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Extramural Discovery highlights

  • Barbara Jones, PhD, MSW, FNAP, was recently awarded the 2022 ACS Pathfinder in Palliative Care Award. She is the first social work researcher to receive this award and is a leader in interprofessional training and care delivery. The American Cancer Society Pathfinder in Palliative Care Award is given annually to a professional who has demonstrated remarkable innovation and ingenuity contributing to the advancement of the palliative care field. Nominations are accepted from other leaders in the field, and the awardee is selected by a committee of volunteer experts. While exceptional research or clinical contributions are important elements for consideration, the Pathfinder Award is intended to recognize achievements of an individual that extend above and beyond traditional career rigors.
  • Former ACS RSG and PEP grantee Dr. Nancy Keating, Harvard Medical School, is last author on "Prescription Drug Spending in Fee-for-Service Medicare, 2008-2019" published in JAMA in October 2022. The authors examine "spending on prescription drugs among fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries." The study shows that prescription drug spending in 2019 accounted for about "27% of total spending among fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Part D, even after accounting for post-sale rebates." This information is important for improving understanding of the proportion of health care spending contributed by prescription medications.

  • Former ACS postdoctoral fellow John Blazeck, PhD, has recently garnered accolades. Now an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Georgia Tech, Dr. Blazeck recently was a co-corresponding author on a paper in the journal Nature Catalyst. This interdisciplinary team has molecularly manipulated a bacterial metabolite (L-kynurenine) that resulted in rapid evolution of variants that had strong anti-tumor effects in mice. Dr. Blazeck was also recently recognized by the journal Population Science in its annual “Brilliant 10” list of highly innovative early-stage investigators, partially based on his ACS-funded study of engineering a way to undermine cancer cells’ defenses. 

  • ACS Chief Scientific Officer Dr. William Dahut was featured this week in an edition of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Post. The article, “A Career of Service in Oncology,” focused on Dr. Dahut’s background, introduction to medicine and oncology, and his career path. “Do what’s best for the institution, not just yourself, and in the end, your career will be more rewarding,” he is quoted as saying in the article. “This is the most exciting time ever for oncology. And being part of it is special.’” 

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