Director's Update, June 2014
I want to take this opportunity to talk about some of our recent accomplishments on the path to NCI designation. On June 23, we had an informal, and very successful, mid-year review with our ESAB, which provided a great opportunity to document and measure all of the progress we've made in the last few months. The recruitment of cancer-focused faculty is currently a major focus for MCW and the Cancer Center. I am happy to report that the decision to invest in a top academic recruiting firm has resulted in multiple high-quality candidates for the Associate Director of Prevention & Control, and we have several strong candidates in the pipeline.
We are very pleased to announce that Marilyn Larson, MBA, formerly of Carbone Cancer Center at the University of Wisconsin Madison, is the new Associate Director of Administration of the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center. Marilyn started June 2. Marilyn was with the Carbone Cancer Center for over 25 years, most recently serving as the interim Associate Director of Administration and the Assistant Director of Finance.
A report titled “Cancer in Southeastern Wisconsin” was developed in conjunction with the Task Force on Community Engagement Roadmap and the Cancer Center Strategic Plan. This report is a compilation of secondary data from sources like the census bureau, the American Cancer Society's annual cancer report and the Milwaukee health survey. The report highlights rates of cancer incidence and mortality for our eight-county catchment area and is available on the Cancer Center website.
The focus of the 2014 MCW Cancer Center Scientific Retreat on Friday, June 6, 2014 was to build relationships and make connections to help accelerate translational research. We were thrilled that over 200 faculty and staff from MCW and our partner institutions attended the event. The number of scientific abstracts we received more than doubled from last year. Our keynote speaker was the nationally renowned cancer biologist Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, whose work in RAS signaling is particularly applicable to pancreatic cancer.
The Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center has started a new award that recognizes leaders who advance cancer research with the Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Community Engagement award. This annual award recognizes a community leader, elected official, volunteer, or community-based organization whose work advances cancer research through advocacy, building awareness, or providing financial support. The award highlights the dedication, innovation, and compassion these individuals have on cancer research, patient and family education, reducing cancer disparities, and opening access to cancer care and clinical research opportunities for the people of Wisconsin.
The MCW Cancer Center is deeply grateful to all of our community partners and organizations that support our mission of translating cancer research into patient care. In particular, we would like to thank two organizations who recently presented checks for over $100,000 to the MCW Cancer Center. Rock River Foundation holds an annual Harley ride for research, with all proceeds going to support breast cancer research at the MCW Cancer Center. Dr. Carol Williams has received significant research support from Rock River and each year she participates in the ride.