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In Memoriam: Susan Lowell Butler

Posted Jan 11 2011 12:00am

NCI Director Announces New Senior Staff Member

John Czajkowski John Czajkowski

Dr. Harold Varmus recently announced the appointment of new staff leadership in the NCI Office of the Director. John Czajkowski will fill the post of deputy director for management. Mr. Czajkowski comes to NCI from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General, where he served as director of the Office of Management, a position that included responsibilities as chief financial officer and chief information officer, as well as management of personnel, acquisitions, space, and security.

Prior to his time at the Department of the Treasury, Mr. Czajkowski held senior positions in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management from 2003 to 2008. He also served for 8 years at NIH, including senior management positions in the Office of the Director, Center for Scientific Review, and Center for Information Technology. Since 2007, Mr. Czajkowski has held an adjunct faculty position at American University’s School of Public Affairs. Mr. Czajkowski has a degree in economics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a Masters of Public Administration from American University.

Recap of Last Month’s President's Cancer Panel Meeting

The President’s Cancer Panel held the third meeting of its 2010–2011 series, The Future of Cancer Research: Accelerating Scientific Innovation, on December 14 in Bethesda, MD. The meeting included expert testimony and discussion about opportunities to accelerate progress within the National Cancer Program (NCP), particularly through the Internet and other technologies. NCI Director Dr. Harold Varmus was one of the speakers at the meeting.

Participants highlighted emerging models of clinical research that are revolutionizing the ways in which research projects are planned and carried out. Many organizations are using Internet-based and other technologies to engage patients in clinical research, for example, given the widespread and increasing access to broadband Internet and wireless mobile devices, which allow people to manage and share health information more easily.

Panelists noted that these technologies undoubtedly have the potential to support public health advances, but that they are not likely to improve health outcomes directly. Health professionals still play an essential role in communicating information to patients and supporting patient decision-making, they explained.

The panelists also stressed that efforts to promote team science through multi-institutional and cross-disciplinary collaborations are vital in supporting transformative cancer research. However, such far-reaching collaborations have logistical challenges.

Meeting participants emphasized the need for improved coordination within the NCP to maximize its efficiency and to enhance data and information sharing across institutions and with the public. “The scientific community needs to embrace the idea of making our knowledge fully accessible to everyone—the public and everybody else,” Dr. Varmus said.

The Panel will summarize findings and recommendations from this meeting, along with the other meetings in the series, in its 2010–2011 Annual Report to the President of the United States.

In Memoriam: Susan Lowell Butler

Susan Lowell Butler, the executive director of the D.C. Cancer Consortium, who was featured in a recent Bulletin article and a related video about ovarian cancer, died on December 18 at her home in Alexandria, VA. She was 66 years old.

Ms. Butler was first diagnosed with ovarian and breast cancer in 1995. She was successfully treated and in remission for 13 years. After her diagnosis, she helped found the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, an advocacy and support group for women who have ovarian cancer. Ms. Butler also served on the Director’s Consumer Liaison Group for NCI and on the advisory committee of the NIH Clinical Center.

Ms. Butler was an avid supporter of clinical trials to improve treatment options for cancer patients. “It’s a very different world today for patients undergoing cancer treatment,” she said, reflecting on her cancer experience in the 1990s and her recent recurrence. “Nope, we don’t have a cure. But we have quality of life in a way that we sure didn’t back then.”

250 Issues and Counting!

With this issue, NCI’s award-winning online newsletter, the NCI Cancer Bulletin, has published 250 issues since its launch in January 2004.

Each year, Federal and contract staff in NCI’s Office of Communications and Education produce 24 issues of the Bulletin. More than 50,000 researchers, clinicians, cancer survivors, advocates, and other health professionals from around the world subscribe, and others follow our coverage through our RSS and Twitter feeds.  

For a look back at some of our coverage of news and events for each 50 issues, click the following links: 

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