Research Center News:  Appointments and Promotions

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Zhenling Huang Biostatistics Research Core appointment
In March 2010, the Biostatistics Research Core hired a master level biostatistician Zhenling Huang, MS. Zhenling Huang earned her Master of Science in Statistics degree at Purdue University. She has experience in performing complex data mining and manipulating in a data warehouse environment. Her unique experience working with an international pharmaceutical company gives her a working statistical analyst knowledge base.

Nancy Danielov
Nancy Danielov

Elizabeth Smith
Elizabeth Smith

ORIC appointments
The Office of Research Integrity and Compliance (ORIC) is pleased to welcome two new staff members: Nancy Danielov, Associate director, and Elizabeth Smith, Research compliance coordinator. Danielov brings six years of IRB experience to Children’s Memorial, having served as the Senior education analyst for the IRB at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and in the IRB offices at the UCLA Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. She earned her Master of Arts degree from Pepperdine University and is pursuing her Doctorate in Education in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University. Danielov will help facilitate the conduct of research at Children’s Memorial while upholding its high standards of human research. Smith previously served as a Research coordinator for the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern University, and as a Clinical research associate at Cognitive Research Corporation, a contract research organization in St. Petersburg, Florida. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University and is a certified Registered Health Information Administrator. At Children’s Memorial, Smith will focus mainly on IRB submissions and provide assistance to investigators and their staff in ensuring they are compliant with the applicable regulations and institutional policy.

The goal of ORIC is to provide support and education for the Children’s Memorial research community in regulatory requirements for scientific research. With these two new additions, ORIC will continue in its mission to build an environment that fosters the responsible conduct of research by promoting the principles of scientific and administrative excellence and compliance with both the letter and spirit of governing regulations.

Ram Yogev

Leadership appointment
Ram Yogev, MD, has been appointed to the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS) Leadership Committee as liaison representing the needs of the clinical and translational research community at Children’s Memorial Research Center. The committee will consider important structural issues and functions, and work with the research center to synchronize priorities and strategies. Yogev is Deputy Director for Research – Clinical Sciences and director of the Clinical and Translational Research Program of the research center. He is Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, the medical director of Section of Pediatric, Adolescent and Maternal HIV Infection at Children’s Memorial Hospital, and the Susan B. DePree Founders’ Board Professor of Pediatric, Adolescent and Maternal HIV Infection.

Mary Hendrix Hendrix reappointed to the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors
Mary J.C. Hendrix. PhD has been appointed to serve on the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Advisors for a second term beginning in July 2009. Hendrix was first appointed to the board in December 2004. The Board of Scientific Advisors was established in 1996 to assist and advise the director of the NCI on all aspects of the extramural program, and it is charged with oversight of the full portfolio of extramural programs of the NCI; advising Extramural Division directors on scientific policies, both present and future; and concept review of research and resource activities supported by the Extramural Divisions.
John Crispino

Lurie Cancer Center appointment
John Crispino, PhD has been named Associate director of Education and Training for the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Crispino is Associate professor of Medicine–Hematology/Oncology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and a member of the Cancer Biology and Epigenomics Program of Children's Memorial Research Center.

Christopher Payne  Human Molecular Genetics Program: Appointment of Christopher Payne, PhD
Christopher Payne, PhD will be joining the  Human Molecular Genetics Program  of the research center as Assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School, effective October 1, 2009. Payne is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Robert E. Braun, PhD at the Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME. Payne’s research focuses on the identification of the male germline stem cell niche. He earned his PhD from the Oregon Health and Science University’s Program in Cell and Developmental Biology. Payne currently holds a prestigious NIH Pathway to Independence Award. The research center is indebted to the Medical Research Institute Council (MRIC) for its funding of this faculty position and continuing support of the center’s research mission and commitment to excellence..
Alice Archabal

Official liaison to Children’s Memorial Research Center: Alice Archabal
June 25, 2009 — Alice Archabal, Sr. Vice President, Development and Chief Operating Officer of Children’s Memorial Foundation, has been named by Patrick Magoon as official liaison to the research center. In this capacity, Archabal will work closely with Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, President and Scientific Director of the research center, to identify key sources of philanthropy for research programs; and to disseminate information and raise awareness of research center activities. Archabal, a graduate of Ripon College in Wisconsin, joined Children’s Memorial Hospital in 2008. She previously served as chief development officer for Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest - The Nation’s Food Bank Network) in Chicago, and as senior director of field operations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Ms. Archabal and benefit from her creative ideas and strategic fund raising experience”, said Dr. Hendrix.

Deli Wang

Biostatistics Research Core: Deli Wang, MD, PhD named as director
August 2009 —  Deli Wang, MD, PhD  has joined Children’s Memorial Hospital and the Feinberg School as the first Director of the Children’s Memorial Research Center Biostatistics Research Core. He is an Assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Wang previously served as Co-Director of the Biostatistics Core for Morehouse School of Medicine/Tuskegee University/UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Partnership grant.

Jhumku Kohtz

CMRC Research Technologies: Jhumku Kohtz, PhD appointed as director
 Jhumku Kohtz, PhD  has been appointed director of CMRC Research Technologies, a new leadership position for the research center. In this post, Kohtz will coordinate all shared facilities of the research center, establish or restructure user groups, and form an oversight committee. She will also coordinate and plan services with the Director of Core Facilities, part of the Office of the Vice President for Research at Northwestern University. Kohtz is a member of the Department of Pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the  Developmental Biology Program  of the research center.

Yong-Chao Ma

Neurobiology Program: Appointment of Yong-Chao Ma, PhD
The research center is pleased to announce the recruitment of  Yong-Chao Ma, PhD  to the  Neurobiology Program  as assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School. At the research center, Ma plans to define the mechanisms involved in the formation of dopamine neurons. This research will be relevant to neurological disorders in which the neurotransmitter dopamine is important, such as Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, addiction, schizophrenia, depression and some forms of dementia. He hopes to generate a genome-wide picture of transcription factors involved in the development of dopamine neurons and to define their interactions. Ma will also apply his findings to the differentiation of stem cells into defined types of neurons, which will be an exciting contribution to the field of regenerative medicine. Ma joined the research center in September 2008.

Nikia Laurie

Cancer Biology and Epigenomics Program: Appointment of Nikia Laurie, PhD
Nikia Laurie, PhD, joined the  Cancer Biology and Epigenomics Program  of the research center in September 2008 as assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School. She comes from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Laurie’s research has focused on elucidating the sequential genetic changes contributing to retinoblastoma progression, with important results. Her work will seek to further define molecular, cellular and genetic changes associated with tumor invasion and metastasis, to help identify novel targets for more effective chemotherapy for various types of cancer.

Rocky Pramanik Hendrix laboratory: Appointment of Rocky Pramanik, PhD
Rocky Pramanik, PhD, is a newly appointed senior research scientist in the laboratory of Mary J.C. Hendrix of the Cancer Biology and Epigenomics Program. Pramanik was a research scientist for Litholink Corporation, a subsidiary of LabCorp, in Chicago. In the Hendrix laboratory, he will focus on developing novel biomarker assays to detect the presence of specific cancer-related antigens in the sera of patients with cancer. The findings will help in the diagnosis, therapy and prognosis of cancer.

Christine Sullivan, MBA, MS joins Clinical and Translational Research Program
Children's Memorial Research Center is pleased to welcome Christine Sullivan, MBA, MS, to the Clinical and Translational Research Program as Statistician. Sullivan's responsibilities will include study data analysis, study planning assistance, statistical analysis planning, spreadsheet and database design assistance for data capture, and other biostatistical responsibilities. A five-year veteran of Children's Memorial Hospital, Sullivan served as Statistician for Biostatistical Research and Consulting at the Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research Program, and worked on the Food Allergy Project, Inc. with Xiaobin Wang, MD, MPH, ScD, director of the Program. Recruitment of a director for the newly formed Biostatistical Consulting Core within the Clinical and Translational Research Program is under way. Sullivan currently reports to Ram Yogev, MD, director of the Program. To contact Christine Sullivan: [email protected] or 773.755.6588. Her office is located in the Administrative Suite on the first floor of the research center.
 Michael Miller  Michael L. Miller, MD appointed to clinical and translational research post
Michael L. Miller, MD, director of Clinical Services, Division of Immunology/Rheumatology at Children’s Memorial and associate professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School, will serve as the Chief Advisor for Clinical and Translational Research Applications for the research center.  Read more.  
Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, named to NIH Council of Councils
March 24, 2008 -- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the appointments to the NIH Council of Councils. The Council is made up of 27 members selected from the NIH Institute and Center (IC) advisory councils and advisory committees to the NIH Office of the Director. The Council will advise the NIH Director on cutting-edge trans-NIH priorities and matters related to the policies and activities of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, established by the NIH Reform Act 2006, and the Office of Portfolio Analysis and Strategic Initiatives (OPASI). The Council also will act as an external advisory panel to the IC Directors during the concept approval stage of the review process for trans-NIH initiatives. For the full NIH press release, visit Dr. Hendrix will serve as liaison to the National Cancer Institute.
Alexis Thompson

Alexis Thompson, MD, MPH named senior leader at Lurie Cancer Center
Alexis Thompson, MD, MPH has been named Associate Director for Health Disparities and Special Population Initiatives at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. In this new senior leadership position, Thompson will strengthen the community outreach and service programs of the Office of Health Disparities and Special Population Initiatives (HDSPI).

Ram Yogev Deputy Director for Research -- Clinical Sciences: Ram Yogev, MD
August 2, 2007-- Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, President and Scientific Director of Children's Memorial Research Center, announced today two important changes to the research center:
Ram Yogev, MD has assumed the position of Deputy Director for Research – Clinical Sciences.
The Program in Experimental Therapeutics has been renamed to the  Program in Clinical and Translational Research, under the leadership of Ram Yogev, MD. 

Xin Liu  Smith Child Health Research Program: Appointment of Xin Liu, MD, PhD
Xin Liu, MD, PhD joined the  Mary Ann and J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research Program of Children’s Memorial Research Center, and the Department of Pediatrics of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine as a tenure track assistant professor in January 2007.  Read more.  
Michael Kluppel

Human Molecular Genetics Program: Appointment of Michael Kluppel, PhD
Michael Kluppel, PhD joined the  Human Molecular Genetics Program of Children’s Memorial Research Center from the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada, where he worked as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate in the laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Wrana.  Read more. 

Hui-Ju Tsai 

Smith Child Health Research Program: Appointment of Hui-Ju Tsai, MSc, MPH, PhD
Hui-Ju Tsai, MSc, MPH, PhD joined the  Mary Ann and J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research Program of Children's Memorial Research Center as a tenure track assistant professor in 2006.  Read more. 

Vasil Galat Stem Cell Core Facility: Vasil Galat, PhD named as director
Vasil Galat, PhD, an expert in laboratory research on human embryonic stem cells, has been named director of Children’s Memorial’s Research Center’s  Stem Cell Core Facility  and appointed assistant professor in the Department of Pathology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Galat was the former director of the Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis Laboratory in Torrance, California where he focused on assisted reproductive technologies including chromosome analysis, human embryo culture, somatic cell nuclear transfer and medical genetics. 
Bento Soares Falk Brain Tumor Center: M. Bento Soares, PhD appointed as Scientific Director
Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD, President and Scientific Director of the research center, and Tadanori Tomita, MD, Director, Falk Brain Tumor Center at Children’s Memorial Hospital, are pleased to announce the appointment of M. Bento Soares, PhD, as Scientific Director of the Falk Brain Tumor Research Program at Children’s Memorial. Drs. Stewart Goldman and Bento Soares will collaborate with Dr. Tadanori Tomita, to continue making scientific and medical advancements for the benefit of children. Dr. Soares will concurrently serve as the director of the  Cancer Biology and Epigenomics Program  of the research center.
Philip Spina

Spina elected President of SRA International
Philip V. Spina, CRA, Chief Administrative Officer and Deputy Director for Administration of the research center, has been elected as President, Society of Research Administrators International (SRA International). This nonprofit association is "dedicated to the education and the professional development of research administrators, as well as the enhancement of public understanding of the importance of research and its administration." Spina began his term in October 2005 as President-Elect and became President in October 2006.

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