Warren named associate VP of development

Kathi Dantley Warren, currently the senior executive director of development for Duke Cancer Institute, has been named associate vice president of development at Rice University, effective July 10.

Kathi Dantley Warren

With more than 17 years of experience at higher education and medical institutions, Warren will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of individual fundraising programs and also oversee various departments within the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, including gift planning, major gifts, school-based fundraising and annual giving.

All of us at Rice are incredibly excited that Kathi will be joining the Development and Alumni Relations team,” said Vice President Darrow Zeidenstein. “Educated as a scientist, Kathi brings incredible smarts and a wealth of development experience from her work at Cornell and Duke, two of the best development programs in the country. I have zero doubt that both faculty and staff will enjoy working with Kathi as we seek to secure resources to enhance Rice’s mission.”

In her development role with one of the original eight comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute, Warren transformed the fundraising program from a yearly $18 million enterprise to a $30 million enterprise and successfully completed a $200 million campaign.

Before joining the Duke Cancer Institute and Duke Health in Durham, N.C., in 2014, Warren served as assistant dean for alumni affairs and development at Cornell University’s College of Engineering, where she created its first alumni affairs and development strategic plan and alumni engagement plan. Over a four-year period she increased annual revenues by 245 percent – from $22.7 million to more than $56 million – and helped achieve the second-best fundraising year in the college’s history. Through philanthropy she also enabled the college to create and endow several new programs, including an engineering leadership program and teaching excellence institute.

“It gave me great joy to see the legacy that this created,” Warren said. “Faculty and students are benefiting from those programs that were the result of a partnership with donors and institutional leadership.”

Warren has an M.A. in cell and molecular biology and microbiology from Duke University and a B.A. in biology from Hampton University. She found herself drawn to the development profession after thinking about how she had been impacted as the recipient of an undergraduate scholarship and graduate fellowship. She learned more about the profession that made that scholarship and fellowship possible and became a development associate at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she worked her way up to associate director of development.

She met a refugee from an African country at a University of Maryland scholarship event for donors and recipients and kept in touch with him. After graduating, the refugee got a job at the United Nations and then returned to his home country to try to assist people there, but none of that would have happened if he had not received the scholarship. “That was hugely impactful,” Warren said. “The scholarship changed not only his life, but the lives of others.” She said experiences like this helped her to find meaning in the development profession. “It’s very rewarding,” she said.

Warren’s career in development includes more than 10 years of leading teams during fundraising campaigns of more than $1 billion. She said the best institutions find a way to blend the scientific tenets of fundraising with “the art of cultivating meaningful, lifelong relationships with an institution,” and Rice’s ability to do that was a key factor in her decision to join the university’s development team.

“Rice has an excellent story to tell and a visionary leader in President David Leebron,” Warren said. She noted that Rice’s prestige as a research institution, its liberal arts programs, its residential college system and its unique landscape in an urban setting are “very compelling and really engender not just investments but partnerships with donors” and can lead to “transformational gifts.”

Originally from Alexandria, Va., Warren said she is excited to come to Rice and to make a home in Texas for her family, which includes her husband, Stephen; her 11-year-old son, Bennett; and Pearl, a Piston terrier who is “the sweetest dog on the planet.” Warren is an avid sports enthusiast who likes to run, lift weights and play basketball with her son. She also enjoys cooking and acrylic painting.

Internet2 Names New President and Chief Executive Officer: Howard Pfeffer

Technology broadband executive to lead U.S. national research and education organization

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 10, 2017 – The Internet2 board of trustees today announced the appointment of Howard Pfeffer as its new president and chief executive officer (CEO). Pfeffer brings over 30 years of experience in networking, systems and software engineering and helped pioneer the development of broadband Internet in the cable industry. Pfeffer will replace Internet2’s current president and CEO H. David Lambert, effective June 12, 2017.

Howard Pfeffer is the new Internet2 president and CEO.

Most recently, Pfeffer served as the senior vice president of the broadband technology group at Time Warner Cable where he successfully led the architecture, engineering and development of the telecommunications infrastructure for residential and business services. He brings a strong background of business experience, technical leadership, deep advanced network knowledge and a track record of growth of new services.   

As president and CEO, Pfeffer will serve on behalf of the Internet2 membership community and is responsible for establishing and fostering the vision and strategic direction of the organization and has ultimate responsibility and accountability for its success. In this role, Pfeffer will lead all activities for the non-profit organization to further support the research and education community in the United States and around the globe.  

The CEO search process began in October 2016 with the appointment of a special search committee, which was led by Patrick Gallagher, vice-chair of the Internet2 board of trustees and the chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh. The search committee members were Rebecca Blank, chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Madison; John Evans, chairman and CEO, Evans Telecommunications Co.; Tracy Futhey, vice president for information technology and CIO, Duke University; Mike Norman, director, San Diego Supercomputing Center; Vinton Cerf, chief internet evangelist, Google; Farnam Jahanian, provost, Carnegie Mellon University; Jen Leasure, president and CEO, The Quilt; and Christos Papadopoulos, professor of computer science, Colorado State University. The committee was assisted by executive search firm, Russell Reynolds Associates, and reviewed over 100 candidates for the position during the process.

After an extensive and thoughtful search process, I am extremely pleased that Howard will be the next leader of Internet2,” Gallagher said. “Howard is a seasoned leader in the broadband industry who possesses deep technical knowledge and excellent partnering skills. He has a strong appreciation for the value that Internet2 provides to the research and education community and looks forward to helping the organization move forward on the priority initiatives of advanced networking and trust and identity services while also continuing to evolve its mission to remain a strategic partner to the community. I want to especially recognize the commitment and efforts of all the members of the search committee who were dedicated to finding the best possible candidate.”

“Howard Pfeffer will work broadly with our community to develop a strong vision for the future of Internet2, and he has the proven capacity to collaboratively see that vision become a reality,” said David Leebron, chairman of the board for Internet2 and president of Rice University. “In a time of dramatic change in the internet technology landscape, our board believes that Howard will provide the type of leadership the Internet2 community needs to provide the highest value to its membership. We’re very grateful to Pat Gallagher for his outstanding work with a representative and talented search committee.” 

Prior to his numerous leadership roles at Time Warner Cable, Pfeffer held engineering and technology positions at organizations such as America Online and Road Runner. Over the course of his career he has been awarded multiple U.S. patents.

“I am extremely honored and proud to have been selected as the next president and CEO of Internet2,” Pfeffer said. “When you look back in history, so many technologies and advancements in science and ground breaking innovations have come directly from the research and higher education community. I am excited to use my background and experiences to contribute to the next generation of new technologies and services. I am committed to working very closely with the Internet2 community to help further their academic and scholarship missions both nationally and globally.”

Pfeffer earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and will be based in the Internet2 Washington, D.C. office. 

About Internet2®

Internet2® is a non-profit, member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 serves 317 U.S. universities, 70 government agencies, 43 regional and state education networks and through them supports more than 94,000 community anchor institutions, over 900 InCommon participants, and 78 leading corporations working with our community, and 61 national research and education network partners that represent more than 100 countries.

Internet2 delivers a diverse portfolio of technology solutions that leverages, integrates, and amplifies the strengths of its members and helps support their educational, research and community service missions. Internet2’s core infrastructure components include the nation’s largest and fastest research and education network that was built to deliver advanced, customized services that are accessed and secured by the community-developed trust and identity framework.

Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Denver, Colo.; Emeryville, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; and West Hartford, Conn. For more information, visit www.internet2.edu or follow on Twitter.

Glioblastoma Patients May Benefit from a Vaccine-Chemotherapy Combination

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​PHILADELPHIA —  A vaccine targeting cytomegalovirus (CMV) antigen pp65, combined with high-dose chemotherapy (temozolomide), improved both progression-free survival and overall survival for a small group of glioblastoma (GBM) patients, according to a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

„The clinical outcomes in GBM patients who received this combination were very striking,” said lead author of the study Kristen Batich, MD, PhD, a researcher in the lab of senior author John Sampson, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Duke University.

The cohort of 11 patients who received this combination therapy demonstrated a median progression-free survival of 25.3 months and a median overall survival of 41.1 months, and three patients remain progression-free more than seven years after diagnosis, Batich said.

By contrast, the typical median survival for GBM patients is less than 15 months. To overcome these poor numbers, the researchers took advantage of CMV’s affinity for GBM, with the viral proteins being expressed in roughly 90 percent of these tumors. Building on previous research, they used CMV as a proxy for GBM, targeting the virus with pp65-specific dendritic cells to spotlight the tumor for the immune system.

Previous work had shown that TMZ generates profound lymphopenia or the loss of immune cells, which offers a unique opportunity to retrain the immune system, Batich explained. The researchers administered dose-intensified temozolomide (TMZ) as a strategy to further enhance the immune response.

“The dose-intensified temozolomide induces a strong state of lymphopenia,” said Batich. “With that comes an opportune moment to introduce an antigen-specific vaccine, which redirects the immune system to put all hands on deck and fight that target.

One of the noteworthy results from the study was the excellent response rate despite the high proportion of regulatory T cells, which dampen the immune response and rebounded sharply following TMZ administration. This finding may actually be cause for optimism, Batich noted.

“If we could preclude this regulatory T-cell rebound, it could have additionally enhancing effects on the pp65 vaccine response,” said Batich.

Though the survival results are quite encouraging, the authors caution that this was a single-arm study without a control group. In addition, the cohort was quite small. Though the outcomes far outpaced historical controls, a more robust trial will be needed to confirm these results.

In addition, the team wants to better understand the mechanisms that underlie the strong response rate and refine this combination therapy to produce even better results. “We want to understand why some patients do better than others,” said Batich.

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Sampson holds stock ownership and is on the board of directors with Annias Immunotherapeutics; serves as a consultant and advisory board member for Celldex Therapeutics; reports honoraria for Celldex Therapeutics, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Brainlab; and a co-inventor on a patent describing the immunologic targeting of CMV antigens in cancer. Batich is a co-inventor on a patent for improving the immunogenicity of dendritic cell vaccines.

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Glioblastoma Patients May Benefit from a Vaccine-Chemotherapy Combination

American Association for Cancer Research's picture

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

​PHILADELPHIA —  A vaccine targeting cytomegalovirus (CMV) antigen pp65, combined with high-dose chemotherapy (temozolomide), improved both progression-free survival and overall survival for a small group of glioblastoma (GBM) patients, according to a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

„The clinical outcomes in GBM patients who received this combination were very striking,” said lead author of the study Kristen Batich, MD, PhD, a researcher in the lab of senior author John Sampson, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Duke University.

The cohort of 11 patients who received this combination therapy demonstrated a median progression-free survival of 25.3 months and a median overall survival of 41.1 months, and three patients remain progression-free more than seven years after diagnosis, Batich said.

By contrast, the typical median survival for GBM patients is less than 15 months. To overcome these poor numbers, the researchers took advantage of CMV’s affinity for GBM, with the viral proteins being expressed in roughly 90 percent of these tumors. Building on previous research, they used CMV as a proxy for GBM, targeting the virus with pp65-specific dendritic cells to spotlight the tumor for the immune system.

Previous work had shown that TMZ generates profound lymphopenia or the loss of immune cells, which offers a unique opportunity to retrain the immune system, Batich explained. The researchers administered dose-intensified temozolomide (TMZ) as a strategy to further enhance the immune response.

“The dose-intensified temozolomide induces a strong state of lymphopenia,” said Batich. “With that comes an opportune moment to introduce an antigen-specific vaccine, which redirects the immune system to put all hands on deck and fight that target.

One of the noteworthy results from the study was the excellent response rate despite the high proportion of regulatory T cells, which dampen the immune response and rebounded sharply following TMZ administration. This finding may actually be cause for optimism, Batich noted.

“If we could preclude this regulatory T-cell rebound, it could have additionally enhancing effects on the pp65 vaccine response,” said Batich.

Though the survival results are quite encouraging, the authors caution that this was a single-arm study without a control group. In addition, the cohort was quite small. Though the outcomes far outpaced historical controls, a more robust trial will be needed to confirm these results.

In addition, the team wants to better understand the mechanisms that underlie the strong response rate and refine this combination therapy to produce even better results. “We want to understand why some patients do better than others,” said Batich.

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Sampson holds stock ownership and is on the board of directors with Annias Immunotherapeutics; serves as a consultant and advisory board member for Celldex Therapeutics; reports honoraria for Celldex Therapeutics, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Brainlab; and a co-inventor on a patent describing the immunologic targeting of CMV antigens in cancer. Batich is a co-inventor on a patent for improving the immunogenicity of dendritic cell vaccines.

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Sierra Club applauds Duke University committees decision to delay vote on campus gas plant

DURHAM, NC—A plan to build a gas plant on the Duke University campus will not move forward for approval in May by the university’s board of trustees.

 

A special subcommittee of Duke University’s Campus Sustainability Committee, which had been charged with studying the feasibility of building a 21-megawatt combined heat and power plant on a 1-acre site on campus, today said it will not seek a board vote on the plant.

Duke University Executive Vice President Tallman Trask said the university “will continue to engage stakeholders in the process in a meaningful way, and that any decision will be, first and foremost, consistent with our longstanding commitment to leadership in sustainability and responsible stewardship of the environment.”

 

In response, Dave Rogers, campaign representative for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign in North Carolina, released the following statement:

 

“We fully support the subcommittee’s recommendation to delay a decision on this plant, which would lock the university and the surrounding community into a long-term dependence on toxic, environmentally destructive, fracked gas.

“Duke University’s leadership can build on the school’s admirable sustainability goals by fully investing in clean, low-cost solar and wind power and battery storage technologies—and we stand ready to partner with them to achieve those goals.”

 

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About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is the country’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.

Biamp Systems Grows International Sales Team

BEAVERTON, Oregon — April 11, 2017 — Biamp Systems, a leading provider of innovative, networked media systems, has announced the appointment of Arnaud Barre to area manager for Western Europe and Thomas Mills to regional manager for Southeast Asia, Korea, and Japan.

“Arnaud is a standout leader with industry expertise,” said Stephen Patterson, sales development director, EMEA for Biamp Systems. “Since our Tesira platform provides integrated, networked audio and video, his experience and passion for technology will be an asset to the industry and our customers.

Prior to joining Biamp, Barre was a technical expert, where he provided extensive audio and video leadership, training, and customer communications that increased customer satisfaction and grew contract renewals and licenses. He also has held digital media specialist, technical supervisory, and broadcast engineering positions. Barre holds an associate’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in electronics and computer science from France’s CentraleSupélec.

“Bringing Thomas onboard will strengthen Biamp’s current relationships and build new ones,” shared Matthew Packer, sales development director, Asia Pacific for Biamp Systems. “His extensive knowledge of the region and technology background will help guide our customers as they look to implement Biamp’s reliable, flexible networked audio and video media systems.”

Mills joins Biamp from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was an Alfred Sloan fellow at the Sloan School of Management. Prior, he founded his own consulting agency, providing program management, industry assessment, and market entry strategies for Chinese-based companies. He has held leadership positions with Corning Corp., Mobility Electronics, Coretronic Corp., InFocus Corp., and Motorola Inc., bringing more than 25 years of global manufacturing and technology knowledge to his new role. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Oregon, a master’s in business administration from Duke University, as well as a master’s in management of technology from MIT.

Biamp Systems Grows International Sales Team

BEAVERTON, Oregon — April 11, 2017 — Biamp Systems, a leading provider of innovative, networked media systems, has announced the appointment of Arnaud Barre to area manager for Western Europe and Thomas Mills to regional manager for Southeast Asia, Korea, and Japan.

“Arnaud is a standout leader with industry expertise,” said Stephen Patterson, sales development director, EMEA for Biamp Systems. “Since our Tesira platform provides integrated, networked audio and video, his experience and passion for technology will be an asset to the industry and our customers.

Prior to joining Biamp, Barre was a technical expert, where he provided extensive audio and video leadership, training, and customer communications that increased customer satisfaction and grew contract renewals and licenses. He also has held digital media specialist, technical supervisory, and broadcast engineering positions. Barre holds an associate’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in electronics and computer science from France’s CentraleSupélec.

“Bringing Thomas onboard will strengthen Biamp’s current relationships and build new ones,” shared Matthew Packer, sales development director, Asia Pacific for Biamp Systems. “His extensive knowledge of the region and technology background will help guide our customers as they look to implement Biamp’s reliable, flexible networked audio and video media systems.”

Mills joins Biamp from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was an Alfred Sloan fellow at the Sloan School of Management. Prior, he founded his own consulting agency, providing program management, industry assessment, and market entry strategies for Chinese-based companies. He has held leadership positions with Corning Corp., Mobility Electronics, Coretronic Corp., InFocus Corp., and Motorola Inc., bringing more than 25 years of global manufacturing and technology knowledge to his new role. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Oregon, a master’s in business administration from Duke University, as well as a master’s in management of technology from MIT.