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Researching ribose metabolism


Crash course in oncology
Howard Hiatt Physician
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Early in my second year at the NIH I had a call from Hermann Blumgart, my chief at Beth Israel Hospital, who told me that he, he was organizing a program in medical oncology at the hospital and invited me to come back to... to take charge. I had no background in oncology, but he, and he knew that, but suggested that he'd be tolerant during my learning. Actually, my laboratory... my lab... one of my laboratory partners at the NIH was Henry Kaplan who was on sabbatical from his position as Chairman of the Department of Radiology at Stanford and one of the world's experts in the treatment of cancer by radiation. He introduced me to Alfred Gellhorn who, at that time, was the director of the Francis Delafield Hospital, the cancer hospital at Columbia Presbyterian in New York. I described to Alfred my dilemma. I was about to go back to Boston to organize an oncology program and I knew no oncology. What could he... how could he help me? He was obviously, and is, a very giving man. He has since become one of my very closest friends. And he suggested that I come to New York and that he would teach me what he knows, so I said, 'Well, I'm leaving here in Bethesda in June, shall I indicate to the people in, at, in Boston that I'll be away for six months?' He roared with laughter, and he said, 'Six months! I... I don't know how you'd spend six months with me. Why don't you plan on coming for a week, I'll teach you all I know'. So, I did spend a week with Alfred at the Delafield Hospital. I didn't learn all that he knows, but I did get some confidence, and went then back to Beth Israel Hospital where I organized a clinical program in oncology, and set up a laboratory where I continued the work that I had begun with... with Bernie Horecker.

Born in 1925, American Howard Hiatt set up one of the first medical oncology research and training units in the US and has headed up some of America's most prestigious medical institutions. Hiatt attended Harvard College and received his MD from the Harvard Medical School in 1948. He was a member of the team at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, that first identified and described mRNA, and he was among the first to demonstrate mRNA in mammalian cells. From 1991 to 1997, he was Secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he began and directs the Academy's Initiatives For Children program. He is also committed to helping disadvantaged people access decent health care.

Listeners: Milton C. Weinstein

Milton C. Weinstein, Ph.D., is the Henry J. Kaiser Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. At the Harvard School of Public Health he is Academic Director of the Program in Health Decision Science, and Director of the Program on Economic Evaluation of Medical Technology . He is best known for his research on cost-effectiveness of medical practices and for developing methods of economic evaluation and decision analysis in health care. He is a co-developer of the CEPAC (Cost-Effectiveness of Preventing AIDS Complications) computer simulation model, and has conducted studies on prevention and treatment of HIV infections. He is the co-developer of the Coronary Heart Disease Policy Model, which has been used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of cardiovascular prevention and treatment. He is an author of four books: Decision Making in Health and Medicine: Integrating Evidence and Values; Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine,the report of the Panel of Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine; Clinical Decision Analysis; and Hypertension: A Policy Perspective.He has also published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed medical, public health, and economics journals. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Award for Career Achievement from the Society for Medical Decision Making. Dr. Weinstein received his A.B. and A.M. in Applied Mathematics (1970), his M.P.P. (1972), and his Ph.D. in Public Policy (1973) from Harvard University.

Tags: National Institutes of Health, Francis Delafield Hospital, Beth Israel Medical Center, Alfred Gelhorn

Duration: 3 minutes

Date story recorded: September 2006

Date story went live: 24 January 2008