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News in Brief, June 2021

News in Brief

Suresh Ramalingam Appointed Executive Director of Winship Cancer Institute

In July, Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD, begins his appointment as executive director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, after serving as deputy director since 2016. Dr. Ramalingam is best known as a distinguished thoracic oncologist, nationally recognized for his research focusing on the development of individualized therapies for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Also in July, Dr. Ramalingam begins a five-year term as editor-in-chief of Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Dr. Ramalingam joined ECOG-ACRIN in 2003 and is a prominent member of the Group, serving as a deputy chair on the Executive Committee, representing the Therapeutic Studies Program, chair of the Thoracic Cancer Committee, and co-chair of the Mentoring Program. In 2013, Dr. Ramalingam received ECOG-ACRIN’S Young Investigator Award, a professional honor that recognizes scientific achievements made by investigators during the early years of their careers.

The Cancer Letter recently spoke with Dr. Ramalingam about his new appointments. “I’ve been part of ECOG-ACRIN from the days of my fellowship training; participation and active engagement within the groups have been a major reason for my career success," he says. "I’ve been fortunate to be entrusted with multiple leadership roles at ECOG-ACRIN.” Read the article now (with subscription).

Joe Sparano Joins Mount Sinai and The Tisch Cancer Institute

Joseph A. Sparano, MD, is now with Mount Sinai Health System as chief of the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology and deputy director of The Tisch Cancer Institute (TCI), effective June 8. He also holds the Ezra M. Greenspan, MD, Professorship in Clinical Cancer Therapeutics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and oversees the expansion of clinical and research capacities of the Division and TCI. He will maintain an active clinical practice at Mount Sinai. He joins Mount Sinai and TCI following a distinguished 33-year career at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, where he led the establishment of the Montefiore Minority Underserved NCORP.

A member of ECOG-ACRIN since 1991, Dr. Sparano is currently a deputy chair on the Executive Committee, representing the ECOG-ACRIN and AIDS Malignancy Consortium Joint Strategy, co-chair of the Mentoring Program, and lead investigator for the groundbreaking TAILORx breast cancer clinical trial and continues to make research discoveries using the TAILORx data. Dr. Sparano’s research focuses on the clinical application of biomarkers in breast cancer and developmental therapeutic approaches for breast cancer, lymphoma, and HIV-associated cancers.

2021 Voting NCORPs Announced

At the June 3 meeting of the Principal Investigator (PI) Committee, Group Co-Chairs Drs. Peter O’Dwyer and Mitchell Schnall announced 14 NCI Community Oncology Research Programs (NCORPs) on the committee as Standing Main Members with voting privileges for 2021. The following NCORPS met the eligibility through ECOG-ACRIN’s annual merit-based institutional evaluation process (shown with the name of their voting PI):

  • Aurora NCORP, Thomas J. Saphner, MD
  • Carle Cancer Center NCORP, Kendrith M. Rowland, MD
  • Delaware/Christiana Care NCORP, Gregory A. Masters, MD
  • Geisinger Cancer Institute NCORP, Joseph J. L. Vadakara, MD
  • Georgia Cares Minority Underserved NCORP, Sharad A. Ghamande, MD
  • Georgia NCORP, Howard A. Zaren, MD, FACS
  • Gulf South Minority Underserved NCORP, Augusto C. Ochoa, MD
  • Heartland Cancer Research NCORP, Bryan A. Faller, MD
  • Metro Minnesota Community Oncology Research Consortium NCORP, David M. King, MD
  • Michigan Cancer Research Consortium NCORP, Philip J. Stella, MD
  • Montefiore Minority Underserved NCORP, Balazs Halmos, MD, MS
  • Stroger Hospital of Cook County Minority Underserved NCORP, Thomas E. Lad, MD
  • Western States Cancer Research NCORP with Nicholas J. DiBella, MD
  • Wisconsin NCORP, Kurt R. Oettel, MD

Welcome New Principal Investigators

Also at its June 3 meeting, the Principal Investigator Committee voted to approve requests to change the following voting principal investigators:

  • Montefiore Minority Underserved NCORP: Balazs Halmos, MD, replaces Joseph A. Sparano, MD
  • Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey: Howard S. Hochster, MD, replaces Joseph Aisner, MD
  • The University of Iowa/Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center: Asim A. Afaq, MBBS, replaces Jinha M. Park, MD, PhD
  • Wake Forest University Health Sciences: Jean-Luc C. Urbain, MD, PhD, replaces Caroline Chiles, MD

View the full voting Principal Investigator Committee roster at www.ecog-acrin.org.

For the Cancer Center at Tufts Medical Center, Rachel J. Buchsbaum, MD, replaces the late John (Jack) Erban, MD, as PI for ECOG-ACRIN. No Principal Investigator Committee vote was required to make this change, as the status of Tufts is non-voting.

Select Spring 2021 Group Meeting Session Recordings Now Available

The below Spring 2021 Virtual Group Meeting session recordings may now be viewed on demand via the members’ section of the ECOG-ACRIN website. Select Clinical and Administrative Resources, Session Materials (under the Administrative Column), and Spring 2021 Virtual Group Meeting Educational Session Resources.

  • Community Cancer Committee Session
  • General Session
  • Health Equity Committee Plenary Session
  • Joint ECOG-ACRIN NMA Advisory Panel Session
  • NCI-MATCH/EAY131 and ComboMATCH Update and Educational Session
  • Oncology Nursing Committee Session
  • Social Determinants of Health Working Group Session

Save the Date: Fall 2021 Group Meeting

ECOG-ACRIN is planning to hold its Fall 2021 Group Meeting in person from Wednesday, October 20 – Friday, October 22 at the Marriott Harbor Beach Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sessions will begin at approximately 10:00 am ET on Wednesday, October 20, and end at approximately 1:00 pm ET on Friday, October 22. ECOG-ACRIN will follow the latest local, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization guidelines regarding health and safety while on site. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for additional details. For questions, please email gmp@ecog-acrin.org.

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