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Promise and Progress - Fellowships

Reprogramming Cancer Cells - The Story of Epigenetics
Issue No. 1


Date: July 16, 2014

Next-Generation Science Requires Next-Generation Training

Talented young investigators represent the future of cancer research and clinical care, and the Kimmel Cancer Center is fortunate to attract some of the best and brightest young clinicians and scientists in cancer medicine. “Fellowship programs are the cornerstone to laboratory and clinical education because they provide key support to young investigators and clinicians at an extremely critical point in their careers—the very beginning—when funding is often the most difficult to secure,” says Kimmel Cancer Center Director William Nelson, M.D., Ph.D.  “In recent years, an explosion in technology has dramatically increased the pace of cancer discovery, and we must meet the challenge and adapt our fellowship programs to make certain that training keeps pace with discovery.”

Now, through the generosity of three donors, the Kimmel Cancer Center is launching a unique, among the first-of-its-kind fellowship training program.  It incorporates paradigm-shifting advances in cancer genetics and epigenetics, cancer immunology, and personalized cancer medicine that are largely pioneered by Kimmel Cancer Center investigators.  Working side by side with accomplished cancer experts, our clinicians and scientists in training will be better skilled to work within a complex, rapidly-changing scientific environment and better prepared to further decipher the mysteries of cancer and apply them to cancer care.

Time is critically important in the management of cancer.  These programs work to remove any lag between innovation and education. Dr. Nelson says this novel, donor-facilitated effort will make Kimmel Cancer Center fellows among the best trained in the world, armed with the knowledge and expertise to become leaders in cancer medicine at Johns Hopkins and around the world.

The MacMillan Family Oncology Fellowship Program

A $5 million endowed gift from Nancy and Duncan MacMillian will expand and bolster fellowship training throughout the Kimmel Cancer Center. The MacMillan’s have also supported Daniel Laheru, M.D., and his work developing and testing new treatments for pancreatic cancer through the Ian T. MacMillan Professorship in Clinical Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Fellowship Training Program

A $1 million gift from Margareta Augustine strengthens Kimmel Cancer Center fellowship training programs in hematologic (blood and bone marrow) malignancies, breast cancer, and neuro-oncology (brain and spinal cancers). “In my association with Johns Hopkins Medicine over the years, I have been enormously impressed with the dedication and competence of everyone whom I have met.  It is my hope that this contribution will help bring about one more step of this life-saving work,” says Ms. Augustine, who has been a member of the Kimmel Cancer Center Advisory Board since 2001.  She has also supported the research of Richard Ambinder, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Director of the Hematologic Malignancies Program.

The Harriet and Jerry E. Dempsey Scholars for Cancer Research Fund

A $1 million gift from Harriet and Jerry Dempsey has allowed the Kimmel Cancer Center to provide much-needed support to clinician-scientists-in-training in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences.  The research fund provides promising investigators and clinicians the opportunity to learn how to optimally translate the latest advances in tumor biology, physics, engineering, and imaging into patient care. “The generous gift of Mr. and Mrs. Dempsey to support our fabulously talented young trainees reveals the Dempsey’s passion for excellence and their vision for improved care of cancer patients, now and in the future,” says Theodore DeWeese, M.D., Director of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences.

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