A selection of awards recently earned by Dana-Farber and its staff.
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center awarded Dana-Farber Cancer Institute a $10 million grant to support the expansion of its pioneering cancer imaging research program. The grant will help fund the establishment of the Molecular Cancer Imaging Facility, a $20 million research initiative to develop new molecular imaging probes. The facility will ultimately allow physicians to better diagnose and characterize cancer, choose targeted therapies, monitor treatment efficacy, and improve the outcomes of adult and pediatric patients with cancer.
The Yawkey Center for Cancer Care, which opened on the Longwood campus in February 2011 and features the latest in sustainable, energy- and ecosystem-saving elements, has received a gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). An internationally recognized green building certification system, LEED was developed by the USGBC in 2000 and provides rating criteria that organizations plan into design and construction of new projects, ranging from water efficiency and energy-wise strategies to use (and reuse) of materials and waste. Upon completion, USGBC rates the building based on these criteria.
Boston magazine named 56 physicians and surgeons affiliated with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to its Top Doctors guide. Published in the magazine’s December issue, the Top Doctors list consists of 650 Boston-area physicians from 57 medical specialties. Dana-Farber provides adult cancer care with Brigham and Women’s Hospital as Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and care for children with cancer with Boston Children’s Hospital as Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center.
The Yawkey Center for Cancer Care Project Team was recognized with three significant industry awards for architectural, design, and building excellence. For finishing this complex project ahead of schedule and under budget, despite a severe winter during the excavation process, the Project Team earned the Construction Management New Building Award from the Associated General Contractors of America. The honor, from a leading national association for the construction industry, also noted the Yawkey Center’s impressive and collaborative design and safety features.
U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals guide ranked Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center the top cancer center in New England and fifth overall in the country. U.S. News & World Report publishes the hospital guide each year as a reference for patients who are reviewing their medical care options. The overall score is based on professional reputation, mortality rates, patient safety, and a grouping of care-related factors such as nursing and patient services. "This recognition by U.S. News & World Report reflects the strength of our collaboration with Brigham and Women's, built upon the commitment, compassion and experience of our collective caregivers and staff," said Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD, president of Dana-Farber. "We work together every day to provide the best possible care for our patients."
U.S. News & World Report ranked Children's Hospital Boston and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as the top pediatric cancer hospital in the United States in its 2011-12 Best Children's Hospitals guide. This combined ranking reflects the clinical and scientific strength and depth of the Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center, a partnership of more than 60 years that provides comprehensive care to children with cancer and survivors of pediatric cancers.
The American Association for Cancer Research presented Alan D. D'Andrea, MD, the Alvan T. and Viola D. Fuller American Cancer Society professor of radiation oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, with the 52nd Annual AACR G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award for his work in understanding cancer survival and progression, which has included milestones such as cloning the erythropoietin receptor and discovering the Fanconi anemia family of proteins involved in maintaining DNA stability.
David Williams, MD, chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology, associate chair of Pediatric Oncology, and director of Translational Research at Children’s Hospital Boston, received the 2012 Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. Williams was nominated by peers for his work, which has included the development of retrovirus vectors for gene transfer into hematopoietic stem cells, the study of the interaction of hematopoietic stem cells with bone marrow, and the development of an international consortium of leading institutions to implement gene therapy trials in rare diseases of children.
Beth Overmoyer, MD, FACP, received a grant from the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation to pursue her research project Validation of JAK2 as Novel Therapeutic Target in Triple Negative Inflammatory Breast Cancer. "We know that there is an association between pSTAT3 activity and inflammatory breast cancer in the laboratory, and want to translate this understanding into the clinic by using JAK2 inhibition," Overmoyer said in an interview with the IBC Foundation. "This appears to be a very active method for cancer survival among triple-negative breast cancers, and inflammatory breast cancer in general; therefore our clinical trial will provide proof of the concept that JAK2 inhibition is effective in this virulent disease, and should be part of standard treatment."
William G. Kaelin, Jr., MD, was named a co-recipient of the 2012 American Society for Clinical Investigation’s Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award, in recognition of his contributions to the molecular understanding of cellular oxygen sensing and cellular adaptation to hypoxia. Kaelin’s work has defined how this sensing mechanism goes awry in a broad spectrum of disorders, ranging from the vascular overgrowth associated with many forms of cancer to the reduced vascular density associated with ischemic disease. The Korsmeyer Award also recognizes his success in mentoring future physicianscientists and researchers.
Stuart Orkin, MD, Chair of the Department of Pediatric Oncology and the David G. Nathan Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, was selected to receive the 2012 Donald Metcalf Award from the Society for Hematology and Stem Cells. The honor is given for lifetime achievement in the field. Orkin is also associate chief of Hematology/ Oncology at Children’s Hospital Boston and receives funding as an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Md. Over the past 30 years his laboratory has focused on the molecular biology and genetics of blood and stem cell development, blood disorders, and cancer.
The Society for Pediatric Research honored Kimberly Stegmaier, MD, with its 2012 Young Investigator Award. The prize notes the early achievements of physician-scientists engaged in a discovery-based career addressing diseases that affect children. Recognizing past achievements and encouraging the further ascendance of a promising researcher, the award includes a $2,000 honorarium and provides resources to fund travel to the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies.
Kexin Xu, PhD, received a Young Investigator Award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation for her research on the protein EZH2, which has been found to play an important role in the development of prostate cancer that resists androgen-blocking therapies. Xu’s work will help inform the development of new treatments for metastatic prostate cancer. The Young Investigator Awards, established in 2008, provide career and project support for junior faculty dedicated to advancing the field of prostate cancer discovery and treatment.
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) presented the 2011 Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology, the Society’s highest honor, to David G. Nathan, MD, president emeritus of Dana-Farber, at their annual meeting in San Diego during the 53rd ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego yesterday. Dr. Nathan was recognized for his remarkable career combining outstanding teaching, pioneering research, and excellence in clinical care. Beyond Dr. Nathan’s lasting influence on his trainees and patients, his research on the inherited disorders of red cells and granulocytes, particularly thalassemia, has had a profound impact on the field of hematology.
David M. Livingston, MD, received the Alexander Bodini Foundation Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine from the American-Italian Cancer Foundation. The prize recognizes important discoveries in cancer biology, prevention, diagnosis, and/or treatment. Livingston, deputy director of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, was given the award for his contributions to human cancer science and, specifically, the discovery of key molecular events that control cancer progression. Livingston’s work has also focused on the molecular underpinnings of breast and ovarian cancer development.
Sylvia Bartel, RPh, MPH, vice president of Pharmacy, recently received the Rx for Excellence award from the Massachusetts Medical Law Report for her work in risk management, quality, and patient safety. "The reward and satisfaction in what I do comes from the impact that my work has on patient care," says Bartel. "It is all about helping our patients with their needs and contributing in the best way possible."
Ann Partridge, MD, MPH, clinical director of the Breast Oncology Center and director of the program for Young Women with Breast Cancer, recently accepted the "Champions of Change" award at the White House. Partridge, nominated by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, was recognized for partnering with advocacy and scientific communities to improve quality of care for young women with breast cancer.
Thomas S. Kupper, MD, director of the Cutaneous Oncology Disease Center at Dana-Farber and chief of Dermatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber, has received a 2011 Transformative Research Award from the National Institutes of Health. The award program supports exceptionally innovative and unconventional research that has the potential to overturn conventional scientific thinking and have a broad impact on medical science.
Richard Gelber, PhD, of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, recently received the European CanCer Organisation’s Clinical Research Award at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress in Stockholm. The honor recognizes outstanding international contributions to the integration of scientific research and clinical practices in the field of cancer.
W. Nicholas Haining, BM, BCh received the United States government’s highest honor for young researchers for his exploration of why T cells in the immune system malfunction in cancer and chronic viral infections. Haining accepted the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers at a ceremony at the White House. Award recipients are chosen for their innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology, and their commitment to community service through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.
Kornelia Polyak, MD, PhD, and Scott Armstrong, MD, PhD, recently won the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, an award that recognizes a new generation of cancer researchers who are making significant contributions to the understanding or treatment of the disease. The prize, designed to encourage young investigators who have a unique opportunity to help shape cancer research, is bestowed on just three investigators every other year. Polyak is being recognized for her pioneering genomic discoveries in normal and cancerous breast tissue and for her efforts to translate those findings into improved diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Armstrong earned the honor for his notable achievements in the fields of cancer stem cell research and genomics, which have led to landmark findings that point to potential new therapies for leukemia.
Tracy Balboni, MD, MPH, recently received two career development awards – the Junior Faculty Career Development Award from the National Palliative Care Research Center and a Conquer Cancer Foundation Career Development Award from the American Society for Clinical Oncology – for her project, "Examining How Religiousness and Spiritual Care Affect Quality of Life and Medical Care of Cancer Patients Near Death." Balboni is a researcher in Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care. Balboni’s research examines how spirituality and religiousness play a role in patient well-being and in medical decision-making at the end of life.
George Daley, MD, PhD, an international leader in stem cell research, was honored with the E. Donall Thomas Prize and Lecture at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. Daley, director of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, is being honored for discovering and advancing pioneering breakthroughs in the field of human induced pluripotent stem cells.
Magnolia Contreras, MSW, MBA, director of Community Benefits, was recently honored as a Woman of Courage by La Alianza Hispana, an organization that provides health and education programs to the Latino community of Greater Boston. The annual Women of Courage Awards recognize Latina women for achieve¬ments in their professional fields and community work. Contreras, a breast cancer survivor, was one of 11 award recipients at this year’s event.
Richard Stone, MD, director of the Adult Acute Leukemia Program at Dana-Farber and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, has been named chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Subspecialty Board on Medical Oncology. With this appointment, Stone will serve as a representative to the ABIM Board of Directors. The subspecialty boards of the ABIM, which set standards and certify physicians practicing in internal medicine and subspecialties, are made up of experts of both academic medicine and practice. The board develops policies, standards, and requirements for certification, and enhances the cognitive exam physicians must take to be¬come certified or maintain their certification in their field.
David Williams, MD, is the 2011 recipient of the Morten Grove-Rasmussen Award from the Massachusetts Association of Blood Banks (MABB). The award recognizes individuals or groups who have made major contributions in the field of immunohematology. Williams received the award for his basic research with hematopoietic stem cells and the application of gene transfer methods for the treatment of human diseases. He is leading new gene therapy efforts for the treatment of fatal genetic diseases at Dana-Farber and Children’s Hospital Boston.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has named Ken Anderson, MD, its 2011 David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture honoree for his outstanding achievements in cancer research and patient treatment. Each year through its special awards program, ASCO recognizes quality researchers, patient advocates, and lead¬ers of the global oncology community who, through their work, have made significant contributions to enhancing cancer care. Anderson, director of Dana-Farber’s Jerome Lipper Center for Multiple Myeloma and LeBow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics, and other recipients of ASCO’s highest, most presti¬gious awards represent significant strides in cancer treatment and leadership.
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