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September 15, 2014


Stan Gerson, MDStan Gerson, MD
Director, Case CCC

Special Thank You to Dr. Clark Distelhorst

The Cancer Center as a whole wishes to thank Dr. Clark Distelhorst, the Charles S. Britton II Professor of Hematology/Oncology at CWRU, whose leadership of education and training and basic science programs, extended over 14 years. These activities in support of the Cancer Center are well documented and much appreciated.

Clark DistelhorstClark has had his face on our web site and his hand in leadership of the Center for longer than most of us have been members of the Cancer Center! As the Associate Director for Education and Training, Clark was instrumental in developing formal mentoring programs and conferences. He has led the Cancer Research T32 for four cycles, and led the Clinical Oncology Training Program K12 during its initial funding period.

His interest in basic research evolved from his clinical experience in lymphoid malignancies, and as Program Leader, he was dedicated to an approach that reflected his own beliefs that future advances in cancer treatment would result from increased understanding of fundamental mechanisms. His basic research orientation and his clinical experience served to facilitate interactions among basic researchers and clinical investigators.

Clark's dedication was especially evident as the Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) was renewed – he is a veteran of three CCSG site visits, yet his enthusiasm during the preparation remained undiminished. We will continue to ask him to mentor program leaders for their presentations and write-ups!

Clark will remain active in the Cancer Center, in training and mentoring, and in our scientific programs. As usual, it will take more than one person to fill his leadership shoes. Dr. Mark Jackson has taken on responsibilities as Associate Director for Training & Education. Dr. Bingcheng Wang is now co-leader of the Molecular Oncology Program (formerly the Basic Sciences Program), and Dr. Neal Meropol and I lead the K12.

We will miss Clark's leadership but look forward to his continued training and research contributions.

Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Conference

This first AYA cancer conference hosted by the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is being held October 30-31 at the Iris S. & Bert L. Wolstein Research Building. This collaborative symposium is organized by the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, UH Seidman Cancer Center, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute. The focus of this two-day symposium is on advancement of AYA-related cancer research, including exploration of scientific, clinical and psychological considerations in adolescent and young adult cancer patients.

The symposium features speakers from leading academic institutions and non-profit organizations who are at the forefront of AYA research and advocacy, including Heidi Adams, CEO of Critical Mass, and Simon Davies, CEO of Teen Cancer America. We are excited to feature two key speakers from University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Dr. Henry Koon, Disease Team Leader of Melanoma and Dr. Cheryl Kingsberg, Division Chief Ob/GYN Behavioral Medicine, CWRU Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital.

The symposium also features a keynote address by Clifton Leaf, Deputy Managing Editor, "Fortune Magazine," and author, The Truth in Small Doses: Why We're Losing the War on Cancer " And How to Win It. Mr. Leaf is a cancer survivor and a national advocate for change to the way the global cancer fight is funded and pursued, pushing for ways to speed up progress against the disease. Mr. Leaf has presented testimony to the President's Cancer Panel three times, given a plenary address at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, and delivered Grand Rounds at the National Cancer Institute, the only journalist to be given that honor.

We hope that you will join us this year for our first AYA cancer conference, and we hope that we can help you connect to an international community of researchers and advocates for the AYA cancer community. An email will be sent later this week with registration instructions. Additional information will also be posted on the Cancer Center website and in future editions of this newsletter.


Medical Calculators Use Big Data to Help Patients Make Choices
Wall Street Journal - September 14, 2014
Doctors and patients are crunching big data together using a simple calculator that helps the patients make informed medical decisions...But that one-size-fits-all approach doesn't take into account a patient's unique characteristics, such as age, gender, race, extent and type of disease and other health factors, says Michael Kattan, chairman of the department of quantitative health sciences at Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. So doctors are turning to increasingly sophisticated calculators that can combine all these unique characteristics, compare them with the vast databases of similar cases and studies, and use them to predict probable outcomes depending on the treatment a patient chooses.

Nap Your Way to Better Skin - September 11, 2014
It may sound a bit crazy – napping your way to better skin – but new research from University Hospitals Case Medical Center and published in Science Daily found that it's true. This gives new meaning to beauty rest... Case Comprehensive Cancer Center member Elma Baron, MD, the study leader and Director of the Skin Study Center at UH Case Medical Center, explained: "Our study is the first to conclusively demonstrate that inadequate sleep is correlated with reduced skin health and accelerates skin aging. Sleep deprived women show signs of premature skin aging and a decrease in their skin's ability to recover after sun exposure. Insufficient sleep has become a worldwide epidemic. While chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency, its effects on skin function have previously been unknown."

Lab Chat: How to Enter the Biomedical World Without Going to School for 100 Years
Cleveland Scene- September 10, 2014
And so I wanted to spend this edition of lab chat talking to some people who enjoy a satisfying and exciting life in biomedical science but didn't have to go to school for a hundred years to do so. From research assistants to department administrators to animal technicians, there's a very large team of contributors that go into any research project and it's time we heard their stories. Without further ado I present some words of advice from friends and colleagues of mine about how to directly interact with medical research and still maintain a semblance of sanity...Markeya Owens, Animal Husbandry Manager, Case Western Reserve University; John Pounardjian, Department Administrator,Markowitz Lab, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Case Western Reserve University; Gretchen Larusch, Research Assistant III, Markowitz Lab, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Case Western Reserve University...

Cancer Journal Cover Story
Lerner Research Institute Pathways- September 2014
A publication by Janet Houghton, PhD, Department of Cancer Biology and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center member, was recently featured on the cover of the journal Oncotarget because of its importance in the field of cancer drug discovery and potential impact on cancer treatment. Dr. Houghton investigates the role of a gene called GLI in cancer progression and survival. GLI is part of a cellular signaling pathway (called Hedgehog) that, in normal cells, ensures proper cellular function and organ development. In cancer cells, however, pro-cancer pathways keep GLI perpetually "turned on," disturbing cellular balance and promoting further cancer growth.


Dr. Barnholtz-Sloan Joins Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Research Advisory Network

‌Dr. Jill Barnholtz-SloanDr. Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, Associate Professor of General Medical Sciences (Oncology) at CWRU and Associate Director for Bioinformatics at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been invited to serve as a member of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Research Advisory Network (RAN). As a member of RAN, Dr. Barnholtz-Sloan joins a group of North American leaders in pediatric brain tumor research and clinical care. The 17 volunteer members of the panel are drawn from medical centers, a research institution, a brain tumor nonprofit and the pharmaceutical industry, and will serve a three-year, renewable term.

Dr. Lazarus Receives July 2014 CTSC Core Utilization Pilot Award

Dr. Hillard LazarusDr. Hillard Lazarus, Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at CWRU and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, received a July 2014 CTSC Core Utilization Pilot Award for his project, Pre-Clinical Model Using Pluristem Administration For Delayed Engraftment After Hematopoietic Cell Transplant.



Advanced Clinical Research Award (ACRA)

The Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)Advanced Clinical Research Award (ACRA) is a topic-specific competition designed to fund investigators who are committed to clinical cancer research. Past topics have included breast cancer, colorectal cancer, hematological malignancies, lung cancer, and sarcoma. This research must have a patient-oriented focus, including a clinical research study and/or translational research involving human subjects. Proposals with a predominant focus on in vitro or animal studies (even if clinically relevant) are not allowed.

The ACRA is a three-year cancer research grant totaling $450,000, paid in three annual increments of $150,000 to the awardee's institution. The applicant must be a physician (MD, DO, or international equivalent) who is in the 4th to 9th year of a full-time faculty appointment in a clinical department at an academic medical institution at the time of the research grant submission.
Deadline: September 30

Limited Submission: Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists

The Blavatnik National Awards honor America's most innovative young faculty-rank scientists and engineers. This new national faculty competition of the Blavatnik Awards will reward excellence by young faculty members in three disciplinary categories. Every year, one nominee in each category will be named a Blavatnik Laureate and awarded $250,000 in unrestricted funds:

  • Blavatnik National Laureate Award for Young Scientists in Life Sciences
  • Blavatnik National Laureate Award for Young Scientists in Physical Sciences & Engineering
  • Blavatnik National Laureate Award for Young Scientists in Chemistry

CWRU LOI Deadline: October 6
External Deadline: November 25

American Brain Tumor Association

The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) is now accepting Letters of Intent for its Discovery Grant funding program. Discovery Grants are one-year, $50,000 grants that fund high-impact projects deemed to have the potential to change current diagnostic or treatment paradigms for adult and pediatric brain tumor care. Proposals can address any type of brain tumor, including benign or malignant, primary or secondary.
Deadline: October 8

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Research Acceleration Network (RAN) Grant

The goal of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Research Acceleration Network (RAN) Grant is to provide funding and strategic assistance to a research project with the potential to double survival for pancreatic cancer by the year 2020. This project must be implemented by a multi-institutional team and include a clinical component with an endpoint relevant to improving the detection or treatment of pancreatic cancer. The RAN Grant will provide $1,000,000 in funding for direct and indirect expenses related to the research project over a 1-3 year time frame. In addition to the grant, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network will provide strategic project management support to help optimize project implementation and progress during the grant term.
LOI Deadline: October 8

Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award

The Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award provides grants to junior physician scientists to facilitate their transition to independent clinical research careers. This award does not require institutional nomination in 2015. Pre-proposals are being sought from junior physician-scientist faculty conducting clinical research in any disease area. It is recommended that applicants have significant research experience and strong publication records consistent with the assistant professor rank.
Deadline: October 31

Carcinogenesis SS Graduate Student Award/Dharm V. Singh Carcinogenesis Endowment Award

The Society of Toxicology Carcinogenesis Student Society Officers encourage graduate students to submit their abstracts for competition for best abstract awards. To qualify, your work must be related to the field of carcinogenesis. While student abstracts may be submitted for multiple SOT awards, the CSS student awards will not be given to a student receiving another award for the same abstract. The First Place winner will receive the Dharm V. Singh Endowment Award. He/she will receive a plaque and check (amount TBD). The Dharm V. Singh Endowment Award winner will be asked to be the Student Representative for the CSS. Second, third and fourth place graduate student winners will receive plaques as well as checks for amounts to be determined.
Deadline: November 16

Friends For An Earlier Breast Cancer Test®

Friends For An Earlier Breast Cancer Test® is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and education and to raising funds for research into earlier detection of breast cancer. We are requesting applications for pilot projects that focus on new methods to improve detection of early breast cancer and are especially interested in the development of new techniques in the areas of biological or immunologic methods of early detection. It is our hope that pilot projects will provide preliminary data that leads to applications for more substantial peer-reviewed funding. Applications are accepted from both established investigators who have funding but want to embark on a new area, as well as those less experienced. In either case, the proposal should represent a new approach to the area of interest. Funds will not be given to enhance ongoing research unless it is clear that a new line of inquiry is being explored. 
Deadline: December 1

CWRU Center for Genetic Research Ethics and Law (CGREAL)

The Center for Genetic Research Ethics and Law (CGREAL) is currently accepting applications for pilot projects from CWRU and Cleveland Clinic faculty who are interested in developing research on:

  • Ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) in the design and conduct of human genetic research, or
  • The translation of research results into clinical medicine, public health, and health policy needs related to genetics.

These grants are designed to support exploratory efforts towards the development of larger scholarly projects or lines of research related to CGREAL's mission to facilitate interdisciplinary inquiry into the ethical, legal, and social implications of new advances in genetic and genomic science. Criteria for evaluation will focus on the potential for expanding and enriching the range of perspectives being brought to genetic research ethics and law at CGREAL.

Preference will be given to projects that are deemed likely to foster further collaborative research opportunities. Requests may be made for up to $5,000. Funds may not be used for faculty salary support. Applications are encouraged from CWRU and Cleveland Clinic faculty at any rank/level.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and funding for awarded seed grants will be available immediately upon project approval.

Interested faculty should contact Aaron Goldenberg ( or 216.368.8729).


AAAS Marion Milligan Mason Award for Women in the Chemical Sciences
Deadline: September 15

Prostate Cancer Foundation Global Treatment Sciences Challenge Award for Lethal Prostate Cancer
Deadline: September 22

AACR Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship
Deadline: September 17

AACR-American Cancer Society Award for Research Excellence in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention
Deadline: September 17

Limited Submission: NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE)
Internal LOI Deadline: September 19
External Deadline: October 21

AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research
Deadline: September 24

AACR Margaret Foti Award for Leadership and Extraordinary Achievements in Cancer Research
Deadline: September 24

Szent-Györgyi Prize
Deadline: September 30

AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research
Deadline: October 1

AACR G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award
Deadline: October 1

Elsa U. Pardee Foundation
Deadline: October 1; February 1; June 1

AACR Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award
Deadline: October 8

AACR Joseph H. Burchenal Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research
Deadline: October 8

AACR-Minorities in Cancer Research Jane Cooke Wright Lectureship
Deadline: October 15

AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship
Deadline: October 15

AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research
Deadline: October 15

American Cancer Society RFA: Pilot and Exploratory Projects in Palliative Care of Cancer Patients and Their Families
Application Deadline: October 15

American Cancer Society RFA: The Role of Health Policy and Health Insurance in Improving Access to and Performance of Cancer Prevention, Early Detection, and Treatment Services
Deadline: October 15

American Cancer Society RFA: Pilot and Exploratory Studies Using Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to Achieve Cancer Health Equity
Deadline: October 15

American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grants
Deadline: October 15

American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowships
Deadline: October 15

American Cancer Society Mentored Research Scholar Grant
Deadline: October 15

American Skin Association Research Scholar Awards
Deadline: October 18

American Skin Association Research Scholar Awards for Melanoma/Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
Deadline: October 18

American Skin Association Research Grants
Deadline: October 18

American Skin Association Medical Student Grants Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
Deadline: October 18

DoD BCRP Breakthrough Award Funding Level 3 and 4
Pre-Application (Preproposal) Deadline: October 22
Invited Application Deadline: January 29, 2015

CTSC KL2 Training Program
Deadline: October 27

Center for Cancer Research Clinical Investigator Development Program
Deadline: October 31

Worldwide Cancer Research
Deadline: October 31; April 24, 2015

Cancer Research Institute Clinic and Laboratory Integration Program (CLIP) Grants
Deadline: November 1

Free to Breathe
Deadline: November 7

Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator Award (including Dermatology Young Investigators), Established Investigator Award (including BMS-MRA Established Investigators), and Pilot Award (including SITC-MRA Pilot Award)
Deadline: November 11

Melanoma Research Alliance Academic-Industry Partnership Award (for Established Investigators and Teams) and BMS-MRA Team Science Award
Deadline: November 21

Audrey Meyer Mars International Fellowship in Clinical Oncology
Deadline: December 1

DoD BCRP Breakthrough Award Funding Level 1 and 2
Pre-Application/LOI Deadline: December 3
Application Deadline: December 17

Worldwide Cancer Research
Deadline: October 31, 2014; April 24, 2015

International Union Against Cancer (UICC) International Cancer Technology Transfer Fellowships
Application Deadline: Open

International Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF) Research Grant Program
Application Deadline: Open

Solving Kids' Cancer Therapeutic Development Initiative
Application Deadline: Open

Support of Multi-investigator Initiatives in the Case CCC
Deadline: Open

Collaborative Activity Awards
Deadline: Open

NIH BULLETIN – Notices and Funding Opportunities

Limited Submission: Pediatric Preclinical Testing Consortium: Coordinating Center (U01)(RFA-CA-14-019)

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Cancer Detection, Diagnostic and Treatment Technologies for Global Health (UH2/UH3)(NOT-CA-14-055)


If you have a new grant, recently won an award, or have other newsworthy items, please let us know so we can publicize them in the newsletter and other media outlets. You deserve the accolades! Send items to Gillian Irwin at



Tues, September 16

Immunology Seminar Series
Alex Y. Huang, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Pediatrics
Program Director, Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program
Topic: Updates on Immune Checkpoint and Microenvironmental Regulations in Mouse Tumor Models
12 pm WRB 1-413

Pharmacology Seminar Series
Laliltha Nayak, MD
Fellow, Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: TBD
12 pm Wood W331/Webster Conf. Rm.

THOR Seminar
David Chafin
Ventana Medical Systems
Topic: Conquering Pre-analytics: Two-Temperature Tissue Fixation to Enable Phospho-Marker Assay Development
1 pm R3-027 Cleveland Clinic Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Biology Seminar
Janet Houghton, PhD
Professor, Cancer Biology
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Targeting GLI-Dependent Transcription in Colon Cancer
2 pm NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Wed, September 17

Hematology and Oncology Division Research Conference
Neal Meropol, MD
Professor and Chief, Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: Intro to Clinical Research
8 am Lerner B-151

Thurs, September 18

Molecular Genetics Seminar
George R. Stark, PhD
Distinguished Scientist and Professor, Molecular Genetics
CWRU/Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Current Studies on NFκB and STATs 1-3
9:30 am NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Trainee Seminar
Research Speaker: Lisa Bauer
Topic: Magnetic Nanoparticles: Applications in cancer drug delivery and imaging
Clinical Speaker: TBD
12 pm WRB 3-136

Immunology Journal Club
Janice Jun
Department of Immunology
Topic: AhR Sensing of Bacterial Pigments Regulates Antibacterial Defence
12 pm WRB 5-136

Skeletal Research Center
Jeffrey M. Karp, PhD
Associate Professor, Medicine 
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Topic: Next-Gen Bio-inspired Tissue Adhesive Technologies
4:15 pm DeGrace, Rm 312

Fri, September 19

Hematology/Oncology Fellows
Topic: Cancer Biology Series 
8 am Breen Conf Ctr

Cellular and Molecular Seminar Series
Steven D. Mittelman, MD, PhD
Department of Endocrinology
University of Southern California
Topic: Obesity and Cancer: Time To Consider The Tumor Macroenvironment?
10 am NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Adrian Lee, PhD
Professor, Pharmacology & Chemical Biology and Human Genetics
University of Pittsburgh
Director of the Women's Cancer Research Center
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and Magee-Women's Research Institute
Topic: Genomic and Transcriptomic Changes in Metastatic Breast Cancer
12 pm BRB 105

Mon, September 22

Pathology Research Seminar Series
Derek Taylor, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pharmacology
Topic: Telomeres and Telomerase: Molecular interactions, structural analysis, and a novel approach to cancer therapeutics
12 pm WRB 1-413

Breast Cancer Program Focus Group Meeting
Topic: Therapeutic Targets
4 pm WRB 3-136

Tues, September 23

Pharmacology Seminar Series
Rodrigo Franco, PhD
Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Topic: TBD
12 pm Wood W331/Webster Conference room

THOR Lecture Series
Stephanie Markovina, MD, PhD
Fellow, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University
Topic: TBD
1 pm R3-027 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Biology Seminar
Jorge Z. Torres, PhD
John McTague Career Development Chair
Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of California, Los Angeles
Topic: Chemical and Proteomic Dissection of the Cell Cycle
2 pm NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Wed, September 24

Hem/Onc Div Res Conf
Sareena Singh, MD
Fellow, Div. of Hem/Onc
CWRU/UH Topic: Gynecologic Oncology Intro
8 am Lerner B-151

Immunology Seminar
Megan Levings, PhD
Professor, Surgery
University of British Columbia
Topic: The Biology of Regulatory T Cells: From Humans to Mice and Back
12pm in NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Thurs, September 25

Molecular Genetics Guest Speaker
Wanjin Hong, PhD
Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
Topic: TAZ/YAP and the Hippo Pathway in Cancer
9:30 am NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Cell Signaling and Early Drug Discovery Focus Group Meeting
4 pm WRB 2-136

Fri, September 26

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Seminar Series
Oliver Wessely, PhD
Associate Staff, Cellular and Molecular Medicine 
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Bicaudal-C and microRNAs – A Genetic Modifier of Interstitial Fibrosis in Polycystic Kidney Disease
10 am NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

BME Focus Session
Sanjay Anand, PhD
Research Associate, Biomedical Engineering
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: TBD
11 am NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Alex Y. Huang, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Pediatrics
Program Director, Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program
Topic: Conditioning Tumor Microenvironment for Immune Attack: Chemokines, Adhesion Molecules and Immune Checkpoint Modulation
12 pm BRB 105

Case CCC Calendar

LRI Calendar


ASTRO Review
November 15, 2014
Crowne Plaza, Independence, OH

14th Annual Multidisciplinary Genitourinary Oncology Course
November 20, 2014
InterContinental Hotel & Bank of America Conference Center


Biomedical and Health Informatics Workshop: Strides, Stumbles, and Grand Challenges
September 16-17, 2014
Tinkham Veale University Center

Society for Integrative Oncology
October 26-28, 2014
Houston, Texas