Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

MCC Update 06-17-14

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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. NOTE: Update will be published bi-weekly until September 9, 2014, with the exception of July 15 due vacation schedules.

June 17, 2014


In This Issue


Professional Education


Funding Opportunitites



Members in the news

DeAnn Lazovich, Ph.D.  is quoted in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story about the FDA cancer warning on teen indoor tanning and the risk to young skin. Lazovich was also quoted in the Chicago Tribune and CBS News about the skin cancer risk from tanning even without burn.

Kalpna Gupta, PhD., co-leader, Tumor Microenvironment Program, along with program members Donald Simone, Ph.D., and Bin He, Ph.D., were quoted in a Minnesota Daily story about the problems with state marijuana laws that have forced them to take their research on pain and sickle cell disease to California for human subject testing.

Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D., Transplant Biology and Therapy Program, and Bradley Carlin, Ph.D., Prevention and Etiology Program, are featured in a new AHC video series titled “Every Day.” View the Tolar video and Carlin video.

Anne Joseph, M.D., is quoted in a Prairie Business story about rising e-cigarette use and doctors split on advice to patients.

Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D., Transplant Biology and Therapy Program, discussed regenerative medicine funding in Health Talk.

Poster Registration opens for 5th Annual Masonic Cancer Center Research Symposium
Registration is now open for the Fourth Annual Research Symposium to be held on October 20, 2014 in the Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The symposium will include a presentation by Douglas Yee, M.D., Director of the Masonic Cancer Center, two poster sessions, and a keynote speaker, Jonathan M. Samet, M.D., M.S., Director, USC Institute for Global Health, Professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California.

Students, staff, postdocs and PIs are encouraged to participate and submit an abstract for the poster session. The poster format is changing this year. Visit the website for more information. A subcommittee will select the best abstract from each research program area for a special opportunity to have lunch with our keynote speaker. Abstract submission deadline: August 30, 2014. Submit online.

Masonic Cancer Center researchers receive grants from Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance
Three members of the Masonic Cancer Center were among the six to received grants from the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MOCA) in May. MOCA provided a record $528,720 to research projects at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic. The cancer center recipients and their projects are listed below:

Melissa Geller, M.D., M.S., Transplant Biology and Therapy Program: Indoleamine-2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO) inhibition with INCB024360 and intraperitoneal delivery of allogeneic natural killer cells for women with recurrent ovarian cancer” - $75,000

Dan Kaufman, M.D. Ph.D., Transplant Biology and Therapy Program: “Chimeric antigen receptor-directed therapy against ovarian cancer” - $100,000

Amy Skubitz, Ph.D., Tumor Microenvironment Program: “Verification of ovarian cancer protein biomarkers in routine Pap tests” - $100,000

Congratulations to the following members of Masonic Cancer Center researchers’ labs on being selected from among 54 poster presenters as the best posters in basic science:

1st Place Tie:
Lihua Li, Ph.D., (Subree Subramanian, Ph.D.): Sequential expression of MiR-182 and miR-503 cooperatively targets FBXW7 contributing to the malignant transformation of colon adenoma to adenocarcinoma
Alice Nomura, MICaB graduate student, (Ashok Saluja, Ph.D.)– CD133 initiates tumors, induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and increases metastasis in pancreatic cancer

Honorable Mention:
Olivia McGinn, junior scientist, (Ashok Saluja lab) – Low mitochondrial activity of CD133+ population enables evasion of apoptosis leading to increased chemo-resistance in tumor initiating cells

In addition, two residents training with Masonic Cancer Center members received awards for their Resident Research Day abstract presentations:

Excellence in Clinical Research:
Pam Portschy, M.D. (Todd Tuttle, M.D.) - Survival outcomes after contralateral prophylactic mastectomy: A decision analysis

Excellence in Basic Science Research:
Osama Alsaied, M.D., (Ashok Saluja, Ph.D.) – Minnelide: A novel therapy for gastric adenocarcinoma

Call for abstracts for 6th Mayo Clinic Angiogenesis and the Tumor Microenvironment: From Basic Science and Clinical Challenges to Patient Care
As part of the 6th Mayo Clinic Angiogenesis and Tumor Microenvironment: From Basic Science and Clinical Challenges to Patient Care, August 22-24, 2014, a poster session for presentation of original research dedicated to the field of angiogenesis will be held. Any projects that pertain to the training and practice of angiogenesis are welcome. They may include guidelines, randomized trials, outcome studies, practice innovations, or descriptive analyses.  Posters will be chosen from all abstracts received by the June 20, 2014 submission deadline. Visit the website for more information.

Biomedical Library launches Systematic Review Service
The Bio-Medical Library has recently launched its Systematic Review Service, with the goal of helping researchers conduct comprehensive literature searches so they can complete and publish a quality review related to their research interests. We invite you to read how the service has contributed to the success of systematic reviews in the Academic Health Center on our website.

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Professional Education

June 24, 2014: CTSI Lunch Seminar
12-1 p.m., 717 Delaware St. SE, Room 105
Statistical guidelines for pilot studies
John Connett, Ph.D., Director of the Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center
This seminar is part of an ongoing seminar series that assists junior faculty with developing strong applications for NIH extramural funding and CTSI-Ed career development programs.

RSVP by June 23 to to reserve a lunch, or watch the live broadcast via UMConnect.

June 24, 2014: Center for Health Equity Works in Progress - Missed opportunities in cancer prevention: Decreasing disparities in HPV-associated cancers and HPV vaccination utilization
1:15-2:15 p.m., 717 Delaware, Room 105
Oscar W. Garza, M.B.A., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems, University of Minnesota

Lunch provided.  RSVP:

August 22-24, 2014: 6th Mayo Clinic Angiogenesis and the Tumor Microenvironment: From Basic Science and Clinical Challenges to Patient Care

Angiogenesis research has highly relevant clinical applications in a wide array of fields from oncology to cardiovascular to hematology to cell biology and others.  This year’s agenda has some of the foremost experts in angiogenesis and the symposium will serve in establishing strong collaborations among leading national, international, and Mayo Clinic experts in the field.

In addition, this symposium will award several young investigator scholarships of $250 based on submitted abstracts.  Abstract submission should be done by June 20.  Information on registration, hotel accommodations, etc. can be found at the website below.  We encourage staff, fellows and students to participate in this highly educational event and look forward to another successful symposium this year.

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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July 28, 2014: Rein in Sarcoma Party in the Park and Sarcoma Family Picnic
6 – 9:30 p.m., Como Park Visitor Center
To register, visit the website

September 10, 2014: SAVE THE DATE! Varsity Team Rally IV
Save the date for a unique, casual, insider's evening to learn from cancer researchers and meet other 'team' members dedicated to cancer research. Event will be held in the Cancer and Cardiovascular Building.

Visit the Community Events and Outreach page for more information.

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Funding Opportunities

News & Notices:

2014 Masonic Cancer Center Internal Grants Program Announcement Coming Soon!
Required Statement of Intent:  Friday, August 15, 2014 – Submit online through a link on the RFA website
Full Application Deadline:  Friday, September 19, 2014
Funding:  see table below

In 2014, the Masonic Cancer Center will be offering eight internal grant mechanisms.  Funding and award info is summarized in the table below.  The goal of these awards is to foster the development of and provide support for novel research ideas that focus on a problem in cancer. In turn, the Masonic Cancer Center expects that internal funding will lead to nationally peer reviewed funding. 

Award Mechanism

No. of Awards

Award Amount

Brainstorm Award



Cancer Detection, Treatment and Survivorship Award



Cancer Prevention & Control Award



Hematologic Malignancy Innovations Award



Minnesota Chemoprevention Consortium (MC2) Award



SP3 (SPORE/Program-Project Planning) Award



2014 Translational Working Groups Award

2 - 4

$25,000 - $50,000

Translational Breast Cancer Research Award



A full announcement will be emailed to center members and will be featured in the July 1 issue of MCC Update.

If you have questions, please contact Aaron Schilz, Research Grant Coordinator at the Masonic Cancer Center (; 612-624-0650).

Funding Opportunities:

Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program
National Cancer Institute
Application Deadline: August 25, 2014
Funding: fellowship provides competitive stipends, paid health insurance, reimbursement for moving expenses, and travel allowance.

CTSI’s Translational Research Development Program (TRDP) (Formerly F&T Trainee Program)
University of Minnesota CTSI
Letter of Intent Deadline: July 8, 2014
Full Application Deadline: August 21, 2014
Funding: $16,000 over 2 years

Young Investigator Pilot Award
AIDS & Cancer Specimen Resource (ACSR)
Application Deadline: August 1, 2014 (3-4 page proposal)
Funding: $20,000 direct only.  Projects are required to utilize specimens from the ACSR

Komen Young Investigator Research Proposals
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Preapplication Deadline: July 17, 2014
Full Application Deadline: November 20, 2014
Career Catalyst Research Grants - $300,000 over 2 years; $450,000 over 3 years
Postdoctoral Fellowships - $120,000 over 2 years; $180,000 over 3 years
Graduate Training in Disparities Research Grants - $135,000/year for 3 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 July 1, 2014