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February 2, 2015


Dr. Stan GersonStan Gerson, MD
Director, Case CCC

Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Research Awards

We are delighted to announce the first recipients of the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Research Awards. These one-year awards, made possible through the Fowler family's generous support of AYA cancer research at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, are granted to members of the AYA Cancer Research Initiative, led by John Letterio and Stan Gerson. The objective of these awards is to broaden and deepen research focus on AYA cancers and to engage members across the Center in this important area. We will present a scientific symposium on these projects in September.

The project awards are:

Use of a Novel Radiographic Biomarker to Characterize Low Grade Glioma and Treatment Effect in Adolescent and Young Adults
PI: Peter de Blank; Co-Investigators: Mark Griswold, Andrew Sloan

Targeting Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Using NK Cell Therapy
PI: Marcos de Lima; Co-Investigators: David Wald, Alex Huang

Disrupting Macrophage Interaction with Tumor-associated VCAM-1 Signaling in Pulmonary Metastasis of Osteosarcoma
PI: Alex Huang; Co-Investigators: Nicole Steinmetz, Ed Greenfield, San Xiao

A Novel Role for Cdk5 in Melanoma Biology and Metastasis
PI: John Letterio; Co-Investigators: Seong-Jin Kim, Patrick Leahy, Tej Kumar Pareek, Seughwan Lim, Marcus Rosenberg, Barbara Bedogni

Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Database and Biorepository
PI: Paolo Caimi, Yousif Matloub, Robin Norris; Co-Investigators: Sanjay Ahuja, Amelia Baffa, Rachel Egler, Meg Gerstenblith, Henry Koon, David Mansur, John Pink

The Cancer Stem Cell Gamble

The January 16 edition of "Science" featured an article on cancer stem cells and clinical trials, The Cancer Stem Cell Gamble. Many in our field have strong feelings about cancer stem cells, and much research still needs to be done. The article is an interesting read and covers both sides of this hot issue.

Dr. Jeremy Rich, Co-Director for the National Center for Regenerative Medicine and Professor, Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, "got the last word" on the topic when he was quoted at the very end of the article: "For now, cancer patients, researchers and physicians, and investors in companies such as Verastem will anxiously wait for data to roll in from the clinical trials. For those with a stake in treatments, the results could bring hope. For researchers debating the reality of cancer stem cells, though, they may not bring resolution. Says Jeremy Rich of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, who is studying stem cells in brain cancer, 'Even if we're wildly successful, which I don't think we will be, I don't think there will be a black-and-white answer.' "


Groundbreaking Study Sheds Light on Treating Blood Cancers

Dr. Yogen SaunthararajahIn a new study, researchers explored ways to treat life-threatening blood cancers in a less toxic way. They worked to wipe out cancer cells in the blood without destroying healthy surrounding cells. Yogen Saunthararajah, MD, who treats cancer patients at Cleveland Clinic, led the study. Dr. Saunthararajah, Co-leader of the Developmental Therapeutics Program and Professor, Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders, explains how the new approach works by comparing it to a popular arcade game.

"The way the medicine works is like the game Whac-a-Mole™. You have a mallet and you're only getting the moles that happen to be in a particular phase of their growth cycle. You don't want a huge mallet because you're just going to damage the golf green. You want a little mallet and you want to keep on whacking regularly," Dr. Saunthararajah says.

In the same way, the new treatment involves using an existing drug but in a more targeted, repetitive way. The idea is to use more and smaller doses, as though the drug were the mallet you use to strike the cancer cells. More>

Mark Your Calendars

Social Network Analysis and Health Mini-Series: Workshop Scholarships Available

The Social Network Analysis and Health Mini-Series, held May 6-7, 2015 at CWRU, is a forum to enhance our understanding of social network theory and methods and their application within the field of health research. Social network analysis is increasingly used by scientists across the prevention-to-treatment continuum to understand relational dynamics of complex health issues. The goals of the mini-series are to introduce this method through case examples that include applications related to a range of chronic and infectious diseases among adult and youth populations. The public lecture will orient faculty, fellows, students, clinicians, and the broader Cleveland community to applications of social network theory and methods.

The Mini-Series has to components: a lecture and workshop. A free lecture on Social Networks and Health will take place Wednesday, May 6 from 12:30-2:00 pm in BRB 105. A workshop, A Hands-On Introduction to Social Network Analysis and its Applications, will be held Thursday, May 7 from 9:00 am-4:00 pm in Kelvin Smith Library, Room LL06. The workshop will provide a broader overview of social network analysis and an opportunity for participants to explore analytic software including UCINET, NETDRAW, Exponential Random Graph Models, and SIENA. Trial versions of the software will be available to participants for use during the workshop. There is a $50 fee to attend, and spaces are limited to 30 registrants. A small number of workshop scholarships are available to support graduate students and non-faculty trainees/post-doctoral fellows. Applications are due by February 15. Regular workshop registration will open March 2.

Graft versus Host Disease National Symposium

Registration is now open for the Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) National SymposiumFriday, April 24, at the Embassy Suites Cleveland. This conference is intended to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of GvHD, review cutting edge approaches to prevention and treatment, and highlight and promote research to further our understanding of its cause.

The symposium will have two tracks: a scientifically rigorous one for physicians and practitioners, and a survivor track that will focus on challenges faced by BMT recipients and their families. The survivor track is intended to provide both education and the opportunity for individuals to interact with national leaders in the GvHD field. The afternoon "Meet the Expert" uniquely interactive breakout sessions will provide an opportunity for the physicians, survivors and their families to come closely together during the program. Continuing Medical Education credits will be offered.

Case CCC Annual Scientific Retreat

The Case CCC Annual Scientific Retreat will be held July 9-10, 2015. The agenda is still being planned, but we hope you will set aside time to attend this important event! More details will be posted in future newsletters.


SAGES Capstone Resource Grant

The SAGES capstone resource grant is funding specifically for resources to aid CWRU students in carrying out their capstone projects. We are especially interested in allowing students to be more ambitious and creative in designing and completing these projects. Resources are defined broadly to include supplies, travel support, admissions for museums, etc. The SAGES capstone resource grant does NOT allow stipend support.
Deadline: February 6

Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership (CCTRP)

This is the fourth year of the second phase of the Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership (CCTRP) to support collaborative translational research projects that address unmet or poorly met clinical needs. The CCTRP seeks to reduce the market risk of promising new clinical products arising from the research programs of BME and other Case faculty. Successful projects will thus often focus on the development of prototype products, building relationships with companies, performing clinical feasibility studies, obtaining regulatory approval, and other activities that companies or business experts indicate are the essential last steps before a license can be negotiated or a startup launched. An overarching goal of the program is to foster research and development work likely leading to commercially relevant translational technologies within a three- to five-year horizon. Because the goals of all Coulter projects are to reduce market risk, all proposals are expected to reflect genuine business input, and all projects must include a "business advisor" as an important member of the decision making team.
LOI Deadline: February 13

CWRU Skin Diseases Research Center (SDRC)

The Skin Diseases Research Center is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The goal of the Center is to foster translational and basic research in cutaneous biology and skin diseases. The SDRC sponsors innovative research through its Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) Program and plans to support three new P&F projects for funding for one year with an annual budget of $25,000 (direct costs). Projects are supported with the understanding that the PI will subsequently apply for NIH or equivalent funding using preliminary data acquired during the P&F project period.
Deadline: February 27

Multiple Myeloma Research Grants

Significant advances in our understanding of the pathophysiology and molecular biology involved in multiple myeloma have identified numerous putative molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. The MMRF welcomes proposals on any and all multiple myeloma related topics to the traditional Research Grant Award programs. Applications are accepted from non-profit institutions and universities in the United States and internationally.

  • Senior Research Awards are for established investigators who hold an MD, PhD or equivalent degree who have documented experience in blood cancer research or in research areas that are pertinent to multiple myeloma. The goal of this initiative is to accelerate the development of therapeutic approaches for myeloma and may include proposals in basic science, validation, or clinical research. Applicants may request up to $100,000 per year for 2 years, or $200,000 total.
    Deadline: March 17
  • Research Fellow Awards are for researchers who hold an MD, PhD or equivalent degree at the post-doctorate, clinical fellow or assistant professor levels who are beginning studies in the multiple myeloma field under the supervision of a research mentor or sponsor. Applicants may request up to $75,000 for one year.
    Deadline: April 21

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

The American Cancer Society has released a Request for Applications (RFA): The Role of Health Policy and Health Insurance in Improving Access to and Performance of Cancer Prevention, Early Detection, and Treatment Services. This RFA is a call for research that evaluates the impact of the many changes now occurring in the healthcare system with a particular focus on cancer prevention, control, and treatment. Efforts focusing on improving access to care may also impact inequities that contribute to health disparities. New health public policy initiatives such as the new federal and state marketplaces that have expanded insurance coverage, as well as Medicaid expansion in some states, create natural experiments ripe for evaluation. Research to be funded by this RFA should focus on the changes in national, state, and/or local policy and the response to these changes by healthcare systems, insurers, payers, communities, practices, and patients.

Applications may be submitted by not-for-profit institutions located within the United States, its territories and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Independent investigators at all stages of their career are eligible to apply. The usual ACS restriction to investigators within the first six years of their initial independent research appointment for the Research Scholar grant applicants does not apply to this RFA.
Deadline: April 1, 2015


National Center for Accelerated Innovations (NCAI-CC)
Deadline: February 10, 2015

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Translational Research Program (TRP)
LOI Deadline: February 15, 2015
Application Deadline: March 1, 2015

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

Ohio Cancer Research Associates
Deadline: February 28, 2015

Myeloma Research Foundation
Deadline: March 1, 2015

Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network 2015 Young Investigator Awards
Deadline: March 4, 2015

Taub Foundation Grants Program for Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Research
Initial Proposal Deadline: March 17
Invited Proposal Deadline: August 14

Limited Submission: National Science Foundation Collections in Support of Biological Research (CSBR)
Internal Deadline: March 23, 2015
External Deadline: July 13, 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


Tues, Feb 3

Radiation Oncology Grand Rounds
Louis S. Constine, MD
Professor, Radiation Oncology & Pediatrics
University of Rochester Medical Center School of Medicine and Dentistry
Topic: Curing Children with Cancer, But At What Cost? The Double-Edged Sword of Cytotoxic Therapy and the Journey Through Survivorship
8:10 am Lerner B-151

Molecular Genetics Departmental Research Seminar Series
Jacqueline Kemp, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Longworth Lab, Molecular Genetics
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Exploring CAP-D3-mediated Regulation of Retrotransposition
9:30 am NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Pharmacology Seminar
David Wald, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pathology
12 pm W331/Webster conference room

Translational Hematology & Oncology Research
Andrew Feldman, MD
Associate Professor, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Mayo Clinic
Topic: Pathology of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
1 pm R3-027 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Biology Seminar
Thomas Egelhoff, PhD
Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine
CWRU/Cleveland Clinic
Steven Rosenfeld, MD, PhD
Professor, Cancer Biology
CWRU/Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Myosin and Malignancy
2 pm NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Wed, Feb 4

Hem/Onc Division Research Conference
8 am Lerner B-151

Best of San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
11:45 am - 5 pm Embassy Suites Hotel - Rockside
Registration and Details

Immunology Seminar
Laura Davison 
Jorgensen Lab, Immunology
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: SiglecH+ Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Drive Disease in Lupus-Prone B6.Nba2 Mice
Miwa Morita
Lu/Qian Lab, Immunology
Cleveland Clinic
Topic: Rejection Triggers Liver Transplant Tolerance: Involvement of Mesenchyme-Mediated Immune Control Mechanisms
12 pm NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Thurs, Feb 5

Molecular Biology and Microbiology Seminar
Ming Luo
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Topic: Nucleocapsid of Negative Strand RNA Virus
1 pm Rottman Seminar Room W203

Fri, Feb 6

Hem/Onc Fellows
8 am Wearn 137

Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
Colleen Delaney, MD
Associate Professor, Div. of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Topic: Development of a Universal Ex Vivo Expanded Cord Blood Progenitor Cell Product for Clinical Application
8 am R3/002-003 Cleveland Clinic

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Seminar Series Staff Candidate
Jessica Blackburn, PhD
Assistant Professor, Molecular Pathology
Harvard Medical School
Topic: Functional Dissection of Intratumoral Heterogeneity in Leukemia to Identify New Drug Targets
10 am NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Martin G. Pomper, MD, PhD
William R. Brody Professor of Radiology
Johns Hopkins University 
Topic: Forays into Molecular Imaging
12 pm BRB 105

Mirko Paiardini
Emory University
Immune-based Interventions for HIV cure: Role of nonhuman primate
1 pm BRB 105

Cancer Center Research In Progress Seminar
4 pm WRB 3-136

Mon, Feb 9

Genomic Medicine Institute Staff Candidate
Zongqi Xia, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Neurology
Harvard Medical School
Topic: Towards Realizing Precision Medicine in Multiple Sclerosis: Designing an Individualized Strategy for Prevention
12:30 pm NE1-205 Cleveland Clinic

Case CCC Breast Cancer Program Seminar
4 pm Wearn 137

Tues, Feb 10

Pharmacology Seminar
John Feng, PhD
Department of Pathology
12 pm W331/Webster conference room

Translational Hematology & Oncology Research
Kevin Peters, PhD
Hewlett Packard
Topic: BioPrinter Technology
1 pm R3-027 Cleveland Clinic

DNA Damage/Repair Meeting
David Wald, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pathology
4 pm WRB 3-136

Wed, Feb 11

Hem/Onc Division Research Conference
8 am Lerner B-151

Thurs, Feb 12

Molecular Biology and Microbiology Seminar
Ryan Stultz
McDonald lab, Molecular Biology & Microbiology
1 pm Rottman Seminar Room W203

Fri, Feb 13

Hem/Onc Fellows
8 am Wearn 137

Taussig Cancer Institute Grand Rounds
Steven P. Balk, MD, PhD
Professor, Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Staff Physician, Hematology/Oncology
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Topic: Androgen Receptor in Prostate Cancer Development
8 am R3/002-003 Cleveland Clinic

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Seminar Series Staff Candidate
Changcheng Zhou, PhD
Department of Pharmacology & Nutritional Sciences, Saha Cardiovascular Research Center
University of Kentucky
Topic: Xenobiotic Exposure, Inflammation and Metabolic Disorders
10 am NC1-202 Cleveland Clinic

Cancer Center Seminar Series
Steven P. Balk, MD, PhD
Professor, Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Staff Physician, Hematology/Oncology
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Topic: Mechanisms Driving Prostate Cancer Development and Progression
12 pm BRB 105

Cancer Center Research In Progress Seminar
4 pm WRB 3-136


Case CCC Calendar

LRI Calendar


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

Graft Versus Host Disease Symposium 2015
April 24, 2015
Embassy Suites Cleveland - Rockside

Advances in Lung Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Approach
April 25, 2015
Marriott Hotel at Key Center

ASCO Review
June 26, 2015
InterContinental Hotel


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