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October 20, 2014


Case CCC External Advisory Board

On Friday, October 17, 2014 the Case CCC hosted the annual meeting of our External Advisory Board (EAB). The members of this group are all prominent investigators in cancer research and leaders at their institutions:

  • James L Abbruzzese, MD, FACP: Chief, Division of Medical Oncology; Associate Director Clinical Research, Duke Cancer Institute
  • Michael A. Caligiuri, MD: Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center; CEO, James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Ohio State University
  • Nelson Chao, MD, MBA: Donald D. and Elizabeth G. Cooke Professor; Chief, Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy/BMT, Duke University
  • Edward Chu, MD: Professor of Medicine; Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology; Chief, Division of Hematology-Oncology; Deputy Director, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute; Associate Director, Drug Discovery Institute, University of Pittsburgh
  • Richard C. Cote, MD: Chairman, Department of Pathology, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami
  • Kevin J. Cullen, MD: Director, University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center; Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center
  • Robert B. Diasio, MD: Professor, Pharmacology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine; Director, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
  • Raymond DuBois, Jr., MD, PhD: Executive Director, The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University
  • H. Shelton Earp, III, MD: Director, University of North Carolina Cancer Care; Professor, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine
  • Jean G. Ford, MD: Chair, Department of Medicine, Brooklyn Hospital Center
  • Beverly Ginsburg-Cooper, MBA: Consultant, Huron Consulting Group
  • Michael Ostrowski, PhD: Professor and Chair, Department of Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • David Piwnica-Worms, MD, PhD: Professor and Chair, Department of Cancer Systems Imaging (CSI); Professor of Cancer Biology; Deputy Division Head, Research Affairs, Division of Diagnostic Imaging, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • Jerome Ritz, MD: Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine; Director, Connell O'Reilly Cell Manipulation and Gene Transfer Laboratory; Associate Director, Core Facilities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Ann G. Schwartz, PhD, MPH: Deputy Center Director, Karmanos Cancer Institute; Executive Vice President for Research and Academic Affairs; Professor, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University
  • Thomas A. Sellers, PhD, MPH: Director, Cancer Center & Research Institute; Executive Vice President, Moffitt Cancer Center
  • Donald L. "Skip" Trump, MD: President and Chief Executive Officer, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  • Eileen White, PhD: Associate Director, Basic Science, Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Professor, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers University

Your program leaders each gave an update on the scientific programs followed by lively discussion designed to recognize the many program and scientific strengths, and help us identify both easy and more challenging opportunities to improve our basic, translational, clinical and collaborative efforts. We will debrief over the next month, and you will see the impact of this advice as your program leaders introduce initiatives discussed by the EAB.

In the meantime, let me make a few broad points:

  • Eileen White commented that our science was better than ever, and that our list of high-impact publications and our practice-changing results surpassed that of prior years and was "the best ever." Congratulations!
  • Our increasing efforts in patient-based genomics, personalized tumor sequencing for therapeutic decisions, and drug discovery and development were applauded! These efforts involve more than many dozens of investigators and countless collaborations.
  • We were encouraged to increase participation in monthly program meetings for all members and all programs. Of course, that suggests we place an emphasis on making program meetings irresistible, and we intend to do so!
  • The hand-offs between investigators and programs, as we transition from basic discovery to patient-based and clinical research, can be and was confusing. In response, we will be asking you to help the program leaders clarify how we hand off and collaborate between investigators and programs, whether the topic is a PDX model, a drug, or a genomics analysis.
  • We have disparities research taking place across the Center –studies of under-served and at-risk populations that can be linked to our disparities research initiative, suggesting we convene a group to interact on this important topic.
  • Finally, they gave a terrific report on our Center to our institutional leaders.

Much more to follow. To all who contributed data and to the Program Leaders, thank you for your effort and input!

New Case CCC Web Site - Check it out!!

We have a new web site! See it at:

Gillian Irwin has worked tirelessly with the CWRU web team to devise and migrate our web site to the new format preferred by CWRU. The site has a cleaner more contemporary look, provides full access to your news, newsletter, programs, annual report, and special announcements.

Now that we have approval, Gillian can enhance the site more easily (we just changed the name of our basic science program to Molecular Oncology!). Soon, you will see us charge ahead with major upgrades such as:

  • Member web pages that the Center will produce for each member with automatic updates based on recent publications and linked to their web site in their primary department
  • More comprehensive program descriptions written by our program leaders
  • Case CCC Cancer Blog written by members on newsworthy topics such as commentary on recent advances, controversies, breakthroughs, and other items of research and public interest
  • Cancer information for patients pulled from our own databases, that of NCI, and links to the best sites available
  • Clinical Trials – our active list with sorting techniques and links to SCC and TCI for discussion with physicians
  • Links to TCI and SCC for access to care and clinical trials

Please have a look and send comments to me ( or Gillian ( We want this site used, seen and admired!