyce Rogers
Danielle Townsley

NIH Expands Funding for ENCODE Project

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) plans to expand its Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Project, which is a genomics resource to study human health and disease. Since launching in 2003, ENCODE has funded a network of researchers to develop and apply methods for mapping candidate functional elements in the genome and to analyze the genetic information in the database.

NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) plans to donate as much as $31.5 million in fiscal year 2017 to fund this initiative. With this funding, ENCODE will expand its scope to include characterization centers that will study the potential biologic role of candidate functional elements and develop methods to determine how these elements contribute to gene regulation in a variety of cell types and model systems. Additionally, the project will enhance the ENCODE catalog by developing methods to incorporate clinical trials data and using biologic samples from consenting research participants.

“ENCODE has created high-quality and easily accessible sets of data, tools, and analyses that are being used extensively in studies to interpret genome sequences and to understand the consequence of genomic variation,” said Elise Feingold, PhD, program director in the Division of Genome Sciences at NHGRI. “These awards provide the opportunity to strengthen this foundation by expanding the breadth and depth of the resource.”

For a full list of recipients representing mapping centers, characterization centers, computational analysis, and data coordinating and analysis centers, visit

Source: National Human Genome Research Institute news release, February 2, 2017.

ACS Announces Medal of Honor Awardees

The American Cancer Society (ACS) announced the 2016 recipients of the Medal of Honor, an award given to those who have saved lives from cancer by making valuable contributions to basic and clinical research and cancer control.

The honorees are:

Joan S. Brugge, PhD
Joan S. Brugge, PhD

Joan S. Brugge, PhD, director of the Ludwig Center at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, for her contributions in basic research, including her influential contributions to the identification of the protein encoded by the Src oncogene and the fundamental understanding of events involved in the initiation and progression of cancer.


Charles L. Sawyers, MD
Charles L. Sawyers, MD

Charles L. Sawyers, MD, chair and director of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, for his contributions in clinical research, including the development of new treatment options for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and prostate cancer.



Leslie L. Robison, PhD
Leslie L. Robison, PhD

Leslie L. Robison, PhD, chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control, associate director for cancer prevention and control, and co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, for his contributions in cancer control, including his dedication to pediatric oncology research.
“Each of these individuals have significantly contributed to the advancement and impact of our collective efforts to save more lives from cancer,” said Gary M. Reedy, chief executive officer of ACS.

Source: American Cancer Society press release, January 13, 2017.

Jackson Laboratory Receives NIH Grant to Improve CRISPR
The Jackson Laboratory received a two-year $455,000 grant from the NIH to improve the accuracy and efficiency of genome editing for research, drug testing, and future therapeutic delivery.

CRISPR-Cas9 has revolutionized genome editing; however, the promise of consistent and reproducible therapeutic delivery of modifications to the genome faces technical obstacles, particularly when researchers attempt to insert relatively long segments of DNA into a genome.

With this funding, Michael V. Wiles, PhD, senior director of technology evaluation and development at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, and colleagues hope to establish and validate a high-throughput sequencing-based analytic strategy that determines the targeted allele frequency and accuracy of targeted nuclease-mediated DNA repair events, including HDR, for three selected genomic regions. They will then use this platform to test the variables involved in targeted nuclease-mediated HDR, with a focus on DNA format.

Source: The Jackson Laboratory press release, March 1, 2017.

NCI Issues Grant to Support Study of African-American Cancer Survivors
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded researchers a $9 million grant, to be administered over five years, to support the launch of a large study of African-American cancer survivors. The Detroit Research on Cancer Survivors study will include 5,560 cancer survivors and assess major factors affecting cancer progression, recurrence, mortality, and quality of life. The study will also include 2,780 family members to help researchers understand how a cancer diagnosis affects the mental, physical, and financial health of those providing care.

The researchers, led by Ann G. Schwartz, PhD, MPH, deputy center director, and Terrance Albrecht, PhD, associate director for population sciences, both from the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, will collect comprehensive data through interviews with participants, medical records, and biospecimens from participants who live in three counties surrounding Detroit.

“Efforts like this will help us move toward bridging the gap of cancer disparities, ensuring that advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment reach all Americans,” said Douglas R. Lowy, MD, acting director of NCI. African-Americans continue to experience higher cancer incidence rates than other racial/ethnic groups in the United States for most cancer types, and they are also more likely to be diagnosed with more advanced-stage disease and experience higher cancer mortality rates.

Source: National Cancer Institute press release, February 27, 2017.