Inspiration and Collaboration at First Annual Cancer Center Scientific Retreat


(Below) Almost 150 MCW Cancer Center members, administration, clinical, and research staff gathered to hear Dr. Ming You's overview and the six characteristics of NCI-designated Cancer Centers.

First Annual Cancer Center Scientific Retreat

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 University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center, as the keynote speaker. The retreat also included scientific presentations by center members, and guest speakers  Drs. Syed Ahmed, Alonzo Walker, and Reza Shaker talked about community engagement and outreach activity at MCW and our partners.

Key note speaker Dr. Edward Partridge gave an inspiring talk, showing how community engagement and outreach programs at UAB have essentially eliminated some cancer disparities in African American women in the black belt of Alabama and the Mississippi Delta.  “His talk was inspiring, and it was helpful to see how far they have come. He showed us that we can make a significant impact on cancer disparities in our community,” said Dr. Ming You, Director of the MCW Cancer Center.

The retreat brought together the entire Cancer Center - members, leadership, administration, and affiliated research and clinical staff - covering the cancer spectrum from basic science to clinical care.  For many, this was the first time they participated in an event with the entire Cancer Center.   Retreat poster sessions included 29 posters from Cancer Center members and affiliated lab staff“For me the most valuable part of the day was the discussion during the breaks and poster sessions.” said Dr. Jim Thomas, Medical Director of the Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office, “It’s a rare opportunity to be in the same room together and discuss our work and potential projects.” 

At the end of the day, the Cancer Center awarded three $500 travel grants to the top-judged scientific presentations.  The winners of the travel awards were Michael Filster, PhD, for his presentation, "Genetic Risks of Breast Cancer Metastasis," Anne Diers, PhD, for her presentation, "Modulation of Cellular Bioenergetics by iNOS-Derived Nitric Oxide in Breast Cancer: Effects on Epigenetics," and Ishan Roy, PhD, for his presentation (given by Michael Dwinell, PhD), "Cxcl12 is a Multifunctional Tumor Suppressor of Pancreatic Cancer."  Congratulations to the award winners, and to all presenters.

(Above) Poster Session A. Retreat poster sessions included 29 posters from Cancer Center members and affiliated lab staff.