Remembering Milton H. Freedman, Caryn Lerman Named Director of USC Norris, and More

Milton H. Freedman, MD

Remembering Milton H. Freedman (1919 – 2019)

Milton H. Freedman, MD, the first hematologist to open a private practice in Atlanta, died on January 21, 2019.

Dr. Freedman was born in Atlanta, where he spent almost his entire life, except for a stint in the U.S. Navy as a flight surgeon during World War II and a hematology fellowship at Pratt Diagnostic Hospital (now Tufts Medical Center) in Boston. There, he worked with William Dameshek, MD, founder of the Blood journal and an architect of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

Dr. Freedman graduated from Emory University School of Medicine, where he also earned his undergraduate degree. He completed his internship and internal medicine residency at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. In 1949, Dr. Freedman became the first hematologist to open a private practice in Atlanta. He retired from his solo medical practice after 45 years, then worked as a physician consultant for the Disability Quality Branch of the Social Security Administration from 1994 until his death.

Dr. Freedman is survived by three daughters, three granddaughters, and many nieces and nephews. His wife of 64 years passed away in 2012.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 22, 2019.

Madhav V. Dhodapkar, MBBS

Emory Appoints Madhav V. Dhodapkar as Inaugural Chair

Madhav V. Dhodapkar, MBBS, was named the first Anise McDaniel Brock Chair in Cancer Innovation at Emory University School of Medicine, in recognition of his research in cancer immunology and translational immunotherapy. Dr. Dhodapkar is director of Winship Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Immunology and professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine.

The endowed chair was established in honor of the mother of patient John Brock.

Prior to joining Winship and Emory, Dr. Dhodapkar was chief of hematology and the Arthur H. and Isabel Bunker Professor of Medicine (Hematology) at Yale University School of Medicine. He also served as professor of immunobiology and codirector of the Cancer Immunology Program within the Yale Cancer Center.

His research centers on harnessing the properties of the immune system to detect, prevent, and treat cancer, with a focus on multiple myeloma.

Source: Winship Cancer Institute press release, February 5, 2019.

Caryn Lerman, PhD

Caryn Lerman Named Director of USC Norris

The University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center appointed Caryn Lerman, PhD, the center’s new director. Dr. Lerman also will serve as professor of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Prior to joining USC, Dr. Lerman served as the John H. Glick Professor for Cancer Research and vice dean for strategic initiatives at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Throughout her career, she has conducted extensive research into cancer prevention and reducing the burden of a cancer diagnosis; her efforts have spanned the fields of neuroscience, pharmacology, genetics, and behavioral science.

In her new position, Dr. Lerman will focus on enhancing interdisciplinary research at the center, enabling infrastructure to support the development of new therapies, and developing new models for community outreach about cancer prevention.

Source: University of Southern California press release, February 11, 2019.

NYU’S Perlmutter Cancer Center Earns NCI’s Comprehensive Status

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has designated NYU Langone Health’s Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center a Comprehensive Cancer Center, joining 50 other U.S. cancer centers that have earned this recognition. As a Comprehensive Cancer Center, Perlmutter will receive nearly $20 million in new NCI funding to support its research programs, infrastructure, and technology.

Benjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and director of Perlmutter Cancer Center, commented: “We are proud of what we have accomplished, and gratified that our efforts have been rewarded with our elevation to NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status.”

Source: NYU Langone Health, February 6, 2019.

AACR Selects Hematologists for Scientific Achievement Awards

At its 2019 annual meeting, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced the recipients of its Scientific Achievement Awards and Lectureships, including two researchers whose work contributed to the field of hematologic malignancies:

Cornelis J.M. Melief, MD, PhD

Cornelis J.M. Melief, MD, PhD, professor emeritus and head of the Department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands was named the recipient of the seventh AACR-Cancer Research Institute Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology. This award recognizes an active scientist who has conducted innovative research in cancer immunology; Dr. Melief’s work focuses on developing immunotherapies and improving their effectiveness through combination approaches.

Emil J. Freireich, MD

Emil J. Freireich, MD, professor in the Department of Leukemia in the division of Cancer Medicine and director of the Adult Leukemia Research Program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, was named the recipient of the 16th AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research. This award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to cancer research, either through a single scientific discovery or a body of work. Dr. Freireich is being recognized for his essential role in developing an effective treatment for childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia.

Source: AACR press release, March 15, 2019.