Committee Connection

Pediatric Oncologist Memorialized with New Award

03 Jan 2012 4:20 PM

ASCO mourns the loss of James B. Nachman, MD, an internationally renowned pediatric cancers specialist who passed away unexpectedly in June 2011. To honor his dedication to caring for children with cancer, the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO has established the James B. Nachman ASCO Junior Faculty Award in Pediatric Oncology.

The $3,000 award will be presented annually to a junior faculty member who submits the highest-ranked abstract in pediatric oncology for presentation at the ASCO Annual Meeting. The inaugural award will be presented this year and will be funded by the generous support of the University of Chicago Division of Hematology/Oncology. An endowment has been established to support future awards.

Dr. Nachman was a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago, an ASCO member since 1986, and an active member of the Children’s Oncology Group. He was an authority in the medical management of childhood cancers, especially leukemia and lymphoma, and the findings from studies that he conducted continue to shape the way pediatric oncologists manage these diseases. He was known as a brilliant, compassionate oncologist who had a profound influence on the specialty and on the many lives he touched.

Susan Lerner Cohn, MD, a colleague of Dr. Nachman’s at the University of Chicago and the Pediatric Oncologist representative on the ASCO Board of Directors, noted that this award aligns perfectly with Dr. Nachman’s own values. In addition to his significant involvement in innovative clinical research, “Jim was an outstanding mentor for fellows and junior faculty, and he understood that young investigators are our future,” she said.

The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO gratefully acknowledges the donors for their extraordinary support to establish this award. For a complete list of donors, visit “Our Donors” page.

Read the December 29 issue of The ASCO Post for an interview with ASCO President Michael P. Link, MD, on philanthropy.

Colleagues Remember Dr. James Nachman

“Jim was one of the warmest human beings I have ever met and was an incredible source of knowledge and new ideas. His spark and enthusiasm for developing new approaches to treat childhood cancer was infectious. We were well aware of the close bond between Jim and his patients and their families. He was one of a kind—a colleague that comes once in a lifetime.”
—William L. Carroll, MD
New York University Cancer Institute

“‘Doc Nach,’ as we all called him, was devoted to his patients. In addition to making sure each patient received optimal treatment, he also made sure that they could reach him at all times. Every patient was given his personal mobile phone number and they were encouraged to call at any time and often. Many of the patients I met at his funeral told me that they talked to Doc Nach twice a day!”
—Susan Lerner Cohn, MD
University of Chicago

“I knew Jim very well and worked closely with him through collaborative research for over a decade. Jim had many, many ideas and an infectious enthusiasm about improving treatment for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He was a wonderful collaborator, a great teacher, and a close friend.”
—Stephen P. Hunger, MD
University of Colorado School of Medicine

“A few of us, including Jim, traveled to Cologne, Germany, for an international Hodgkin lymphoma meeting only days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was a very stressful time, yet Jim's personality and humor helped diffuse the tension. I will never forget how he treated us to dinner our first night there. Professionally, Jim was such an asset to our Hodgkin lymphoma committee. He always challenged the ‘status quo’ and was never afraid to speak up—always to make sure that we were doing the best for patients, not just to hear himself speak.”
—Kara Kelly, MD
Columbia University

The Conquer Cancer Foundation gratefully acknowledges the award founders:
William L. Carroll, MD
Susan Lerner Cohn, MD
Stephen P. Hunger, MD
Kara Kelly, MD
Michael P. Link, MD
Cindy Schwartz, MD, MPH
Tanya Trippet, MD

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