publication date: Jul. 25, 2014

In Brief
Jordan to join MD Anderson Cancer Center

will join MD Anderson Cancer Center as a professor in Breast Medical Oncology and Molecular and Cellular Oncology. He will begin work in October.

Jordan will focus on the biology of estrogen-induced cell death, with the goal of developing translational approaches for treatment.

Currently, he serves as scientific director of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University and as the Vincent T. Lombardi Chair of Translational Cancer Research.

He also serves as vice chairman of the Department of Oncology and professor of oncology and pharmacology at Georgetown University’s Medical School. In addition, he’s a visiting professor of molecular medicine at the University of Leeds in England, and an adjunct professor of molecular pharmacology and biological chemistry at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Jordan was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2009, and has been awarded the St. Gallen Prize for Breast Cancer, the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor, and the David A. Karnofsky Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Jordan is credited with reinventing a failed contraceptive, known then as ICI 46474, as the breast cancer drug tamoxifen. The drug, in existence since the 1960s, was originally created to block estrogen in the hopes of preventing pregnancy.

Jordan developed the strategy of long-term adjuvant tamoxifen therapy, as well as describing and deciphering the properties of a new group of medicines called selective estrogen receptor modulators.

Prior to joining Georgetown University, Jordan served on the faculties at Northwestern University Medical School; the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine; the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Berne, Switzerland; and the University of Leeds, England.


KEVIN FITZGERALD, a Jesuit priest, Georgetown bioethicist and cancer researcher, has been appointed by Pope Francis to serve as a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Culture.

FitzGerald, a research associate professor in the department of oncology and the David P. Lauler Chair for Catholic Health Care Ethics at Georgetown University Medical Center, began his five-year term July 1 as one of 34 newly appointed consultors from around the world.

FitzGerald will advise the council on areas including bioethics, genetics, neuroscience and transhumanism, which refers to a movement that seeks to transcend the human condition through technology, artificial intelligence and other related concepts.


JOHN BIRKMEYER was named executive vice president for enterprise support services for the Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system.

Birkmeyer is the George D. Zuidema Professor of Surgery at the University of Michigan, and is head of the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy. He also directs the Michigan Value Collaborative, a partnership between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan and leaders of 54 Michigan hospitals.

Between 1989, when he began his surgical residency, and 2004, when he was recruited to the University of Michigan, he served as chief of surgery at the White River Junction VA Medical Center, as chief of the section of general surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, and as a core contributor to the Dartmouth Atlas of Healthcare. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2006.

Birkmeyer’s research career has focused on understanding variation in surgical outcomes and cost-efficiency. He is also founder and chief scientific officer of ArborMetrix, a venture capital-funded analytics and services company.


ELLEN MILLER SONET was named chief strategy and alliance officer of CancerCare.

Sonet will serve on the nonprofit’s executive leadership team. She previously served for nearly 17 years as vice president of marketing at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Prior to her tenure at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Sonet worked in pharmaceutical marketing on brands such as Afrin Nasal Spray and Bayer Aspirin.


REP. HENRY WAXMAN received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The 340B Coalition.

The coalition honored the California congressman for his role in the creation of the 340B drug discount program and for his stewardship of it over the years.

Waxman, who is retiring from Congress at the end of the year, received the award during the opening of the coalition’s 18th annual meeting. The coalition is an umbrella organization of groups that represent safety-net providers and programs participating in the 340B program.

Past recipients of the award include Sen. Tom Harkin, and former Sen. Jeff Bingaman.



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