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People in the News June 2008

May - June, 2008  |  Volume 7, Issue 3

Dr. Karen Antman sitting at a desk with a tree outside in the background. Photo: BU Photo Services.
Photo: BU Photo
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Board Member Wins Oncologists' Award

Fogarty Board of Advisors member Dr. Karen H. Antman, has won the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Distinguised Service Award for Scientific Leadership, the organization's highest award.

Dr. Antman, who is provost of Boston University Medical Campus and dean of Boston University School of Mecicine, previously was the National Cancer Institute's Deputy director for translational and clinical sciences. She was cited for her work in developing a standard treatment regimen for sarcoma.

Grantee Named Pentagon Fellow

A Fogarty grantee collaborating on a project with colleagues in Slovakia has been named one of six Defense Department all-stars - scientists whose novel research may one day strengthen national security.

Dr. Barbara G. Shinn-Cunningham of Boston University, recipient of a Fogarty International Research Collaboration Award, has been researching auditory pathways to better understand the mechanism by which people process what they hear. Her project for the Pentagon is "managing acoustic communications in high-stress settings."

As a National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow, she will be eligible for up to $3 million over five years from the Pentagon, which is encouraging the nation's top scientists to undertake high-risk research that would enhance the military's ability to maintain superiority.

Eiss Writes Product Development Paper

Fogarty Senior Public Health Advisor Robert Eiss has published a paper on the intellectual property ramifications of public-private partnership product development for global health outcomes.

The paper appears in Health Partnerships Review published by the Global Health Forum for Health Research. In it, Eiss says "an effective and efficient drug development pipeline will require the continued development of an international clinical trials system that engages local investigators, communities and ethical review committees."

He also calls for more involvement by science and its funders in operational and health services research.

Malaria Partnership Successes Cited

Program officer Dr. Barbara Sina presented successes of Fogarty's long-time partnership with other global health organizations of the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) before a symposium of leading scientists arranged by the National Academies in June.

Along with current MIM coordinator Francine Ntoumi, Sina offered a case study of the 11-year-old program as an example of multisectoral partnerships aimed at a particular objective, in this case, elimination of malaria. Fogarty and other I/Cs were instrumental in the birth of the program, which includes foreign governments, UN agencies, international research organizations and pharmaceutical companies.

Supply of Cancer Drugs May Be at Risk

Fogarty's Deputy Director of the Division of International Training and Research, Dr. Joshua Rosenthal, was quoted in a Journal of the National Cancer Institute article on the threat to potential cancer-fighting drugs native to rapidly vanishing rainforests.

"Today, plants remain an important and continuing source of novel chemotypes," he said. While researchers have not yet described (chemically) or analyzed most plant species and genera, they are rapidly disappearing at a time when research tools are much more powerful."

An estimated 50,000-70,000 plant species alone are thought to have medicinal qualities, the article said.

"Back to Nature: Extinction of Medicinal Plants Threatens Drug Discovery. Brower, Vicki. Journal of the National Cancer Institute Advance Access published online on June 10, 2008 JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute, doi:10.1093/jnci/djn199

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