News and Noteworthy 2022
Golfers vs. Brain Cancer Foundation Donates $40,000 for Brain Cancer Research
May 3, 2022 - Golfers vs. Brain Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation started in 2008 by Melissa and Jay Pittman and their family and friends. Diagnosed with a brain tumor, Melissa courageously battled the odds for eight years until her passing in 2016. Her mission “Let’s Find a Cure” has been an inspiration and remains the focus of the foundation. Through their annual golf tournament, they have continued their support with a $40,000 gift to aid the pioneering research of Moffitt’s Neuro-Oncology Department. Their annual support has continued since the completion of their first event, and Golfers vs. Brain Cancer also supports the ongoing work of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. The 2022 event is scheduled for November 17 and 18 at East Lake Woodlands Country Club.
JKTG Foundation Funds Heiko Enderling Project to Personalize Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer
Jan. 18, 2022 -The Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy has extended prior JKTGF funded research to Heiko Enderling, Ph.D., a faculty member of Moffitt Cancer Center, to support his work personalizing radiation therapy to better fight breast cancer.
It is now widely recognized that breast cancer therapy should be tailored to individual patients. While patient-specific data has affected the decision for use of chemotherapy, it has yet to impact radiation therapy, the single most used therapeutic treatment in oncology. This research seeks to decipher the architecture of the tumor-immune ecosystem in biopsy tissues to identify the optimal radiation protocol – on a per-patient basis – to induce robust immunity and eradicate the tumor.
Moffitt Researcher and Childhood Friend Join Forces to Advance Immunology
Jan. 18, 2022 - VoLo Foundation founders David S. Vogel and Thais Lopez Vogel are continuing their investment in childhood friend and Moffitt researcher, Dr. José Alejandro Guevara-Patiño. Growing up in Venezuela together, two childhood friends have become visionaries in their fields. “Cancer, just like climate change, is a global crisis,” said Thais Lopez Vogel. “We need to talk about it and treat it with urgency, the good news is they both have a cure.”
Dr. Guevara joined the faculty at Moffitt Cancer Center as a Senior Member in the Department of Immunology and as a Member of the Immuno-Oncology Program. His research focuses on identifying signaling cues that can be exploited for the benefit of cancer patients receiving T cell-based immunotherapy. VoLo Foundation generously donated $200,000 to advance Dr. Guevara promising work and improve patient outcomes.
Moffitt Researcher Named Fellow of The Obesity Society
Sept. 28, 2021 – Tiffany Carson, Ph.D., MPH, has been named a Fellow by The Obesity Society, the leading professional society focused on obesity science, treatment and prevention. Fellowship is the highest honor the organization can bestow and highlights Carson’s contributions to the field of obesity research.
Three Moffitt Researchers Named to New AACR Cancer Evolution Working Group
July 29, 2021 – Moffitt Cancer Center research faculty members Drs. Robert Gatenby, Robert Gillies and Andriy Marusyk have been named to The American Association for Cancer Research newly formed scientific working group dedicated to supporting cancer evolution research.
The mission of the AACR Cancer Evolution Working Group is to advance cancer diagnostic, therapeutic, and prevention strategies by fostering a fundamental understanding of cancer evolution amongst its members and the broader cancer research community.
Moffitt Physician Selected for NCCN Oncology Research Program Funding
July 15, 2021 - The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® Oncology Research Program selected clinical trial led by Rutika Mehta, M.D., MPH, assistant member of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Department at Moffitt Cancer Center, as one of three research projects to be funding. All the projects evaluate the use of neratinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in various tumor types. The funding is in partnership with Puma Biotechnology, Inc. Mehta’s trial is a phase 2 study of neratinib in combination with chemotherapy and trastuzumab in HER2 overexpressing gastroesophageal cancers.
Moffitt Researcher Named President of the Society for Mathematical Biology
June 25, 2021 - Heiko Enderling, Ph.D. has been named president of the Society for Mathematical Biology. The organization was founded in 1973 to promote the development and dissemination of research and education at the interface between the mathematical and biological sciences.
Inaugural Dr. Louis B. Harrison Award Announced
June 5, 2021 - Dr. Austin Sim, a graduate fellow in Radiation Oncology, was named the first-ever recipient of the Louis B. Harrison Award this month.
Residency directors Drs. Jessica Frakes and Stephen Rosenberg announced the award on June 5. The award, funded by Eileen and Howard Curd, is focused on teaching physician leadership and is believed to be the only longitudinal program of its kind in the country.
Issam El Naqa, Ph.D. Awarded Michael S. Patterson Publication Impact Prize in Medical Physics
June 1, 2021 - Issam El Naqa, Ph.D, was the Michael S. Patterson Publication Impact Prize in Medical Physics for 2021 for his role as senior author on the article titled, "A radiomics model from joint FDG-PET and MRI texture features for the prediction of lung metastases in soft-tissue sarcomas of the extremetities." The paper advanced the field of radiomics by proposing a new technique based on joint fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance texture-based multivariable model in order to better predict aggressive tumors.
This prize was introduced in 2016 and is awarded for a scientific paper written by a member of the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists who has had a tremendous impact on the field of medical physics.