NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
February 19, 2008 • Volume 5 / Number 4 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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New DCEG Branch Chiefs Named
NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) recently appointed four new branch chiefs.

Dr. Nilanjan Chatterjee has been named chief of the Biostatistics Branch. Dr. Chatterjee has a doctorate in statistics from the University of Washington. He specializes in developing efficient design and analytic methods for modern molecular epidemiologic studies.

Dr. Debra Silverman has been selected as chief of the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch. Dr. Silverman received her doctorate in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health and specializes in the epidemiology of cancers of the bladder and pancreas and the carcinogenicity of diesel exhaust.

Dr. Allan Hildesheim is the new chief of the Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch, formerly known as the Viral Epidemiology Branch. Dr. Hildesheim has a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and studies DNA virus-related tumors including cervical cancer and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. He is the principal investigator on the NCI-sponsored clinical trial in Costa Rica of the newly developed HPV vaccine.

Dr. Jackie Lavigne has been selected as the new chief of DCEG's Office of Education. She received a Ph.D. in molecular toxicology and an M.P.H. with a concentration in epidemiology and biostatistics from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Lavigne previously was the associate director of the NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program.

First Anita Roberts Young Scientist Scholarships Awarded
The first Anita Roberts Young Scientist Scholarships were awarded to Dr. Anjali Shukla, a postdoctoral fellow in NCI's Center for Cancer Research (CCR), and Dr. Kate Sullivan of the Children's Hospital in Westmead, Australia. Organized by Dr. Roberts's colleagues at NCI and funded by donations from the scientific community, the scholarships were awarded to defray the cost of attending the 2008 Keystone Symposia meeting on Molecular and Cellular Biology in Santa Fe, NM. Funds for the scholarships were collected with the cooperation of the Foundation for the NIH.

Dr. Roberts was an internationally recognized molecular biologist who made pioneering discoveries regarding the protein TGF-β, which is critical in wound and bone fracture healing as well as in cancer suppression and stimulation. She worked at NCI for more than 20 years, heading the Laboratory of Cell Regulation and Carcinogenesis in CCR until her death in May 2006 of gastric cancer.

NCI Sponsors Webinar on Tools to Guide Efforts to Reduce Colorectal Cancer Deaths
NCI's Office of Advocacy Relations will host a webinar on a set of simulation models from NCI's Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET). The models can be used to support the establishment of policies, guidelines, and evidence-based cancer control planning to decrease colorectal cancer deaths through screening, treatment, and risk factor modification.

This webinar is scheduled for Thursday, February 28, from 3:30-4:30 p.m., EST. No advance registration is required. More information and instructions on how to participate are available at

NCI to Host Science Writers' Seminar on International Breast Cancer Trials
On February 29, NCI is partnering with the Mayo Clinic and the Breast International Group to host a science writers' seminar about how two trends in cancer research - increasing use of targeted therapies and growing global research cooperation - have merged. The seminar will also launch the North American part of the Adjuvant Lapatinib and/or Trastuzumab Treatment Optimisation (ALTTO) study. In the trial, two targeted therapies for treatment of a subtype of breast cancer will be tested with participation of thousands of women across several continents, providing a model for international collaboration that furthers cancer care.

The seminar will take place 9:00-11:45 a.m., in Conference Room 704 at the Millennium Broadway Hotel New York, 145 West 44th Street, New York City.

Journalists can register for the seminar by contacting the NCI Office of Media Relations at 301-496-6641 or

Biospecimen Research Symposium Scheduled for March
NCI's Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research and the NIH Office of Rare Diseases have announced that the Biospecimen Research Network symposium, "Advancing Cancer Research through Biospecimen Science," will take place March 13-14, in Washington, DC. The symposium is open to the public and expected to be of particular value to research investigators, clinicians, government and industry representatives, hospital administrators, and patient advocates. For more information, to register, or to submit an abstract, go to

Registration and Abstracts Accepted for Targeted Therapies Conference
NDDO Research Foundation, NCI, and the European Society for Medical Oncology are still accepting registrations and abstract submissions for TAT 2008, an international conference on targeted anticancer therapies to be held in Bethesda, MD, on March 20-22.

The conference will cover new drugs in pre- and early-phase clinical development and clinical trials of combinations of targeted agents, and will focus on clinical and translational research. An updated program is available on the TAT 2008 Web site:

To submit an abstract, send your complete abstract in Microsoft Word format to the conference secretariat, Dr. Marinus W. Lobbezoo, at