Director's Update, June 2013
Cancer Disparities Research, First Annual Scientific Retreat, Grant Awards Updates
Welcome to the June 2013 edition of the Director's Update. I want to thank everyone who participated in the first annual MCW Cancer Center Scientific Retreat last month. The retreat was a day to take pride in our scientific accomplishments and identify opportunities for collaboration, growth, and the exchange of ideas. I was thrilled with the participation at this event. We had a great response from our members in attendance, talks, and poster sessions.
Almost 150 cancer-focused faculty, clinicians, and research and administrative staff met on Friday, May 3rd for the first annual MCW Cancer Center Scientific Retreat. The theme of the day was Cancer Disparities and Community Engagement, and featured Dr. Edward Partridge, director of the NCI-Designated Cancer Center at ASU, as the keynote speaker. The retreat also included scientific presentations by center members, and guest speakers Dr. Syed Ahmed, Dr. Alonzo Walker, and Dr. Reza Shaker talked about community engagement and outreach.
MCW cancer researcher Carol Williams, PhD, has identified a way to block the receptors responsible for signaling lung, breast, and prostate cancer metastasis. This work, including a picture of cancer cells breaking apart after exposure to the blocking agonist, was published on the cover of the May 28th issue of Science Signaling.
Cancer Center Member Li-Shu Wang, PhD, was awarded an American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant in the amount of $720,000 for her project "Prevention of Ulcerative Colitis, a Colorectal Cancer Precursor, by Berries." Dr. Wang's experience is in evaluating the effects of chemopreventive agents, including black raspberries, on gene expression in vitro (in mammary and colon cell culture systems) and in vivo (in the rat esophagus and in human colon).
During FY13, the MCW Cancer Center will award well over $1 Million in peer-reviewed research grants to its members. This includes continuing awards for Novel Cancer Research Grants, American Cancer Society Pilot Research Grants, and Large Center Planning Grants as well as new grants from the Rosenberg Family and Froedtert Hospital Foundation, and seed grants from the Cancer Center research programs.
Drs. Pezzin and Nattinger Awarded R01 for "Mechanisms Underlying SES Disparities in Breast Cancer Mortality."
MCW Cancer Center members received a $1.1 million, three year grant from the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute to study socioeconomic disparities in breast cancer outcomes. Liliana E. Pezzin, Ph.D., J.D., professor of medicine, is the primary investigator of the project. Ann B. Nattinger, M.D., Lady Riders Professor of Breast Cancer Research and director of the Center for Patient Care and Outcomes Research at MCW, is co-primary investigator.
The MCW Cancer Center is deeply grateful to two organizations that donated over $88,000 to support cancer research. Ridin' for Research and Ellen's Icebreaker both presented checks to the MCW Cancer Center in April.
Last month, 11 staff members from the Clinical Trials Office (CTO) received the news that they passed the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) Certification Exam. Congratulations to Jordan Anderson, BA, Arielle Baim, BS, Barbara Davies, BS, Leigh Ann Laczkowski, BA, Luis Hernandez, BS, Anna Koziel, RN-OCN, BSN, Raquel Neilson, Katie Worzalla, BA, Virginia Katzke, Rachel Thuemling, BS, and Nedra Johnson, BSN, RN.
Over the past eighteen months, there has been significant growth and many changes to the Cancer Center administration team, including new hires, promotions, and changes in roles and responsibilities.