Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

MMC Update 04-01-14

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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.

April 1, 2014

Today's Seminar

Tuesday April 1, 2014, 12-1 p.m., 1-125 CCRB
Inspiration from fluorination: Methods for drugging undruggable protein-protein interactions
William Pomerantz, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

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.

A peek at the next seminar:
No seminar April 8 due to AACR conference.

Visit the calendar for a schedule of seminars.

In This Issue


Clinical Trials

Professional Education


Funding Opportunities 


Members in the news

David Rothenberger, M.D., discussed colonoscopy in the New York Times Well blog.

Sarah Cooley, M.D., Transplant Biology and Therapy program and associate director of Cancer Experimental Therapeutics, was among the investigators mentioned in The Cancer Letter as one of ten recipients of the NCI’s 2013 Cancer Center Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award. This two-year, $50,000 award recognizes contributions to the development of new therapies through collaborative science. 

Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M.,  Ph.D., Immunology Program, Jaime Modiano, V.M.D., Ph.D., Genetic Mechanisms of Cancer Program, and Christopher Moertel, M.D., were quoted in aUMN Discover story about canine cancer research at the Masonic Cancer Center and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Congratulations to Barbara Porwit, creator of the Breast Cancer Superhero Portrait Project and staff member in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, who has been selected as a presenter at the 25th anniversary conference of the Global Alliance for Arts and Health in Houston, Texas on April 10. The conference, “Enhancing Lives Through Arts & Health,”  is hosted by Texas Children’s Hospital and brings together hundreds of leaders in arts and health, including arts directors, healthcare providers, artists, therapists, architects, designers, administrators, educators, and researchers to present and discuss cutting-edge arts and health topics.

Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action offers free workshops to U of M employees
Three workshops in April will feature issues relating to equity and diversity at the University of Minnesota. They are:

  • April 16: Sexual Harassment: Awareness, Prevention, and Response
  • April 22: Addressing Bullying Behaviors in the Workplace
  • April 24: Incorporating Equity & Diversity into the Job Performance

Interested individuals can learn more about each workshop and register at the website:

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Clinical Trials

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

COG ACCL1131 - A Phase III Open-Label Trial of Caspofungin vs. Azole Prophylaxis for Patients at High-Risk for Invasive
Fungal Infections (IFI) Following Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT)
PI: Verneris, Michael

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

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Professional Education

April 2, 2014: Lab Medicine & Pathology Grand Rounds
8-9 a.m., 450 MCRB
Contributions of the inflammatory microenvironment to breast cancer
Kaylee Schwertfeger, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Masonic Cancer Center

April 16, 2014: Leveraging Electronic Health Records (HER) for Your Research
This career development seminar will focus on how EHR data can be used for grant applications, studies, recruitment efforts, and more. Attendees will also learn about the EHR data available to researchers via the U of M’s clinical data repository from speakers Bonnie Westra, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, Genevieve Melton-Meaux, MD, and Connie W. Delaney, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI. RSVP by April 15 to to reserve a lunch.

April 27-30, 2014: International Conference on One Medicine One Science
The Commons Hotel, 615 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN  55414
Hosted by the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Academic Health Center and the Office of the Vice President for Research in partnership with allied national and international agencies. For more information visit the website.

May 6-7, 2014: Distinguished Visiting Scholar Series on Health Disparities
Collins Airhihenbuwa, Ph.D., M.P.H., Director, Global Health and Culture Project, Department of Behavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University

May 6, 2014: Community Dialogue with Dr. Airhihenbuwa
2:30 p.m., location to be announced

May 7, 2014: Culture, Race, and Research: Negotiating the Journey Between the Head and the Heart
11:45 a.m.-1:05 p.m., Mayo Auditorium

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

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April 4-5: 2014: Relay for Life at the University of Minnesota
Colleges Against Cancer, a student group at the U of M, is hosting the annual American Cancer Society's Relay for Life at TCF Bank Stadium on Friday, April 4, 2014. This is the largest collegiate Relay for Life in the Midwest and the 14th largest in the nation. For more information on how to get involved visit their website or contact Lanie Rudie,

April 6, 2014: Fools Five Race
1 p.m., Altura High School, 100 County Road 25, Lewiston, MN
Since 1979 Fools Five Road Race, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has brought people from around the world to Lewiston, Minnesota, to raise funds for cancer research. Pledges are donated to the Rochester Eagles Cancer Telethon in Rochester, MN, which donates to the Mayo Clinic, The Hormel Institute for Cancer Research, and the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota along with the Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation in LaCrosse, WI. More information is available at

April 12, 2014: Rein in Sarcoma Mini-Medical School: Finding Cures for Sarcoma Cancers
8:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building, 2231 6th Street SE, Minneapolis
The 2014 Rein in Sarcoma (RIS)  Mini-Medical School: "Going to the Dogs"—Finding Cures for Sarcomas through Canine Research will be presented in collaboration with University of MN School of Veterinary Medicine and will highlight the very promising sarcoma research being conducted by the U of MN College of Veterinary Medicine under the leadership of Dr. Jamie Modiano.  The event is free to all RIS supporters. Click for more details and to register.

April 18, 2014: Help Launch Kill Kancer
7 p.m., Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis
Fundraising event for cancer research at the University of Minnesota featuring Dave Pirner, Silverback Colony, Communist Daughter, Willie Murphy and special guests Taj Raj. For ticket information visit the website. For more information about Kill Kancer visit their website.

May 9, 2014: Hippocrates Cafe: The Sarcoma Journey
6:30 p.m., Mill City Clinic, 901 S. Second St., Suite A, Minneapolis, MN 55415; $20 per person
Join us for an evening, May 9, 2014 at 6:30 p.m., when Hippocrates Cafe productions use professional actors and musicians to explore complex healthcare topics. The Sarcoma Stories performance and exhibit will explore the human side of being a sarcoma patient, family member, friend or healthcare giver.

Creator and producer of Hippocrates Café, Dr. Hallberg is an assistant professor in family medicine at the University of Minnesota, medical director at Mill City Clinic and a medical commentator for Minnesota Public Radio. Registration is limited to 100 participants. To register visit the website.

May 17, 2014: Save the Date: Cancer Survivorship Series
8 a.m.-1 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota, 200 Oak Street, SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
The 2014 Cancer Survivorship Conference will focus on questions and issues survivors and their families often face after cancer treatment or following stem-cell transplantation. The emphasis is on educating and empowering survivors so they are better able to advocate for themselves and lead full and productive lives. Join us for this educational conference which will focus on exercise and wellness for the cancer survivor. Read more.

Visit the Community Events and Outreach page for more information.

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Funding Opportunities

Early Phase Clinical Trials in Imaging and Image-Guided Interventions (R01)
National Cancer Institute
Application Receipt Date(s): June 30, 2014; October 10, 2014; See announcement for addition

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 April 7, 2014