See also our related blog for the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Initiative.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Acknowledging the Amazing Team at GCCRI

As our laboratory moves officially from San Antonio to OHSU in Portland next week, it's important to acknowledge the incredibly talented group we've been able to work with at GCCRI in San Antonio.  

In the time since our lab started in 2005, we've published over 2 dozen papers with funding in the form of R01(s), NIH S10 grants and other competitive awards.  All this was possible through the hard work and intellectual contributions of postdoctoral fellows including:

- Eri Taniguchi (who went on to a second fellowship at MGH/Harvard and is now at Cincinnati Children's Hospital), 
- Koichi Nishijo (who is now Clinical Leader in Oncology Therapeutic Development, Bayer Japan), 
- Sachiko Ohshima (who has gone on to a second fellowship with Dr. Marina Emborg, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison), 
- Tohru Hosoyama (who has gone on to a second fellowship with Dr. Masatoshi Suzuki, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison), 
- Min Jung Cho (who is now faculty in the Dept of Pediatrics, Busan National University Hospital, Korea), 
- Anu Soundararajan (who has gone on to a second fellowship with Dr. Peter Fox at Research Imaging Institute, UTHSCSA), 
- Aoife Kilcoyne (who is a Radiology Resident in Dublin, Ireland),  and 
- Jinu Abraham (who will be taking an important leadership role with the PPTI in our lab at OHSU).  

We've also had the good fortune to have diligent, kind-hearted and highly effective scientific staff, including the tireless Laura Nelon, Xiaolan Yi, Beverly Schaffer and Sheila Hampton.  Laura, Xiaolan and Sheila made the move possible, and I personally can't thank them enough.  In fact, there are almost no words that can adequately express our appreciation.  The single most productive person, at least by authorship count, would be Suresh Prajapati, who managed our Small Animal Imaging Resource Facility with incredible efficiency and professionalism. 

We graduated four graduate students, Patrick "P.J." Hawkes, Lisa Nevell, Corrine Chua, and the award-winning Aislynn Samano.  Aislynn was particularly resilient in finding a way to rate therapies for medulloblastoma using our mouse models.  And of course, Lisa is now a postdoctoral fellow with Nobel laureate, Mario Capecchi.  We've had many other part time and Summer students in our lab that we've highlighted previously (including Mandy McCleish, Jerry Chang, Hunter Weibush, Steven McCarthy and Andrea Rodriguez), but it's important to acknowledge the incredible Courtney Kubicek, a nursing student who began each schoolday at 6am by examinations... of our mice!  She will surely be an outstanding nurse anesthetist one day soon.  Medical student Imran Aslam deserves special recognition, too, for working with Tohru to turn an AMA medical student seed grant into an important part of an R01 application that scored 25 (7th percentile). 

The staff at GCCRI deserve our deep thanks, also.  They include our fearless and sage Administrator, Bill Chessher (as a former hospital administrator, rodeo man, heavy equipment operator and poultry farmer, Bill's memoirs should be rather interesting), financial and information technology head Tony Mendicino (who knew both could be done by the same person, and so effectively!), Danette Besancon (the ultimate can-do person), Richard McDougle (to whom all PI's must account), the talented graphics artist David Rodriguez, helpful grantsperson Lucy Hernandez, talented histologist Michelle Brady, flow cytometry aficionado Jenny Rebeles, the gifted network systems engineer Barron Blackman, the sleepless network support person Tony Dennie, as well as the undeniable and very loved facility manager Tracy Byrd and Irma Gonzalez, who we couldn't have done without!  Our heart goes out to Frances 'Fran' Melton, who performed the impossible with our Oncomouse-related MTA's, and colleague Chris Burke, who managed our busy and complex IP portfolio without ever losing her sense of humor.  Gaye, Joe, Richard and Teresa in Purchasing are deeply valued also.  

What can be said of our fearless founding leader, Dr. Sharon Murphy?  Although she's at the Institute of Medicine now, her insights into team building and driving biological problems cannot be surpassed, and we appreciate the opportunity to continue learning from her wisdom.  Our work, too, couldn't have been accomplished without the support of Debbie Morrill and Kim Warshauer. Leslea Sarro and Tammy Linn in lab animal resources literally kept our lab's heart beating. 

Finally, we'd like to thank the Foundations that have supported our work, including the Scott Carter Foundation, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, the National Brain Tumor Society, the Sarcoma Foundation of America, the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation, the Rally Foundation and the Joanna McAfee Childhood Cancer Foundation.  Their support has allowed us to create the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Initiative and to pursue high risk, high reward projects that have gone on to successful R01's.  
Charles & Team