NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
April 13, 2004 • Volume 1 / Number 15 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Drs. Weissman and Staudt Elected to Association of American Physicians
Dr. Allan Weissman, chief of the NCI Laboratory of Protein Dynamics and Signaling, and Dr. Louis Staudt, principal investigator in NCI's Metabolism Branch, have been elected to the Association of American Physicians. Founded in 1885 by seven physicians, including Dr. William Osler, the association recognizes members for their advancement, through experimentation and discovery, of basic and clinical sciences and their application to clinical medicine.

Dr. Weissman is an international leader in regulated membrane receptor turnover and ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation, including identification of RING finger proteins as ubiquitin ligases. He also played key roles in the characterization of T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) and cloned and characterized the TCR zeta chain - a key TCR signaling component.

Dr. Staudt cloned and characterized the lymphoid-restricted transcription factor Oct-2. In his laboratory, Dr. Staudt and colleagues study the molecular pathogenesis of human lymphoid malignancies. To provide a new molecular basis for the diagnosis of malignancies, his laboratory is exploiting DNA microarray technology to profile gene expression in these cancers on a genomic scale.

Von Hoff Discusses New Approaches to Treating Cancer
Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, an internationally renowned expert in drug development who began his career as a fellow at NCI, presented several promising new methods to treat cancer at the Center for Cancer Research Grand Rounds on April 6.

Dr. Von Hoff discussed his establishment of the community oncology model at the Arizona Comprehensive Cancer Center, which integrates local oncologists with cancer centers to enable them to participate in early phase clinical studies and helps "provide all of the patients in the community access to all therapies." His model has dramatically increased patient accrual to trials and successfully integrated the community physician into cutting-edge clinical science.

Dr. Von Hoff also described the transformational rise of microarrays to analyze tumors for upregulated gene products as the conventional approach in identifying pharmacological targets. He also noted that he sees critical targets in specific downregulated gene products as well - he referred to these as "nontargets." To help mine the valuable data provided by "nontargets," Dr. Von Hoff is developing a national database that will contain information from rapid-throughput screening to determine which known drugs are effective against tumors with downregulated genes.

Pat Newman Pat Newman Retires
Former NCI Press Office Chief Patricia Newman retired this month after a 33-year career with NCI. She began her career as an NCI communicator in 1971, when she joined the NCI press office as a science writer. Ten years later, she was named chief of the press office and served in that position for the next two decades. In 2001, Newman joined NCI's Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities and helped develop and coordinate its communication efforts, including think tank meetings and lectures, to explore issues related to cancer disparities.

Newman won numerous science writing awards for the many articles, news releases, background materials, and brochures she wrote or produced. She managed the preparation of such major reports as Horizons of Cancer Research, published under the sponsorship of the National Cancer Advisory Board, and served as liaison to the NIH, Department of Health and Human Services, and NCI-designated cancer centers. She spearheaded the press office's development of its online "NewsCenter" and an online magazine for the NCI Web site.

She also served, since 1999, as program advisor to the planning committee for the President's Cancer Panel. She developed communication strategies for the panel's regional meetings and performed literature research and analyses to guide their efforts in cancer patient survivorship and translational research.

NCI at Share the Health
On Saturday, April 24, NIH will sponsor a health and fitness expo at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md. For the past four years, the NIH Office of Community Liaison has sponsored the expo, entitled "Share the Health," to ensure that information resulting from NIH's research is made available to its neighbors.

NCI is pleased to participate in this event, which this year will include scientific poster sessions featuring the work of students from Takoma Park Middle School and Montgomery Blair High School. To encourage and stimulate these students' interest in science, NCI will have an exhibit at the expo and conduct presentations and mini-labs for young people.

This free event will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the 24th. Free shuttle service will be available from the Silver Spring Metro that day from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information is available on the Share the Health Web site at