From the Chair, Peter C. Hu, Ph.D.

119217_Hu_P_blog.jpgHello everyone!  As I near the end of my first term as the Chair of the Alumni & Faculty Association at MD Anderson Cancer Center, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on the many activities we have sponsored over the past year. 

Our first activity was the fall cycle of the Trainee Excellence Awards in which eight trainees were recognized in the month of August for their high caliber research.  These eight trainees were amongst the many that entered.  Also around this time, we received a generous donation by the Mike Hogg Fund from which two students in the School of Health Professions each received a $1,000 scholarship. 

In addition to this donation, through our fundraising campaign, we received two additional gifts: one from Dr. Ed Diaz, VP, Global Clinical Programs and the other from Dr. Raymond Sawaya, Chair of Neurosurgery to help fund other scholarships and activities.

During the month of November, Dr. Elena Martinez was recognized with the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award.  Dr. Martinez gave a marvelous presentation on "Colorectal Cancer Prevention:  Opportunities for a Fruitful and Challenging Career" to a packed crowed in the Hickey Auditorium.  It was also during this time that the Alumni & Faculty Association unveiled the Alumni Tribute Display located on the 3rd floor of the Pickens Academic Tower.  This permanent wall display lists of the names of alumni donors and friends who have made a gift of $5,000 or more, along with a brief biography of the current Distinguished Alumnus Award winner.

In January, 2011, Dr. Mario R. Capecchi, who was the 2010 Mike Hogg award recipient, visited MD Anderson Cancer Center and delivered an inspirational lecture, not only to a packed Hickey Auditorium, but also to a packed overflow room.  The Mike Hogg Lectureship is the most prestigious at MD Anderson Cancer Center. 

When spring came, the Alumni & Faculty Association once again was busy with activities.  First, it was the spring announcement of the Trainee Excellence Award winners of which 4 trainee abstracts were chosen to receive this award.  Our second activity was the participation at this year's American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in Orlando, FL where we hosted a recruitment booth, a general session booth, and a reception on behalf of MD Anderson.  All of these events were very well attended. 

In May, the annual Trainee Research Day was yet another smashing hit as over 250 research abstracts were submitted this year in all categories of trainees from undergraduate, graduates, postdoctoral fellows, and clinical fellows.  Awards ranging from $100 to $1000 were given to winning abstracts and posters and were sponsored by AMGEN, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Bayer Health Care Pharmaceuticals, and the MD Anderson Alumni & Faculty Association.

Heading into the summer months, in July, we held our annual Trainee Lecture that will hereafter be named the Stephen P. Tomasovic Trainee Lecture in recognition of his tireless efforts in education for all students and educational trainees at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
What started off for the Alumni & Faculty Association will end this fiscal year with the spring Trainee Excellence Awards.  The submission deadline has just passed and the next round of winners will be announced in August. 

We look forward to another productive year in 2011-2012 under the new leadership of Dr. Ronald DePinho and we extend a big "Thanks" to all of those individuals who have continuously supported the Alumni & Faculty Association throughout the years.