Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

MCC Update 07-08-14

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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.

July 8, 2014


In This Issue


Clinical Trials

Professional Education


Funding Opportunitites 


Members in the news

Research conducted by Ashok Saluja, Ph.D., Cell Signaling Program, and his colleagues, on the effect of triptolide in inhibiting the growth and survival of pancreatic cancer cells, was featured in a Newswise story. The story notes that an article published in the American Journal of Physiology – Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, was highlighted as one of June’s “best of the best” by the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program. Read more. Saluja  was also quoted in Vancouver Desi, Before It's News, Third Age, The Health Site, and HealthCanal


Research conducted at the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota was cited in a story about the health benefits of calcium.


Fighting like an Iron Ranger. A patient who received treatment at the Masonic Cancer Center is featured. Mesabi Daily News

Seanne Falconer, M.B.A., new Masonic Cancer Center Associate Director of AdministrationAHCMCC2 - Image - Susan Falconer
After a national search, Ms. Seanne Falconer has been appointed the associate director of administration for the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. She has most recently served as the director of the Harvard Catalyst Clinical Research Program Operations which is a program of the Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center. Prior to this position she was employed by Empower New Haven, the Peace Corps, and General Mills.

Ms. Falconer received her bachelor of arts degree cum laude from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in accounting and human resources management. Her master of business administration, with a focus on nonprofit management, was awarded by the Yale School of Management. She also holds a certificate from Boston University in professional fundraising.

Ms Falconer is relocating from Boston with her husband, James, their 15-month-old twin boys, August and Beau, and their Moldovan cat, Svetlana. She assumes the position previously held by Mary Sumpmann,M.S., R.N., beginning August 29, 2014.

Human Resources updates

Research job family study kicks off next month
The University of Minnesota has undertaken a comprehensive redesign of its job classification system, encompassing Civil Service and Academic Professional and Administrative (P&A) positions on all five campuses. The Job Family Studies Project team will be examining the Research job family beginning in August.

Results from this effort include:

  • More clearly defined career paths and pay structures across the University system,
  • Alignment with external market trends,
  • Greater efficiency for managers, supervisors, and HR staff in administering job classification and compensation, and
  • A more clearly defined foundation for strategic workforce planning and development to match institutional needs and priorities.

Employees in this job family will receive an email in the coming weeks asking them to submit a current position description using a position description tool and process created specifically for this study. This position description will inform the new classification and compensation structure for the job family and help determine the employee’s placement in that structure. Unit HR contacts are available to assist and will oversee this process.

Once all position descriptions are submitted, the research advisory team will establish a new classification and compensation structure and classify positions into that structure. Personalized reclassification results will be communicated directly to employees when the study is completed in approximately 2-­‐4 months.

For more information and resources, please refer to the Job Classification System Redesign web page at


Security ID badge program discontinued
The Department of Central Security discontinued the Security ID Badge Program on July 1, 2014.  Effective immediately, Masonic Cancer Center faculty and staff must switch to carrying and displaying their U Card.  Individuals should destroy their old Security ID Badge.  Detailed information is available at

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Clinical Trials

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

A Phase 1/2 Open-Label, Dose Escalation Study Investigating the Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics, and Pharmacodynamics of ASP2215 in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia
PI: Ustun, Celalettin

COG ADVL1411 - A Phase 1/ 2 Study of BMN 673 (IND# 121510), an Oral Poly(ADP-Ribose) Polymerase Inhibitor, Plus Temozolomide in Children with Refractory or Recurrent Malignancies
PI: Greengard, Emily

COG ANBL1221: A Phase II Randomized Trial of Irinotecan/Temozolomide with Temsirolimus (NSC # 683864, IND# 61010) or Chimeric 14.18 Antibody (ch14.18) (NSC# 623408, IND# 4308) in Children with Refractory, Relapsed or Progressive Neuroblastoma
PI: Greengard, Emily

The following clinical trials conducted by Masonic Cancer Center members were recently opened at an affiliate site:

HM2013-12: IL-15 Super Agonist ALT-803 to Treat Relapse Of Hematologic Malignancy After Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation
PI: Miller, Jeffrey
Affiliate: Washington University
Affiliate PI: Romee, Rizwan

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

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Professional Education

July 10, 2014: Brain Tumor Program Seminar
9 a.m., 6-101 NHH
PERK activation promotes medulloblastoma tumorigenesis
Louise Yeung Ho, Ph.D., Lin laboratory


July 10, 2014: Comparative Oncology Seminar
12 p.m., Room 280 VDL (St. Paul Campus)
Molecular mechanisms of multidrug resistance in canine lymphoid tumors
Hirotaka Tomiyasu, D.V.M., Ph.D., Modiano lab


July 18, 2014: Department of Pharmaceutics and Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention
Program, Masonic Cancer Center Seminar
1-2 p.m., 2-115 CCRB
Novel redox-based anticancer agents
Basil Rigas, M.D., D.Sc., Professor, Departments of Medicine Pharmacological Sciences, Director, Division of Cancer Prevention, Stony Brook University

Host: Timothy Wiedmann, Ph.D.


August 8, 2014: Poster Presentations: Health Disparities and Cancer Research
Summer Undergraduate Research Program
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building Atrium, 2231 6th St. SE, Minneapolis
Oral presentations start at 12 p.m.
Light refreshments will be served. Parking vouchers will be available.

  • Learn how undergraduate interns are helping address cancer and health disparities
  • Hear about current community-engaged & laboratory research projects at the U of MN
  • Network with community members and researchers

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: 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.


October 20, 2014: 5th Annual Masonic Cancer Center Research Symposium
10:30 a.m-3:30 p.m., Cancer Cardiovascular Research Building
Keynote Speaker: B.J. Kennedy Lecturer in Medical Oncology Jonathan Samet, M.D., M.S., Director, University of Southern California Institute for Global Health, Professor and Flor L. Thornton Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine

The symposium will include two poster sessions. Submit abstracts here.

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

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July 19, 2014: Climb 4 Kidney Cancer/Break the Bank 2014
6:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., TCF Bank Stadium, 2009 University Avenue, Minneapolis
Check-in/registration begins: 6:30 AM
Minnesota Tribal Nations Plaza

Climb Start times:
Racers: 7 AM
Participants (Non-racers) : 9 AM
For more information visit the website.

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.

August 1, 2014: Macy’s Passport presents Glamorama
8 p.m., State Theater, 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Visit the website for complete information.

August 16, 2014: Breath of Hope Lung Foundation’s Lung Run/Walk
9:15 a.m., Lake Harriet
Visit the website to register and for complete information.

September 10, 2014: Varsity Team Rally: Changing Science, Saving Lives
6-9 p.m., Cancer and Cardiovascular Building, 2231 6th Street SE, Minneapolis
The Varsity Team Rally: Changing Science, Changing Lives is an event to benefit the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota by raising $100,000 to advance high-impact cancer research.  Visit the website for more information.

September 13, 2014: Care Partners Picnic of Hope
11 a.m.-2 p-.m., Minnehaha Park, Wabun Picnic Area C, 4655 46th Avenue S., Minneapolis
Visit the website for more information.

November 1, 2014: Dawn of a Dream
The Depot, Minneapolis

Visit the Community Events and Outreach page for more information.

November 14, 2014: 2014 Westgate Pediatric Ethics Forum: Ethics and genetic testing of children – Who gets to know what, when and why
12-4 p.m., Children’s Minneapolis Education Center, 2525 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis
Holly Tabor, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Bioetchics, Department of Pediatrics, Truman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington, co-founder of My46
Susan Wolf, J.D., McKnight Professor of Law, Medicine and Public Policy, Faegre Baker Daniels Professor of Law, University of Minnesota Law School; Professor of Medicine
Case examples and discussion presented by the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota Genetics Department

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
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



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

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 21, 2014