Nominations for ASH Leadership Positions, and more

Clinical Practitioners: Nominate Yourself or a Colleague for an ASH Leadership Position

ASH members in good standing can nominate themselves or other members for leadership and committee positions through May 31. Vacancies on the Executive Committee for 2016 include the Vice President and two Councillor positions, including one Councillor position designated for an individual in clinical practice. Please note that the eligibility criteria for this position have recently been revised to be more inclusive.

The Councillor in Clinical Practice must be in full-time clinical practice in a community setting. Practice structure may include traditional physician-owned private practice or other modalities such as group practice or employment by a hospital or health system. The Councillor in Clinical Practice must be knowledgeable about the issues facing ASH members in clinical practice, including business, management, reimbursement, public policy, maintenance of certification, and continuing education; he or she must be able to effectively represent the practice community on the Executive Committee.

Visit the online nominations site to learn more about this and other vacant positions. Self-nominations are welcome.

St. Jude-Children’s Research Hospital Names New Chair of Radiation Oncology

Thomas E. Merchant, DO, PhD, has been appointed the chair of the department of radiation oncology at St. Jude-Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. In this position, Dr. Merchant will oversee the institution’s programs that use radiation therapy to treat childhood cancer. Since joining St. Jude in 1996, Dr. Merchant has helped pioneer new radiotherapy treatments that serve as standards in the field, including conformal radiation therapy for central nervous system tumors and intensity-modulated radiation therapy and proton therapy in all types of pediatric brain and solid tumors. Dr. Merchant also played a key role in creating the St. Jude Red Frog Events Proton Therapy Center, the world’s first proton therapy center designed for and dedicated solely to the treatment of children.

Source: St. Jude-Children’s Research Hospital press release

Jim Allison, PhD, and Carl June, MD, Awarded Darmstaedter Prize

The Paul Ehrlich Foundation has awarded the 2015 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize to Jim Allison, PhD, and Carl June, MD, in recognition of their respective work in immunotherapy.

Dr. Allison is chair of Immunology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, as well as executive director of the center’s immunotherapy platform, which supports immunotherapy research across multiple cancer type. Dr. Allison pioneered the immune checkpoint blockade treatment approach and the development of ipilimumab, an antibody to block CTLA-4, a checkpoint molecule on T cells.

Dr. June is the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of Translational Research in Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. Dr. June is widely recognized as leader of the team responsible for the first successful and sustained demonstration of the use of CAR T cell therapy.

Source: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Selects New Children’s Leukemia/Lymphoma Program Director

Deepa Bhojwani, MD, has joined the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) as director of the leukemia/lymphoma program within the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases. She will also serve as an associate professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation of the Department of Pediatrics at Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. In her new position, Dr. Bhojwani will be responsible for the leukemia/lymphoma program’s clinical care and clinical research activities. Dr. Bhojwani is a prolific clinical investigator focused on developmental therapeutics for leukemias and lymphomas, and is strongly invested in international outreach efforts to improve the care of children with cancer in countries with limited resources.

Source: Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles press release

NYU Langone Establishes New VTE Center

NYU Langone Medical Center has announced the creation of a new multidisciplinary Venous Thromboembolic Disease Center (VTEC) to treat those with life-threatening blood clots. The new VTEC comprises a multidisciplinary team of physicians, surgeons, researchers, and other medical staff who specialize in DVT and PE, and is a collaboration of more than 20 specialties including hematology, vascular surgery, cardiology, radiology, emergency medicine, and more. “As one of the few centers in the nation to focus solely on venous thromboembolism, we’ve been able to bring together an experienced team of clinicians and scientists to work together to provide the highest level of patient care and to pioneer a standard of care for the diagnosis and treatment of DVT and pulmonary embolism,” said Thomas Moldanodo, MD, the newly appointed Medical Director of VTEC.

Source: NYU Langone Medical Center press release