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The Friend of SARC award is given to an individual or group that has contributed to the development of SARC or the advancement of sarcoma research.
Mark Thornton completed MD and PhD degrees and a clinical pharmacology fellowship from West Virginia University. He also received an MPH degree at the Johns Hopkins University. He has spent 17 years in the drug development arena, including six years at the Food and Drug Administration and 11 years in the biotechnology industry. He is Senior Vice-President for Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at GenVec, Inc., a company which is developing a gene therapy for a variety of cancer indications.
Following his experience in 1998 as a parent of a now 11-year sarcoma survivor, he co-founded the Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) and the National Organization Against Rare Cancers. The mission of SFA is to advocate for the development of new therapies to treat sarcoma. The National Organization Against Rare Cancers is a coalition of over 20 rare cancer organizations dedicated to streamlining regulatory approvals for drugs for rare cancer indications. He has become a leading advocate for bipartisan reform in rare cancer drug policy, and has published Op-Eds on five occasions in the Wall Street Journal on federal policy issues inhibiting innovation in cancer drug development.
Because of his tireless commitment to patients, families and caregivers, SARC recognizes Mark Thornton for his contribution to our sarcoma community as our 2009 Friend of SARC. Thank you Mark for all your efforts!
Kapil Dhingra, MBBS has been a friend and colleague to many SARC investigators and very importantly has been integral to the development of SARC’s global collaboration with Roche on several sarcoma studies exploring Roche’s IGF-1R inhibitor, R1507. Until his recent retirement, Dr. Dhingra served as the Head of the Oncology Global Drug Development Group at Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc., working to develop novel therapies for cancer patients, with a particular focus on translating laboratory discoveries into improved treatments for patients.
Dr. Dhingra, through his efforts to collaborate with SARC, has contributed to the advancement of sarcoma research as well as the growth and development of SARC. For this, we are pleased to recognize Dr. Dhingra as the 2008 Friend of SARC.
Gene Rosenfeld was honored as the recipient of the Friend of SARC award for his philanthropic commitment to SARC. SARC’s mission is dear to the Mr. Rosenfeld heart, as he was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma in 2005. One of SARC’s investigators, Dr. Sant Chawla (of the Sarcoma Oncology Center in Santa Monica, CA), directed his treatment and care. Today Mr. Rosenfeld is cancer-free.
SARC was honored to recognize him as 2007’s Friend of SARC and privileged that he has chosen SARC as the organization to help in his quest to eliminate sarcoma.
Kyle Wathen, PhD, of the division of Quantitative sciences at MD Anderson in Houston, TX, was the recipient of the Friend of SARC award in 2006. Dr. Wathen has been one of SARC’s biostatisticians for several years and while doing so has significantly improved the methodology for statistical design and analysis. More specifically, he is responsible for the development of adaptive Bayesian clinical trial designs. He is responsible for creating a method to integrate this design into electronic data capture systems. Dr. Wathen has given presentations showing how to integrate Bayesian designs in practice, using SARC001 and SARC002 as a platform.
SARC has significantly benefited from his innovative thesis, and express our gratitude by awarding Dr. Wathen as 2006’s Friend of SARC award. We also are appreciative for his continued work with SARC.
In 2005, SARC honored Professor Allan van Oosterom with the Friend of SARC award for his major involvement in new advancements of sarcoma treatment, through the development of targeted therapy and implementation of translational research into clinical studies.
Throughout his career, he has actively participated in many sarcoma research trials organized by the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), with particular focus on therapies targeting signal transduction pathways in sarcoma subtypes like GIST.
He contributed to the founding of the Sarcoma Group within the EORTC in 1976, aiming to improve standards for care of sarcoma patients in Europe through international, multidisciplinary, translational studies.
He has spent the majority of his professional career making advancements in sarcoma research by developing and implementing more efficient investigative methods for the discovery of new therapies. This commitment and success made him a prime candidate to receive the Friend of SARC award in 2005.
Matt Ros, the former Director, Oncology Franchise Planning and Development at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS), was the first recipient of the Friend of SARC award in 2004. The friend of SARC award was given to recognize him for his enormous contribution to the development of SARC. Mr. Ros, in association with BMS, provided the seed money at SARC’s very beginning, when this consortium was merely a concept.
SARC is indebted to him for his generous commitment. Mr. Ros and BMS are truly friends of SARC. This organization would not be possible without their contribution.