Maurice, Ethel, and Jane Sokolow
Memorial Cancer Endowment Lectureship
John Dick, PhD, FRS Senior Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine of the University Health Network; Professor of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto
LECTURE: Monday, June 20, 2016
4:00 - 5:15 pm
"Towards unification of cancer stem cell and clonal evolution models of intratumoral heterogeneity"
Mission Bay Campus, Byers Auditorium, GH-106
>> Live stream available for the UCSF community
CLINICAL LECTURE: Tuesday, June 21, 2016
12:00 - 1:00 pm
"Translating stemness concepts towards improved clinical management of AML"
Parnassus Campus, HSW-300
>> Live stream available for the UCSF community
John Dick is a Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine of the University Health Network and Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. Dr. Dick is also Director of the Cancer Stem Cell Program at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Dr. Dick's research has been grounded in his pioneering quantitative in vivo assays for both normal hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and leukemic stem cells (LSC). From the development of these functional assays, his studies have culminated in elucidating the developmental roadmap of early human hematopoietic development including the discovery of multilymphoid progenitors and the identification of human HSC at single cell resolution. In a parallel line of research on leukemia and colon cancer, his findings established, through prospective isolation and functional tumor initiation assays, that individual tumor cells are not functionally equal and that some cancer cells are endowed with stem cell properties. Collectively, his landmark papers on the first identification of LSC are recognized as altering our understanding of human cancer biology and ushering in the modern era of cancer stem cell (CSC) research. His recent research shows that LSC and CSC within an individual tumor are genetically diverse and related through complex evolutionary trajectories, thereby linking together the genetic and stem cell models of cancer, two models previously considered to be mutually exclusive. This research has stimulated burgeoning interest within the cancer research community to understand how functional diversity is driven by genetic and non-genetic determinants and how these together contribute to therapy failure resulting in disease progression and recurrence.
Dr. Dick’s seminal contributions to the fields of molecular hematology, stem cell biology and oncology have been recognized by his election as a Fellow of The American Association for Cancer Research (2016), Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada (2004) and the Royal Society of London, UK (2014) and numerous prestigious awards at the national and international level including the W. Dameshek Prize (2005) and the E. Donnall Thomas Prize (2009) from the American Society of Hematology; the G.H.A Clowes Memorial Award from American Association for Cancer Research (2008); the Clifford Prize for Cancer Research (2009) from Australia; the Noble Prize from National Cancer Institute of Canada (2000); the Diamond Jubilee Award (2007) (with Drs. J.E. Till and E.A. McCulloch) from the National Cancer Institute of Canada; and the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance Award for Outstanding Achievements in Cancer Research (2013).
After the deaths of Dr. Sokolow's daughter, Jane, from Burkitt's lymphoma in July 1970, and that of his wife, Ethel, from a breast malignancy the following December, the Ethel and Jane Sokolow Visiting Scientist Program was established at UCSF by their families, classmates, and friends. Upon the death of Maurice Sokolow in 2002, the Fund was renamed as the Maurice, Ethel, and Jane Sokolow Memorial Cancer Endowment Lectureship.
Born in New York, Maurice Sokolow moved to California as a young child with his family, after which he spent seven years in an orphanage following the death of his mother. He attended UCLA and UC-Berkeley with the help of his sister, Josephine Osborne, then worked his way through medical school at UCSF, living at the Laguna Honda Hospital and working there at night. In receiving his medical degree in 1936 he was awarded the Gold Headed Cane, the honor bestowed upon the top graduating medical student.
Maurice Sokolow ("Soke") spent virtually his entire medical career at UCSF, following a residency at New England Medical Center in Boston and a fellowship in cardiology at the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. He served in the Navy during World War II, stationed on a hospital ship in Fiji.
During the 1950s, Sokolow was head of the hypertension section at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center. He earned a reputation as a highly creative researcher and teacher, and became a founding member of the UCSF Cardiovascular Research Institute, merging clinical cardiology with academic and research work. He designed and constructed an ambulatory device to show that blood pressure varied throughout the day. His study also confirmed that blood pressures taken in the clinic setting tended to be higher than ambulatory pressures for the majority of patients. This portable recorder provided a major role in hypertension studies throughout the next decades, including the discovery of "white coat" hypertension, a persistently elevated clinical blood pressure when the patient was being seen by a doctor. Sokolow also developed special expertise in the field of electrocardiography and in treating the complications of rheumatic fever.
Among Sokolow's more than 160 medical publications is the textbook Clinical Cardiology, co-authored with Melvin D. Cheitlin, MD, and Malcolm McIlroy, MD. Now in its 6th edition, the textbook has been translated into seven languages.
Jane Sokolow died in 1970 at the age of 25 of the rare cancer Burkitt's lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In the U.S., only about 300 new cases of Burkitt's lymphoma are diagnosed each year.
Ethel Schwabacher Sokolow, diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35, was a longtime cancer survivor in an era when few therapeutic options were available, and her resilience continues to serve as an inspiration to her friends and family. An actress, Ethel Sokolow appeared in Woody Allen's "Take the Money and Run" in 1969, the year before she succumbed to metastatic cancer at age 54. Her death followed that of her daughter by five months.
Dr. Maurice Sokolow's own death, 32 years after that of his wife and daughter, was from lymphoma. Surviving members of his family include two daughters, Gail and Anne, and their families. Gail and her husband Marc Goldyne, MD, have two children -- Serena Goldyne Brenner (husband Matthew Brenner, son Eli, and daughter Sophia), and Avi Goldyne (wife Dara and son Milo). Anne and her husband Peter Levine, MD, have two children, Joshua (wife Christa and son Zach) and Sara.