UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Magazine Winter 2018 2018 Volume XXXIII Number 3 - Page 3

UAB COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER Director Michael J. Birrer, M.D., Ph.D. news from the director Deputy Director Ravi Bhatia, M.D. Associate Directors Etty Benveniste, Ph.D. Smita Bhatia, M.D, M.P.H. Mary-Ann Bjornsti, Ph.D. Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D. Harry Erba, M.D., Ph.D. Martin Heslin, M.D. Isabel Scarinci, Ph.D., M.P.H. Richard Whitley, M.D. Lalita Shevde-Samant, Ph.D. Director Emeritus and Advisor to the Director Edward E. Partridge, M.D. Senior Advisors Kirby I. Bland, M.D. James Bonner, M.D. Herbert Chen, M.D. Mona Fouad, M.D., M.P.H. Associate Director for Administration Michael Bertram, Ph.D., M.B.A. OFFICE OF DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS Development Coordinator Alex Huffman Director of Communications Beena Thannickal Director of Education and Supportive Services Teri Hoenemeyer, Ph.D., M.S. Director, Corporate Development and Special Events Danya Segrest Senior Director of Development and Community Relations Lisa Roth Marketing Specialist Kendra Carter Communications Coordinator Courtney Bishop UAB COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER MAGAZINE Editor Kendra Carter Medical Advisor Michael J. Birrer, M.D., Ph.D. Writers Courtney Bishop Kendra Carter Beena Thannickal Matt Windsor Art Director Erick Guillen Copy Editors Courtney Bishop Kendra Carter Beena Thannickal Matt Windsor Photographers Courtney Bishop Lisa Harris Nik Layman Sarah Shepard Beena Thannickal Steve Wood Carson Young Varian Systems, Amgen Printing UAB Print Services Produced by the Office of Development and Community Relations. In this issue of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Magazine, I am excited to share my story along with my vision for moving the Cancer Center forward. How we got here is just as important as where we are going. The legacy of this Cancer Center is very impressive. It started in 1972 with the signing of the National Cancer Act by then- President Richard Nixon. In 1973, eight centers were named as ‘comprehensive’ cancer centers — UAB was one of them. We were there at the beginning! Over the years, there have been many fabulous accomplishments, including in 1987 when the UAB Cancer Center purchased one of the first DNA sequencers in the nation and carried out the first trial ever of a genetically engineered monoclonal antibody. In 1992, a cancer control effort was funded in the Black Belt which ultimately led to the creation of the Deep South Network. This has created a UAB Cancer Center legacy of reaching out “to serve the underserved” and address cancer health disparities unmatched throughout the United States. It’s not hard to imagine why the Cancer Center has been continuously funded for 45 years. This is the Cancer Center that I took over as director on August 1. You can understand my excitement taking the reins of such a prestigious Cancer Center — and I believe the best is yet to come. I have never known a more exciting time in oncology with therapeutic developments moving at a rapid pace. Treatments are specifically targeted with toxicities that are extremely limited. We now have the capability of curing previously fatal diseases or transforming them into clinically manageable chronic ones. The UAB Cancer Center is well positioned to lead oncology care and research in the decade. Our physicians are known for providing high-quality, cutting-edge treatment options for their patients. Our scientists work diligently to uncover groundbreaking discoveries that move quickly and safely from their labs to our patient’s bedside. It is not an exaggeration to say every single person who works at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is working every day toward making an impact in the fight against cancer. This issue of the magazine highlights the past, present and future of the UAB Cancer Center. It describes the historic perspective, ongoing research efforts, new clinical interventions and improvements in compassionate care. Most prominently, it includes the ongoing achievements of our members and staff. For instance, Dr. Mona Fouad, senior advisor in the Cancer Center, was elected to the National Academy of Medicine — one of the highest honors for a physician in the United States — for her tireless efforts toward eliminating health disparities. We also feature staff member Pam Alverson, whose tenacity, work ethic and compassion, led her to be chosen as UAB’s Employee of the Year, the highest recognition for staff members from the university. It is important to note that the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center has been there from the beginning of the “war on cancer.” And I want it to be there at the end when cancer is no longer a health problem! Thank you for all your support as we start a new chapter together. Michael J. Birrer, M.D., Ph.D. Director and Evalina B. Spencer Chair in Oncology IVE COMPREHENS NTER CANCER CE ENSIVE COMPREH E S I G N AT E D C E 19 71 AN NCI-D ENTER SIN CANCER C N U MBER 1 ME X X XII • 2016 • VOLU For a free subscription to UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, please call (205) 934-0321 or send email with your name and address to kendrakc@uab.edu. LLED A DRUG CA Hope Comprehensi ies at the UAB Phas e I Stud er ve Cancer Cent C U A B C C # K N O W # K N O W U A B C C C • U A B . E D U / C A N C E R 1