BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE is a process of
never-ending discovery that seems to lead to
ever-increasing complexity. Applications of the
technological advances of the last decade have
unleashed a tsunami of information, which will
require a systematic approach to understand-
ing and teasing out the key elements that can
inform us regarding cancer development and
To that end, National Cancer Institute-
designated comprehensive cancer centers such
as ours, charged with advancing the world’s
understanding of cancer, must continue to cre-
atively build transdisciplinary teams of scientists.
These teams will need to systematically examine
the impact of genetic and epigenetic factors,
signaling pathways, cells, organs, individual behav-
iors, family, community, environment and policy
on the development and progress of diseases
such as cancer.
In this issue of UAB Comprehensive Cancer
Center magazine, you will read about the
Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance and how
the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is
integrated into this program and how teams of
scientists with different expertise can acceler-
ate drug development. You also will learn about
our partnership with HudsonAlpha Institute for
Biotechnology and how this adds to our under-
standing of the
genetic basis for
disease. You also
will read about
term given to
ing of the key
elements of the
amount of infor-
mation acquired by a systematic approach—and
how our programs in this area are critical to our
In addition, we profile two of our senior lead-
ers—Richard Whitley, M.D., associate director
of drug discovery and development, and Etty
“Tika” Benveniste, Ph.D., associate director for
We hope you enjoy this issue and that it gives
you some sense of what the next generation
of cancer research will look like—and how the
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center will be
leading the way.
Edward Partridge, M.D. Director and Evalina B. Spencer Chair in Oncology
lnews from the director
For a free subscription to UAB
Comprehensive Cancer Center, please call
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2011 • VOLU ME XXVII •
AN NCI-DES IGNATED C
CANCER CE NTER SINCE
of Progress an d Promise
2011 • VOLUME XXVII • NUMBER 2
AN NCI-DESIGNATED COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER SINCE 1971
COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER
THE IMPACT OF OBESITY ON CANCER
UAB COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER
Director Edward E. Partridge, M.D.
Associate Directors Etty Benveniste, Ph.D. Mary-Ann Bjornsti, Ph.D. Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D. John Fiveash, M.D. Martin Heslin, M.D. Mansoor Saleh, M.D. Richard Whitley, M.D.
Director Emeritus and Advisor to the Director Albert F. LoBuglio, M.D.
Senior Advisors Kirby I. Bland, M.D. James Bonner, M.D.
Associate Director for Administration Michael Bertram, Ph.D., M.B.A.
OFFICE OF DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS
Director of Education and Supportive Services Teri Hoenemeyer, M.S.H.A.
Editor, Communications and Publications Josh Till
Manager, Special Events and Board Relations Miranda Wesley
Media Relations Specialist Beena Thannickal
Program Administrator, Gifts Katy Smith
Program Manager, Volunteer Relations Callie Dunaway
UAB COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER MAGAZINE
Editor Josh Till
Medical Advisor Edward E. Partridge, M.D.
Project Manager Caperton Gillett
Writers Sara Brandon Christy McKenzie Beena Thannickal Josh Till Heather Watts
Art Directors Ron Gamble Jessica Huffstutler
Copy Editors Caperton Gillett Josh Till
Photographers Josh Till Steve Wood
Production Traci Bratton
Printing UAB Print Plant
Produced by the Office of Development and Community Relations in collaboration with the UAB Periodicals Group.
Stay connected to our progress in the fight against cancer at Dr. Partridge’s blog— your direct line to one of the nation’s leading cancer experts. uabccc.blogspot.com
The Director’s Line