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Promise and Progress - Honors and Awards

The Time is Now: 2010-2011

Honors and Awards

Date: November 11, 2010

Elizabeth Platz
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Elizabeth Platz, Sc.D., M.P.H., has been selected as the first Abeloff Scholar

Elizabeth Platz, Sc.D., M.P.H., has been selected as the first Abeloff Scholar. Platz is nationally recognized for her work in cancer prevention and specifically for her research of the role of statins in preventing prostate cancer. She is the co-director of the Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program and directs the Training Program in Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control. “Dr. Platz is a dedicated, compassionate investigator and teacher who is at the forefront of cancer prevention and control,” says Kimmel Cancer Center Director William Nelson, M.D., Ph.D.

The Abeloff Scholars Program in Cancer Prevention and Control was established in 2007 to combine the study of basic, clinical, and population science.  It supports faculty scholars as they study the causes and risk factors of cancer in healthy populations and develop new approaches to cancer risk reduction and prevention. The program honors former Kimmel Cancer Center director Dr. Martin Abeloff.

“Through the Abeloff Scholars Program we have the opportunity to carry out Marty’s vision of supporting and training outstanding investigators, mentors, and young scientists to become leaders in cancer prevention and control,” says Nelson. “These specialists will be trained in multidisciplinary sciences and will have to address the ever-increasing burden of cancer worldwide through development of new approaches, implementation and assessment of community-based initiatives, and further understanding the causes and risk factors for cancer, discoveries which will significantly impact this field.”

After an international search, Vered Stearns, M.D., was named Co-Director of the Kimmel Cancer Center’s Breast Cancer Program. Stearns will serve as Co-Director with Sara Sukumar, Ph.D., the Barbara B. Rubenstein Professor in Oncology.

Stearns joined the Kimmel Cancer Center faculty in 2002 and is best known for her ground-breaking work on genetic responses to the drug tamoxifen and the use of biomarkers to implement new interventions for breast cancer treatment and prevention.  Her research focuses on agents that target epigenetic modifications in breast cancer and gene methylation as a prognostic and predictive marker in breast cancer.  She is internationally recognized for her research in improving therapeutic options for women who suffer hot flashes.

Stephen Baylin, M.D., was awarded the Alfred G. Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics. In addition, Baylin was chosen on behalf of the faculty of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Laboratory Medicine to give the 2010 Brecher Lecture.  The Brecher Lecture commemorates the late George Brecher, past president of the American Society of Hematology and founding chairman of the UCSF Department of Laboratory Medicine.

Artist Bobbie Burnett was the top winner of the Daily Record’s 2010 Health Care Heroes.  Burnett was recognized for her work with the Caring Collection, a philanthropic effort she launched in 1983.  Making and selling stained glass angels, designed by Burnett and assembled by her dedicated group of volunteers, she has donated nearly $1 million for cancer research and care at the Kimmel Cancer Center and for the cancer program at Anne Arundel Medical Center.  For more information on the Caring Collection or to purchase a stain glass angel, visit

Leisha Emens, M.D., Ph.D., received the 2010 Breast Cancer SPORE Supplemental Grant for $1 million funded by the Kay Yow/WBCA Foundation and The V Foundation.  She was selected by The V Foundation Scientific Advisory Board for her clinical research project Facilitating Potent Breast Tumor Immunity by Antibody-Vaccination.

The Ethisphere Institute, a New York-based think tank established to advance best practices in business ethics and corporate social responsibility, named The Johns Hopkins Hospital to its 2010 list of the world’s most ethical companies and institutions.

Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., Ph.D., was appointed associate director for translational research. Jaffee, the Dana and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli Professor in Oncology, will help define common goals and set directions for our translational research activities.  She will facilitate activities across Cancer Center programs and build bridges with faculty in other departments throughout Johns Hopkins University as well as investigators at other universities and with industry.

Jun O. Liu, Ph.D., received a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award. The honor goes to scientists of exceptional creativity who propose novel and possibly transforming approaches to major biomedical or behavioral challenges.

Lillie Shockney, R.N., B.S., M.A.S., administrative director of the Avon Foundation Breast Center and University Distinguished Service Associate Professor of Breast Cancer, was inducted into the 2010 Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame.

Antonio C. Wolff, M.D., received an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Statesman Award.  The award recognizes ASCO members who have given 20 years or more  volunteer service, demonstrating extraordinary dedication and commitment to ASCO.

Director’s Teaching Awards in Clinical Science were presented to:  Ben Ho Park, M.D., Ph.D.; B. Douglas Smith, M.D.; Robert Arceci, M.D., Ph.D.; and Richard Zellars, M.D.  The Director’s Teaching Award in Laboratory-Based Cancer Research was awarded to Srinivasan Yegnasubramanian, M.D., Ph.D.

Top Nurses
The Friends of Oncology Nursing Clinical Excellence, Advanced Practice and Research Nurse Awards recognize professional nurses who exemplify excellence in providing comprehensive and compassionate care to individuals with cancer and their families. Congratulations to this year’s winners:

Clinical Excellence Awards
Diane Lewicki, R.N.
Kathy Mooney, B.S.N., RN
Michael Agugo, R.N.
Rosanna McGarrahan, B.S.N., R.N.
Joan Diaz, R.N.
Danielle Crump, B.S.N., R.N.

Advanced Practice Nurse Clinical Excellence Award
Tracy Douglas, M.S.N, R.N., O.C.N.

Research Nurse Clinical Excellence Award
Alice Pons, B.S.N., R.N.

Friend of Oncology Nursing Award
Dave Lindenstruth, M.B.A.
Phil Weiner, M.S.

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