Remembering Eugene Frenkel, AMA Announces Reimagining Residency Initiative Award Recipients, and more

Eugene Frenkel, MD

Remembering Eugene P. Frenkel (1929 – 2019)

Eugene P. Frenkel, MD, a National Cancer Institute investigator known for his research linking vitamin B12 metabolism and cancer, died on June 21, 2019.

Born in Detroit, Dr. Frenkel graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1953, interrupting his medical residency to serve as a flight surgeon and officer in the U.S. Air Force. In 1962, he became chief of the newly established Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he worked until his death 57 years later.

Dr. Frenkel became a professor of internal medicine at UT in 1969, then received a dual appointment in radiology in 1973. He also served as chief of the Nuclear Medicine Service from 1970 to 1982 at the Veterans Administration Medical Center at Dallas (now the VA North Texas Health Care System).

“Dr. Frenkel’s enduring legacy will be remembered by the many patients he so compassionately treated, the generations of medical students who benefited from his rigorous mentoring, and physicians and scientists worldwide who were influenced by his seminal work in medical oncology,” said W. P. Andrew Lee, MD, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost, and Dean at UT Southwestern Medical School.

Dr. Frenkel is survived by his wife, two children, and daughter-in-law.

Source: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center press release, June 23, 2019.


Four Early-Career Researchers Win NCCN Young Investigator Awards

At its annual conference, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) selected four recipients of its annual Young Investigator Awards. The prize is given to early-career cancer scientists working at one of the 28 NCCN Member Institutions in the U.S.

The winners are:

  • Prasanna Ananth, MD, MPH, from the Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut, for “Establishing Benchmarks for High Quality End-of-Life Care in Children With Cancer”
  • Jaehyuk Choi, MD, PhD, from the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University in Chicago, for “Genomic Determinants of Responses to Immunotherapy in Merkel Cell Carcinoma”
  • Kedar Kirtane, MD, from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, for “Feasibility of a Digitized Peer-to-Peer Patient Support System for Patients With Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer Undergoing Chemoradiation”
  • Yanming Li, PhD, from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, for “Network Genomewide Association Studies for Early Detection of Cancers”

“We’re learning more every day about how cancer works and how best to keep it under control. It’s crucial that we keep cultivating future generations of cancer experts who are prepared to continue advancing standards of care,” said NCCN CEO Robert W. Carlson, MD.

Source: National Comprehensive Cancer Network press release, May 8, 2019.


AMA Announces Reimagining Residency Initiative Award Recipients

The American Medical Association (AMA) is awarding $14.4 million to support eight innovation projects as part of its Reimagining Residency initiative, an effort to improve the way future physicians are trained. A panel of medical education specialists selected the winning projects based on how well they addressed Reimagining Residency’s aims: improving the transition from medical school to residency, increasing readiness for practice through modifications of residency curricula, and supporting well-being among trainees, mentors, and staff.

Each recipient will receive $1.8 million over five years. This year’s winning projects are:

  • California Oregon Medical Partnership to Address Disparities in Rural Education and Health – Oregon Health & Science University and University of California, Davis
  • Fully Integrated Readiness for Service Training: Enhancing the Continuum from Medical School to Residency to Practice – University of North Carolina School of Medicine
  • NYU Transition to Residency Advantage – NYU School of Medicine
  • Promotion in Place: Enhancing Trainee Well-being and Patient Care Through Time-Variable Graduate Medical Education – Partners HealthCare System, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Reimagining Residency: Ensuring Readiness for Practice Through Growing Interprofessional Partnerships to Advance Care and Education – Maine Medical Center
  • Residency Training to Effectively Address Social Determinants of Health: Applying a Curricular Framework Across Four Primary Care Specialties – Montefiore Health System in New York
  • The Graduate Medical Training “Laboratory”: An Innovative Program to Generate, Implement, and Evaluate Interventions to Improve Resident Burnout and Clinical Skill – Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, and University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine
  • The GOL2D Project: Collaboration Across Academic Health Systems to Better Align GME With Learner, Patient, and Societal Needs – Vanderbilt University Medical Center and University of Mississippi Medical Center

Source: American Medical Association press release, June 5, 2019.


Mark Gladwin, MD
Darrell Triulzi, MD

Pitt and UPMC Receive $19.2 Million NIH Grant to Study Sickle Cell Treatment

Supported by a $19.2 million National Institutes of Health grant, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) will lead the Sickle Cell Disease and Cardiovascular Risk – Red Cell Exchange (SCD-CARRE) trial, which is evaluating red cell exchange transfusion in patients with SCD who are at high risk of organ damage.

Mark Gladwin, MD, Jack D. Myers professor and chair of medicine at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of the Pittsburgh Heart, Lung, Blood, and Vascular Medicine Institute, and Darrell Triulzi, MD, professor of pathology and director of the division of transfusion medicine at Pitt School of Medicine, will serve as co–principal investigators of this trial.

The SCD-CARRE trial will randomize patients to receive either standard of care alone or in combination with monthly red blood cell exchange treatments for one year to study the effects of red cell exchange on mortality, hospitalizations, and reversal of major organ damage.

Source: University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine press release, July 9, 2019.


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