National Cancer Institute honors Berlin’s contributions, leadershipApr. 6, 2023, 9:37 AM
by Tom Wilemon
Jordan Berlin, MD, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology, is a 2022 recipient of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director’s Award.
“One of the most important ways NCI contributes to cancer research is to bring together people with the brightest minds and the biggest hearts and make it possible for them to do their very best work. Each year, we take a moment to select some of the amazing and talented people at NCI whose work has stood out and to celebrate their successes and thank them for their service,” said NCI Director Monica Bertagnolli, MD.
Berlin was recognized for his leadership serving on an NCI team that researched and recommended changes to clinical trial protocols that expanded the role of advanced practice providers (APP). The changes allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists, advanced degree nurses and pharmacists to write patient orders for investigational drugs used in NCI clinical trials without a physician co-signature. However, all the APPs must be registered in the NCI’s Registra- tion and Credentialing Repository. They also must be overseen by a physician investigator in all trial-related medical conditions.
When the NCI issued the new guidance in 2021, the agency noted that APPs are “projected to become an essential part of the oncology team as the U.S. population ages and the predicted shortage of oncologists unfolds.”
James Doroshow, MD, director of the NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, presented Berlin the award during a virtual ceremony on Wednesday. Berlin received the Director’s Champion Award for “Making an Impact,” a category that recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions that have successfully enhanced the quality and/or efficiency of NCI operations.
“I am honored by having received this award, and wish I could have been there in person. Of course, we believe APPs are already an essential part of our hematology and oncology teams, so when we brought this issue to the NCI a few years ago, Andrea Denicoff and Meg Mooney were incredibly responsive, and getting these changes made was an easy task,” said Berlin.
Denicoff is the head of Clinical Trials Operations for the NCI National Clinical Trials Network, and Mooney is associate director of the NCI Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, where she also serves as the chief of the Clinical Investigations Branch.
Berlin has served in numerous leadership roles with the NCI, including the ECOG/- ACRIN Gastrointestinal Committee Chair and the Pancreas Cancer Task Force Chair. He has also served on the ComboMATCH Protocol Logistics Working Group and the Investigational Drug Steering Committee.