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Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Annual Scientific Retreat

Annual Scientific Retreat

Another Successful Retreat!

Over 250 people attended this year's Cancer Center Annual Scientific Retreat, July 7-8, 2016.  This important event takes months to plan, but it is always well worth it to bring our entire Center together to highlight the important science from the past year and plan for the future. 

Liz Jaffe from Johns Hopkins delivered an engaging keynote address to a packed house Thursday evening, talking about cancer cellular immunotherapy and her participation in the Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel as co-chair. It was great to see such a large crowd in the auditorium and at the poster session afterwards. 

This year we had a record-making 84 abstracts submitted for the student, fellow and trainee poster session! We are proud of their accomplishments and dedication to present. Twelve posters were recognized for exemplary work. See the full list below.

Friday's program also saw a large crowd, and it was good to see some faces we have not seen at the retreat before. The day offered something for everyone, and highlighted topics of Cancer Genetics, Cancer Prevention, New Ideas, and a session on Innovative Therapeutics and Cellular Mechanisms. The final session of the day was on New Initiatives, where Barbara Bedogni talked about Melanoma,  John Letterio talked about Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancers, and Alex Huang talked about Immunotherapy and Cell-based Therapies. This session was an exciting way to end the day because it touched upon areas in which we are rapidly growing. You will be hearing much more about these efforts in the near future.

Finally, and possibly most timely to our Center this year, we held lunchtime program breakout sessions that were especially useful for the program leaders as they continue to work on their write-ups for the Cancer Center renewal. Hearing updates from the pilot awardees helped to frame the conversation around program direction and key science. The program leaders appreciated the engaging conversation and feedback in these program breakouts, and welcome comments on the write-ups.

While the programs were meeting, the students, trainees and fellows held their own training breakout with a panel that included a conversation with Liz Jaffe to discuss her personal experiences and advice for a successful career in academic science. Panelists also offered advice on writing, submitting, and obtaining individual F30 and F32 awards.

We wish to thank the planning committee, especially co-chairs Yogen Saunthararajah and Nicole Steinmetz, for their hard work and oversight in shaping this amazing event! Thanks also to the speakers and discussion leaders for making the retreat a scientifically stimulating meeting. We also thank all attendees for their participation and engagement during the discussions and breakout sessions. We thank all trainees for sharing their latest discoveries, and the judges for evaluating the presentations. Last but not least, we thank Cancer Center leadership as well as all program leaders for their efforts and guidance.

Poster Session Winners

Andrew Blum (Mentors: Kishore Guda and Amitabh Chak)
RNA Sequencing Identifies Transcriptionally-Viable Gene Fusions in Esophageal Adenocarcinomas

Sylvia Gayle (Mentor: Ruth Keri)
BCL-xL Dictates Cell Fate Decisions In Response To BET Inhibition In Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Alex Gooding (Mentor: William Schiemann)
BORG: Role for a Novel lncRNA in Mediating Breast Cancer Metastasis and Dormancy

Emad Mansoor (Mentor: Gregory Cooper)
Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer in New-Onset Diabetes Mellitus: A Population Based Study

Sandra Mantilla (Mentor: Analisa DiFeo)
Small Molecule Activators of Protein Phosphatase 2A as Cell Cycle Regulators for the Treatment of Ovarian Carcinoma

Tessianna Misko  (Mentor: Chris Dealwis)
A New Hydrazone-Based Inhibitor of Ribonucleotide Reductase Radiosensitizes Cancer Cells invitro

Neetha Parameswaran (Mentor: Mark Jackson)
A Novel MEK-FAM83A Positive Feedback Loop Drives Survival and Tumorigenicity of Pancreatic Cancer

Darcie Seachrist (Mentor: Ruth Keri)
BCL11a May Regulate an Alternative Splicing Program Critical for Triple Negative Breast Cancer Invasion

Daniel Silver (Mentor: Justin Lathia)
Cancer stem cell-secreted macrophage migration inhibitory factor stimulates myeloid derived suppressor cell function and facilitates glioblastoma immune evasion

Jacob Smigiel (Mentor: Mark Jackson)
Oncostatin-M Induces a Potent Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Cancer Stem Cell Phenotype in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

Praveena Thiagarajan (Mentors: Ofer Reizes and Justin Lathia)
Cx26 drives self-renewal in triple-negative breast cancer via interaction with focal adhesion kinase and NANOG

Rita Tohme (Mentor: Goutham Narla)
Drug Target Mutations as a Mechanism of Acquired Resistance to Small Molecules Activators of Protein Phosphatase 2A