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Promise and Progress - In the News

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

In the News

Date: July 16, 2014

Ken Cooke
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Kenneth Cooke, M.D., director of the pediatric oncology bone marrow transplantation program.

New Appointments

Kenneth J. Pienta, M.D., has been selected as the director of the Prostate Cancer and Genitourinary Cancer Program. He is joined by two co-directors, Samuel R. Denmeade, M.D., and Shawn E. Lupold, Ph.D. Dr. Pienta will facilitate the growth and development of the prostate and other genitourinary cancer research activities. He is a professor of urology and oncology and brings considerable previous leadership experience from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor where he held positions as director of urologic oncology and associate dean for clinical and translational research.  Dr. Pienta will continue as the director of Urology Research Laboratories in the Brady Urological Institute. 

Dr. Denmeade, whose clinical and basic science research has focused on bringing promising new therapies to patients with prostate cancer, will continue his translational research efforts conducting innovative clinical trials through his clinical practice and developing new therapeutics in the lab. He is a professor of oncology, pharmacology and molecular sciences, and urology.  He has collaborative relationships with colleagues across the institution and mentors fellows and young investigators in the Department of Oncology.

Dr. Lupold is an associate professor of urology, oncology and radiation oncology and molecular radiation sciences. His research focuses on prostate cancer biology with the goal of exploiting prostate and cancer tissue-specificity to develop new diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic agents. 

Michael A. Carducci, M.D., the AEGON Professor of Prostate Cancer Research, has been named the Kimmel Cancer Center’s associate director for clinical research. Dr. Carducci, who also is medical director of oncology for the Johns Hopkins National Capital region, will facilitate clinical research activities and will oversee the clinical research office and other clinical research core programs.

Angelo De Marzo, M.D., Ph.D., has returned to Johns Hopkins and will resume the role of associate director for cancer pathology.  Dr. De Marzo will facilitate research at the intersection of oncology and cancer pathology, which is becoming increasingly important in the age of personalized medicine. 

After a national search, Mark J. Levis, M.D., Ph.D., was selected as Director of the Leukemia Program, a division of the Hematologic Malignancies and Bone Marrow Transplant Program. This Kimmel Cancer Center program of excellence is a strategic area of research and clinical care at Johns Hopkins.  Dr. Levis is internationally renowned for his expertise in targeted therapies for leukemia and as an independent laboratory-based translational physician scientist in acute myeloid leukemia.

New Faculty

Colleen Annesley, M.D., has been appointed an instructor in oncology and pediatrics.  Dr. Annesley is an accomplished physician-scientist, focused on translational research of childhood leukemia. She has been working in Dr. Patrick Brown’s laboratory and is focused on the treatment of children with acute myeloid leukemia, elucidating the molecular mechanisms of disease initiation and maintenance to identify new targets for treatment.

Young Choi, Ph.D., has joined the Viral Oncology Program as an instructor in oncology. He will be developing a research program focused on cell death pathways in virus- associated cancers. Dr. Young completed his postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and has been a research associate in oncology since 2012. Recently, he and colleagues identified a novel post-translational mechanism that promotes cell survival and transformation through regulation of a cancer-related gene called Mcl-1 that has been usurped by the HTLV-1 tax gene, which is crucial for viral replication. Dr. Young has also distinguished himself by obtaining independent National Institutes of Health funding focused on mitochondrial targeting of proteins that mediate programmed cell death.

Kenneth Cooke, M.D., was named director of the Pediatric Oncology Bone Marrow Transplantation Program.  As a professor of oncology and pediatrics, he also will hold the Herman and Walter Samuelson Professorship in Oncology.  Prior to coming to the Kimmel Cancer Center, Dr. Cooke was an Ohio Eminent Scholar and the Leonard P. Hanna Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine.  He served as the Director of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program and the Director of the Multidisciplinary Initiative in Graft-versus-Host Disease at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center.  He was also the co-director of the Hematologic Disorders Program of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is recognized for his laboratory-to-clinic approach for developing novel strategies designed to prevent or treat graft-versus-host disease and other complications of bone marrow transplantation. An expert in transplant immunology, his work has been recognized with the Scholar in Clinical Research Award from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a Clinical Scientist Award in Translational Research from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and an induction into the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Nationally, Dr. Cooke served on the American Society of Hematology's Scientific Subcommittee on Stem Cell Biology and on the board of the directors of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

David Euhus, M.D., has joined Johns Hopkins as professor of surgery and chief of breast surgery within the Division of Surgical Oncology.  He will supervise and coordinate the development and growth of breast cancer care throughout Johns Hopkins Medicine and at the Johns Hopkins Breast Center..  Dr. Euhus is an internationally recognized expert in breast cancer and has dedicated his career to understanding at the molecular level why breast cancer occurs.  He developed the CancerGene software, a  program that is now used in more than 4,000 cancer centers in over 80 countries to identify a patient’s inherited risk for breast cancer.

Patrick Forde, M.B., B.Ch., has been appointed instructor of oncology. Dr. Forde, who recently completed his medical oncology fellowship at the Kimmel Cancer Center, will develop a translational and clinical investigation program focused on immunotherapies for lung cancer.

Gabriel Ghiaur, M.D., Ph.D., has joined the Hematologic Malignancies Program as an instructor in oncology and will be a member of the Leukemia Program and Bone Marrow Transplant Program. Dr. Ghiaur is a physician-scientist whose primary interest is normal and malignant blood cell development and particularly the role of the microenvironment in stem cell biology.

Noah M. Hahn, M.D, has joined the Prostate and Genitourinary Cancer Program as an associate professor of oncology and urology. Dr. Hahn is an experienced clinical investigator who has served as the Director of the Genitourinary Medical Oncology Program at Indiana University and Chief Scientific Officer for the Hoosier Oncology Group, a cancer research organization established to evaluate innovative and promising methods and approaches to cancer treatment.  He is a member of the Bladder Cancer Task Force for the National Cancer Institute’s Genitourinary Cancer Steering Committee and is chair of the Bladder Cancer Subcommittee of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG).  Dr. Hahn will be working to develop a Bladder Cancer Center of Excellence.

Hyunseok Kang, M.D., M.P.H., was selected to join the Upper Aerodigestive Cancer Program as an instructor in oncology. He was identified after a national search for a head and neck cancer translational clinician-scientist as a part of a program-wide clinical research expansion.  Dr. Kang is interested in novel therapeutics and plans to develop a translational and clinical investigation program focused on head and neck cancer. In addition, he will be an attending physician on the inpatient solid tumor service, establish a continuity outpatient clinic, and supervise fellows in clinic.?

Ana Kiess, M.D., Ph.D., an instructor in oncology, has joined the faculty of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences. In the clinic, she is focused on the treatment of head and neck cancer, and her research is concentrated on integration of novel molecular imaging techniques into the clinic.  Dr. Kiess has degrees in chemical engineering, medicine, and biomedical engineering.   She recently completed a fellowship in radiology at Johns Hopkins under the supervision of Dr. Martin Pomper.

Brian Ladle, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed to the Pediatric Oncology Program as an instructor in oncology and pediatrics.  He will be establishing an immunotherapy program for pediatric solid tumors, with a special focus on sarcomas. Dr. Ladle is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed his pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at Johns Hopkins.  He conducted his postdoctoral research in Dr. Elizabeth Jaffee’s laboratory, which included seminal studies detailing the mechanisms of regulatory antitumor immune responses.

Julie Nauroth, Ph.D., has been appointed director of the Flow Cytometry/Human Immunology Core Laboratory.  Dr. Nauroth has been a manager of clinical research, was a project manager for a number of collaborative studies for DSM Nutritional Products (formerly Martek Biosciences), and served as a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute. She has also held appointments in the Johns Hopkins departments of oncology and neurology. She will be responsible for developing and managing this newly combined core with existing technologies, along with newer immune monitoring technologies.

Karen Smith, M.D., M.P.H., a former staff physician at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and an assistant professor at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, has joined the Kimmel Cancer Center’s breast cancer program. Dr. Smith is particularly interested in cancer genetics, cancer survivorship, and clinical trials.  She will see patients at Sibley Memorial Hospital and will work closely with Breast Cancer Program co-directors Drs. Vered Stearns and Sara Sukumar to develop new treatment options for patients.

Cristian Tomasetti, Ph.D., after a national search, has been appointed assistant professor of oncology in the Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics with a joint appointment to the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics.  His research is focused on applying mathematics, statistical models, and computational tools to aid the study of evolutionary dynamics of cancer, development of drug resistance, cancer genomics, and stem cell dynamics.

Zheyu Wang, Ph.D., an assistant professor of oncology, was selected after a national search to join the Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics. Dr. Wang completed her undergraduate education in statistics at Peking University in China as a student in the prestigious Yuanpei Program which fosters interdisciplinary education. Her research is focused on diagnostic cancer tests and biomarker development, including the development of methodology for studies related to the accuracy of medical diagnostic tests.

John Wrangle, M.D., M.P.H., was appointed an instructor in oncology in the Cancer Biology Program.  Dr. Wrangle’s research is focused on epigenetics (nonmutational gene alterations) and clinical trials for esophageal cancer and lung cancer. He will oversee and manage clinical trials and biomarker strategies critical to the ongoing success of the Stand Up To Cancer epigenetics grant and the lung cancer SPORE (Specialized Programs of Research Excellence) projects.

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