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December 8, 2014


Dr. Stan GersonStan Gerson, MD
Director, Case CCC

NCI Annual Plan and Budget Proposal for FY 2016

Dr. Harold Varmus, Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), has issued the NCI's Annual Plan and Budget Proposal for the National Cancer Program for Fiscal Year 2016. The narrative that accompanies the so-called "bypass budget" highlights promising directions in cancer research and requests a level of federal funding that would allow us to make more rapid progress towards reducing the burden of cancer in the United States and around the world during these fiscally austere times.

I had the opportunity to read through the document and encourage you to do so as well. I would note the following:

  1. It is well written without the jargon most of us use to describe our science, even when the concepts are quite sophisticated.
  2. It is clear about NCI priorities and I would note the emphasis on basic science of RAS, the value of genomics and big data, the importance of technology, the clinical genomic trials, issues of disparities, and the importance of prevention.
  3. The NCI makes the case of the need for increased funding of research, but is realistic that this may not occur soon.

Please have a look.


Geography May Limit Access to Cancer Clinical Trials
Reuters - December 4, 2014
Where advanced cancer patients live affects the likelihood that they can enroll in a treatment clinical trial, a new study found. Fewer than 10 percent of U.S. cancer patients participate in clinical trials, the authors note..."Clinical trials offer several potential benefits for the patients who participate," said Dr. Neal J. Meropol, of Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. He was not involved in the study. "They provide access to a novel therapeutic opportunity, offer hope, and ensure careful attention from the team of nurses and doctors involved in the study," Meropol told Reuters Health by email.

CASE Researcher Wins $2.4M Grant
Ideastream - December 2, 2014
An assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine is the latest person to be honored by the National Institutes of Health as a new innovator – winning an award of $2.4 million for her work designing computer programs that could determine if drugs already in use...could also be used to help patients with 'other' conditions. Ideastream's Rick Jackson talked with Rong Xu at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center– where she explained the vision behind the design.

Fertility Hope for Cancer Patients
News 4 Jax - December 1, 2014
Stephanie Moisio had just married her best friend when doctors told her she had stage-two breast cancer...Stephanie chose to freeze her eggs and Cleveland Clinic doctor Halle Moore offered her an additional option – the injectable drug goserelin it's a synthetic hormone that puts a woman's ovaries in a "resting" state. "To basically put them in a temporary menopause during the chemotherapy treatment in the hopes of improving prospects for long-term ovarian function," explained Halle Moore, MD, Medical Oncologist at Cleveland Clinic and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Tumor Markers in Older Patients With Early Breast Cancer: Why Are We Still Doing Useless Tests?
December 1, 2014 - Journal of Clinical Oncology
Editorial written by Drs. Lyndsay Harris and Cynthia Owusu of Seidman Cancer Center and the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Introduction to the Cultural Competency Series

Case CCC leadership continuously works to provide equal access to research studies for all patients in our catchment area. While our leadership recognizes that achieving a clinical trial participant population that mirrors the overall minority patient population may not be feasible for many reasons that are similar to those faced by other institutions, this remains the Case CCC goal. In an effort to minimize the gap between minority and non-minority patient participation in clinical trials, the Case CCC has undertaken a variety of activities in areas such as research, education, and outreach. A structured approach was facilitated by the establishment of a Minority Accrual Task Force, now a standing Case CCC Minority Accrual Committee (MAC). MAC members represent all of the Case CCC participating institutions, as well as the community.

Activities of the Task Force and MAC include organizing retreats covering issues of clinical trial accrual of minority populations (2011) and cultural competency (2014).

As a result of the cultural competency retreat, Case CCC would like to introduce the Cultural Competency Series as a standard feature in the Case CCC Newsletter and on the Clinical Research Portal web page. The main objectives for the Cultural Competency Series are to provide investigators and research staff opportunities to develop different skill sets, to engage in a meaningful dialogue about the importance of cultural competency in the context of health care and research, and to facilitate concepts of self-reflection and self-critique.

We hope to continue raising awareness and acceptance of the dynamic variety of people and communities the Cancer Center serves, and in providing clinical research staff with unique learning experiences and skills to conduct culturally competent research. The Cultural Competency Series will include information, resources, audio clips and videos. Questions, suggestions and feedback about the Cultural Competency Series should be directed to Katarzyna Karelus at or 216.844.4176. [more]

Operationalizing Culturally Competent Research

We are pleased to start off the Case CCC Cultural Competency Series with a keynote address presented by Sonja Harris-Haywood, MD, MS, at the Case CCC Cultural Competency Retreat on March 13, 2014.

The audience of Dr. Harris-Haywood's presentation, Operationalizing Culturally Competent Research, will be introduced to the following concepts: 1) Background information of diversity of racial and ethnic groups in cancer clinical trials; 2) Definition of culturally competent research; 3) How to operationalize a culturally competent research process; and 4) Issues related to study design and publishing criteria for increasing diversity of clinical trial participants.

The presentation will take the viewer through research process steps starting with posing a research question through study design, recruitment, data collection, data analysis and dissemination of findings. It will show, using general and specific examples, how culturally competent research can increase the inclusion of minorities in cancer clinical trials. Viewing the presentation and taking an online quiz will allow you to receive 3 Continuing Research Education Credits (CRECs). [more]


New Biographical Sketch Format Required for NIH and AHRQ Grant Applications Submitted for Due Dates on or After January 25, 2015

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) will require use of a new biosketch format in applications for research grantssubmitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2015. Between now and that time, applicants will have the choice of using the old or new biosketch format. The transition to the new biosketch format follows a Request for Information and a series of pilot Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) using the new format over the last year. Input from the pilots suggests that the instructions for the new forms were clear and that a majority of the applicants and reviewers felt that the new format would be helpful in describing the past experience and qualifications of researchers. The revised forms and instructions are now available on theSF 424 (R&R) Forms and Applications page. The new format extends the page limit from four to five pages, and allows researchers to describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science, along with the historical background that framed their research. Investigators can outline the central findings of prior work and the influence of those findings on the investigator's field. Investigators involved in Team Science are provided the opportunity to describe their specific role(s) in the work. Each description can be accompanied by a listing of up to four relevant peer-reviewed publications or other non-publication research products, including audio or video products; patents; data and research materials; databases; educational aids or curricula; instruments or equipment; models; protocols; and software or netware that are relevant to the described contribution. In addition to the descriptions of specific contributions and documentation, researchers will be allowed to include a link to a full list of their published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as MyBibliography or SciENcv.


CTSC Annual Pilot Award

The CTSC Annual Pilot Program is for researchers to conduct innovative translational research projects focused on the invention, preclinical development and/or first in man studies of novel therapeutic agents, biomedical devices, and diagnostics designed to address unmet clinical needs. Funding is intended to facilitate development of enabling technologies; new therapeutic, diagnostic or outcomes assessment approaches and/or device; novel cross-disciplinary collaborative programs; and promote research in the community. Research which may create intellectual property is encouraged. If funding would enhance an existing non-federally funded project or enable a proposal to a federal agency for use of CTSC and CCTRP resources, the application would be considered. This pilot has few restrictions and allows for the hiring of personnel. Researchers new to clinical research, clinical research scholars, or experienced researchers who are moving into a new area of research are strongly encouraged to apply.
LOI Deadline: January 15, 2015

American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) 2015 Research Funding Opportunities

The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) is now accepting applications for the 2015-2017 Basic Research Fellowships and 2015 Medical Student Summer Fellowships.

ABTA Basic Research Fellowships are $100,000 awards payable over a two-year period. The fellowship provides $45,000 in salary support and $5,000 in researcher discretionary funds per annum. The discretionary funds are intended for research equipment, supplies, or travel to appropriate scientific meetings, but must include a trip at the end of the award period to present research results. The fellowship award may be used only for salary support and researcher discretionary funds; indirect expenses cannot be allocated from the award. Studies are to be conducted at laboratories in the United States or Canada. Applicants should be on-track to pursue a career in brain tumor research with a sponsor who has a demonstrated history of brain tumor research and mentorship. 
Deadline: January 7, 2015

ABTA Medical Student Summer Fellowships are $3,000 grants available for medical students to spend a summer conducting brain tumor research. The fellowship is to be conducted in a neuro-oncology laboratory with a mentorship setting that will provide an introductory learning experience. Studies are to be conducted at laboratories in the United States or Canada. The fellowship start date is determined by the sponsor and should extend 10-12 weeks over the summer. A student authored outcomes report is due upon completion of the Fellowship, and must be received by October 1, 2015.
Deadline: January 28, 2015

GI SPORE: Request for Project Proposals

All Faculty members are invited to submit concept proposals for five-year Projects to compete for incorporation as a full project proposal in the upcoming GI SPORE competing renewal application that will be prepared starting in January 2015 for submission in September 2015.

All proposals must be directed towards translational research of a GI malignancy, with at least one specific aim that involves direct study of patients or of human tissues. Proposals must include two project leaders: one Basic Science leader and one Clinical leader. Previously submitted SPORE pilot applications are welcome to be resubmitted as full projects, and may be updated with any new progress. 
Deadline: January 16, 2015

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Translational Research Program (TRP) puts you on the bench-to-bedside fast track when it comes to finding better treatment and cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. The LLS funds new and innovative research that shows high promise for translating basic biomedical knowledge to clinical application. The goal of translational research is to reduce the time between laboratory findings and actual treatment
LOI Deadline: February 15, 2015
Application Deadline: March 1, 2015

Call for Applications: Computational Genomic Epidemiology of Cancer (CoGEC) Training Program

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center invites applications to its Computational Genomic Epidemiology of Cancer (CoGEC) Training Program for research associates, for a start date of August 1, 2015. This program combines a mentored cancer research project designed by the fellow in collaboration with their mentors with a specialized curriculum of formal didactic training and individualized longitudinal curriculum.

This program is designed to prepare research associates for careers as: Independent investigators engaged in research at the intersection of cancer research, genetics, epidemiology, biostatistics, and computer science. Cancer researchers obtaining training will have the skills vital to decipher the complex pathways compromised of genetic and environmental risk factors for disease, and will ultimately be able to provide clinicians and their patients with valuable information for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Salary and research supply funds are highly competitive.


  • US citizenship or permanent residency.
  • Terminal degree (PhD, MD or MD/PhD).
  • Demonstrated skills in quantitative analysis and an interest in a career in cancer genetics research.

For more information about the program and application materials, please visit the Cancer Center website OR contact Lyn Haselton at


Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award for Cancer Prevention Research
Deadline: December 9

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Epidemiology Grants Epidemiology Grants
Deadline: December 15

Limited Submission: The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation: Macy Faculty Scholars Program
CWRU LOI Deadline: December 29
External Application Deadline: February 11, 2015

Doris Duke Clinical Research Mentorship Program
Deadline: January 13, 2015

Radiological Society of North America
Deadline: January 15, 2015

International Association of the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)
Deadline: January 15, 2015

GI SPORE: Request for Project Proposals
Deadline: January 16, 2015

Lila and Murray Gruber Memorial Cancer Research Award
Deadline: February 28, 2015

Ohio Cancer Research Associates
Deadline: February 28, 2015

Worldwide Cancer Research
Deadline: 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


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


Mon, Dec 8

Pathology Research Seminar Series
Anna Henry
Ramirez Lab, Pathology
Topic: Defining the Role of Hypoxia and HIF in Peripheral Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells
12 pm WRB 1-413

Case CCC Breast Cancer Program Seminar
Analisa DiFeo, PhD
Assistant Professor, Div. of General Medical Sciences-Oncology
Christa Nagel, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Topic: Gynecological Oncology
4 pm Wearn 137

Physiology & Biophysics Seminar
Daniel J. Leahy, PhD
Professor, Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Topic: Molecular Basis of EGFR/HER2 Signaling and ErbB-targeted Cancer Therapies
4 pm SOM/Robbins Building E-501

Skeletal Research Center: Welter
Jean Welter, MD, PhD
Research Associate Professor
Director, Bioreactor Core Facility Skeletal Research Center; Biology
Topic: Sounds Hard. Ultrasound Applications in Cartilage
4 pm Millis 123

Tues, Dec 9

Molecular Genetics Departmental Research Seminar Series
Shuang Ma, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Rubin Lab, Molecular Genetics
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: WWTR1-CAMTA1 (WC) Fusion-mediated Signal Transduction: Therapeutic implications
9:30 am NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Imaging Program Meeting
New Focus Group Speakers: Anant Madabhushi, PhD; Vikas Gulani, MD, PhD; Lee Ponsky, MD
12 pm Wolstein Research Building 1-402

Immunology Research Seminar Series
Parameswaran Ramakrishnan, PhD, MS
Department of Pathology
Topic: TBD
12 pm WRB 1-413

Pharmacology Seminar Series
Daniel Deroucher, PhD
Mount Sinai Hospital
Topic: TBD
12 pm Wood W331/Webster Conference room

Cancer Biology Seminar Series
Elona Gusho
Graduate Student, Silverman Lab, Cancer Biology
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Antagonism of Antiviral RNase L by Viral and Host Phosphodiesterases
2 pm NC1-202

DNA Damage/Repair Focus Group Meeting
Mark Jackson, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pathology
Topic: Dismantling Senescence Programs During Transformation
4 pm WRB 3-136

Wed, Dec 10

Hematology/Oncology Division Research Conference
Joseph Baar, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Div. of Hem/Onc
Topic: Prospects for the Immunotherapy of Breast Cancer
8 am Lerner B-151

Thurs, Dec 11

Prostate Cancer Working Group and Journal Club Seminar
Zhenghong Lee, PhD
Professor, Radiology, Biomedical Engineering
Topic: Experiencing Prostate Cancer Imaging
3 pm NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Fri, Dec 12

Cellular & Molecular Medicine
Russell DeBose-Boyd, PhD
Professor, Molecular Genetics
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Topic: Regulating Cholesterol Synthesis through ER-associated Degradation of HMG CoA Reductase
10 am NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Frank B. Gertler, PhD
Professor, Biology, Charles Ross Scholar
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Topic: Bi-directional Signaling Between Tumor Cells and the Microenvironment During Invasion and Metastasis
12 pm BRB 105

Cancer Center Research In Progress Seminar
Duncan Stearns, MD
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
Topic: Matrix Reloaded: An update on the role of type III collagen in medulloblastoma tumorigenesis
4 pm WRB 3-136

Mon, Dec 15

Pathology Research Seminar Series
Efstathios Karathanasis, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Radiology
Topic: Shaping Nano Medicines for Cancer Applications
12 pm WRB 1-143

Tues, Dec 16

Epidemiology & Biostatistics Seminar
Fred Schumacher, PhD, MPH
Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California
Topic: Molecular Epidemiology: An Application to Colorectal Cancer
12 pm Robbins E-401

Immunology Research Seminar Series
Wayne M. Yokoyama, MD
Department of Pathology and Immunology
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Topic: Tissue-Resident Natural Killer Cells
12 pm WRB 1-413

Pharmacology Seminar Series
Gregory Tochtrop, PhD
Department of Chemistry
Topic: TBD
12 pm Wood W331/Webster Conference room

THOR Seminar
Ken Doyle
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Chemical Hygiene Annual Review
1 pm R3-027 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Biology Seminar Series
Mingjun Zhang, PhD
Research Fellow, Yi Lab, Cancer Biology
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Enhance the Efficacy of the anti-β2-Microglobulin Monoclonal Antibodies by Combining with Anti-myeloma Chemotherapy Drugs
2 pm NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Wed, Dec 17

Thurs, Dec 18

Cancer Trainee Seminar
Research speaker: Jing Song
Clinical speaker: Masumi Ueda
12 pm WRB 3-136

Molecular Biology & Microbiology Seminar
Kien Ngyuen and Benjamin Luttge
Karn Lab, Molecular Biology & Microbiology
Topic: TBD
1 pm Rottman Seminar Room W203

Cancer Center Faculty Candidate
Hans-Martin Herz, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Topic: Enhancer-associated Functions of Metazoan Trr/MLL3/MLL4 COMPASS-like Complexes
3 pm WRB 3-136

Fri, Dec 19

Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
Danyu Sun, MD
Taussig Cancer Institute
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Mantle Cell Lymphoma Treatment: How can we do better?
8 am R3/002-003 Cleveland Clinic

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Seminar Series
Paul L. Fox, PhD
Professor, Cellular & Molecular Medicine
CWRU/Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Glutamyl-prolyl tRNA Synthetase and Metabolism: New functions for an ancient enzyme
10 am NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Jann N. Sarkaria, MD
Professor, Radiation Oncology
Mayo Clinic Rochester
Topic: Impact of the Blood Brain Barrier on Efficacy of Individualized Medicine Strategies in GBM
12 pm BRB 105


Case CCC Calendar

LRI Calendar


ASH Review
January 21, 2015

Best of San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
February 4, 2015

Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Update
Weston, FL
March 6-7, 2015

Lung Cancer Course
April 25, 2015


Symposium on Global Cancer Research
March 25, 2015
Boston Sheraton Hotel