Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics, IMF Announces New Medical Liaison, and more

Paul Ichiro TerasakiPaul Ichiro Terasaki, PhD (1929-2016) 

Professor Terasaki passed away on January 25, 2016.

Prof. Terasaki was a philanthropist and pioneer in organ transplant medicine who invented a tissue-typing test that became an international standard for matching donors with recipients. Prof. Terasaki’s interest was predominately in antibody-mediated immunity and its role in transplantation in humans. In 1964, Prof. Terasaki introduced the micro-cytotoxicity test at a conference at Duke University. It was revolutionary and was quickly adopted as the international standard for matching transplant donors and recipients.

In 1969, Prof. Terasaki established the University of California, Los Angeles Tissue Typing Laboratory, directing it for 30 years. For nearly 50 years, he focused on the study of the humoral theory of transplant rejection. Following his retirement from UCLA, he founded the Terasaki Foundation, a research center dedicated to cancer immunotherapy and the study of humoral immunity and transplantation.

Prof. Terasaki, despite great fame and fortune, was always modest and approachable. He had a wry sense of humor, an infectious laugh, and genuine affection for colleagues and co-workers. He loved debating colleagues and his lectures always had an element of humor.

He is survived by his wife Hisako, an accomplished artist; his four children, Mark, Keith, Taiji, and Emiko; six grandchildren; and his brother, Richard.

Printed with permission from Robert Peter Gale, MD, PhD, DSc(hc), Imperial College London, London, UK, and Gerhard Opelz, MD, University of Heidelberg, Germany.


Douglas GrahamDouglas Graham Named Director of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has appointed Douglas Graham, MD, PhD, as its new director. Dr. Graham also will serve as chief of hematology, oncology, and bone marrow transplantation in the department of pediatrics at Emory University. He succeeds William G. Woods, MD, who served as director of Aflac Cancer Center for 15 years. Dr. Graham previously served as professor of pediatrics and immunology at University of Colorado and as co-program leader of the hematologic malignancy program at University of Colorado.

Source: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta news release, January 8, 2016.


UntitledNational Cancer Institute Honors Leonard Zon with Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics

Leonard I. Zon, MD, director of the Stem Cell Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and Grousbeck professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, is the recipient of the 20th annual Alfred G. Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics from the National Cancer Institute. The award is presented annually to a scientist who has made outstanding research contributions to the field of cancer genetics. In addition to his positions at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Zon is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator (HHMI), professor of stem cell and regenerative biology at Harvard University, and an associate member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Zon is being recognized for his work in stem cell biology and cancer genetics, including pioneering the use of the zebrafish for the study of human hematopoiesis and blood disease, which led to the discovery and development of two novel therapeutics that are now being evaluated in clinical trials of patients with leukemia and melanoma.

Source: Boston Children’s Hospital press release, January 12, 2016.


Crystal MackallCrystal Mackall Joins Stanford Medicine Faculty

Crystal Mackall, MD, has joined the Stanford University School of Medicine as a professor of pediatrics and a professor of medicine. Dr. Mackall will also serve as associate director of the Stanford Cancer Institute and co-medical director of the Stanford Laboratory for Cell and Gene Medicine. Previously, Dr. Mackall headed the Immunology Section at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and served as chief of the institute’s Pediatric Oncology Branch. Dr. Mackall also serves as co-leader of Stand Up 2 Cancer’s Pediatric Cancer Dream Team, a multi-institutional program focused on developing novel immunotherapies for childhood cancer. At Stanford, she will lead efforts to advance clinical trials of immune therapies for cancer.

Source: Stanford University School of Medicine press release, January 13, 2016.


Rafat AbonourIMF Appoints Rafat Abonour as New Medical Liaison to Support European Expansion

The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) has appointed Rafat Abonour, MD, as its medical liaison. Dr. Abonour is professor of medicine, pathology, and laboratory medicine at Indiana University in Indianapolis, where he also directs the multiple myeloma and plasma cell program at Indiana University Simon Cancer Center.

Source: International Myeloma Foundation news release, January 14, 2016.


Lonial SagarSagar Lonial Named Winship Cancer Institute’s New Hematology and Medical Oncology Department Chair

Sagar Lonial, MD, has been named chair of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology within Emory University School of Medicine and Winship Cancer Institute. Dr. Lonial has been at Emory since 1997, serving as Winship’s chief medical officer and as professor of hematology and medical oncology. He previously held the position of department executive vice chair. His research focuses on combinations of novel agents as therapy for myeloma and development of new targets and treatment strategies for high-risk myeloma.

Source: Winship Cancer Institute press release, February 1, 2016.


Jaclyn BiegelJaclyn Biegel Appointed Director of Personalized Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Jaclyn Biegel, PhD, has been named director of the Center for Personalized Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Biegel will oversee the development and implementation of new genomic tests for diagnosis and risk assessment for children and families with a variety of genetic disorders and cancer. Dr. Biegel will also serve as chief of the division of genomic medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and professor of pathology at Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. Previously, Dr. Biegel was director of the cancer cytogenetics laboratory at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of pediatrics in Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania.

Source: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles press release, February 3, 2016.

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