publication date: Jan. 3, 2014


JULIE VOSE was elected president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology for a one-year term beginning in June 2015. She will take office as president-elect during ASCO’s annual meeting in Chicago in June 2014.

Vose is the Neumann M. and Mildred E. Harris Professorial Chair and Chief of the Oncology/Hematology Division in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and the associate director of clinical research and co-chair of the Lymphoma Program at the Fred and Pamela Buffet Cancer Center.

Since joining ASCO in 1991, she has served on the board of directors, as chair of the Cancer Education Committee, and is the current chair-elect of the Integrated Media and Technology Committee. She is also a member of the board of directors for the University of Nebraska Medical Center Physicians Group, co-chair of the NCO Lymphoma Steering Committee, and serves on the FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee.

Additionally, four members were elected to the ASCO board of directors, and two members were elected to the ASCO nominating committee. The following physicians will begin four-year terms as members of ASCO’s Board of Directors starting in June 2014:

• Linda Bosserman
was elected to a community oncologist seat. She is president of the Wilshire Oncology Medical Group, Inc. Since joining ASCO in 1990, Bosserman has served on the Quality Care Symposium Planning Committee and Practice Guidelines Implementation Network. She was a member of the White House Physician Forum on Health Reform in 2009.

• David Khayat
was elected to an international oncologist seat. He is the head of the Department of Medical Oncology at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris. Since joining ASCO in 1987, he has served as chair of the International Affairs Committee, on the Cancer Education Committee, and as associate editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. He has served as president of the French National Cancer Institute and the French Federation of Medical Oncologists.

• Walter Curran
was elected to a radiation oncologist seat. He is the executive director of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and the Lawrence W. Davis Professor and chairman of Emory’s Department of Radiation Oncology. Since joining ASCO in 1988, Curran has served on the Cancer Research Committee, the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, and the Conquer Cancer Foundation Advanced Clinical Research Award in Glioma Subcommittee. He is one of three founding principal investigators of the new NCI-funded cooperative group NRG Oncology and the founding chair of the NRG Oncology Foundation Board.

• Charles Blanke
was elected to an undesignated specialty seat. He is a professor of medicine at the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology. Since joining ASCO in 1995, Blanke has served as chair of the Cancer Education Committee, co-chair of the Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium Program Committee, and on the Journal of Clinical Oncology editorial board. He is the chair of SWOG.

The following two members of the ASCO Nominating Committee will serve three-year terms beginning in June 2014:

Gregory Reaman is the associate director of the FDA Office of Hematology and Oncology Products, a professor of pediatrics at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and an adjunct professor of oncology and pediatrics at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Since joining ASCO in 1978, he has served on the board of directors, the Cancer Survivorship Committee, and as chair of the Membership Committee, among other activities. He is a past chair of the Children’s Oncology Group.

David Spriggs is head of the Division of Solid Tumor Oncology and the Winthrop Rockefeller Chair of Medical Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and a professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Since joining ASCO in 1986, he has served on the Scientific Program Committee, chair of the Grants Selection Committee, and as an associate editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. He serves as an associate editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. Spriggs will serve as the 2016-2017 chair of the Nominating Committee.

The winners of the 2014 BREAKTHROUGH PRIZE in fundamental physics and life sciences were announced Dec. 12 at the NASA Ames Center, in Mountain View, Calif.

The prizes have a total awarded amount of $21 million.

The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences
recognizes excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life.

The 2014 recipients are:

• James Allison
, of MD Anderson Cancer Center, won for the discovery of T cell checkpoint blockade as an effective cancer therapy.

• Robert Langer
, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for discoveries leading to the development of controlled drug-release systems and new biomaterials.

• Michael Hall
, of the University of Basel, for the discovery of Target of Rapamycin and its role in cell growth control.

• Alexander Varshavsky
, of the California Institute of Technology, for discovering critical molecular determinants and biological functions of intracellular protein degradation.

• Mahlon DeLong
, of Emory University, for defining the interlocking circuits in the brain that malfunction in Parkinson’s disease. This scientific foundation underlies the circuit-based treatment of Parkinson’s disease by deep brain stimulation.

• Richard Lifton
, of Yale University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, for the discovery of genes and biochemical mechanisms that cause hypertension.

The Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
recognizes transformative achievements in the field of fundamental physics, with a focus on recent developments.

The 2014 winners are Michael Green, of the University of Cambridge, and John Schwarz, of California Institute of Technology, for opening new perspectives on quantum gravity and the unification of forces.

ANDREA SLOAN, an ovarian cancer patient whose efforts to get access to a BioMarin drug attracted national media attention, died from complications of pneumonia Jan. 1 (The Cancer Letter, Nov. 8, 2013). Sloan, an Austin attorney, was 45.

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