Movers in Medicine

Baselga moves to industry; MD Anderson mourns


Jose Baselga, MD, PhD, the former chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, made headlines recently by accepting a position with the drugmaker AstraZeneca.

Dr. Jose Baselga Courtesy AstraZeneca

Dr. Jose Baselga

Dr. Baselga had stepped down from his position at Memorial Sloan Kettering in September 2018 after a ProPublica investigation revealed that he had failed to disclose industry funding in dozens of instances when publishing in top medical journals. In his new role, Dr. Baselga, who acknowledged the missing disclosures but said they were unintentional, will head up the research and development unit for oncology, AstraZeneca said in a press release.

Dr. Lori J. Pierce

Dr. Lori J. Pierce

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has elected new leadership. Lori J. Pierce, MD, a radiation oncologist and leader in breast cancer research, is the newly elected president-elect. She will serve in that role beginning June 2019 and will end her 1-year term as president of ASCO in June 2020. Dr. Pierce is a professor and vice provost for academic and faculty affairs at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and the director of the Michigan Radiation Oncology Quality Consortium.

Three physicians were also elected to the ASCO board of directors. Michael A. Thompson, MD, PhD, of Advocate Aurora Health in Milwaukee, was elected to the community oncologist seat. Elizabeth A. Mittendorf, MD, PhD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, was elected to the surgical oncologist seat. Ethan Basch, MD, of the University of North Carolina, was elected to the undesignated specialty seat. They will all begin 4-year terms on the board of directors starting in June 2019.

A radiation oncologist is moving up the ranks at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Anand Shah, MD, has been named senior medical advisor for innovation at the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), part of CMS. He had previously served as the CMMI’s chief medical officer. Dr. Shah is getting congratulations from ASCO and the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), both of whom have a lot to say about CMMI policies such as attempts to revive the Competitive Acquisition Program for Part B drugs and alternative payment models for oncology.

Julian Schink, MD, has been appointed chief medical officer at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA). Dr. Schink, a gynecologic oncologist, joined CTCA in 2017 as chief of gynecologic oncology. Before that, he had worked at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Northwestern University, Chicago.

Dr. John Mendelsohn Courtesy MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. John Mendelsohn

In sad news, John Mendelsohn, MD, the president emeritus of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, died on Jan. 7 at the age of 82 years. He had been diagnosed with glioblastoma 15 months earlier. Before working in medical leadership, Dr. Mendelsohn had worked with his colleagues at the University of California, San Diego, on research to block epidermal growth factor receptors. That work led to the development of the drug cetuximab, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat advanced colorectal cancer and later head and neck cancer.

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