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National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
January 12, 2010 • Volume 7 / Number 1

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In Memoriam: NCI's Dr. James W. Jacobson

Dr. James JacobsonDr. James Jacobson

Dr. James W. Jacobson, acting associate director of the Cancer Diagnosis Program (CDP) in NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD), succumbed to complications from leukemia on December 23, 2009. Dr. Jacobson joined NCI in 1991 as a program director for genetics. In 1997, he became the chief of what is now the Diagnostic Biomarkers and Technology Branch and continued to hold that position when he became acting head of CDP in 2008.

Dr. Jacobson made many important contributions to NCI and the cancer research community through his leadership in developing and implementing major translational research initiatives. Most recently, he spearheaded NCI’s effort to initiate a national laboratory effort to characterize patient tumors at the molecular level and to validate predictive molecular assays in phase III clinical trials.

“He was a guiding light in developing the Strategic Partnering to Evaluate Cancer Signatures (SPECS) initiative, which has allowed large collaborative research groups to define the critical components of comprehensive molecular analyses and begin incorporating them into clinical practice,” said Dr. James H. Doroshow, DCTD director. “SPECS could not be accomplished under the traditional R01 grant, and Jim was instrumental in setting up a new type of award to push the program forward. He was an incredibly generous, kind, and encouraging leader who leaves a legacy of researchers who will continue his pursuit of reliable molecular information that will inform clinical decision making for people with cancer.”

Dr. Jacobson also played a major role in the development of the Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) program, and he developed and led the Director’s Challenge initiative. Dr. Jacobson received an NIH Award of Merit for his role in the early implementation of the extramural component of the Cancer Genome Anatomy Project. Throughout his career, Dr. Jacobson convened workshops to bring scientists from different research areas in industry, academia, and government together to discuss how to improve technology development and application for patient benefit.

Dr. Jacobson graduated from Dartmouth College, earned his doctoral degree at the University of Utah, and did post-doctoral research at Yale University prior to joining the faculty of the University of Georgia. He worked for the Genex Corporation for 12 years prior to joining NCI.

NCI Sponsors Symposium on Glycomics in Cancer Detection and Diagnosis

On January 19, NCI will sponsor a meeting of the Alliance of Glycobiologists for Detection of Cancer and Cancer Risk, titled “Integrating Glycomics with other ‘Omics’ in Cancer Detection and Diagnosis.” The open symposium will be held at the Stanford University School of Medicine Bechtel Conference Center. In addition to the university, collaborators include SRI International and the OMICS Publishing Group. The Alliance is a trans-NIH initiative to discover, develop, and clinically validate cancer biomarkers for early detection and diagnosis by targeting complex carbohydrates. View the agenda and register for the meeting online.

NCI Symposium Addresses Biospecimen Quality in Cancer Research

2010 Biospecimen Research Network Symposium logo

Registration is now open for the NCI’s 3rd Annual Biospecimen Research Network Symposium, “Advancing Cancer Research Through Biospecimen Science.” The event will be held March 24–25 in Bethesda, MD.

The symposium will address the significant impact biospecimen quality has on cancer research and molecular medicine. Participants will hear presentations and engage in interactive discussions about the issue of biospecimen variables and ways to address it. Hosted by NCI’s Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research, the meeting will bring together leaders in the fields of biospecimen research, genomics, proteomics, oncology, pathology, biobanking, hospital administration, and pharmaceuticals, as well as patient advocates.

Go online to register and to get the latest information about speakers, topics, and participation.

NCI's Recovery Act Web Site Showcases Funded Researchers

NCI’s Recovery Act Web site is bringing ARRA-funded research to life through a new feature on the people behind the science. The Impact on Communities page showcases work being done in cancer research and the impact stimulus funding is making in communities across the country. Under the heading Funded Researchers, visitors can scroll through profiles and photos of various researchers funded by the Recovery Act and learn about the projects that are shaping the future of cancer care.

If you are a recipient of Recovery Act funding and would like to add your profile to the site, contact the staff that update the site with new submissions.

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