Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

MCC Update 05-13-14

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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.

May 13, 2014

Today's Seminar

Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 12-1 p.m., 1-125 CCRB
NLR family of innate immune sensors: Impact on immunity and beyond
Jenny Ting, Ph.D., W.R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor Microbiology & Immunology,
Director, Center for Translational Immunology, Program Leader, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Host: Bruce Blazar, M.D.

This meeting will be simulcast in 450 MCRB.  Shuttles to CCRB are 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:

Targeting Myc-mediated cancer metabolism
Chi Van Dang, M.D., Ph.D., John H. Glick, M.D. Abramson Cancer Center Director’s Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology Oncology, Director, Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania

Host: Ameeta Kelekar, Ph.D. and Carol Lange, Ph.D.

Visit the calendar for a schedule of seminars.

In This Issue


Clinical Trials

Professional Education


Funding Opportunities 


Members in the news

Badrinath Konety, Ph.D, wrote an article for Minnesota Physician on African American men’s health research at the University of Minnesota.

Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D., discussed research at the University of Minnesota’s Children’s Hospital on WCCO-TV.

A story on how groundbreaking research at the Masonic Cancer Center and the University of Minnesota’ Stem Cell Institute has enabled U of M researchers and clinicians to use umbilical cord blood to treat a growing number of diseases, from cancer to Crohn’s disease, appeared in the Spring 2014 Medical Bulletin


Congratulations to Raj Than, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Bruce Blazar, M.D., who was awarded a two-year fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for his research on the “Role of Vitamin A metabolism and retinoic acid (RA) signaling in the prevention of Graft-versus- host disease.”

Kudos also go to Sarah Parker, a medical student in the Blazar lab, who was awarded a 2014 ASH Hematology Opportunities for the Next Generation of Research Scientists (HONORS) Award to encourage medical students and residents to continue research careers in hematology.

Longtime cancer researcher passes away
Margaret Ramnaraine, who led the orthorpedic oncology research lab of Denis Clohisy, M.D., for 23 years, passed away from metastatic breast cancer on May 4. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 31 at 2 p.m. at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 4557 Colfax Avenue S, Minneapolis MN 55419.

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Clinical Trials

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

A Phase 3, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial of cabozantinib (XL184) vs. mitoxantrone plus prednisone in men with previously treated symptomatic castration-resistant prostate cancer
PI: Jha, Gautam

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

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Professional Education

May 13, 2014: Breast Cancer Journal Club
1-2 p.m., 3-224 CCRB
Xihong Zhang will discuss "Cancer-Secreted miR-105 Destroys Vascular Endothelial Barriers to Promote Metastasis." by Zhou et al. in Cancer Cell. 2014 Apr 14;25(4):501-15.

May 14, 2014: Cancer Biology Research Club
12-1 p.m., 2-115 CCRB
Regulation of bnreast tumor kinase (Brk/PTK6) integrates cell stress and cortisol signaling in triple negative breast cancer
Tarah Regan Anderson, Cancer Biology Training Grant predoctoral fellow, Lange lab

May 14 and May 16, 2014:Stem Cell Institute Research Conference Series,
4 p.m., 1-110 MTRF, 2001 6th Street SE, McGuire Translational Research Facility

Wednesday, May 14:
Role of Intercellular Communication in Regulating Epidermal Homeostasis
Fiona Watt, Director, Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, King's College, London, UK

Friday, May 16:
On Plasticity of Stem Cells
Catherine Verfaillie, Director, Stem Cell Institute, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium

May 20, 2014: 14th Annual BioResearch Product Faire
10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Coffman Memorial Union, Great Hall
For more information visit the website.

May 28, 2014: Masonic Cancer Center Sarcoma Translational Working Group Retreat
8:20 a.m. – 1 p.m., MCRB 450
Session 1: Open to all university community, Foundation and philanthropic partners
8:30 – 11:55 a.m.        Research presentations by program members
12- 1 p.m.                    Development of novel combination targeted therapies for pediatric sarcomas - Lee J. Helman, M.D. Pediatric Oncology Branch, Head, Molecular Oncology Section, Scientific Director and Senior Investigator, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute
Session 2: Program retreat for Sarcoma TWG members only.

RSVP before 4 p.m. on Monday, May 26, 2014 by email to

September 29, 2014: SAVE THE DATE! 11th Annual Women’s Health Research Conference: Updates on Women’s Cancer Research
McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota
Keynote speaker:
Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, M.D., FACP, Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics; Associate Dean, Global Health; Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics; University of Chicago

Co-sponsored by the Powell Center for Women’s Health  and the Masonic Cancer Center. Visit the website for more information.

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

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May 17, 2014: Register today! 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

News & Notices:

NIH Announces Significant Change in Policy for Application Submissions
National Institutes of Health

Funding Opportunities:

Translational Working Group Pilot Project Program (Sandi – please link to the attached RFA PDF)
Masonic Cancer Center
Application Receipt Date: June 13, 2014 by 11:59pm
Funding: $25,000 - $50,000; anticipate funding 2 – 4 awards
Members of the 8 designated Translational Working Groups (TWGs) are eligible to apply for this RFA. The TWGs and their corresponding group leaders are: Brain Tumor (David Largaespada), Breast Cancer (Douglas Yee), Gyn Oncology (Melissa Geller), Head and Neck Cancer (Frank Ondrey), Hem Malignancies (Jeff Miller), Prostate (Scott Dehm), Sarcoma (Brenda Weigel), and Thoracic Cancer (Dorothy Hatsukami & Jill Sigfried).

Predoctoral Training in Biomedical Big Data Science (T32)
National Cancer Institute
Application Receipt Date(s): July 28, 2014, July 27, 2015, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.
Funding: Average size budget of $350,000/yr total costs for 5 years

Genomic Resource Grants for Community Resource Projects (U41)
National Cancer Institute
Application Receipt Date(s): June 30, 2014; September 25, 2014; January 25, 2015; May 25, 2015; September 25, 2015; January 25, 2016; May 25, 2016; September 25, 2016; January 25, 2017 
Funding: 5 years of funding.  Application budgets are not limited, but should reflect the needs of the proposed project.
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 May 21, 2014