News briefs

MUSEUM GRANT ANNOUNCED — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that his office has given a $25,000 grant to Motts Military Museum in Groveport to help preserve a historic World War II landing craft known as a Higgins boat, one of the few still in existence in the world.

“I am pleased to be able to help the Motts Military Museum preserve an important part of our military history,” Attorney General DeWine said. “Higgins boats helped transport troops and equipment in World War II, and the Motts Military Museum’s display will help educate new generations of Ohioans about the World War II era.”

The grant will be used to help fund the construction of a steel-framed metal building to house the museum’s restored World War II Higgins boat, or landing craft, vehicle, personnel (LCVP). During the war, Higgins boats were used to transport troops and supplies. Sam Belfiore, the Ohio native who piloted this craft, received a Silver Star for bravery during WWII.

STEPHEN L. LESSNICK, MD, PHD, NAMED DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDHOOD CANCER AND BLOOD DISORDERS AT NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL – Stephen L. Lessnick, MD, PhD, has joined the faculty at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as the director of the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders.

As the director, Dr. Lessnick leads a team of pediatric researchers in the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders who are working to expand the understanding of the development of childhood cancer and to transform diagnostic and treatment strategies. He will also foster close collaborations with the clinical team within the Division of Hematology/Oncology/Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) at Nationwide Children’s. The research team’s areas of focus include biology and therapy of a broad array of diseases that affect young children, adolescents, and young adults, including neuroblastoma, brain tumors, leukemia, and sarcomas. Dr. Lessnick’s personal research interest is in the area of Ewing sarcoma.

Dr. Lessnick is also a professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, for his undergraduate education and earned his MD and PhD degrees from the University of California in Los Angeles. After completing his internship and residency at Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Lessnick finished his pediatric hematology and oncology fellowship at Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He completed his postdoctoral research in their Pediatric Oncology Department, where he studied the transcriptional consequences of the Ewing sarcoma fusion gene. He joined the University of Utah faculty in January 2004 and served as the director of the Center for Children’s Cancer Research at Huntsman Cancer Institute.

ARTS FUNDING APPROVED – The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) will receive the largest increase in state funds in its 50-year history thanks to Governor John R. Kasich and Ohio legislators’ enactment of House Bill 64, the state’s biennial operating budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

“On behalf of the entire Ohio Arts Council board, I deeply appreciate the support demonstrated by Governor Kasich and lawmakers in the Ohio House and Senate,” said Jeffrey A. Rich, OAC board chair. Ginger Warner, OAC board vice chair, agreed. “Our elected leaders have made a tremendous, unprecedented commitment to strengthening the arts in Ohio.”

Grassroots efforts aimed at increasing arts funding paved the way for this monumental increase. “I want to thank arts advocates across the state, led by Ohio Citizens for the Arts, for continuing to make investing in the arts a priority for policymakers,” Rich said.