NCI Grants $1.8M for Cancer Genome Atlas Research, Sarah Cannon Names Navneet Majhail Physician-in-Chief of Blood Cancers, and more

Navneet Majhail, MD

Sarah Cannon Appoints Navneet Majhail as Deputy Physician-in-Chief of Blood Cancers

Sarah Cannon Research Institute has named Navneet Majhail, MD, deputy physician-in-chief of blood cancers for the Sarah Cannon Transplant and Cellular Therapy Network. His appointment took effect in late September.

“We are delighted that Dr. Majhail is joining Sarah Cannon and will work alongside our teams to foster an increased collaboration across our six U.S. and three U.K. blood cancer programs,” said Fred LeMaistre, MD, senior vice president of market operations and physician-in-chief of blood cancers at Sarah Cannon.

In this role, Dr. Majhail will work on expanding the Sarah Cannon Transplant and Cellular Therapy Network Centers of Excellence and increasing patient access to cellular and transplant therapies in surrounding communities. He will also serve as program medical director for the Sarah Cannon Transplant and Cellular Therapy program at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Prior to joining Sarah Cannon, Dr. Majhail served as director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Cleveland Clinic, vice chair for the department of hematology and medical oncology, and professor of medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Additionally, he is a former president of the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Dr. Majhail’s research has focused on the prevention and management of early and late complications of hematopoietic cell transplantation as well as health policy issues such as disparities in health care, quality of care, survivorship, and economic issues related to transplantation and cellular therapy.

Source: Sarah Cannon press release, June 22, 2021.

Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD

Renier Brentjens Named Deputy Director and Chair of Medicine at Roswell Park

Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD, recently joined Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center as deputy director, the Katherine Anne Gioia Endowed Chair in Cancer Medicine, chair of the department of medicine, and professor of oncology in the departments of medicine and immunology.

In his new roles as deputy director and chair of medicine, he will lead Roswell Park’s basic, translational, and clinical research programs and a team of 100 oncologists, advanced practice providers, and administrators in the diagnosis, treatment, and consultation of patients with cancer.

Previously, Dr. Brentjens served as director of cellular therapeutics and associate chair for junior faculty development in the department of medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Source: Roswell Park press release, August 24, 2021.

Lakshmanan Krishnamurti, MD

Lakshmanan Krishnamurti Appointed Chief of Yale Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Effective October 1, Lakshmanan Krishnamurti, MD, is chief of pediatric hematology and oncology for Yale’s Department of Pediatrics and Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, succeeding Farzana Pashankar, MD, MRCP.

Previously, Dr. Krishnamurti was professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, director of the bone marrow transplantation program, and Joseph Kuechenmeister Aflac Field Force Chair at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Prior to that, he was the director of hematology and hemoglobinopathies at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of the comprehensive hemoglobinopathy program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Krishnamurti’s research has focused on clinical and patient centered outcomes, including newborn screening, international outreach, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and the use of technology and informatics in the delivery of patient care.
In this new role, he will oversee the pediatric hematology, oncology, and bone marrow transplant/cellular therapy programs at Yale.

Source: Yale press release, June 28, 2021.

Neil Hayes, MD, MPH
Katherine A. Hoadley, PhD

NCI Grants Scientists $1.8M for Cancer Genome Atlas Research

Neil Hayes, MD, MPH, and Katherine A. Hoadley, PhD, have received a five-year $1.8 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to extend the work of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), a multisite research project aimed at understanding cancer at its molecular level through genome sequencing and data analysis.

TCGA is a joint effort by the National Institutes of Health and the National Human Genome Research Institute. Researchers from more than a dozen institutions across the U.S. working on TCGA have published findings identifying genomic changes or mutations in 33 types of cancer cells by analyzing more than 20,000 specimens.

“In the beginning, we were really out in the wilderness as far as the cancer genome,” said Dr. Hayes. “We were describing all kinds of abnormalities in human tissues that had transformed from normal to cancer. In many ways, it was a process of generating a list of all the ways in which a normal cell could go wrong. With more-recent versions of TCGA, including the one we were just awarded, we have more of an opportunity to take the lessons of the last 15 years and see how each of those abnormalities explains why some patients respond to cancer treatments and others do not.”

Dr. Hayes, division chief of hematology and oncology and assistant dean for cancer research in the college of medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, will share co-principal investigator duties with Dr. Hoadley, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The award will be split equally between the two universities.

Source: UTHSC press release, September 15, 2021.