AACI Announces New Vice President/President-elect, 4 New Board Members

knudsen - squareAACI members have elected Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, as vice president/president-elect of the board of directors. Her two-year term will begin on September 30 during the AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Since 2015, Dr. Knudsen has been enterprise director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, where she previously served as deputy director and the founding member of the Prostate Cancer Program.

Dr. Knudsen is the third director of SKCC, an NCI-Designated Cancer Center
since 1995. She has been a member of AACI’s board of directors since 2016 and was program chair of the association’s 2017 annual meeting. She also serves on review, advisory, and elected panels for the Department of Defense, ASCO, AACR, and the NIH.

“Karen has contributed significantly to AACI through her dedicated service as a member of our board of directors and the association will undoubtedly become an even stronger advocate for cancer centers under her leadership,” said AACI Executive Director Barbara Duffy Stewart.

In addition to Dr. Knudsen, four leaders of AACI member cancer centers will join the board of directors on September 30:

holcombe - squareRandall F. Holcombe, MD, MBA, has been director of the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center since 2016. Dr. Holcombe led the center through major milestones including NCI re-designation and renewal of its NCI Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

He is program chair for the 2018 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting and has served as a member of AACI’s Clinical Research Initiative (CRI) Steering Committee and chaired AACI’s Physicians Clinical Leadership Initiative (PCLI).Loughran - square

Thomas P. Loughran, Jr., MD, is the director of the UVA Cancer Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. Under his leadership, the center’s CCSG was renewed in 2017 with an outstanding rating, the highest score ever for UVA.

Dr. Loughran previously served as the founding director of the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute (2003–2013) and as program leader of hematologic malignancies at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute at the University of South Florida.

platanias - squareLeonidas (Leon) Platanias, MD, PhD, leads the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University in Chicago, an NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Since becoming director in 2014, Dr. Platanias has overseen a 50 percent increase in NCI funding for the center, a near doubling of the number of patients enrolled in early phase trials, and the recruitment of more than 100 new faculty.

Prior to his appointment as director, Dr. Platanias served as Lurie Cancer Center’s first deputy director from 2002 to 2013.

neel - squareBenjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, has been appointed to fill the remainder of Dr. Knudsen’s term as a regular board member. Dr. Neel is director of the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center and professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health in New York City.

Dr. Neel is also an elected member of the American Academy of Physicians, a member of the AACR, and the co-founder of Northern Biologics, a company focusing on antibody therapeutics for cancer and fibrosis.

Drs. Knudsen, Holcombe, Loughran, Platanias, and Neel will work closely with other AACI leaders to support our mission of enhancing the impact of academic cancer centers.

Read our full press release to learn more about the new board members’ research interests, awards, and accomplishments.

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AACI to Recognize Pioneers in Research, Philanthropy at Annual Meeting This Fall

On Monday, October 1, AACI will present two awards highlighting the importance of scientific discovery and philanthropic support in the cancer community.

Charles M. Perou, PhDCharles M. Perou, PhD, will receive AACI’s Distinguished Scientist Award in recognition of his accomplishments in the field of precision medicine and his groundbreaking research in characterizing the diversity of human tumors, which has profoundly impacted the treatment of patients with breast cancer.

The May Goldman Shaw Distinguished Professor of Molecular Oncology at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Perou is also the faculty director of UNC Lineberger’s Bioinformatics Group, co-director of its Breast Cancer Research Program, and a professor in its Genetics and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine departments.

Richard and Susan Rogel will be presented with the inaugural Champion for Cures Award in honor of their transformational philanthropy in support of cancer research and care.Richard and Susan Rogel

AACI established the Champion for Cures Award to recognize individuals who demonstrate significant leadership in supporting efforts to cure cancer. Earlier this year, the Rogels pledged $150 million to the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, which was renamed Rogel Cancer Center.

Their gift—the largest in the University of Michigan’s history—will fund endowed professorships, competitive research grants, and scholarships, and will help the cancer center establish a collaborative network that will bring international experts to campus for 6 to 12 months to develop innovative new projects.

“Donors are an integral part of the ecosystem of cancer care,” said AACI President Stanton L. Gerson, MD, director of Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. “AACI wanted to honor a family like the Rogels, who’ve demonstrated their commitment to the success of the cancer center through their investment in research.”

The award presentations are a highlight of the AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting, scheduled September 30 – October 2 in Chicago. The event convenes AACI cancer center directors and executive-level administrators with leaders of national cancer research and advocacy groups, industry, and government health agencies to develop solutions to common challenges and to share best practices.

Register for the AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting.
View the meeting program.

Know an HPV Vaccination Champion in Your Community?

Nominate Them Today!

hpv-champion-ad-200x300AACI has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) to recognize leaders in health care who are going above and beyond to promote or foster HPV vaccination among adolescents in their communities.

NCIRD’s HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention campaign works to improve clinician quality of HPV vaccination recommendations for 11- and 12-year-olds and to increase parent acceptance of the HPV vaccine for their children.

To nominate a physician for the Champion Award, please submit a completed form by this Friday, August 10. Self-nominations are welcome.

Nominations should be submitted to the immunization programs of the state or territory in which the nominee resides. Submissions should include a completed nomination form and an image of the nominee, which may be used for promotional purposes if the nominee is selected as a Champion.

Submissions must be sent to PreteenVaccines@cdc.gov. CDC will review and confirm the recommendations and issue the awards.

Learn more about the HPV vaccine and how it can protect 11- and 12-year-olds from six different types of cancer later in life.

 

Member Spotlight: August 2018

Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium of New Orleans at the Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center and Tulane Cancer Center 

Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium

Founded in 2002 under the direction of the Louisiana State Legislature, the Louisiana Cancer Research Center’s mission is to promote education and conduct research in the diagnosis, detection, and treatment of cancer, while pursuing a National Cancer Institute designation.

The center includes more than 200 researchers representing inter- and intradisciplinary activity across the member institutions. Its strengths include molecular genetics and signaling; proteomics; immunology, infection, and inflammation; viral oncology; drug discovery; and minority health and health disparities.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, in Lebanon, New Hampshire, is one of only 49 NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the country. About 250 active research projects are part of the center’s quest to cure cancer, understand its causes, and promote ways to prevent cancer before it starts.

These projects are led by 135 cancer research scientists supported by more than $68 million in grants each year from federal and other sources.

Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center 

Mays Cancer Center

Thanks to a $30 million legacy gift from the Mays Family Foundation and a partnership with the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the newly-renamed Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson now brings the people of San Antonio the combined strengths of UT Health San Antonio and MD Anderson’s expertise in multidisciplinary, research-driven, patient-centered care.

Mays is one of four NCI-Designated Cancer Centers in Texas.