Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

MCC Update 01-14-14

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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 the Fridays for publication the following Tuesday.

January 14, 2014

In This Issue

Cancer Center Seminar


Clinical Trials

Professional Education


Funding Opportunities

Cancer Center Seminar

Today's seminar will be simulcast to 450 MCRB. Shuttles to CCRB are also available and may be boarded in front of Variety Club Heart Clinic on E. River Parkway. See website for details on pick-up time.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 12-1 p.m., 1-125 CCRB
Immunotherapy for advanced kidney cancer: Advancements and obstacles
Thomas Griffith, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Urology, University of Minnesota

A peek at the next seminar:
January 21, 2014, 12-1-.m., 1-125 CCRB
Cancer therapy with adenoviral vectors: From basic science to clinical application
Julia Davydova, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Basic and Translational Research, Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota

Visit the calendar for a schedule of seminars.

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Members in the news

Kristin Baker Niendorf, M.S., C.G.C., was interviewed in a Star Tribune story about Sanford Health’s grant to place genetic counselors in primary care offices.


John Wagner, M.D., co-leader, Transplant Biology and Therapy Program, shares the potential benefits of cord blood in the Wall Street Journal.


Research led by Chengguo Xing, Ph.D., Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program, has found that the kava plant may prevent cigarette smoke-induced lung cancer. The study was published in Cancer Prevention Research. See Health Talk, Star Tribune, and KSTP-TV.


Margaret MacMillan, M.D., Transplant Biology and Therapy Program, is being featured in several articles for her research and treatment of patients with Fanconi anemia. See CBS Minnesota and CNN.

Masonic Cancer Center internal grants awarded
The following members of the Masonic Cancer Center received funding from the 2013 Internal Grant Awards. Award mechanisms, awardees and research projects are listed below:

Brainstorm Awards

Dan Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D. and Bruce Walcheck, Ph.D.: “Improved NK cell-mediated anti-ovarian cancer response via disruption of CD16a down-regulation”

James McCarthy, Ph.D. and Barry Finzel, Ph.D.: “Synthetic inhibitors of CD44/hyaluronan interactions”

Cancer Detection, Treatment and Survivorship Award

Aasma Shaukat, M.D., M.P.H.: “Risk score for surveillance colonoscopy in individuals with advanced colorectal neoplasia”

Cancer Prevention & Control Awards

Sharon Murphy, Ph.D.: “β-Nicotyrine presence in tobacco smoke and metabolism by human liver microsomes”

Sabrina Trudo, Ph.D. and Daniel Gallaher, Ph.D.: “Mechanisms of reducing PhIP-DNA adducts in rat colon by apiaceous vegetable intake”

Hematologic Malignancy Innovations Awards

Betsy Hirsch, Ph.D.: “Identification of inherited risk factors for acute lymphoblastic leukemia among Hmong and Somali children”

Logan Spector, Ph.D.: “ARID5B expression in CD34+ cell subpopulations”

Minnesota Chemoprevention Consortium (MC2) Award

Chengguo (Chris) Xing, Ph.D. and Promod Upadhyaya, Ph.D.: “A highly potent chemopreventive agent blocking tobacco carcinogen 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1- (3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)-induced lung tumorigenesis and mechanisms”

Translational Breast Cancer Research Award

Julie Ostrander, Ph.D.,: “Cytoplasmic PELP1 protein interactions promote activation of Ras and NF-kB”

Bharat Thyagarajan, M.D.: “Methylation based biomarkers for early detection of breast cancer”

Minnesota Surgical Society Call for Abstracts
The Minnesota Surgical Society has issued a call for abstracts for its annual meeting to be held on April 14, 2014. Cash awards will be presented for the best resident presentations in basic and clinical research categories. The deadline to submit abstracts is Monday, February 10, 2014. Abstract submission information

Hormel Institute adds new research section
The Hormel Institute announced the addition of a new research section, “Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis,” to study the underlying mechanisms of cancer metastasis to the liver. Dr. Ningling Kang has joined the institute to lead the section. Read more.

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Clinical Trials

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

An open-label, parallel-group, multicenter phase I study to investigate the pharmacokinetics of NKTR-102 for injection (Etirinotecan pegol) in patients with advanced or metastatic solid tumors and mild or moderate hepatic impairment (Nektar 12-102-13)
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

January 15, 2014: Center for Drug Design seminar series
10:30 a.m., 3-100 Mayo Memorial Building
Role of PUMA-Mediated Apoptosis in Anticancer Therapies
Lin Zhang, Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh

January 15, 2014: Cancer Biology Journal Club
12-1 p.m., 2-115 Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building (CCRB)
Tracy Powell, Largaespada lab, will discuss “An integrin-linked machinery of cytoskeletal regulation that enables experimental tumor initiation and metastatic colonization,” Shibue T et al., Cancer Cell 2013; 24, 481–498.

January 15, 2014: Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics faculty candidate seminar
4 p.m., 2-137 Jackson Hall
Integrated Approaches to Understand the Molecular Evolution, Function, & Architecture of Eukaryotic RNA Polymerase I Transcription Complexes
Bruce Knutson, Ph.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

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.

February 18, 2014: Success in Lean Times (We're Talking About NIH)
12-1 p.m., 717 Delaware Street Southeast, Room 105
At this lunch seminar, you'll learn strategies for securing funding in a tough economic climate. Jasjit S. Ahluwalia, MD, MPH, MS, will lead an interactive discussion and Q&A to offer insight into the NIH funding process and share tips for being successful in lean times. This session is part of a new seminar series from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) that assists junior faculty in developing strong applications for NIH funding, other sources of national extramural funding, and CTSI career development programs. RSVP by Feb. 14 to to reserve your lunch.

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

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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

News & Notices:


Funding Opportunities

Hyundai Hope on Wheels Grant Program
Hyundai Hope on Wheels
Preapplication Deadline (mandatory, for internal screening): January 21, 2014
Full Application Deadline (if selected): February 17, 2014
Funding: $250,000

Fundamental Mechanisms of Affective and Decisional Processes in Cancer Control (U01)
National Cancer Institute
Application Receipt Date(s): June 10, 2014; October 15, 2014; see announcement for additional deadlines.
Funding: $700,000/yr for 5 years

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 March 13, 2014