In May, DCEG held a Town Hall Meeting to recognize the accomplishments of Division members during the past year. Director Stephen J. Chanock, M.D., welcomed staff and gave an update on Division activities. In addition, he paid special tribute to those who have made a substantial impact with their scientific contributions and service to the Division and Institute in 2015.
Fellowship Achievement Awards, which come with a stipend increase at the next appointment renewal, honored postdoctoral fellows who excelled during the past year. Recipients were Ana Best, Ph.D., Xing Hua, Ph.D., Noorie Hyun, Ph.D., Erikka Loftfield, Ph.D., Marlena Mariarz, Ph.D., Jessica Petrick, Ph.D., and Cindy Zhou, Ph.D.
Awards were also given for DCEG Outstanding Research Papers of 2015 in recognition of exceptional publications from fellows and staff scientists or clinicians. The Division's Senior Advisory Group judged the competition based on the papers' impact, innovation, and clarity of thought and language. Six fellows received awards:
Bryan Bassig, Ph.D.
"Occupational exposure to benzene and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in a population-based cohort: The Shanghai Women's Health Study,” Environmental Health Perspectives
Daniel C. Beachler, Ph.D.
"Multisite HPV16/18 vaccine efficacy against cervical, anal, and oral HPV infection,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Xing Hua, Ph.D.
"MEGSA: A powerful and flexible framework for analyzing mutual exclusivity of tumor mutations,” The American Journal of Human Genetics
Mitchell Machiela, Sc.D.
"Characterization of large structural genetic mosaicism in human autosomes,” The American Journal of Human Genetics
Orestis Panagiotou, M.D., Ph.D.
"Effect of bivalent human papillomavirus vaccination on pregnancy outcomes: Long term observational follow-up in the Costa Rica HPV Vaccine Trial,” The British Medical Journal
Hyuna Sung, Ph.D., M.A.
"Female breast cancer among Asian and Western populations: More similar than expected,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute
The recipient in the staff scientist or clinician category:
Hannah P. Yang, Ph.D., Sc.M.
"Infertility and incident endometrial cancer risk: A pooled analysis from the epidemiology of endometrial cancer consortium,” The British Journal of Cancer
The FLEX Program is a new competitive research funding project, shared jointly between DCEG and the NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR). The program promotes innovation and technology development while fostering collaborations across the NCI Intramural Research Program. After a review of 40 applications by senior staff within the DCEG Office of the Director and the CCR Science Board, two projects were selected. These projects were deemed to be highly innovative, with the potential to make a significant scientific impact. The DCEG winners were:
Douglas Stewart, M.D., for “Genomic dissection of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor formation”
Each year, the Division recognizes staff who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide tremendous service to their Office, Branch, or the Division as a whole. DCEG Special Appreciation Awards were given to Bin Zhu, Ph.D. (C), and Louise A. Brinton, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Zhu was recognized for his management of the bioinformatics team at CGR. He has played a critical role in analyzing and managing data generated by multiple platforms/technologies, as well as designing and developing bioinformatics pipelines.
Dr. Brinton was recognized for her research contributions and superb leadership of the former Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch. More recently, she has become a vital asset in her new role as Scientific Advisor for International Activities.
Mentoring is one of the most important values of the Division, and each year DCEG fellows nominate and vote for the Outstanding Mentor Award. This year, three mentors were selected in recognition of their exceptional commitment to the growth and productivity of junior scientists:
Eric A. Engels, M.D., M.P.H., was praised in the fellows’ nomination for “setting DCEG fellows on a path for success in their future epidemiology careers. His excitement for research is infectious, encouraging enthusiasm among his mentees, even when dealing with research obstacles. He is generous with his time, always eager to discuss research with his fellows.”
Ruth A. Kleinerman, M.P.H., “shows a profound interest in her mentees’ success by always taking extra time to discuss their new projects, progress, and goals. She is encouraging and never fails to show her appreciation for fellows’ contributions and efforts. Her commitment to being a lifelong learner makes her an incredible role model for all young scientists and fellows.”
Katherine A. McGlynn, Ph.D., M.P.H., “is a committed, responsive, warm-hearted mentor who is vested in the success and well-being of her trainees. She helps fellows grow scientifically and spends time on their professional development. This ability of balancing mentoring while promoting self-sufficiency is a unique trait that makes Dr. McGlynn an outstanding mentor.”
The DCEG Exemplary Service Award honors a Division scientist who combines sustained research accomplishments with outstanding service to NCI. This year’s award was given to Mark Schiffman, M.D., M.P.H., in honor of his outstanding molecular epidemiology research related to the human papillomavirus. His natural history and biomarker immunology research studies, in addition to his continuing advisory role on the past and proposed vaccine trials in Costa Rica, have fundamentally changed cervical cancer prevention. He is a superb mentor and serves across the Division on protocol review and biorepository committees, leading the translational epidemiology working group and now helping develop a seminar series.
The event was coordinated by Vicky Perez, M.A., M.S., Office of the Director.