Bhatia to Head NCI AIDS Malignancy Program
Dr. Kishor Bhatia was named director of NCI's new AIDS Malignancy Program (AMP), effective October 2. In his prior position, Dr. Bhatia served as a program director for NCI's Cancer Diagnosis Program in the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD).
Under Dr. Bhatia's direction, AMP will support extramural HIV and AIDS malignancy research, and coordinate all AIDS and AIDS-oncology efforts across NCI. Existing AMP projects include the AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource, Women's Interagency HIV Study, Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, AIDS International Training and Research Program, and AIDS Malignancy Consortium. Dr. Bhatia also worked at NCI as a senior staff fellow and senior staff scientist.
NCI Seeks Information on Biospecimens
NCI and the National Human Genome Research Institute are pursuing a 3-year pilot project to conduct genomic characterization analyses and targeted sequencing of specific genes and genomic regions from human cancer biospecimens. The pilot project will assess the feasibility and value of this large-scale approach for the identification of genomic data with potential relevance to cancer, which could lead to the development of new drugs and improved tools for cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment.
The purpose of this request for information (NOT-CA-06-002) is to solicit responses from investigators who have collected well-annotated cancer biospecimens within the United States or internationally. For more information and instructions for replying, go to http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-CA-06-002.html.
DTP Celebrates 50 Years
NCI's Developmental Therapeutics Program (DTP) is holding a day-long symposium on November 29 to celebrate 50 years of drug development know-how. Highlights include a panel discussion on the future role of NCI in cancer drug development and a poster session showcasing DTP's services and its long history of successes.
As the drug discovery and development arm of NCI, DTP plans, conducts, and facilitates development of therapeutic agents for cancer. For more information on DTP and symposium registration, go to https://secure.palladianpartners.com/dtp_symposium. The symposium, to be held at Lipsett Amphitheater on the NIH campus, will also be webcast live at http://videocast.nih.gov/.
NCI's Christian Receives Presidential Rank Award
Dr. Michaele Christian, associate director of DCTD's Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, has received the 2005 Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award. President Bush recognized 278 outstanding federal executives this year with this, the government's highest award for civil servants. Each year, the President recognizes a group of career senior executives with this award for exceptional long-term accomplishments. Winners are nominated by their agency heads, evaluated by boards of private citizens, and approved by the President. For a full list of this year's Presidential Rank Award winners, go to http://www.opm.gov/ses/2005merit.asp.
NCI Awards Grants for Translational Research
NCI recently awarded six grants to support research on translating molecular signatures of tumors to improve patient management and ultimately to improve patient outcomes. The grants are supported by the Strategic Partnering to Evaluate Cancer Signatures (SPECS) program. The grants support multi-institutional, multidisciplinary translational research teams that include investigators from the Clinical Co-operative Groups, SPOREs, Cancer Centers, NCI intramural laboratories, the National Laboratories, community hospitals, biotechnology companies, and individual academic institutions in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
SPECS will evaluate the potential clinical use of molecular signatures derived from comprehensive tumor analysis. The investigators will confirm and refine molecular signatures that have previously been shown to correlate with clinical parameters such as recurrence, survival, or response to therapy. They will develop reproducible assays that can be incorporated into clinical trials for validation of clinical utility.
Six grants totaling $10 million for the first year of funding were awarded to Children's Hospital Los Angeles; the University of California, Irvine; the University of Nebraska Medical Center; the University of New Mexico; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center; and Washington University's Department of Medicine.
For more information about the Cancer Diagnosis Program, go to http://www.cancerdiagnosis.nci.nih.gov.