Division of Hematology and Oncology News & Job Opportunities
Associate Director for Translational Research Primo “Lucky” Lara has been elected to co-chair the National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s 2016 Investigational Drug Steering Committee (IDSC), representing the Phase 2 clinical trials program. Beginning May 12, Lara will collaborate with the IDSC Phase 1 Program co-Chair Michael Carducci to coordinate activities of the IDSC, overseeing the design and prioritization of early phase drug development trials sponsored by the NCI. The IDSC is ultimately tasked to evaluate clinical trials proposed through the NCI’s Early Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network (ET-CTN). Lara is also Phase 2 Principal Investigator of the NCI-funded California Cancer Consortium which is comprised of clinical trialist from UC Davis, City of Hope, University of Southern California, and Stanford University. To learn more about the program, please visit: http://www.cancer.gov/about-nci/organization/ccct/steering-committees/investigational-drug
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center earns new quality certification
The UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Division of Hematology/Oncology has been recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) Certification Program for meeting the nation’s highest quality standards for cancer care. The division is the only Northern California QOPI–certified practice also affiliated with an NCI designated cancer center.
Julie Sutcliffe, Ph.D., jointly appointed in Internal Medicine and Biomedical Engineering, has received a new NIH NCI RO1 award in cancer research. The overall goal of this research is to further investigate the integrin αvβ6 as a target for molecular imaging and to develop αvβ6 targeted therapy for cancer treatment. The expression of αvβ6 is increased in many cancers including colon, lung and pancreatic and seems to be indicative of poor outcome for patients. This makes αvβ6 a significant target for molecular imaging and for the development of targeted therapy to address it. This research proposes a peptide based approach to develop novel αvβ6 specific imaging agents and αvβ6 specific therapies.
The UC Davis California Eta Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha is pleased to announce the election of their new members. Please help us congratulate Dr. Gwendolyn Ho on her recently appointed housestaff membership to the Alpha Omega Alpha. Election to Alpha Omega Alpha is an honor signifying a lasting commitment to scholarship, leadership, professionalism, and service. A lifelong honor, membership in the society confers recognition for a physician's dedication to the profession and art of healing.
Karen Kelly, associate director for clinical research at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been named chair of the Lung Committee of SWOG one of the nation's leading cooperative cancer research organizations. A lung cancer specialist, Dr. Kelly will oversee the design and implementtation of multidisciplinary clinical trials of new lung cancer treatments, including targeted therapies, immunotherapy and cancer biomarkers involving thousands of patients nationwide.
Gerhard Bauer, Richard Pollard, Joe Anderson, Xiao-Dong Li and Mehrdad Abedi
The state stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), approved funding a UC Davis Health System research team to conduct a clinical trial using bioengineered stem cells to treat HIV patients suffering from lymphoma, one of the deadly conditions associated with the disease.The $8.5 million grant will be used to test gene-modified hematopoietic (or blood-forming) stem cells in patients and then monitor and analyze their effectiveness on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Moon S. Chen, PhD, MPH is a co-founder of the National Task Force with Dr. Gary Euler of CDC and a nationally renowned expert in cancer health disparities, particularly as they affect Asian-American populations. When Dr. Chen was professionally challenged with the task to “eliminate health disparities”, he could think of only one example where health disparities have ever been eliminated... and that was the historical example of smallpox eradication. Today because of smallpox eradication, there are no disparities between any people groups as smallpox has been eliminated from the face of the globe. At the 2008 NIH Conference on the Science of Health Disparities, he proposed that hepatitis B viral infections offers the world’s next best candidate for elimination…and that HBV could be eliminated through the same approach as smallpox. This would be through “case finding”, i.e., screening to identify any “positives” and referring them to appropriate treatment and for those who lack natural immunity, to vaccination. Concurrently, completing the birth-dose of HBV and the continuation of HBV vaccinations for youth could spare future generations from HBV. This vision drives his passion for the Task Force’s work and the potential for seeing a world free of HBV-linked infections. Currently he is UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Associate Director for Cancer Control and Professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at UC Davis, continuing to be engaged in HBV control and also leads a portfolio of research that addresses determinants of cancer risk and their mitigation in human populations.