Annual Scientific Retreat

Lunch with Themed Discussion Tables

Lunch on Friday, July 12 will feature facilitated themed discussion tables. There will be two rounds of discussion, each lasting 40 minutes. When you register, select 4 topics from the list below. Each person will be assigned to 2 table discussions (1 for each round).

Amazing New Gene Targeting Methods for Mice and Everything Else
Table Leader: Ron Conlon, PhD
There have been rapid and spectacular advances in gene mutation and editing methods recently. All the new methods are based on site-specific nucleases and nickases. The nuclease/nickases fall into three distinct technologies, the ZFN, TALEN and CRISPR/Cas systems. These methods can have spectacularly high rates of gene mutation, modification or correction, including efficient one-step mutation of multiple alleles of multiple genes. These technologies are applicable to gerrmline and somatic mutations in mice and any cell of any species into which the components can be introduced. The Transgenic Core offers one step generation of mutant mice, and can apply these technologies to cell lines or primary cells in culture.

Animal Imaging
Table Leader: Chris Flask, PhD
This discussion section will include:

  • Very brief (~5min) summary of emergent cancer imaging techniques
  • Discussion on future needs including new imaging scanners, new methods, new collaborations
  • Discussion of ways to improve the imaging core (logistics, IACUC, animal imports, etc)

Behavioral Measurement Core
Table Leader: Sue Flocke, PhD
If your research involves collecting data from individuals using survey or interviews; if you are interested in measuring concepts that can only be assessed from individual report like quality of life, spirituality, and satisfaction with physician; this round table will be of interest.

The round table session will highlight the advantages of item response theory methods to evaluate the psychometric properties of a measure. These methods are important to evaluate the performance of your measure and provide significantly more information beyond reliability and validity.

Depending on group interest, examples of mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) for instrument development may be discussed as well as resources for finding appropriate measures, considerations for selecting a measure and strategies for adapting measures.

Career Development for Trainees
Table Leader: Jennifer Eads, MD
We will discuss key components for developing a successful career in academic medicine with a focus on mentorship, clinical and translational research (including clinical trials research), ones role as a clinical subspecialist and funding mechanisms. Discussion will be geared toward the career development of MDs.

Career Development for Trainees
Table Leader: Tom LaFramboise, PhD
We will discuss sources for grant funding and strategizing for obtaining funding early in one's career.

Career Development for Trainees
Table Leader: Noa Noy, PhD
We will discuss possible options for future careers that can be launched from the intellectual basis acquired during PhD studies. Open conversation on pros and cons of such careers and ways to get there is expected.

Clinical Informatics
Table Leader: Patrick Mergler, MBA
An open discussion on existing unmet needs and best practice sharing on a wide array of clinical informatics topics having an implication to clinical research efficiencies. Clinical systems are largely having strategic plans built to meet federal mandates for programs such as HIPAA HITECH and Meaningful Use; unfortunately, many times these strategies aren't incorporating the needs of the research community. The research community’s needs should be consolidated and used as input into those strategic plans.

Deep Sequencing-for Scientists
Table Leader: Kishore Guda, DVM, PhD
In general, this topic will focus on design and analysis of deep sequencing experiments for basic and translational studies. Specifically, the feasibility of DNA- and RNA-based sequencing approaches in familial genetic studies and in characterizing cancer genomes. Critical points to consider in a targeted re-sequencing or whole exome/genome studies, and pros and cons of common variant calling algorithms. Common databases useful in filtering and identification of candidate genes from NGS datasets. Available algorithms for performing pathway scans and mutation spectrum analysis from next gen sequencing studies. Finally, how to automate much of the pipeline for NGS data analysis. Also, any specific issues can be addressed during discussion if deemed appropriate for the session.

Drug Development
Table Leader: Bing-Cheng Wang, PhD
This discussion will focus on strategies to initiate and sustain drug development in an academic setting. There will be brief introduction to real life successful drug discovery stories on campus at different stages of development, from initial successful high throughput or virtual screening, preclinical testing, to SBIR application/startup business and clinical trials. Based on these successful examples right here at the Case CCC, we will discuss opportunities and challenges to carry drug discovery in an academic institution, and find out where to get help and consultations when you need them

Imaging for Clinical Studies
Table Leader: Norbert Avril, MD
We will discuss the selection of the most appropriate imaging modality for clinical studies. Imaging can be used for diagnosis, staging, assessment of treatment response (interim or at completion of therapy) and monitoring treatment response (early prediction of response). Specifically, we will review the potential use of combined imaging modalities (PET/CT, PET/MR, etc.) and the use of non-FDA approved PET biomarkers, which require an IND.

Obstacles to Preclinical Drug Development and Ways to Overcome Them
Table Leader: Afshin Dowlati, MD
In this roundtable we will discuss issues involving Cancer Center members involved in drug development. Focus will be on access to drug discovery programs, medicinal chemistry and appropriate animal models.

Patient Decision Making
Table Leader: Neal Meropol, MD
Cancer patients exist in a unique decision making context characterized by life-threatening illness, potentially toxic treatments, and uncertain outcomes. Treatment decision making is particularly complex, as the option of a clinical trial is often present. While clinical trials are necessary to improve cancer care, very few patients participate. This break-out will consider challenges and solutions to clinical trial recruitment, and new issues that are raised as we attempt to integrate findings from genomic analyses into clinical research and clinical care.

PBRN Intervention Trials
Table Leader: Jim Werner, PhD
Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs) are organizations of community practices that engage in clinical research. Many different types of intervention trials can be implemented within PBRNs, from drug and device trials to behavioral interventions. Recently, the State of Ohio has funded the Ohio Clinical Trials Collaborative (OCTC), a new infrastructure organization designed to accelerate cures and create jobs by expanding the number of drug and device trials in Ohio. The Practice-Based Research Network Core of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is a partner in OCTC and will soon be leading the development of infrastructure to recruit patients and implement clinical trials in community-based practices across Ohio. PBRN-based clinical trials will create access to a larger pool of patients for enrollment, thereby increasing the likelihood of completion and more rapid provision of data to investigators. At this discussion table, participants will discuss the potential to use the emerging statewide PBRN infrastructure for clinical trials.

Proteomics Phospho-proteomic Biomarkers in Cancer
Table Leader: Janna Kiselar
We will discuss the benefits of proteomic approaches to study phosphorylation levels of proteins within pathways activated in cancer patients that could enable in depth characterization of these signaling pathways, allowing for the development of more target-specific drugs.

Tissue Access
Table Leader: Bob Wyza, MS
The Tissue Resources Core provides services in human tissue procurement, tissue microarray construction, long-term tissue storage, histology, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, in-situ hybridization and microscopy. This roundtable discussion will focus on access to tissues for research. The formal process to gain access to tissues and data will be described. The attendees will be familiarized with the application forms and flowcharts outlining the application steps to obtain prospectively procured and banked cancer samples, non-cancer samples, paraffin-embedded tissues in the clinical archives, and samples for testing equipment and assay development. IRB requirements will also be discussed.

Xenograft Models
Table Leader: Dan Lindner, PhD
To facilitate preclinical drug development, and provide in vivo data for publications and grant submissions, discussion will focus upon:

  • Available murine models, including syngeneic, xenograft, and genetically engineered mouse models (GEMM).
  • Identification of primary experimental needs of PIs. Which histologies are most needed for enhanced efficiency of Core function?
  • Methods to increase our pool of primary human explants.