National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
October 19, 2010 • Volume 7 / Number 20


NCI’s Ira Pastan and Carl Wu Elected to Institute of Medicine

Drs. Ira Pastan and Carl Wu Drs. Ira Pastan and Carl Wu

Two researchers from NCI’s Center for Cancer Research were recently elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM): Dr. Ira H. Pastan, chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, and Dr. Carl Wu, chief of the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. They were among 65 new inductees announced at the IOM’s annual meeting on October 11 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC.

Dr. Pastan joined NCI in 1969 and established the Laboratory of Molecular Biology the following year. His early studies focused on the mechanisms of hormone action, endocytosis, and the regulation of gene expression in bacteria and animal cells.

In the 1990s, he initiated a new targeted cancer therapy program. He has used genetic engineering to create novel proteins he named recombinant immunotoxins. Several recombinant immunotoxins are now in clinical trials for various cancers, and one has produced many complete remissions in drug-resistant hairy cell leukemia.

Dr. Pastan obtained his M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine, completed his medical training at Yale University, and received research training at NIH. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has co-authored over 1,100 scientific publications.

Dr. Wu joined NCI in 1982 and initiated studies on the biochemical mechanism of chromatin remodeling. As a junior fellow at Harvard University under Nobel laureate Dr. Walter Gilbert, Dr. Wu provided the first evidence that chromatin is remodeled to induce or erase DNase hypersensitive sites at cellular gene promoters. His group reported the discovery of an ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling activity in cell-free extracts and the purification and characterization of the responsible enzyme, named NURF.

Dr. Wu’s studies have led to the characterization of a large family of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling enzymes now known to be involved in many aspects of DNA metabolism. He is currently studying histone dynamics and the role of chromatin in organizing centromeres and kinetochores for proper chromosome segregation.

Dr. Wu received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and has been recognized by a number of awards and by election to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academia Sinica, and the European Molecular Biology Organization.

Membership in the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine, and it recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements and commitment to service. Current active members elect new members from among candidates nominated for their accomplishments and contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health.

Meet NCI Experts at APHA

Visit Us at APHA

NCI will conduct several Meet the Experts sessions at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) 138th Annual Meeting November 6–10 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Visit booth #1220 and talk with NCI experts about the wide range of collaborative opportunities available through NCI.

Sunday, November 7

2:00 p.m.

Jeff Swarz
Making Web Content Interactive

3:00 p.m.Leslie Cooper
Opportunities for Research and Training through NCI’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities
4:00 p.m.Nina Ghanem
Health Communications Internship Program

Monday, November 8

10:00 a.m.

David E. Nelson
Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program

11:00 a.m.Isis Mikhail
NCI Research Funding Opportunities in Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine
12:00 p.m.Amy Sanders
Informatics for Consumer Health (ICH)
1:00 p.m.Richard Moser and Lila Rutten
Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS)/Grid-Enabled Measures (GEM)
2:00 p.m.Margaret Ames
NCI Interactive Budget Analysis Tool
3:00 p.m.Emmanuel Taylor and James Hadley
Opportunities for Research and Training through NCI’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities
4:00 p.m.Special NCI Networking Session

Kelly Blake
Communicating Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

Alissa Gallagher
Creating Virtual Cancer Communities

Anne Hartman 
Identifying Solutions to Survey Problems, Examples from Tobacco Control

Harry Kwon
Increasing Awareness of Cancer Information among Minorities

Salma Shariff-Marco
Measuring Racial/Ethnic Discrimination in Health Surveys

Tuesday, November 9

10:00 a.m.Karen Parker 
International Cancer Research Partnership
11:00 a.m.Robin Harrison
NCI's Evidence-based Cancer Information (PDQ) - Relevance for Public Health Practitioners
12:00 p.m.Richard Moser and Lila Rutten
Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS)/Grid-Enabled Measures (GEM)
1:00 p.m.Russell Glasgow
Dissemination and Implementation of Cancer Control Science
2:00 p.m.April Oh
Classification for Laws of School Students/Attitudes and Behavior (C.L.A.S.S.)
3:00 p.m.Ryan Patrick
State Cancer Legislative Database
4:00 p.m.Antoinette Percy-Laurry
Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program