Genomic Medicine Institute News: 2009

December 21, 2009
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Dr. Eng Highlighted in Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative Ice Show

Charis Eng, MD, PhD, Chair and Founder of the Genomic Medicine Institute at the Cleveland Clinic was highlighted in a special video on November 7, 2009, during Scott Hamilton’s CARES  Initiative’s 10th Annual “An Evening with Scott Hamilton and Friends,” an ice show put on to benefit the CARES Initiative.


The event combined outstanding figure skating talent accompanied by Cheap Trick, who are known for such timeless classics as “I Want You to Want Me” and “Surrender”, and the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, conducted by Carl Topilow.


This year, “An Evening with Scott Hamilton and Friends” represented a historic moment in sports when Olympic ice-skating champion Scott Hamilton made his return to the ice at age 51 after more than 5 years since his last performance and his first since being diagnosed with a benign brain tumor.  During the ice show, Dr. Eng and her lab’s work were highlighted for their contribution to the fight against, and to prevent, cancer.  Dr. Eng was featured many times speaking about the impact the CARES Initiative funding has on her ability to continue with her research.   
The goal for this event is to raise funds for The Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative at Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute and to address Scott’s biggest concerns: cancer education, research, and survivorship.


newsletter

Click here to download the current issue of Translations, the newsletter of the Genomic Medicine Institute. In this issue you will find:

  • In The Clinic
  • Under the Scope: Bad traffic can be hazardous to your health
  • Focus: Genetics Education

 

November 13, 2009
Dr. Moran; the Voice of Reason
Rocio Moran, MD, CPGH’s Medical Director of General Genetic Clinics, comments in a story about genetic match-making.  Read the article here.

November 10, 2009
Dr. Charis Eng Appointed to the HHS’ Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society
She has examined the Elephant Man's DNA. She has made notable discoveries in cancer genetics. And now, Charis Eng, MD, PhD, the Director of our Genomic Medicine Institute, has been named to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society. (See press release.)

Dr. Eng has quite a story. Born in Singapore, she decided that she wanted to be a doctor at the age of 4. She entered the University of Chicago at 16, before being accepted by UC's Pritzker School of Medicine.

She has focused on genetics ever since, making discoveries in cancer genetics and becoming the go-to person on PTEN mutations, an expertise that led to her examination of Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man's, DNA. Her clinical focus is aimed at developing a personalized approach to medicine utilizing family history and genetics, creating the best treatment strategy for each patient, rather than relying on the best statistical odds for the majority.

November 10, 2009
Dr. Charis Eng, Chair of the Genomic Medicine Institute, Takes the BMJ by Storm
Charis Eng, MD, PhD, Chairwoman and founder of the Genomic Medicine Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, has been highlighted in the British Medical Journal through both the publication of an article, written with Emily Edelman, MS, CGC, titled “A Practical Guide to Interpretation and Clinical Application of Personal Genomic Screening” and through a podcast addressing the growth in commercially available genomic screening tests.

November 5, 2009
ceDr. Charis Eng delivers opening talk the MIT Innovation Summit
Charis Eng, MD, PhD, FACP, Sondra J. and Stephen R. Hardis Chair of Cancer Genomic Medicine, and Founding Chair and Director of the Genomic Medicine Institute kicks off this year’s MIT Innovation Summit on biomaterials required for personalizing healthcare with her talk entitled, “Personalized Healthcare: What the Patient and/or the Physician Want(s).” While many institutions nationally and internationally bandy the term personalizing medicine or personalized healthcare, few actually know what it means. Thus, co-convenor of the MIT Summit, Wayne Rosenkrans, PhD, Distinguished Fellow at MIT and President of the Personalized Medicine Coalition, wisely invited Dr. Eng to define personalized healthcare in all its breadth and to delineate what the “frontline,” healthcare providers and those they serve, patients, need and want.


Dr Eng and Dr. Wayne Rosenkrans at the MIT Innovation Summit

November 05, 2009
Dr. Rocio Moran, Medical Director of General Genetics Clinics, is featured on “That’s Life” with Robin Swaboda. 
See the clip here

November 1, 2009
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Dr Charis Eng and Jessica Mester at ASHG '09


GMI Has Significant Presence at the ASHG Annual Meeting

The Genomic Medicine Institute has 5 Platform and 3 Poster presentations at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting held October 20-24, 2009, in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Note-Bold identifies those on the GMI Team):

Mester J, Heald Leach B, Orloff MS, Eng C. Children and young adults with germline PTEN mutations: phenotypic description and key features to early diagnosis. Am Soc Hum Genet 2009: 54 (Platform Presentation)

Erlic ZS, Rybicki L, Opocher G, Januszewicz A, Eng C, Neumann HPH. Clinical Predictors and Algorithm for the Genetic Diagnosis of Pheochromocytoma Patients - A Cost Reduction Strategy. Am Soc Hum Genet 2009; 116 (Platform Presentation)

Aldred MA, Comhair SA, Varella-Garcia M, Asosingh K, XU W, Noon GP, Thistlethwait PA, Tuder RM, Erzurum SC, Geraci WM, Coldren CD. Acquired chromosome abnormalities in the lungs of patients with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: evidence for a two-hit hypothesis. Am Soc Hum Genet 2009; 124 (Platform Presentation)

Bebek G, Orloff MS, Eng C. Identifying head and neck squamous cell carcinoma signaling pathways from loss-of-heterozygosity/allelic imbalance regions. Am Soc Hum Genet 2009: 173 (Platform Presentation)

Edelman EE, Sharp RR, Eng C. Genomic Counseling in the setting of an institutional initiative for direct-to-consumer personal genomic testing. Am Soc Hum Genet 2009: 337 (Platform Presentation)

Orloff MS, Zhu H, Romigh T, Eng C. Differential bi-allelic expression of PTEN and mRNA degradation in Cowden syndrome patients with heterozygous germline PTEN mutations. Am Soc Hum Genet 2009:1066 (Poster)

Heald Leach B, Burke C, Eng C. Gastrointestinal polyps and PTEN mutations: and under-acknowledged diagnostic criterion. Am Soc Hum Genet 2009: 1099 (Poster)

Horvath A, Assie G, Mucho M, Bertherat J, Carney JA, Eng C, Stratakis CA. FOXD3 in the genetic syndrome of Carney triad and Carney dyad. Am Soc Hum Genet 2009: 2430 (Poster)

October 28, 2009
Dr. Charis Eng delivers Keynote Address at the University of Alabama, Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center Research Retreat
Charis Eng, MD, PhD, FACP, Sondra J. and Stephen R. Hardis Chair of Cancer Genomic Medicine, and Founding Chair and Director of the Genomic Medicine Institute delivered the Keynote Address entitled, “Germline homozygosity, cancer predisposition and tumor microenvironment.”

October 26, 2009
GMI Genetic Counselor Garners Best Abstract
Congratulations to Brandie Leach for receiving the best abstract award at the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer group meeting in Honolulu!  Brandie’s presentation was titled “Gastrointestinal Polyposis and PTEN Mutations: An Under-Acknowledged Diagnostic Criterion.” Her abstract was honored as being the best among all those submitted by the various expert researchers in this specialized field.  Great job Brandie!

 

October 07, 2009
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David Ewing Duncan, an award-winning, best-selling author of seven books and numerous essays, articles and short stories; and a television, radio and film producer and correspondent, visits the Genomic Medicine Institute.
Mr. Duncan met with members of GMI's Advisory Board and Leadership to discuss his most recent book, the best selling "Experimental Man: What one man's body reveals about his future, your health, and our toxic world" as well his views on genomic medicine and personalized healthcare.

September 24, 2009
Dr. Charis Eng, Chairwoman of the Genomic Medicine Institute, is featured on “That’s Life” with Robin Swaboda
See the clip here

September 17, 2009
The Maria and Sam Miller Professional Excellence Awards presented to Dr. Eng for scientific achievement in clinical research
This award is presented to a scientist or physician who has made significant contributions to clinical science by conducting human subject research that directly affects the outcome of patient care and brings basic science to the bedside. More Information

September 11, 2009
Dr. Eng Hits the News Rotations
Charis Eng, MD, PhD, Chairwoman and founder of the Genomic Medicine Institute of the Cleveland Clinic has been highlighted in several television news segments commenting on everything from why red wine fights heart disease and cancer in some people to signs that you may develop carpal tunnel to what it means if your second toe is longer than your big toe. 

Some of the stations featuring Dr. Eng’s segments include:
WMAR (Baltimore, MD); WTAE (Pittsburgh, PA); KSEE (Fresno, CA); KIII (Corpus Christi, TX); WMDT (Salisbury, MD); KTVK (Phoenix, AZ); WRTV (Indianapolis, IN); KSEE (Fresno, CA); KOTA (Rapid City, SD); WDAY (Fargo, ND); WMDT (Salisbury, MD); WTAE (Pittsburgh, PA); KTVK (Phoenix, AZ); KOTA (Rapid City, SD); WKOW (Madison, WI); WWSB (Sarasota, FL); WKOW (Madison, WI); KYMA (Blythe, CA); KOTA (Rapid City, SD); WMDT (Salisbury, MD); WWSB (Sarasota, FL); KTVK (Phoenix, AZ); WKDW (Staunton, VA); KSTP (Minneapolis, MN); WBUP (Ishpeming, MI)
 
An example of the story relating to Morton’s Toe can be found at the following here.

 

August 28, 2009
Ephraim Sehayek, MD, featured in News and Notations
Advancements in genetic technologies allow simultaneous testing of millions of variations in our DNA sequence in a single experiment. Finding these variations can help to determine if a person is predisposed to developing heart disease, cancer or other common diseases. However, until recently the technique was too imprecise for clinical use. Read the News and Notations full article.

August 25, 2009
Genetic Counseling Needed to Complement Genetic Testing
Charis Eng, MD, PhD
, Chairwoman and founder of the Genomic Medicine Institute is featured in a Plain Dealer article regarding direct to consumer genetic testing and the interpretation of results. Read the article here.

July 14, 2009
Cindi Lewis, 2009 graduate of Claflin University, has joined the laboratory of Charis Eng MD, PhD, Chair of the Genomic Medicine Institute.
Ms. Lewis is the Cleveland Clinic Aspiring Physicians and Research Scientists (APRS) Conference's first place poster research winner. Ms. Lewis's presentation of her human genome research project entitled, HERV-W env Glycoprotein Syncytin-1 Plays Critical Role in Immunosuppression of the Semi-Allogenic Fetus and Development of Mammalian Placenta (Omar Bagasra, MD, PhD, Mentor), won a $1,000.00 scholarship in the APRS' first year of presenting awards.

"Usually the Cindi's of the world have 'fire in their belly' about biomedical science or whatever their chosen field is. It's the passion that shines through," said Dr. Eng. "When they speak to you, you can see they are logical thinkers and have a goal in sight."

June 11, 2009
Dr. Eng delivers the citatory for the 2009 Ernst Oppenheimer Award of the Endocrine Society, Washington, DC
Charis Eng, MD, PhD, Sondra J. and Stephen R. Hardis Chair of the Genomic Medicine Institute, delivered the citation for the 2009 Oppenheimer Award conferred on Constantine A. Stratakis, MD, DSc, for his work on the genetics of pediatric endocrine neoplasias. He was cited for his cutting edge work on Carney Complex and relating it to regulation of protein kinase A signaling. The Ernst Oppenheimer Award is given by The Endocrine Society each year to honor a young investigator for outstanding achievements in endocrine research. The recipient must not have reached the age of 45 during the year of the award. Dr. Eng was the 2006 Oppenheimer laureate when she was cited for her outstanding decade-long research on RET testing in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 as the paradigm for the practice of clinical cancer genetics and for her elegant work with Hartmut Neumann, MD, on the delineation of genotype and phenotypic spectra of the genes encoding succinate dehydrogenase and predisposition to pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma.

June 6, 2009
American Thyroid Association Practice Guidelines Task Force, of which Dr. Eng is a member, publishes its first comprehensive guidelines for medullary thyroid cancer
Charis Eng, MD, PhD, Chair of the Genomic Medicine Institute, was one of a selected national and international task force of 11 physicians, surgeons and physician-scientists that wrote an authoritative and comprehensive American Thyroid Association Practice Guidelines for Medullary Thyroid Cancer, which appeared in the June issue of Thyroid. These guidelines, which took 2 years to write, and be reviewed and endorsed by many professional medical societies nationally and internationally, are unique amongst practice guidelines. They include applying genetic and genomic information for medical and surgical management for medullary thyroid cancer for the affected patient as well as as yet unaffected family members. As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Eng was a co-discoverer that RET is a predisposing gene for medullary thyroid cancer. As an independent investigator, she was one of two co-chairs of the International RET Mutation Consortium that characterized the genotype and clinical features that led to RET testing becoming the paradigm for cancer genetic testing in clinical practice. Of note, these guidelines recommend that all presentations of this thyroid cancer be offered RET gene testing in the setting of genetic counseling.

May 26, 2009
Dr. Aldred presents at Pulmonary Hypertension Breakthrough Initiative
Dr. Micheala Aldred, a specialist in translational human genetics, presented her talk entitled “Acquired Chromosome Abnormalities in the Lungs of Patients with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension” at the meeting in Detroit, Michigan, on May 26, 2009.  The meeting attendees comprised a select group of national leaders in the pulmonary hypertension field, who hailed Dr. Aldred’s data as paradigm-shifting for this field.
 

May 21, 2009
Dr. Eng delivers lecture at the Director’s Innovation Seminar Series at NIMH
Charis Eng, MD, PhD the Sondra J. and Stephen R. Hardis Chair of Cancer Genomic Medicine and founding Chairwoman of the Genomic Medicine Institute, delivered the closing lecture at the NIMH Director’s Innovation Seminar Series entitled, “I say genetics, you say genomics: what does it matter to us? (And are we ready?).” Introduced by NCI Director, John Niederhuber, MD, Dr. Eng discussed the principles and practice of validated personalized genetic healthcare and the challenges and opportunities of emerging genomics for healthcare. During her visit, she was also interviewed by NIMH Associate Director, Phil Wang, MD, for NIMH’s traditional VOD-cast series “Robinson Fireside Chats”.


 

newsletter

Click here to download the current issue of Translations, the newsletter of the Genomic Medicine Institute. In this issue you will find:

  • Under the Scope: Good, Bad and Ugly Cholesterol

  • Focus: Genetics Education

  • Core Corner: News and updates from the GMI cores


 

Apr 28, 2009
Charis Eng, MD, PhD selected for the American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professorship
Charis Eng, MD, PhD, the Sondra J. and Stephen R. Hardis Chair of Cancer Genomic Medicine and founding Chairwoman of the Genomic Medicine Institute, has been named as the American Cancer Society (ACS) Professor of Clinical Cancer Research. This honor, only awarded to two or three people each year, is the ACS's highest award, and it recognizes a researcher's contributions to science and to patient care, and supports their work in mentoring future generations of researchers. At any one time, there are no more than 15 ACS Clinical Research Professors in the country. This multi-year grant, which begins July 1, 2009, will support Dr. Eng’s work on the genetics of the hamartoma-tumor syndromes and genomics-based cancer risk assessment in patient care. She says, “I am deeply honored by the receipt of this Professorship. This is really recognition for my team and my many mentees, past and present. I wish to especially acknowledge Ying Ni, HHMI predoctoral fellow, Kristi Bennett, PhD, postdoctoral fellow, Brandie Heald Leach, MS, CGC, genetic counselor, Mohammed Orloff, PhD, Project Scientist, and Donna Hansel, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology, for participating in the site visit.”

Apr. 23-24, 2009
Dr. Eng delivered one of two Keynote Addresses at the NCI Workshop on Tumor Microenvironment
Charis Eng, MD, PhD, the Sondra J. and Stephen R. Hardis Chair of Cancer Genomic Medicine and founding Chairwoman of the Genomic Medicine Institute, delivered the Keynote Address entitled, “Genomic alterations in solid tumor microenvironment and clinical outcome.” The purpose of this workshop was to hear brief updates from a subset of investigators funded by the NCI in the tumor microenvironment field and to determine next steps.

Mar 30, 2009
Charis Eng, MD, PhD delivered two invited lectures at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Medical Genetics , March 25, 2009
Charis Eng, MD, PhD, the Sondra J. and Stephen R. Hardis Chair of Cancer Genomic Medicine and founding Chairwoman of the Genomic Medicine Institute, and Director of the Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare within the GMI, presented the opening lecture on “Heritable Breast and Colon Cancer Syndromes: Not Just the Usual Suspects” at the College’s Educational Workshop to update the audience of the very broad genetic differential diagnosis of breast cancer as well as colon cancer, their clinical and molecular diagnosis, risk assessment, and medical management. Later that day, Dr. Eng presented at the Adult SIG Forum on Direct-to-Consumer Genomics and reviewed the issues, challenges and opportunities of this disruptive force to healthcare.

Mar. 5, 2009
Kristi L. Bennett, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Eng lab in the Genomic Medicine Institute was selected for one of the AACR-AFLAC, Inc. Scholar-in-Training Awards in the amount of $1,000 for her submitted abstract entitled, “Activator protein 2 alpha (AP2α)-targeted methylation and silencing of relevant genes in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) pathogenesis” to be presented at platform session at the 100th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, Denver, CO.

Feb. 23-24, 2009
Charis Eng, MD, PhD, Hardis Chair of the Genomic Medicine Institute presented the keynote address entitled “Genetics of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma” at the International Pediatric Inherited Cancer Syndromes Workshop, Houston, TX. Apart from being updated on the topic, this Workshop also discussed a consensus on cancer surveillance for children at risk for genetic cancers.