The Department of Oncology Seminar Series and Oncology Grand Rounds take place every Friday at noon during the spring and fall semesters. Both clinical and basic cancer researchers who are leaders in their field are invited to present their work and also participate in a journal club presentation by graduate students. Guest speakers typically have time to meet with faculty members at various points during the day. Please contact the person sponsoring the speaker if you would like to request a meeting with the speaker. It is possible to have these seminars show up on your calendar automatically. Instructions on how to subscribe to the Oncology Seminar Series calendar can be found here. This calendar also lists the special seminars and mini-symposia that sometimes replace the Oncology Seminar.
Upcoming Speaker Profiles
March 24th, 2017:
Udayan Guha, M.D., Ph.D.
"Integrated proteogenomics analyses to study tumor heterogeneity and how it influences targeted treatment response."
Sponsor: Dr. Beppe Giaccone
Dr. Udayan Guha is an Investigator in the Thoracic and Gastrointestinal Oncology Branch and head of the Cancer Signaling Networks Section in the Center for Cancer Research at the NCI Intramural Program. Apart from his clinical training in Hematology and Oncology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NY, he received basic science training during his graduate studies and postdoctoral training with Dr. Harold Varmus at MSKCC. Upon initiation of his own group at the NCI Intramural Program, Dr. Guha has established a state-of-the-art proteomics facility for basic, translational and clinical studies. His group specializes in quantitative proteomics, particularly for posttranslational modifications, such as phosphorylation. Apart from his studies in lung cancer and targeted therapy, he has collaborated with several intramural and extramural investigators whom he has assisted with his expertise and infrastructure in mass spectrometry-based proteomics. Dr. Guha is the Principal Investigator of several clinical protocols in Thoracic Oncology at the NIH Clinical Center. One treatment protocol is currently evaluating the role of local ablative therapy (LAT) and osimertinib re-challenge in EGFR mutated lung adenocarcinoma. He is also the PI of a rapid/warm autopsy protocol for Thoracic malignancies to interrogate tumor heterogeneity.
April 7th, 2017:
Wei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D.
"Use of big data and cohorts to uncover causes of cancers."
Sponsor: CPC program
Professor Wei Zheng is the Director of the Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center. His research, funded continually by NIH for the past 20 years, focuses on the evaluation of lifestyle factors and biomarkers for cancer risk and survival. Having authored or co-authored more than 850 scientific publications, he is known for his work on molecular, genetic, and nutritional epidemiology of cancer, particularly breast and colorectal cancers. He is one of the most highly cited researchers and has been named in “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” by Thomson Reuters since 2015. Dr. Zheng has directed more than 20 large-scale, population-based studies, including several international consortia. In 2008 and 2009, he initiated two genetic research consortia for breast and colorectal cancers in Asians - currently including nearly 200,000 cases and controls from more than 40 studies - which have identified over 30 novel susceptibility loci/variants. He directed the first project in the Asia Cohort Consortium to harmonize data from 1.1 million subjects and quantified the association of BMI with total and cause-specific mortality. Dr. Zheng has served as a senior editor and an editorial board member for multiple epidemiology and cancer journals. He is the primary mentor for more than three dozen junior investigators. In 2009, Dr. Zheng received an NCI MERIT award. Before joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 2000 as a full Professor, he worked at the National Cancer Institute, University of Minnesota, and University of South Carolina. Dr. Zheng received his doctoral degree in epidemiology in 1992 from Johns Hopkins University.
April 28th, 2017:
Goncalo Abecasis, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
"Sequencing & Analysis of 10,000's of Human Genomes: Lessons, Challenges, and Opportunities."
Sponsor: Dr. Subha Madhavan
Gonçalo Abecasis, Felix E. Moore Collegiate Professor of Biostatistics and chair of the Department of Biostatistics, U-M School of Public Health, is a leader in genetic analysis of complex human traits. His team has developed statistical methods, computational algorithms and software that facilitate quick, accurate analysis of genetic studies of human disease. His studies enable a better understanding of human genetic variation and its role in disease biology. Abecasis has made important contributions to understanding conditions as diverse as heart disease, diabetes, psoriasis, macular degeneration. Ongoing projects include the sequencing and analysis of >50,000 deep human genomes – an unprecedented amount of data. Abecasis leads the University’s Biostatistics department, which is training a new generation of scientists and making contributions to the statistical and computational machinery for the analysis of diverse types of biomedical data – including not only genomic data but also electronic health records, registry data and health surveys, a variety of imaging data types, and environmental exposures, among others.
Past speaker profiles
March 17th, 2017:
Fisher Center Visiting Professorship Lecture
Elena Stoffel, M.D.
University of Michigan
"Germline Implications of Tumor Testing – A New Paradigm in Precision Oncology."
Sponsor: Beth Peshkin
Dr. Stoffel is Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan. She earned her MD at Harvard Medical School, her Master’s in Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, and completed her training in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. After many years in Boston at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Stoffel moved to the University of Michigan in 2011 and became Director of the Cancer Genetics Clinic. Dr. Stoffel’s clinical and research interests focus on cancer risk stratification and early detection and prevention of gastrointestinal cancers. She was awarded a NIH/HCI K07 Career Development Award in Cancer Prevention and Control for her work examining the effect of genetic and behavioral factors on risk for colorectal cancer. Dr. Stoffel serves on the ASCO Committee for Cancer Genetics and is a past President of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer (CGA-ICC). She is involved with international collaborative studies in genetic epidemiology and cancer chemoprevention and is a co-Investigator in the University of Michigan’s MiOncoseq Precision Oncology Initiative, funded through the NCI/NHGRI Clinical Sequencing in Exploratory Research (CSER) consortium.
March 10th, 2017:
Patricia Steeg, M.D.
"Brain Metastases of Breast Cancer."
Sponsor: Dr. Aykut Uren
Dr. Steeg is Deputy Chief of the Women's Malignancies Branch at NCI. She discovered the first metastasis suppressor gene, Nm23. Nm23 and other metastasis suppressors prevent the formation of metastases, with no effect on primary tumor size. Her recent studies focus on breast cancer metastatic dormancy, showing that an antagonist to the Lysophosphatidic acid receptor 1 (LPA1) emulates a metastasis suppressor gene by reducing experimental liver and lung metastases and inducing dormancy in models of triple-negative breast cancer. Dr. Steeg also investigates brain metastases of breast cancer. Her studies identify molecular events controlling brain colonization, investigate the pharmacology of the blood-tumor barrier, and determine the radiation sensitivity of brain lesions.
March 3rd, 2017:
Naiyer Rizvi, M.D.
"Genetics of Response to Immunotherapy in Lung Cancer."
Sponsor: Dr. Michael Atkins
Dr. Rizvi is the Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine and the Director of Thoracic Oncology and Co-Director of Cancer Immunotherapy Program for the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Columbia University Medical Center. He also holds the Price Chair in Clinical Translational Research. He is an internationally recognized leader in the treatment of lung cancer and immunotherapy drug development. Prior to joining Columbia University Medical Center, his clinical research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer played a significant role in the FDA approval path of a new class of immunotherapies, called immune checkpoint inhibitors, for melanoma and lung cancer. His research focus is studying mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to immunotherapy. Through genetic testing of tumors, he has been able to improve the understanding of why immune checkpoint inhibitors work in certain patients. This work has been partially supported by Stand Up To Cancer -- Cancer Research Institute Immunology funding. In his research, he also is studying why certain cancers do not respond to immune checkpoint inhibitors, so we can find better ways to harness the immune system to attack cancer cells. He oversees phase 1 immunotherapy research in solid tumors at Columbia University Medical Center and is conducting key clinical studies of novel immunotherapy drugs and immunotherapy combinations to help more patients in the fight against cancer.
February 24th, 2017:
Steven Sherman, M.D.
"Therapies for Advanced Thyroid Cancer."
Sponsor: Dr. Michael Atkins
Dr. Sherman received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. After completing his internship, residency and fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at Johns Hopkins Hospital, he served as Assistant Professor. He has been at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center since 1993, and has headed the endocrine department there since 2000. He was appointed as Professor in 2005, and he has served as Associate Vice-Provost for Clinical Research at MD Anderson since 2014. In addition to authoring more than 100 journal articles and book chapters on thyroid disease and his service on the editorial board for two medical journals, he has been a guest editor for the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network as well as Seminars in Surgical Oncology. He has served as the Chair of the Thyroid Cancer Guidelines Panel for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, as a member of multiple American Thyroid Association thyroid cancer guidelines task forces, and as Chairman of the International Thyroid Oncology Group for four years. He has also been a speaker nationally and internationally at numerous seminars and symposia, and has been the program co-chair of several international symposia dedicated to thyroid carcinoma.
February 17th, 2017:
Christine Rini, Ph.D.
John Theurer Cancer Center
"Behavioral Intervention for SCT Survivors."
Sponsor: Dr. Ken Tercyak
Dr. Christine Rini is a social/health psychologist who completed doctoral training at the University of California at Los Angeles and postdoctoral training in cancer prevention and control at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York, NY. Her research investigates psychosocial factors that affect people’s adjustment to health-related challenges, with an emphasis on those involving cancer prevention and control. Her major interests include: (1) Interpersonal influences, such as those involving the effectiveness of enacted social support, peer support, and significant others’ influences on behavior change and health decision making; (2) Individual differences that influence how people respond to health challenges; (3) Patient decision making and post-decision adjustment in the context genomic sequencing; and (4) Development of behavioral and psychosocial interventions, including those using technology (eHealth). Her interventions have included web-based pain coping skills training to help people manage persistent pain and web-based decision support to help people make difficult health decisions. She has also developed an intervention that uses expressive writing as a basis for helping cancer survivors share their treatment experience, advice, and encouragement with peers through a written peer support narrative. This intervention, called Expressive Helping, has been shown to reduce physical and psychological symptoms after hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
February 10th, 2017:
David Spetzler, Ph.D.
Caris Life Sciences
"Molecular Profiling and Precision Oncology"
Sponsor: Dr. John Marshall
Dr. Spetzler joined Caris Life Sciences® in August of 2009, and currently provides executive guidance for the company’s tumor profiling business, Caris Molecular Intelligence®, and direct leadership of the Research and Development division. His executive and scientific oversight of the R&D team is focused on the development of clinical assays to aid in the creation of precision medicine strategies for individual cancer patients, as well as noninvasive technologies to identify and predict early stage cancer. His work is focused on the development of the ADAPT Biotargeting System™, a groundbreaking and proprietary method of profiling molecular complexes in their native form in a highly multiplexed format. The innovative technology is the result of the convergence of Caris’ deep expertise in Next-Generation Sequencing, exosome biology, bioinformatics and broad-based molecular profiling.
Prior to his position at Caris, Dr. Spetzler was a member of the research faculty at Arizona State University where he developed multiplexed nanotechnologies for single molecule detection of nucleic acid and protein targets. He also developed novel methods of using DNA to create biological computers to solve NP-complete optimization problems, and built a novel optical detection system capable of measuring single molecule protein conformational changes with microsecond time resolution. He has published numerous research articles, and is an author on more than twenty patents.
February 3rd, 2017:
Andre Goy, M.D.
John Theyrer Cancer Center
"Mantle Cell Lymphoma - A Changing Paradigm?"
Sponsor: Dr. Louis Weiner
Andre Goy, M.D., is an internationally renowned clinician and researcher in the field of lymphoma. He is the Chairman and Executive Director of John Theurer Cancer Center at HackensackUMC where he also leads the Lymphoma Program. Dr. Goy is also the Executive Director of Oncology for Hackensack Meridian Health Network.
Dr. Goy trained and worked at the three largest cancer programs in the world, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, and The University Hospital System as well as Gustave Roussy and Pasteur Institutes in Paris.
Dr. Goy’s research interest includes drug development in lymphoma as well as identification of biomarkers predictive of outcomes in patients with lymphoma. He has focused his interest particularly in mantle cell lymphoma where he was the lead investigator for two of the three new agents: Lenalidomide (Revlimid), and Bortezomib (Velcade) as well as co-investigator for the recent development of Ibrutinib (Imbruvica). After moving to HUMC Dr. Goy initiated the tissue repository for the entire cancer program. He has also been actively involved in cell therapy including bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy through CAR-T cells and check-point inhibitors across the board in lymphomas and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He has published extensively and serves as reviewer for many key journals in the field of hematology and oncology research. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Lymphoma Research Foundation as well as the NCI study group on lymphoma. Dr. Goy is a Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University in D.C.
Dr. Goy is a co-founder of COTA, a cloud based analytics platform which can help stratify patients in oncology and beyond to optimize treatment decisions and outcomes. This is not only key to rationale approach of value based health care but also to implement precision medicine.
Dr. Goy has participated in the World Economic Forum Think Tank on the Future of Health Care since 2014, and currently serves as co-chair of the WEF Council on the Future of Health and Health Care.
January 27th, 2017:
Richard White, M.D., Ph.D.
Memorial Sloan Kettering
"Zebrafish models of melanoma heterogeneity and metastasis"
Sponsor: Dr. Michael Atkins
Richard White is a physician scientist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His laboratory uses the zebrafish for modeling cancer, with a particular emphasis on melanoma biology. Because of its optical transparency and ease of genetic manipulation, the zebrafish is an ideal platform for unbiased discovery of factors that promote metastasis in vivo. His talk will discuss recent findings on the role of novel microenvironmental cell types in promoting melanoma progression.
January 13th, 2017:
Kathryn Schmitz, Ph.D.
Penn State Cancer Institute
"Implementing exercise as standard of care after breast cancer"
Sponsors: Dr. Chris Loffredo & Dr. Marc Schwartz
Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH, FACSM, is a Professor of Public Health Sciences and Associate Director of Population Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine. She is an exercise interventionist who has led multiple trials, including a large randomized controlled trial, titled the Physical Activity and Lympehdema Trial (PAL), to assess the safety of upper body exercise among 295 breast cancer survivors with and without lymphedema. She has conducted dissemination research in translating the PAL intervention to become more broadly disseminable. The program, now called Strength After Breast Cancer, has been delivered to over 1,000 breast cancer survivors. An online educational training program which prepares exercise professionals and physical therapists to administer the program has been requested by and provided to over 200 outpatient rehabilitation specialists across the country.
Dr. Schmitz has published over 180 peer reviewed scientific papers (scopus h-index of 44) and has had continuous National Institutes of Health funding for her research since 2001, including three R01s, two R21s and a TREC (Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer) Center. She has also received research support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. She has served on the expert panel for the YMCA/Lance Armstrong Foundation Cancer Survivorship Collaborative, wrote the cancer survivorship section of the recently published U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report of the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, and served on the ad hoc committee that developed the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Cancer Exercise Trainer certification. She is the lead author of the ACSM Roundtable on Exercise for Cancer Survivors, which published guidance for exercise testing and prescription for cancer survivors in July 2010.
December 16th, 2016:
Catherine Bollard, M.D.
Children's National Health System
"Virus-specific T cell Therapies : Broadening Applicability"
Sponsor: Dr Michael Atkins
Catherine Bollard received her medical degree at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. She is Board certified both in Pediatrics and Hematology. She worked both in New Zealand and London, England before moving to Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in 2000 where she was Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine and Immunology and the Director of the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center Pediatric Lymphoma Program. In August 2013, she moved to Children’s National and The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. She is currently Chief, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine and Director of the Program for Cell Enhancement and Technologies for Immunotherapy (CETI). She is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and is President of the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT). She is on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) and Chairs the Non Hodgkins Lymphoma committee of the Children’s Oncology Group. She is an Associate Editor for the journals Blood and Cytotherapy and is a member of the NCI Clinical Oncology Study Section and is a member of the Cellular, Tissues and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Her bench and translational research focuses on improving outcomes for patients after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation as well as the development of novel cell therapies for viral diseases and hematologic malignancies.
December 9th, 2016:
Alexander Bishop, Ph.D.
University of Texas San Antonio
"Damage induced BRCA1 dynamics in Ewing sarcoma, dysfunction and therapeuticpotential"
Sponsor: Dr Jeffrey Toretsky
Alex Bishop attained his DPhil in Oxford University working on meiotic recombination in yeast. He went on to the Harvard School of Public Health and then Harvard Medical School for two postdoctoral fellowships. The first position was with Robert Schiestl to look at homologous recombination in vivo using mouse models for p53 and ATM. His second postdoctoral position was with Phil Leder where he conducted RNAi screens in Drosophila cells to identify genes and pathways involved in damage survival. In 2005 he set up his own lab in the Greehey Children's Cancer Research Institute, a part of the University of Texas Health at San Antonio. His work has continued to examine mechanisms of damage survival and DNA repair using cell based and mouse models, initially applied to breast and ovarian cancer as well as DNA repair syndromes. In the last few years he has applied the knowledge gained from those studies to try to begin to understand Ewing sarcoma, why it is often sensitive to a variety of DNA damaging chemotherapeutics and how it may acquire resistance.
November 18th, 2016:
American Cancer Society Mini-Symposium
Rebecca Cowens-Alvarado, MPH, Vice President South Atlantic Division Health Systems, American Cancer Society
Sonia de Assis, PhD, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Patrick Lombardi, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
Filipa Lynce, MD, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Lisa A. Taneyhill, PhD, University of Maryland, College Park
Chaitra Ujjani, MD, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Lunch to follow
More information here.
November 11th, 2016:
Anna Riegel, Ph.D.
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Breast Cancer Program
"Do Nuclear co-regulators drive malignant progression of breast cancer? "
Dr Riegel’s research is focused on the role and regulation of nuclear receptor coactivators in cancer progression. The long-term goal of her research is to understand the signals that enhance tumor cell / stromal interactions with a focus on breast cancer and ultimately to determine ways that this cross talk could be interrupted therapeutically. Her laboratory was the first to report the potentiation by the coactivator oncogene AIB1 of the oncogene HER2 and also the activity of a variant isoform of AIB1 in breast cancer. These studies utilized xeno and allograft models, transgenic and conditional knockout mouse models of breast cancer as well as 3D models of cancer progression. Recent work has examined the role of coactivators in maintenance of cancer stem cells and is focused on determining how stem cell cross talk with components of the tumor stroma influences breast cancer progression.
November 4th, 2016:
John Bushweller, Ph.D.
University of Virginia
"Drugging “Undruggable” Transcription Factor Drivers in Cancer "
Sponsor: Dr Aykut Uren
Dr Bushweller received a B.A. in chemistry in 1984 from Dartmouth College where he was one course short of a minor in Classics… He then did a Ph.D. in chemistry with Paul Bartlett at the University of California, Berkeley (1990). After postdoctoral research on NMR based structural biology with Nobel laureate Kurt Wuthrich at ETH-Zurich, he became Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Dartmouth College. In 1998 he moved to the University of Virginia in the Depts. of Molecular Physiology and Chemistry where he is currently Professor, and Program Leader for Chemical and Structural Biology in the University of Virginia Cancer Center.
October 28th, 2016:
Robert B. Dickson Memorial Lecture
Robert Clarke, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
"Resistance to Endocrine Therapy in Breast Cancer: A Systems Biology Approach"
Dr. Robert Clarke is an internationally recognized leader in breast cancer research. Currently, he is Dean for Research, Director of the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization, and co-Program Leader of the Breast Program at Georgetown University Medical Center. He obtained his Ph.D. and D.Sc. from the Queen’s University of Belfast in Northern Ireland and completed his postdoctoral training as a Breast Cancer Study Group Fellow at the Medicine Branch of the National Cancer Institute, NIH. He joined Georgetown University in 1989, where he served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Georgetown University Faculty Senate from 2004-2007. Dr. Clarke was cited among the 100 most frequently published breast cancer researchers of the 20th Century at the 23rd San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, each in the U.K. He has served as chair of several peer-review study sections for NIH, most recently for BMCT (Basic Mechanisms of Cancer Therapy).
Dr. Clarke has also served as chair for several Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program study sections. He is a Senior Editor for the journal Cancer Research, an Associate Editor for the journal Endocrine-Related Cancer, and serves on the editorial boards of over a dozen other international peer review journals. Dr. Clarke completed a two year term as the elected National Cancer Institute-SigmaXi Distinguished Lecturer in 2014.
October 21st, 2016:
Loren Walensky, M.D., Ph.D.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
"Noncanonical Strategies for Therapeutic Targeting of Apoptotic Regulators in Cancer"
Sponsor: Dr Jeffery Toretsky
Loren Walensky, MD, PhD, is a Principal Investigator and Attending Physician in the Department of Pediatric Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Harvard/MIT MD-PhD Program. He received his B.A. in Chemistry from Princeton University, his MD-PhD degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, was a resident at the Boston Combined Residency Program in Pediatrics, and completed Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellowship training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Walensky’s research focuses on the chemical biology of deregulated cell death and transcriptional pathways, with the goal of developing and translating a new generation of therapies to overcome treatment-resistance in human cancers.
October 7th, 2016:
Albert Fornace, M.D. & Amrita Cheema, Ph.D.
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
"Metabolomic Applications in Oncology"
Molecular Oncology Program
Dr. Fornace, who holds the Molecular Cancer Research Chair at LCCC, was previously Director of the John B. Little for the Radiation Sciences and Environmental Health at Harvard, and earlier led the Gene Response Section at NCI. He is a highly cited researcher in stress-signaling mechanisms and characterization of pathways involved in tumor suppression, cell cycle control, and radiation injury. His group has pioneered the use of omics approaches including metabolomics for oncogenic and genotoxic stress signaling, and he now directs the Waters Center of Innovation at GUMC. He leads the metabolomics component of the Center For High-Throughput Minimally-Invasive Radiation Biodosimetry, a multi-institutional U19 program. He also leads a NIH-supported project focusing on development of human metabolomic biomarkers for assessment of radiation responses in patients and animal models.
Dr Amrita Cheema serves as a Professor in the Departments of Oncology, and Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology at Georgetown University. She also co-directs the Waters Center of Innovation for Metabolomics at the Georgetown University Medical Center. Research in her laboratory is focused on molecular phenotyping studies for identification and verification of predictive, diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of radiation exposure as well as anticipatory biomarkers of response to therapeutic interventions in cancer.
September 30th, 2016:
Christopher Vakoc, M.D., Ph.D.
Cold Spring Harbor
"Chromatin Regulators as Cancer Dependencies"
Sponsor: Dr Jeffrey Toretsky
After graduating with a degree in biochemistry from Penn State University, Chris earned Ph.D. (2005) and M.D. (2007) degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation research was performed in the laboratory of Gerd Blobel, where he studied basic mechanisms of long-range enhancer function, hematopoietic transcription factors, and histone lysine methylation. In 2008, Chris accepted a position as a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Fellow and during this time, he initiated research into how chromatin modifications support the pathogenesis of leukemia. A key focus of this work has been to use functional genomics approaches to reveal unique chromatin regulator dependencies in cancer cells. This has led to the identification of several chromatin regulator pathways that are essential to maintain the leukemia cell state, which includes the discovery of BRD4 as a therapeutic target in acute myeloid leukemia. This work has also revealed novel mechanisms of transcriptional regulation, such as identifying a role for MLL as a mitotic bookmark and a role for TRIM33 in enhancer decommissioning.
September 23rd, 2016:
Darren Mays, Ph.D., MPH
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
"Public health communication research in the tobacco regulatory science era"
Cancer Prevention & Control Program
Darren Mays, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center and Member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Mays's research focuses on behavioral cancer prevention among adolescents and young adults with specific interests in tobacco prevention and control. As a public health scientist, his research seeks to develop and examine the effects of public health communications, behavioral intervention programs, and policy/regulation to prevent and reduce tobacco use in youth and young adult populations. His research has a strong focus on tobacco regulatory science, conducting studies designed to guide federal regulation of tobacco products with specific interests in public education about the risks of tobacco use and tobacco product packaging and warning labels.
September 16th, 2016:
Michael Ittmann, M.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
"A novel oncogenic axis in African-American prostate cancer"
Sponsor: Dr Aykut Uren
Michael Ittmann MD PhD holds the William D. Tigertt Chair of Pathology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He is a Board certified pathologist with expertise in genitourinary pathology and is Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. He has carried out a funded research program in prostate cancer signal transduction and molecular genetics over the last 23 years. The major focus of his research has been on the role of FGFs and their receptors in prostate cancer; the TMPRSS2/ERG fusion gene, mouse models of prostate cancer and the tumor microenvironment, resulting in 198 scientific publications. He also directs the Human Tissue and Pathology Core of the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine.
September 9th, 2016:
Leisha A. Emens, M.D., Ph.D.
"Harnessing the Immune System to Treat Breast Cancer"
Sponsor: Dr Claudine Isaacs
Leisha A. Emens, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Oncology at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. She is a medical oncologist who specializes in breast cancer care, and is a member of both the cancer immunology and the breast/ovarian cancer research programs. Her research is focused on developing innovative immune-based therapies that combine cancer vaccines, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and other immune modulators with standard and novel treatments for breast cancer and ovarian cancer. She developed a cytokine-secreting breast cancer vaccine for testing in clinical trials. Using a preclinical murine breast cancer model of antigen-specific tolerance, she develops rational combinatorial immunotherapy strategies to overcome immune tolerance and translates the most promising immunotherapy regimens to the clinic. Dr. Emens is on the editorial boards of Cancer Research, and the Journal for the Immunotherapy of Cancer. She is immediate past chair of the Stakeholder’s Council of the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer, and is a former member of the FDA Advisory Committee on Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies. She is an active member of ASCO, AACR, and SITC.
May 13th, 2016:
Meenhard Herlyn, D.M.V., D.Sc.
"Understanding the biology of melanoma to develop new strategies for therapy"
Sponsors: Dr Michael Atkins and Dr Anton Wellstein
Dr. Meenhard Herlyn is Caspar Wistar Professor for Melanoma Research and Director of the Melanoma Research Center at The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and Founding President of the Society for Melanoma Research. He has been a cancer researcher since arriving at Wistar in 1976 and has worked in melanoma research since 1977. Current major efforts include the ability to model the microenvironment of normal and diseased human tissue through 3-D artificial skin, providing his laboratory with a unique insight into cancer research. His laboratory also seeks to further define the various signaling pathways that work in cancer cells in order to discover new opportunities to inhibit cancer growth through targeted therapeutics. Since therapy is increasingly guided by the genetic aberrations in tumors, Dr. Herlyn and colleagues are developing combinations of compounds that take into account the genetic signature of tumors, with the specific goal of individualized cancer therapy. Another major effort of his laboratory is the study of therapy resistance and tumor dormancy. Tumor cells can become dormant in primary tumors or at any time after metastatic dissemination and can persist in the dormant state for many years, allowing tumors to resist treatment. Dr. Herlyn’s working hypothesis is that defined tumor subpopulations are central to dormancy and drug resistance due to their slow turnover and their non-responsiveness to growth signals. His efforts seek to define how tumor cells escape dormancy for growth, invasion, and metastasis, and how to best develop strategies for therapy.
May 6th, 2016:
George A Calin, M.D., Ph.D.
"About Chomsky, patterns, non-coding RNAs and cancer patients"
Sponsors: Dr. Anna Riegel and Dr Anton Wellstein
George Adrian Calin received both his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Carol Davila University of Medicine in Bucharest, Romania. After working cytogenetics as undergraduate student with Dr. Dragos Stefanescu in Bucharest, he completed a cancer genomics training in Dr. Massimo Negrini’s laboratory at University of Ferrara, Italy. In 2000 he became a postdoctoral fellow at Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA, in Dr. Carlo Croce’s laboratory. He is presently a Professor in Experimental Therapeutics at MDACC and studies the roles of microRNAs and other non-coding RNAs in cancer initiation and progression, as well as the mechanisms of cancer predisposition and explores new RNA therapeutic options for cancer patients.
April 29th, 2016:
Eileen White, Ph.D.
Rutgers Cancer Institute
"Role of autophagy in metabolism and cancer"
Sponsor: Dr Aykut Uren
Dr. Eileen White received her Bachelor of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute followed by a Ph.D. in Biology from SUNY Stony Brook. She went on to be a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Bruce Stillman and then to a Staff Investigator position at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. There she discovered that one of the oncogenes of the DNA tumor virus adenovirus encoded an inhibitor of programmed cell death or apoptosis (E1B 19K) that this gene was a viral homologue of the human BCL-2 oncogene. She went on to establish that oncogene activation that deregulates cell growth also activates apoptosis, and that coordinate inhibition of apoptosis is an important function that promotes cancer. These findings revealed roles for the p53 tumor suppressor in activating apoptosis and suppressing cancer and for the Bcl-2-related anti-apoptotic proteins blocking apoptosis and promoting cancer.
Dr. White continued her work defining the role and mechanisms of apoptosis regulation in cancer at Rutgers University where she is currently the Deputy Director and Associate Director for Basic Science at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is also a Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Dr. White has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute and other review panels for the National Institutes of Health. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a MERIT award from the National Cancer Institute, the Red Smith award from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigatorship, an Achievement Award from the International Cell Death Society, a Career Award for the European Cell Death Organization, and is an elected Fellow of the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. White has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the Scientific Review Boards for the Starr Cancer Consortium, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). She is on the External Advisory Boards of the Yale, Case, and MGH Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Editorial Board memberships have included Genes & Development, Cancer Discovery, the Journal of Cell Biology, Oncogene, Cancer Prevention Research, Molecular Cancer Research, Autophagy and Cell Death and Disease. Dr. White is currently serving on the Board of Scientific Advisors for the National Cancer Institute. Current research of the White Laboratory at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey is focused on determining the role of the catabolic process of autophagy in protein and organelle homeostasis, and how this recycling of cellular components sustains cancer metabolism and tumorigenesis.
April 22nd, 2016:
Thomas F. DeLaney, M.D.
"The Integration of Proton Radiation Therapy in Clinical Practice"
Sponsors: Dr. Michael Atkins
Dr. DeLaney received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and MD degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston, completed a surgical internship at the Yale-New Haven Hospital, and did his residency training in Radiation Oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He was a senior investigator in the Radiation Oncology Branch at the U.S. National Cancer Institute in Bethesda MD from 1986-1992 and then the Chief of Radiation Oncology at the Boston University Medical Center from 1992-2000. Since 2001, he has been the Chief of the Sarcoma Radiation Oncology Service, the Co-Director of the Connective Tissue Oncology Center, and the Medical Director of the Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is the Andres Soriano Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. DeLaney has been actively involved in clinical trials evaluating treatments for patients with bone and soft tissue tumors. He is a member of the Sarcoma Working Group and head of the Proton Clinical Trials Group of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (now NRG Oncology). He is currently the Principal Investigator of a multi-institutional, National Cancer Institute funded U19 Grant, “Improving the Clinical Effectiveness and Understanding of the Biophysical Basis of Proton Beam Therapy”. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and reviews. He is the co-editor along with Hanne Kooy, Ph.D. of the book, “Proton and Charged Particle Radiotherapy” (Lippincott, 2007). Dr. DeLaney is an active member of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society and has served on its board. He is on several editorial boards including the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the Journal of Surgical Oncology, as well as the advisory boards for several research foundations including the Chordoma Foundation.
April 15th, 2016:
The Rennert Memorial Lecture
Heinrich Kovar, PhD
Medical University of Vienna
"The stress of turning malignant"
Heinrich Kovar is Professor of Molecular biology at the Medical University of Vienna and Scientific Director of the Children´s Cancer Research Institute, CCRI, hosting 12 research groups with more than 100 scientists. CCRI is closely affiliated to the St. Anna Kinderspital, with which it forms the largest pediatric oncological center in Austria. Heinrich Kovar´s field of expertise is in sarcoma research with a focus on Ewing sarcoma. Back in the nineties, he was the first to describe and characterize the defining immune histochemical marker for this disease, CD99, and was involved in the identification and characterization of the pathognomonic EWS-FLI1 gene fusion. Ever since, his lab has made a number of important contributions to a better understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms driving Ewing sarcoma, resulting in more than 100 publications. In his most recent research, he has turned to the study of tumor cell metabolism and epigenetics, and their potential role in cancer predisposition.
April 8th, 2016:
Lisa Hensk, M.D.
Brigham and Women's
"Tuberous Sclerosis Complex: Lessons for Sporadic Malignancies with mTOR Hyperactivation"
Sponsors: Dr. Louis Weiner and Dr. Michael Atkins
Dr. Elizabeth (Lisa) Petri Henske is the Director of the Center for LAM Research and Clinical Care at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston. She is also a medical oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She earned her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Yale and her MD from Harvard. She completed her Residency and Fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital. The Henske Lab discovered that somatic TSC2 mutations cause LAM. Her laboratory focuses on the cellular and metabolic mechanisms of LAM. She is a Principal Investigator of the Sirolimus and Autophagy Inhibition in LAM (SAIL) trial.
April 1st, 2016:
Robert A. Gatenby, M.D..
DH. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center
"Evolutionary Dynamics in Cancer Biology and Treatment"
Sponsor: Dr Louis Weiner
Robert A. Gatenby, MD is the Chair of the Department of Radiology at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Co-Director of the Cancer Biology and Evolution Program. He joined Moffitt in 2008 from the University of Arizona where he was Professor, Department Radiology and Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics since 2000. He received a B.S.E. in Bioengineering and Mechanical Sciences from Princeton University and an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1977. He completed his residency in radiology at the University of Pennsylvania where he served as chief resident. Bob remains an active clinical radiologist specializing in body imaging. While working at the Fox Chase Cancer Center after residency, Bob perceived that cancer biology and oncology were awash in data but lacked coherent frameworks of understanding to organize this information and integrate new results. Since 1990, most of Bob’s research has focused on exploring mathematical methods to generate theoretical models for cancer biology and oncology. His current modeling interests include: 1. the tumor microenvironment and its role in tumor biology. 2. evolutionary dynamics in carcinogenesis, tumor progression and therapy. 3. information flow in living systems and its role in maintaining thermodynamic stability.
March 18th, 2016:
Matthias Gromeier, M.D..
"Oncolytic Immunotherapy With Recombinant Poliovirus"
Sponsor: Dr Michael Atkins
Matthias Gromeier, Assoc. Prof. of Neurosurgery/Molecular Genetics & Microbiology at Duke University, pioneered oncolytic immunotherapy based on a highly attenuated polio:rhinovirus hybrid, PVSRIPO. PVSRIPO pairs selective tumor cytotoxicity with targeting/infection of antigen-presenting cells. The result is a uniquely potent and auspicious combination of pro-inflammatory and immunogenic stimuli that may produce immune effector responses broadly directed against neoplasia. PVSRIPO is currently in clinical trials against recurrent glioblastoma. It has demonstrated very encouraging results, including complete clinical and radiographic remissions that -currently- extend to almost 4 years post-treatment in a universally lethal malignancy with dismal prognosis.
March 11th, 2016:
Tim F. Greten, M.D.
National Cancer Institiute
"Immunology and Immunotherapy of Hepatocellular Carcinoma"
Sponsor: Dr. Giusette Giaccone
Dr. Greten is an expert in hepatobiliary cancers and liver immunology. His research is focused on better understanding of how non-immune based therapies effect tumor specific immune responses including suppressor mechanisms in patients with hepatobiliary cancers. He is currently studying novel immune based therapies combined with ablative therapies including radiofrequency ablation, transarterial chemoembolization and radiation for the treatment of patients with primary cancers of the liver and pancreas as well as patients with liver metastasis.
March 4th, 2016:
David Solit, M.D.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
"Defining the Actionable Genome"
Sponsor: Dr Michael Atkins
Dr Solit is a Medical Oncologist and a Laboratory Scientist. As a member of the Genitourinary Oncology Service, he specializes in treating cancers of the prostate, bladder, kidneys, testes, and other related cancers. He treats his patients with chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy, or combinations of these drugs and works with other cancer experts including surgeons and radiation oncologists to develop an individual treatment plan for each patient. He is very involved in clinical trials, particularly trials of targeted drugs known as kinase inhibitors. These drugs block pathways inside cancer cells that cause the cells to grow or spread. One area of focus in Dr Solit’s research is studying patients who are known as extraordinary responders. These are people with difficult-to-treat cancers who are found to respond exceptionally well to a new drug, even though that drug does not work in most people with the same disease. His laboratory in the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering completed the first whole-genome analysis of a patient with bladder cancer. This patient had a complete and durable response to a novel targeted drug that was only effective in a small minority of patients. By performing this analysis, his lab were able to determine what was genetically unique about this patients’ tumor. Work is ongoing testing the same drug in other patients whose tumors have a similar genetic profile. Dr Solit is Director of the Center for Molecular Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he leads a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, geneticists, bioinformaticians and laboratory scientists. The mission of the Center for Molecular Oncology is to integrate molecular and clinical information to develop therapies that are individualized to each patient’s cancer.
February 26th, 2016:
William F. Regine, M.D.
University of Maryland
"Proton Radiotherapy Clinical Trials:Challenges and Hope for the Future"
Sponsor: Dr Tony Dritschilo
William F. Regine, M.D. is the Isadore and Fannie Schneider Foxman Chairman and Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland, ranked top 5 in the country in published NIH rankings for research funding profile. Dr. Regine obtained his training at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia where he also completed a Radiation Oncology Fellowship in Gastrointestinal and Head and Neck malignancies. Dr. Regine is considered a National and International expert in the area of GI and CNS malignancies, as well as in the use of Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS). His first faculty appointment was at St. Jude’s Children’s Cancer Research Hospital where as a Clinical Investigator he helped redefine new standards of care in children with rhabdomyosarcomas and in developing a pediatric SRS program. After 2 years at St. Jude he dedicated his career to clinical research in adult cancer patients. He has since served as Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator in at least 4 national NCI sponsored cooperative group clinical trials (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group [RTOG] protocol 97-04,RTOG Protocol BR-0018, RTOG Protocol BR-0013, RTOG Protocol 08-48). He is a member of the GI and CNS Tumor steering committees for the RTOG and is the Chairman of the GI section of the National Oral Board examination for trainees in Radiation Oncology. Dr. Regine served as the Principal Investigator of RTOG 9704 study evaluating adjuvant therapy in patients with pancreatic cancer published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2008 and the Annals of Surgical Oncology 2011(Regine). This study defined a new standard of care for patients with pancreatic cancer. He has also been the Radiation Oncology Principal Investigator/Study Chairman for 2 Institutional clinical trials published in JAMA (Patchell) and the Lancet (Patchell) which defined new standards of care for patients with brain metastases and malignant spinal cord compression. He is co-Editor of “Principles and Practices of Stereotactic Radiosurgery”, the first comprehensive textbook of its kind. More recently, Dr. Regine published the benefits of advanced imaging and treatment delivery (Yovino-2012) techniques in pancreatic cancer which are the basis for the current accruing RTOG Protocol 0848 for which Dr. Regine is a Study Chairman. Dr. Regine is also co-inventor of the first of its kind treatment device completely dedicated to the stereotactic radiation treatment of early stage breast cancer known as the GammaPod.
February 19th, 2016:
David S. Perlin, Ph.D.
"Multidrug resistant fungal infections in cancer and other high risk patients"
Sponsor: Dr Louis Weiner
Dr. David S. Perlin, PhD is Executive Director of the New Jersey Medical School’s Public Health Research Institute (PHRI), a 74-year-old specialized center for global infectious diseases. He is also Director of the Rutgers Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL), one of thirteen NIH-designated national centers for pathogen research, and a Professor of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. Dr. Perlin is a highly accomplished administrator and medical researcher. He helped establish PHRI as a leading translational research organization specializing in infectious diseases with an annual research budget of $25 million and a robust patent and licensing portfolio. He also established the RBL as a major national center for the study of high priority, high-threat infectious agents. Dr. Perlin’s research emphasizes studies to diagnose and overcome drug resistant fungal and bacterial infections in high-risk patients, and he is widely regarded as a global leader in the area of antifungal drug resistance and fungal molecular diagnostics. He has published more than 216 papers and book chapters and has co-authored two books; and his publications have been cited in more than 9400 publications. His laboratory is supported by multiple grants from the NIH, DoD, Pharma and biopharma sectors. The NIH has continuously funded him for 29 years, and he was most recently awarded a $26.7 million grant from the NIH to lead a Center of Excellence in Translational Research to discover novel antibiotics and against drug resistant bacterial infections. His group has developed specialized diagnostic products for hospitals, clinical labs and companion diagnostics for large Pharma. He serves on editorial boards for prominent scientific journals and is the inaugural Editor-In-Chief for the new open access Journal of Fungi. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC), and Scientific/Medical Advisory Boards for the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), Pharma and biotech companies, and PinnacleCare. He is a founding member of Leading International Fungal Education (LIFE) and an advisor to the new Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections (GAFFI). He is a principal consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for evaluating vaccine-suitable biosafety level 3 facilities. Dr. Perlin’s recent awards include being named a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences in 2005, a distinguished visiting Professor from the University of Manchester, UK in 2009 and the Foundation Lecturer at the 2015 meeting of the British Society for Medical Mycology. Dr. Perlin lectures on the global impact of infectious diseases and regularly comments in mainstream media outlets, such as the New York Times and NPR. He earned an AB degree from Brandeis University in 1976 and a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1980. He pursued postdoctoral studies at the Yale University School of Medicine and the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Perlin joined PHRI in 1985; he was named Scientific Director in 1992, President in 2005, and Director of the new NJMS-UMDNJ (Rutgers) PHRI Center in 2006. He was appointed Professor of Microbiology, Biochemisty and Molecular Genetics in 2003 and Executive Director of PHRI and the Rutgers Regional Biocontainment Laboratory in 2010.
February 12th, 2016:
Jordan Winter, M.D.
Thomas Jefferson University
"Pancreatic cancer, are we on the right path?"
Sponsor: Dr. Chris Albanese
Jordan Winter is a pancreatic surgeon and scientist with clinical, translational, and basic research interests in the management of pancreatic cancer. He graduated as a chemistry major from Princeton University, and medical school from Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He then trained in General Surgery at Johns Hopkins, and perform3ed a Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. During his residency, he spent an additional three years as a post-doctoral research fellow in pancreatic cancer biology and genetics with Scott Kern at Johns Hopkins University. He was hired as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University in 2011, and was promoted to the Associate level in 2014. His clinical practice and expertise is principally focused on the management of pancreatic and related cancers. He performs rougly40 pancreatic resections per year, while maintaining a funded research laboratory. Dr. Winter has been funded by the NIH and industry, as well as recipient of a 5 year research mentored scholar grant from the American Cancer Society. He also is the sub-site PI for the current international APACT adjuvant chemotherapy trial, where Thomas Jefferson is the leading accrual site in the United States. He manages the Thomas Jefferson pancreatic cancer clinical database. His basic science research focuses on chemotherapy resistance and understanding how pancreatic cancer cells are able to adapt to their harsh metabolic microenvironment. Dr. Winter is also a multidisciplinary group leader in the Kimmel Cancer Center for gastrointestinal cancer.
February 5th, 2016:
Michael D. Hogarty, M.D.
The University of Pennsylvania
"A novel mitochondrial mechanism of cancer therapy resistance"
Sponsor: Dr. Jeff Toretsky
Dr. Hogarty received his BS in Biomedical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University and his MD from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He did his Residency and Chief Residency in Pediatrics at the Children’s Memorial Hospital at Northwestern University, and his Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is currently an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and member of the Center for Childhood Cancer Research and Abramson Cancer Center at CHOP/Penn. Dr. Hogarty serves as Director of the MD/PhD Recruitment and Training Program, and the Director of Research for the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program. He currently serves as Chair of the Neuroblastoma Biology Program within the Children’s Oncology Group, and is on the Executive Committee and Advisory Board for the Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Association. Dr. Hogarty’s initial research training was done in the laboratory of Dr. Garrett Brodeur studying MYCN deregulation in neuroblastoma. He currently runs an independent laboratory that (1) studies neuroblastoma therapy response and resistance (with a special interest in mitochondrial activities), and (2) develops experimental therapeutics that antagonize polyamine signaling in MYC-driven cancers.
January 29th, 2016:
Daniel F. Hayes, M.D.
The University of Michigan
"Circulating Tumor Cells and cell free DNA: Liquid Biopsies"
Sponsors: Dr. Claudine Isaacs and Robert Clarke
Dr. Daniel F. Hayes is the Clinical Director of the Breast Oncology Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he is the Stuart B. Padnos Professor of Breast Cancer Research. Dr. Hayes received bachelor’s, master’s and medical degrees from Indiana University, followed by a residency in internal medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center/Parkland Memorial Hospital from 1979 to 1982. After a fellowship in medical oncology at Harvard’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) from 1982 to 1985, he remained on faculty and was the Medical Director of the Breast Evaluation Center at DFCI from 19912-1996. He subsequently became the Director of the Breast Cancer Program at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Cancer Center from 1996 to 2001, when he moved to the University of Michigan. Dr. Hayes’ research interests are in the field of experimental therapeutics and cancer biomarkers related to breast cancer. His work has been particularly focused on development and validation of cancer biomarker tests, such as HER-2, CA15-3, circulating tumor cells and pharmacogenomic markers that have prognostic and/or predictive value in the treatment of breast cancer. He has been instrumental in establishing international guidelines for the use of tumor biomarker tests, including criteria for their clinical utility.
Currently, he is chair of the SWOG Breast Cancer Translational Medicine Committee, and he is past chair of the Correlative Sciences Committee of the North American Breast Cancer Group. He was an inaugural member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Tumor Marker Guidelines Committee, which he co-chaired for the last decade. Dr. Hayes served on the 2011 to 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Board of Directors, and in 2015 he was elected to serve a three-year term as President of ASCO. He is a Fellow of ASCO, and he serves on the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Scientific Advisory Council as a Komen Scholar. He is a member of the Association of American Physicians and of the American Clinical and Climatologic Association, and he was the inaugural recipient of the ASCO Gianni Bonadonna Award for research and mentoring in breast cancer.
January 15th, 2016:
Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon, Ph.D.
"The Etiology of Pancreatic Cancer: Nutrition and Beyond"
Sponsors: Dr Chris Loffredo and Dr Marc Schwarts
Dr. Stolzenberg-Solomon received a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of California, Davis in 1984, followed by a dietetic internship and M.Ed. in Health Science (Nutrition) Education at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and George Peabody School of Education, respectively. After this training she worked as a Registered Dietitian for 10 years. In 1994 she completed a M.P.H. with concentrations in Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health while working full time. Dr. Stolzenberg-Solomon joined the NCI in 1996 as a predoctoral fellow in the Cancer Prevention Studies Branch in the in the former Division of Cancer Prevention and Control and later the Center for Cancer Research and subsequently earned a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1999. As a Cancer Prevention Fellow, she continued post-doctoral research in the Division of Cancer Prevention and DCEG. She became an investigator in the Nutritional Epidemiology Branch in December 2002 and achieved tenure in 2011. Dr. Stolzenberg-Solomon has won several awards in recognition of her contributions to cancer research, including the 2008 NIH Merit Award for sustained and innovative work in elucidating nutritional, genetic, infectious, and other determinants of pancreatic cancer. She is an active mentor, working with graduate students, as well as post-doctoral fellows. She serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Epidemiology and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention. Dr. Stolzenberg-Solomon also holds a position as an adjunct Associate Professor at the Yale University School of Public Health and is a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology.
December 18th, 2015:
Daviid Salomon, Ph.D.
"Cripto-1: An Embryonic Stem Cell Gene that is Re-expressed in Multiple Types of Human Cancers and Represents a Novel Diagnostic and Therapeutic Target"
Sponsor: Dr Giuseppe Giaccone
Dr David Salomon received a BA in biology from Clarke University and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York. After postdoctoral work at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in New Jersey he moved to the National Institutes of Health in the Laboratory of Developmental Biology and Anomalies in NIDR. He moved to the NCI where he has held various positions and is currently the Chief, Tumor Growth Factor Section, Mouse Cancer Genetics Program, NCI Frederick. He is an expert on mammary gland biology and the role of growth factors in the regulation of normal and tumor associated processes. His recent work has focused in particular on Crypto-1, and Erb family ligand.
December 12th, 2015:
Timothy Rebbeck, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
"BRCA1/2: A paradigm for precision medicine"
Sponsor: CPC Group
Dr. Rebbeck is Professor of Epidemiology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the TH Chan School of Public Health. He leads molecular epidemiology studies of cancer etiology, outcomes, health disparities, and global health. His work has led to an understanding of the genetic and environmental causes of breast, prostate, skin, endometrial and ovarian cancers. He currently leads international cancer consortia that study risk and outcomes of 1) cancer in BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation carriers, and 2) prostate cancer in men of African descent in North America, the Caribbean, and Africa.
December 4th 2015:
Giulio Draetta, M.D., Ph.D.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
"Targeting functional dependencies in pancreatic cancer"
Sponsor: Dr. Maria Laura Avantaggiati
Giulio Draetta is a physician scientist with long standing experience in both academia and industry. Since his discovery of essential regulators of human cell division, he became interested in translating research into cures. He co-founded several biotechnology companies and led global research in large pharma, resulting in the identification of many Oncology clinical candidates and new drugs. His product development team at MD Anderson aims at increasing the probability of success in the clinic by better integration of academic and industrial science. Dr. Draetta spent nearly three decades in Oncology research and drug discovery in both academia and industry. In 2011, he embraced the opportunity to lead to lead the MD Anderson Cancer Center Institute for Applied Cancer Science as well as his own research laboratory. This combination allows an opportunity for truly transformative research, combining best practices from both academia and industry with the goal of rapidly translating basic discoveries into patient therapies. The group is interested in finding new approaches to treat some of the most elusive and devastating tumors, including PDAC and glioblastoma multiforme. Though a biochemist with expertise in the cell cycle and development pathways by training, Dr. Draetta's group is now focusing on harnessing the power of various -omics analyses, and in particular the development of in vivo functional genomic screens, to inform on new therapeutic targets. The laboratory pursues new approaches to treat some of the most elusive and devastating tumors, including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), and glioblastoma multiform. They employ a variety of techniques, including harnessing the power of -omics analyses and conducting large-scale in vivo functional genomic screens to inform on new therapeutic targets. Their goal is to rapidly validate the clinical relevance of identified mechanisms and to translate our findings into clinical opportunities. We are particularly interested in studying the impact of deregulated tumor metabolism and epigenetics in treatment-resistant cancer cells.
November 13th 2015:
Lisa A. Carey, M.D.
The University of North Carolina.
"Trials and Tribulations of Neoadjuvant Systemic Therapy for Breast Cancer."
Sponsor: Dr. Robert Clarke
Dr Carey, is the Richardson and Marilyn Jacobs Preyer Distinguished Professor in Breast Cancer Research in the UNC Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology. Dr. Carey is the Division Chief of Hematology and Oncology, as well as the Physician-in-Chief of the North Carolina Cancer Hospital. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1984 with a B.A. in Biology and Art History. She received her M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1990. She remained at Johns Hopkins for her residency in Internal Medicine followed by a fellowship in Medical Oncology and an advanced degree in Clinical Investigations. Dr. Carey joined the UNC faculty and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1998. At UNC-Lineberger, she is the Medical Director of the Breast Center, co-Leader of the Breast Cancer Research Program, and chairs the Oncology Protocol Review Committee. She became the Cancer Center’s Associate Director for Clinical Research in 2010.
Dr. Carey has a longstanding research interest in the clinical application of laboratory findings in breast cancer, with a particular interest in the clinical implications of different molecular subtypes of breast cancer. She designs and leads clinical trials of novel drugs and approaches, and is a close collaborator with several laboratory investigators and epidemiologists. Dr. Carey has served on the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Scientific Program and Education Committees and as faculty for ASCO and AACR-CTRC San Antonio annual meetings for many years. She was named to the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) Breast Core Committee in 2003. She was awarded a Doris Duke Clinician Scientist Award in 1999, a Career Development Award from the NCI in 2000, and was inducted into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2008. In 2011 Dr. Carey was awarded the NCI Director’s Service Award.
October 30th, 2015:
Amato J. Giaccia, Ph.D.
Stanford University School of Medicine
"Eradicating Metastasis with Targeted Therapy and Immune Therapy"
Sponsor: Dr. Maria Laura Avantaggiati
Dr. Giaccia is a Professor of Radiation Oncology, Associate Chair for Research & Director of the Division of Radiation & Cancer Biology in the Department of Radiation Oncology. He is also the Director of Basic Science at the Stanford Cancer Institute and heads the Radiation Biology Program in Stanford’s Cancer Center, and is Director of the Cancer Biology Interdisciplinary Graduate Program. He was awarded an American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Research Award and the Michael Fry Award from the Radiation Research Society for his outstanding contributions on understanding the molecular mechanisms of resistance promoted by the tumor microenvironment. Additionally, he was the recipient of the 2013 ASTRO Gold Medal. He co-authored the sixth & seventh editions of the textbook, “Radiation Biology for the Radiologist,” with Professor Eric Hall from Columbia. In addition, he is currently the “Jack, Lulu and Sam Willson Professor in Cancer Biology” in the Stanford University School of Medicine.
October 23rd, 2015:
Roger Abounader, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Virginia
"Identification and exploitation of master regulatory microRNAs in Glioblastoma"
Sponsor: Dr. Jeffrey Toretsky
Dr Abounader received a B.S. in Biology from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon before moving to Germany where he received an M.D. and Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Heidelberg. After postdoctoral studies in Neuroscience at McGill in Canada and Neuro-Oncology at Johns Hopkins, he joined the faculty at Hopkins in the Department of Neurology and became a member of the Cancer Center. In 2006 he moved to the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, where he remains as a Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology, and is a member of the Cancer Center. Dr Abounader is a recognized expert in the molecular basis of the development of brain tumors and is conducting ongoing studies on the role of microRNA in brain tumor malignancies, the interactions between PTEN and p53 and their implications for prognosis and anti-tumor therapy, and the role of the VEGF-MET axis and other receptor tyrosine kinases in brain tumors.
October 9th, 2015:
The 8th annual Robert B. Dickson Memorial Lecture Nancy E. Davidson, M.D.
Director, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC Cancer Centers
"Tackling Endocrine Resistance in Breast Cancer"
Nancy E. Davidson, M.D. is a world-renowned breast cancer researcher who serves as Hillman Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, Director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC Cancer Center. She is a distinguished Professor of Medicine and Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Research. She holds secondary appointments as Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology and Professor in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Dr. Davidson has published key findings on the role of hormones, particularly estrogen, on gene expression and cell growth in breast cancer. She has guided several important national clinical trials of potential new therapies, including chemo-endocrine therapy for premenopausal breast cancer. Her research has been supported by a portfolio of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Susan Komen for the Cure. Dr. Davidson has coauthored over 300 articles in the top journals of her field, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. She has won several awards, including being elected to membership in the Association of American Physicians and the Institute of Medicine. She received the honor of being named a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher in 2014. A member of the scientific advisory board for many foundations and cancer centers, Davidson has served as an elected member of the boards of directors of the American Association of Cancer Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the two largest organizations for cancer researchers and oncology professionals in the world. She was president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology from 2007-2008. She has recently been appointed as President Elect for the American Association of Cancer Research and will serve as President in April, 2016.
October 2nd, 2015:
Maureen E. Murphy, Ph.D.
The Wistar Institute
"An African specific polymorphism in p53 tumor suppressor impairs its tumor suppressor function"
Sponsors: Dr. Jeffrey Toretsky and Dr. Maria Laura Avantaggiati
Maureen Murphy received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1993, where she did her thesis work with Dr. Donna L. George, the discoverer of the MDM2 oncogene. Maureen then performed post-doctoral work at Princeton University working with Dr. Arnold J. Levine, the discoverer of the p53 tumor suppressor protein. At Princeton Maureen studied how p53 made the decision between inducing growth arrest versus programmed cell death, with funding by the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Cancer Research. In 1998 Maureen obtained an Assistant Professor position at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, where she obtained tenure in 2003, and became a full Professor in 2011. In 2011 Maureen moved her laboratory to her current position at The Wistar Institute, where she is currently Professor and Program Leader of the Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis program. At Wistar, Maureen gets to engage in her three passions: discovering ways to reduce the burden of human cancer, training the next generation of cancer researchers, and helping mentor the junior faculty at Wistar. In 2014, based upon her work on HSP70 and HSP70 inhibition for cancer therapy, Maureen was awarded a GlaxoSmithKline “Fast Track” award, which is an academic-industry collaboration designed to bring HSP70 inhibitors to the clinic. Her current work also focuses on coding region polymorphisms in the p53 tumor suppressor protein, with emphasis on how these variants contribute to cancer risk and the efficacy of cancer therapy.
September 25th 2015:
Benjamin G. Neel, M.D., Ph.D.
NYU Langone Medical Center
"Emergent Vulnerabilities in Breast Cancer"
Sponsor: Dr. Michael B. Atkins
Dr Neel earned his Ph.D. in Viral Oncology from the Rockefeller University in 1982, under Bill, where his thesis work established that slowly transforming RNA tumor viruses cause cancer by insertional mutagenesis, leading to activation of the c-Myc gene. He received his M.D. degree from Cornell University Medical School in 1983, completed medical internship and residency training at the former Beth Israel Hospital (now Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) from 1983-85, and then pursued post-doctoral studies with Raymond L. Erikson at Harvard University from 1985-1988. In 1988, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and began his own research laboratory at Beth Israel Hospital. He rose through the ranks at HMS, becoming a Professor of Medicine in 1999, and also serving as Director of the Cancer Biology Program, from1994, and Deputy Director for Basic Research, Hematology-Oncology at Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, beginning in 2003. In 2006, he was appointed to the William B. Castle Chair of Medicine at HMS. In 2007, he was appointed Director of Research at Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto, Canada, and Senior Scientist and Canada Research Chair, Tier 1 in the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Biochemistry at the University of Toronto. On January 1, 2015, he became Director of the Isaac and Laurie Perlmutter Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at NYU-Langone Medical Center. Neel’s research focuses on cellular signaling, with a particular interest in the biology and regulation of protein-tyrosine kinases and -phosphatases, the role of RAS/ERK pathway mutations in developmental disease and malignancy, and the biology of breast and ovarian cancer. He has authored >200 primary papers and >25 reviews, several in leading journals including Cell, Molecular Cell, Developmental Cell, Science, Nature, Nature Medicine and Nature Genetics. Neel is a member of the Board of Directors of the AACR and served as Program Chair for the 2012 Annual Meeting. He received a Junior Faculty Research Award from the ACS, was the inaugural recipient of the Gertrude Elion Award of the AACR, received the Premier of Ontario’s Summit Award (Ontario’s highest scientific honor) in 2009, and an NIH MERIT award. He has been a permanent member of two NIH study sections, and served on review panels for multiple foundations. He also was an Editor of MCB (2000-2010), and serves on the Editorial Boards of Cancer Cell, Molecular Cell, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation and Cancer Discovery. He is a member of the SAB of Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, was a long time SAB member of Ceptyr, Inc., and is a co-founder and member of the SAB of Northern Biologics, which focuses on therapeutic antibodies for cancer and fibrosis.
September 18th 2015:
Vilhelm A. Bohr, M.D., Ph.D.
National Institutes on Aging, NIH, USA
"DNA repair defects and mitochondrial dysfunction in cancer and aging"
Sponsor: Dr. Aykut Üren
Dr. Bohr received his M.D. in 1978, Ph.D. in 1987, and D.Sc. in 1987 from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. After training in neurology and infectious diseases at the University Hospital in Copenhagen, Dr. Bohr did a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Hans Klenow at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He then worked with Dr. Philip Hanawalt at Stanford University as a research scholar from 1982-1986. In 1986 he was appointed to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as an investigator, becoming a tenured Senior Investigator in 1988. Dr. Bohr developed a research section in DNA repair at the National Cancer Institute, NIH. In 1992 he moved to the National to become Chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics. His main contributions have been in the area of DNA repair. He has worked on many aspects of DNA damage and its processing in mammalian cells. He developed a widely used method for the analysis of DNA repair in individual genes and found that active genes are preferentially repaired. This observation was a major advance in the clarification of the tight interaction between DNA repair and transcription, a process termed transcription-coupled repair. In recent years numerous papers from his laboratory have focused on mechanisms of DNA damage processing, particularly on base excision repair. A main interest now is to elucidate how these processes change in relation to aging and to develop interventions.
September 11th, 2015:
Ronald B. Gartenhaus, M.D.
The University of Maryland
"MNKs Modulate Oncogenic Translation in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma"
Sponsor: Dr. Louis Weiner
Ronald B. Gartenhaus, M.D. is a Tenured Professor of Medicine and Co-Leader, Program in Molecular & Structural Biology at the NCI-designated University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. He also heads the Hematologic Malignancies Clinic at the University affiliated Baltimore VA Hospital. Dr. Gartenhaus has a longstanding interest in lymphoma biology dating back to the early 1990's when he trained as a post-doc in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Gallo at the National Cancer Institute after completing a medical oncology fellowship at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. His laboratory was the first to identify and describe the MCT-1 oncogene. His current research focus is studying post-transcriptional/translational gene deregulation as well as oncogenic signaling cascades associated with lymphoma and how they can be exploited for targeted therapy. His research has been continually funded over the past 15 years through multiple NIH grants, VA Merit Review awards, as well as other national research foundations. Dr. Gartenhaus is a standing member of the NIH MONC study section and has participated as an ad hoc member of multiple NIH and VA reviews, including several NIH PO1 program project review panels. He has served on multiple editorial boards and is currently an Associate Editor for PLOS Genetic.
September 4th 2015:
Thomas F. Gajewski, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Chicago
"Molecular mechanisms of the T cell-inflamed tumor microenvironment: Implications for cancer immunotherapy"
Sponsor: Dr. Michael B. Atkins
Dr Gajewski received a B.A. in biology from the University of Chicago in 1984, where he also received his Ph.D. in 1989 and M.D. in 1991. He went on to do a Fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at Chicago and did post-doctoral work at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Brussels. He joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1997 where he is now Professor in the Department of Pathology and Medicine (Hematology/Oncology). He is an internationally recognized expert in tumor immunology and therapy, has published extensively in this area, and has received numerous awards for his clinical, research, and educational activities.
May 29th 2015:
Yves Pommier, M.D., Ph.D.
Developmental Therapeutics Branch, NCI, NIH
"Alterations of DNA Repair Genes and Their Predictive Value for Anticancer Drug Activity"
Sponsor: Dr. Giuseppe Giaccone
Dr. Pommier received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Paris, France, and has been at the NIH since 1981. Dr. Pommier is the chief of the Developmental Therapeutics Branch (formerly the Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology), the co-chair of the Discovery Committee of the NCI Experimental Therapeutics Program and member of the Molecular Target steering committee at the Center for Cancer Research, NCI. Dr. Pommier is also honorary professor of the Shanghai Institute Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences and adjunct member of the NCI Developmental Therapeutics Program (NCI-DTP). Dr. Pommier has received an NIH Merit Award for his role in elucidating the function of topoisomerases as targets for anticancer drugs and Federal Technology Transfer awards for studies on HIV-1 integrase and DNA topoisomerase inhibitors. Dr. Pommier serves as senior editor for the therapeutics, targets, and chemical biology sections of Cancer Research. He also served as chair for the 2004-2005 Gordon conferences on the molecular therapeutics of cancer and organized the international conferences on retroviral integrase: molecular biology and pharmacology in 1995, 2001, 2008, 2011 and 2014. Dr. Pommier received the Paul Ehrlich Lecture Award from the Societe de Chimie Therapeutique in 2005. Dr. Pommier has authored more than 550 publications and holds over 20 patents for inhibitors of DNA topoisomerases, tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase, checkpoint inhibitors and HIV-1 integrase inhibitors.