Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

MCC Update 11-26-13

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Update is an official newsletter of the Masonic Cancer Center for faculty, members, staff, colleagues, and friends. All submissions for the next issue must be sent to Sandi Sherman,, by noon on Friday for publication the following Tuesday.

November 26, 2013

In This Issue

Cancer Center Seminar


Clinical Trials

Professional Education


Funding Opportunities

Cancer Center Seminar


No seminar today, November 26

PLEASE NOTE: This seminar will be NOT be simulcast to MCRB. Shuttles to CCRB may be boarded in front of Variety Club Heart Clinic on E. River Parkway. See website for details on pick-up time.

A peek at next week’s seminar:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 12-1 p.m., 1-125 Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building
PI3K pathway in cancer
Peter K. Vogt, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute

Host: Caroline Diep, Cancer Biology Training Grant invited speaker

Visit the calendar for a schedule of seminars.

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Members in the news

Masonic Cancer member Akhouri Sinha, Ph.D., was interviewed in a story on the University of Minnesota’s Discover website about his research on the mechanisms of metastasis in tumor cells. Read more.

Kola Okuyemi, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Program in Health Disparities Research and Prevention and Etiology Program member, discussed the need to tailor smoking cessation programs for African-American smokers to address the particular problems associated with menthol cigarettes. Read more at Health Talk.

Jeff McCullough, Ph.D., and John Wagner, M.D., Transplant Biology and Therapy Program, were quoted in stories announcing the University of Minnesota’s plan to resume umbilical cord blood donations. McCullough was quoted in: Star Tribune. MPR and MN Daily; Wagner spoke with KSTP-TV.

Pamela Portschy, M.D., was quoted in a Clinical Oncology story about a study she co-authored showing that few women benefit from contralateral breast removal.

Daniel Saltzman, Ph.D., Immunology Program, is quoted in stories in the Pioneer Press, Star Tribune, and Health Talk about the use of crowdsourcing to fund his salmonella research.

Members present research
Jill Siegfried, Ph.D., Cell Signaling Program and professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology, was the Distinguished Lecturer at Fox Chase Cancer Center on November 21, presenting “Estrogen Signaling in Lung Cancer.”

Extramural grant review opportunity available
Writing a grant? Need another set of eyes? The Masonic Cancer Center Science Council can appoint individuals to review cancer center faculty members' grant drafts* or grant ideas in a face-to-face setting or in writing, depending on the stage of grant development. The goal is to improve upon members' success in obtaining grants funded by the NCI, ACS, and other national cancer research organizations. To request a review, contact Aaron Schilz,, 624-0650.

*Members should submit their ideas or abstracts and specific aims one cycle (~3-4 months minimum) before the grant is due. We will usually provide feedback within 1 week.

Registration deadline for Pharmacology Centennial Symposium is today
The symposium will be held December 6, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Meridian Ballroom at The Commons Hotel, 615 Washington Avenue, S.E. in Minneapolis. Visit the website to register.

Masonic Cancer Center researchers to present at ASH Annual Meeting
Many Masonic Cancer Center researchers and University of Minnesota colleagues will be among the presenters at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting December 7-10 in New Orleans.

If you or someone from your laboratory is giving an oral or poster presentation at ASH, and you have not been listed yet, please e-mail Sandi Sherman,,with your name, title and/or lab affiliation, and the title of your presentation to be included on the list and in a future edition of Update.

Oral presentations

  • Veronkia Bachanova, M.D., Alternative donor transplantation for adults with lymphoma: Comparison of umbilical cord blood versus 8/8 HLA-matched donor (URD) versus 7/8 URD
  • John Belcher, Ph.D., Fucosylatin inhibitor, 2-fluorofucose, inhibits NK-kB activation and vaso-occlusion in transgenic sickle mice
  • Sarah Cooley, M.D., Recipient HLA-C1 enhances the clinical advantage of killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor B haplotype donors in myeloablative unrelated transplantation for acute myelogenous leukemia
  • Michelle Gleason, Ph.D., A novel CD16xCD33 bispecific killer cell engager (BiKE) mediates a double hit for natural killer (NK) cells to target CD33+ myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) cells and myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) at all disease stages
  • Robert Hebbel, M.D., Interference with TNFa using long-term etanercept in S+S antilles sickle transgenic mice ameliorates abnormal endothelial activation, vasoocclusion, and pulmonary hypertension including its pulmonary arterial wall remodeling
  • Jeffrey Miller, M.D., Therapeutic applications: Natural killer cells in the clinic; Functional NK cell repertoires are determined by survival mechanisms through IL-2RA and FasL
  • Zohar Sachs, M.D., Ph.D., Ras-pathway inhibition with targeted therapies abrogates self-renewal in acute myelogenous leukemia
  • Arne Slungaard, M.D., Thiocyanate blocks peroxidase-dependent extracellular trap (ET) formation by PMN and eosinophils: Heme is a potent new agonist for the ET pathway
  • Derek Vang, Gupta lab, Toll-like receptor 4 knockout attenuates neurogenic inflammation and hyperalgesia in sickle mice
  • Daniel Weisdorf, M.D., Alternative donor hematopoietic transplantation for patients older than 50 years with A ML in first remission: Unrelated donor and umbilical cord blood transplantation outcomes

Poster presentations

  • Nelli Bejanyan, M.D., Survival of AML patients relapsing after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: A Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant research study
  • Arne Slungaard, M.D., Heme potently stimulates tissue factor expression by peripheral blood monocytes: A novel mechanism for thrombosis in intravascular hemolytic diseases
  • Celalettin Ustun, M.D., Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is effective in patients with advanced systemic mastocytosis: A multicenter retrospective analysis
  • Erica Warlick, M.D., Discordant World Health Organization (WHO) classifications in a population-based study of adult myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS); Differences in community and academic practice patterns for newly diagnosed myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients in Minnesota: A population based study

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Clinical Trials

The following clinical trials conducted by Masonic Cancer Center members were recently opened:

A Phase II, Randomized, Multicenter Study of PEGPH20 (PEGylated Recombinant Human Hyaluronidase) Combined with nab-Paclitaxel Plus Gemcitabine Compared With nab-Paclitaxel Plus Gemcitabine in Subject with Stage IV previously untreated Pancreatic Cancer (HALO-109-202)
PI: Greeno, Edward

For more information on clinical trials contact Marva Bohen, R.N., B.S.N. (, 612-624-2620).

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Professional Education

December 4, 2013: Pharmacology Faculty Candidate Seminar
10-11a.m., 2-101 NHH
Targeting the Plasminogen Activation System for Imaging and Therapy in Cancer
Aaron LeBeau, Ph.D., faculty candidate, 2013 Steve Wynn Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco

December 6, 2013: Publishing Behind the Scenes
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 717 Delaware St. SE, Room 105
José Merino, M.D., M.Phil., U.S. Clinical Research Editor at the British Medical Journal (BMJ) will give a brief presentation that provides a behind-the-scenes look at publishing, followed by an interactive discussion and Q&A. This is part of a new seminar series from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute designed to help junior faculty develop strong applications for NIH extramural funding and CTSI-Ed career development programs. RSVP by Dec. 4 to to reserve a lunch. Link to event info.

December 12, 2013: Sixth Annual David A. Rothenberger Lecture
4 p.m., Mayo Auditorium
Will physicians lead us through health care challenges?
Bill George, former chair and chief executive of Medtronic; professor of management practice at Harvard Business School; board member: Mayo Clinic, Exxon Mobil and Goldman Sachs; former chair of the board of Allina Health System and Abbott Northwestern Hospital

January 22, 2014: Writing Winning Grants
8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center
Want to write successful health research grants? Then don't miss "Write Winning Grant Proposals," a day-long seminar that will comprehensively address practical and conceptual aspects important to the proposal-writing process. 

Registration fee: $75

The seminar is hosted by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Center for Health Equity and Minnesota Center for Cancer Collaborations. Register for the event.  

Visit the Education and Training Opportunities web page for more conference and special lecture listings.

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Minnesota Golden Gopher student-athletes are teaming with the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer throughout the month of November. Visit

November 30, 2013: 2013 Moustache Run/Walk to benefit prostate cancer research

9 a.m., 1 Main Street, Minneapolis, Minn (St. Anthony Main in front of Astor Cafe)
Register today for the 2013 Moustache Run / Walk at A portion of the proceeds benefit the Minnesota Prostate Cancer Coalition. Enter promotion code UROLOGY to receive a $5 discount on registration fees and show your support for the University of Minnesota Institute for Prostate and Urologic Cancers (IPUC). Additionally, a private donor will match race registration fees with UROLOGY promo code and donate to the University of Minnesota Foundation, P.O. Box 860266, Minneapolis, MN 55486-0266. Tax ID 41-6042488, Phillip G Semmer Prostate Cancer Research Fund #12020.

Facebook Link:

May 17, 2014: Save the Date: Cancer Survivorship Series
Click here to be added to the Cancer Survivor Program mailing list to receive registration information for this conference when it is available closer to the date.

Visit the Community Events and Outreach page for more information.

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Funding Opportunities 

2014 LUNGevity Awards for Translational Research
Sponsor: LUNGevity Foundation
Proposal Deadline: March 7, 2014

Letter of Intent Deadline: December 16, 2013
Amount: $100,000/yr for 3 years

Letter of Intent Deadline: December 23, 2013
Amount: Individuals: $200,000 over 2-3 years; Teams: $600,000 over 2-3 years

Letter of Intent Deadline: December 23, 2013
Amount: Individuals: $200,000 over 2-3 years; Teams: $600,000 over 2-3 year

Innovative / Translational Cancer Research Grants in Ovarian, Uterine, Breast, or Cervical Cancer
Sponsor: Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation
Preapplication Deadline (Internal Screened): December 16, 2013
Proposal Deadline: February 3, 2014
Amount: $100,000 over 2 years

NCI Small Grants Program for Cancer Research (NCI Omnibus R03)
National Cancer Institute (PAR-14-007)
Proposal Deadlines: February 28, 2014; June 27, 2014; See announcement for additional deadlines
Amount: $50,000/year for 2 years
Note: Applications to NCI are required to use this Omnibus announcement, as NCI does not participate in the parent R03 (or R21) announcement.

Visit the Funding Opportunities Web page to see listings previously published in Update. A list of organizations that provide funding for cancer research is also provided there.

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  • Last modified on December 3, 2013