May 2020

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May 27, 2020

Celebrating 25 years with Aflac Inc.

This year we celebrate 25 years of partnership with Aflac Inc. In 1995, Aflac’s goal for the program was simple: build a comprehensive care center that would become nationally ranked and combine state-of-the-art patient care with excellence in clinical teaching and research. To date, Aflac Inc. has given more than $143M to support our program. Be on the lookout throughout the year for more information as we celebrate this milestone anniversary!
NIH Mobilizes National Innovation Initiative for COVID-19 Diagnostics
A trio of Atlanta health care and research institutions will play a leading role in helping to evaluate potential COVID-19 tests as part of a new federal initiative designed to rapidly transform potentially promising technology into widely accessible diagnostic tools to detect the virus. As the Principal Investigator of ACME POCT, Dr. Wilbur Lam and his team will help evaluate the tests for the NIBIB as they solicit proposals. Dr. Lam also recently received $31M to supplement this U54 grant and become a national center to validate all of the novel COVID-19 diagnostic tests.
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2020 Healthcare Heroes: Rising Star Finalist
Congratulations to Dr. Glaivy Batsuli who was recognized by Atlanta Business Chronicle as a Rising Star Finalist for the 2020 Healthcare Heroes. In her interview she shares, “A large component of this field, and really all fields in medicine, is teaching and helping parents and young patients as they grow toward adulthood understand their health a little better and learn to advocate for themselves. It’s a way I can help people, empower them and make a difference.”
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Aflac Practitioner Selected as New Chair of ASPHO APP SIG
Sara Graciaa, CPNP, has been selected as Chair of The Advanced Practice Provider Special Interest Group (APP SIG). The APP SIG provides an important venue for nurse practitioners and physician assistants to interact with one another and to celebrate one another’s accomplishments. As part of the new role, she will work with the Vice Chair to maintain the SIG forum, plan the annual APP meeting at the ASPHO conference, provide networking opportunities, and brainstorm new ideas, such as the upcoming APP mentorship program.
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Cell & Gene Therapy Team Attends Annual ASGCT Meeting
Our Cell & Gene Therapy team was well represented at the 23rd annual American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy Virtual Meeting, with 15 abstracts accepted for presentation, the 'Clinical Trials Training Workshop' chaired by Dr. Trent Spencer and a presentation by Dr. Christopher Doering entitled "The Winding Path from an Academic Lab to a Commercial IND."
View meeting highlights

2020 Aflac Faculty Promotions

Congratulations to our faculty who received academic appointment promotions in 2020: Dr. John Bergsagel, Associate Professor; Dr. Thomas Cash, Associate Professor; Dr. Chris Doering, Professor (with tenure); Dr. Shannon Meeks, Professor; Dr. Marianne Yee, Associate Professor; Dr. Soumitri Sil, Associate Professor and Dr. Robert Sidonio Jr., Associate Professor (Pictured clockwise from top left).
Peach Bowl LegACy Fund: Apply Today!
We are excited to announce that the next cycle for the Peach Bowl LegACy fund is open. Please submit your Letter of Intent by Monday, June 1, at 5 PM EST to in order to move forward with the application process.
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Pediatric COVID-19 Treatment Breakthrough
Aflac providers successfully treated a critically ill pediatric COVID-19 patient presenting with respiratory failure and severe thrombocytopenia. Their case report was featured in Pediatrics.
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Peach Bowl, Inc. Named Finalist for ESPN Sports Humanitarian Award

The finalist designation recognizes the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund for its efforts in the fight against childhood cancer. Last September, Peach Bowl, Inc. donated $20 million to establish the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to be hyper-focused on funding clinical drug trials for the most promising new drugs and treatment options for children fighting cancer.

All nominees will be featured in ESPN studio shows the week of June 15. The winner will be announced during the 2020 ESPYS on June 21.
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*Brock KE, Allen KE, Barton C, Shapiro R, Weintraub B, *Wasilewski-Masker K, Escoffery C, Johnson KA
"A Methodologic Approach to Conducting a Statewide Community Needs Assessment of Pediatric Palliative Care and Hospice Resources" - Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

Chen D, Cox J, Annam J, Weingart M, Essien G, Rathi KS, Rokita JL, Khurana P, Cuya SM, Bosse KR, Pilgrim A, Li D, Shields C, Laur O, Maris JM, *Schnepp RW
"LIN28B Promotes Neuroblastoma Metastasis and Regulates PDZ Binding Kinase" - Neoplasia

*Edington HJ, *Sutton KS, *Bennett C, *Chandrakasan S, Sterner-Allison J, *Castellino SM
"Dealing With a Critical National shortage-Approaches to Triaging Immune Globulin Supply in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology" - Pediatric Blood & Cancer

Elchuri SV, Wiliamson Lewis R, *Quarmyne M, *Haight AE, Cottrell HN, *Meacham LR
"Longitudinal Description of Gonadal Function in Sickle-Cell Patients Treated With Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Using Alkylator-based Conditioning Regimens" - Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

*Fangusaro J, Bandopadhayay P
"The "Risk" in Pediatric Low-Grade Glioma" - Cancer Cell

Farej R, Batt K, Afonja O, Martin C, Aubert R, Carlyle M, White J, *Sidonio RF Jr
"Characterizing Female Patients With Haemophilia A: Administrative Claims Analysis and Medical Chart Review" - Haemophilia

*Fridyland DM, *Keller FG, *Sabnis HS, *Patterson BC, Gadde JA, Peragallo JH, Biousse V, *Wechsler DS
"Very Late Recurrence of B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Masquerading as a Pituitary Tumor" - Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Hawkins LM, *Sinha CB, *Ross D, *Yee M, *Quarmyne M, *Krishnamurti L, *Bakshi N
"Patient and Family Experience With Chronic Transfusion Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease: A Qualitative Study" - BMC Pediatrics

Healy JR, Hart LS, Shazad AL, Gagliardi ME, Tsang M, Elias J, Ruden J, Farrel A, Rokita JL, Li Y, Wyce A, Barbash O, Batra V, Samanta M, Maris JM, *Schnepp RW
"Limited Antitumor Activity of Combined BET and MEK Inhibition in Neuroblastoma" - Pediatric Blood & Cancer

Lavau CP, *Aumann WK, Sze S-GK, Gupta V, Ripple K, Port SA, Kehlenbach RH, *Wechsler DS
"The SQSTM1-NUP214 Fusion Protein Interacts With Crm1, Activates Hoxa and Meis1 Genes, and Drives Leukemogenesis in Mice" - PLoS One

*Qiu Y, *Lam WA
"Platelet-rich Plasma as Endothelial Rocket Fuel for Engineered in Vitro Microvasculature" - Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis

*Williams KM, Chakrabarty JH
"Imaging Haemopoietic Stem Cells and Microenvironment Dynamics Through Transplantation" - Lancet Hematology

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