Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

Masonic Cancer Center Update Newsletter


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Update is available on the web at

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, by noon on Friday for publication the following Monday.

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November 23, 2015

Tuesday Seminar

No seminar due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

A peek at next week’s seminar:
December 1, 2015, 9-10 a.m., 1-125 CCRB (simulcast in 450 MCRB, Hormel Institute room 155, and Duluth room 112-SMed)
Development of infectivity-selective oncolytic adenovirus for systemic therapy
Masato Yamamoto, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Basic & Translational Research, University of Minnesota

View the calendar for a complete schedule.

In This Issue


Program Meetings

Professional Education


Funding Announcements and Opportunities

Employment Opportunities


Members in the news

  • Dorothy Hatsukami, Ph.D., Cancer Prevention and Control Associate Director, was quoted in Medical Daily and Fox News reports about a government study showing that smokeless tobacco users are exposed to equal or more nicotine and cancer causing chemicals than cigarette smokers.
  • The 11th annual Cancer Survivorship Conference scheduled for April 23, 2016 was mentioned in a KSTP news report about post treatment challenges for cancer survivors.

On the web
A report in Hutch News, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, features Justin Taylor, Ph.D., a former Cancer Biology Training Grant trainee in the lab of Marc Jenkins, Ph.D. The story describes his career path from postdoc to principal investigator running his own lab.

Clifford Steer, M.D.,Genetic Mechanisms of Cancer program, has been named Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. His new leadership responsibilities begin on December 1, 2015. Steer, whose history with the Medical School spans more than 40 years, will work to ensure faculty equality and advocate for positive cultural change. Read more.

Prevention and Etiology Program announces new name
The Masonic Cancer Center’s Prevention and Etiology Program, which combined with the Cancer Detection, Treatment and Survivorship Program a year ago, has changed its name to better reflect the breadth of its research. The new program name is SPECS, which stands for Screening, Prevention, Etiology and Cancer Survivorship.  The Program leaders remain the same: Drs. Anne Joseph, Heather Nelson and Karen Kuntz.

Research recruitment opportunity
Applications are now being accepted to conduct research studies in the Driven to Discover Building at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair. All University of Minnesota faculty and students are invited to take advantage of this unique and powerful opportunity to quickly recruit research participants in new or ongoing research studies. Read more.

Deadline extended for research projects on disparities in African American men’s health throughout the life course
The Center for Healthy African American Men through Partnerships (CHAAMPS), which is led by Badri Koney, M.D., University of Minnesota and Selwyn Vickers, M.D., University of Alabama, is requesting applications for translational and community-based research projects focusing on health disparities for African American men, including cancer related issues. The center will fund 4-6 projects with awards ranging from $50,000 to $100,000. The center will connect investigators with national and community local partners.

The new deadline for letters of intent is December 7, 2015 with full applications due February 8, 2016. Letters of intent and applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. to

To learn more about CHAAMPS visit the website.

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Program Meetings

BMT Program
Monday, November 23, 2015, 1:15-2:15 p.m., 450 MCRB
A risk-adapted approach to GVHD: Are we there yet?
Margy MacMillan, M.D., and Shernan Holtan, M.D.

Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program Data Club
Wednesday, December 16, 2015, 3-150 CCRB
Chemopreventive potential of dihydromethysticin from Kava against lung tumorigenesis
Sreekanth Narayanapillai, Ph.D., Xing lab

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Professional Education

December 1, 2015: Program in Health Disparities Research Monthly Meeting Special Session
1-2 p.m., 717 Delaware St. SE, Room 105 (lunch will be served at 12:50)
Subcutaneous scars
Vanessa Northingham Gamble, M.D., Ph.D., University Professor of Health Humanities,
Professor of Health Policy and American Studies, George Washington University
During this session, Dr. Northingham Gamble will give a reflection about her career in academic medicine. This will be followed by an interactive dialogue about some of the challenges faced by professionals of color and women in academic biomedical careers.

Dr. Northingham Gamble chaired the Tuskegee Syphilis Study Legacy Committee in 1997 that secured a presidential apology for the treatment of African American patients. Before coming to GW, she taught at Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts, Hampshire College, the University of Wisconsin, and Johns Hopkins University. Appointed head of the Association of American Medical Colleges' (AAMC) Division of Community and Minority Programs in 1999, Professor Gamble has served as consultant or committee member on a range of projects run by national medical organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

December 2, 2015: Research with Human Participants: The National Debates
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Coffman Theater, Coffman Union, University of Minnesota
This conference brings together experts to discuss the national debates on research with human participants and current thinking on best practices. Researchers, policymakers, bioethicists, patient advocates, and other stakeholders will explore research oversight, informed consent when research participants have diminished or fluctuating capacity to consent, community roles, conflicts of interest and industry sponsorship, and research with vulnerable individuals. This conference will be an opportunity to explore these issues in depth and from multiple points of view. To learn more and view the agenda and list of speakers, click here.

April 4, 2016: Save the date!: The 12th Annual Women’s Health Research Conference: Environmental Exposures and Hormones: Implications for Health
1-5 p.m., Coffman Theater, Coffman Memorial Union
Registration is now open.

Read more and submit an abstract.

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

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March 12, 2016: SAVE THE DATE: Transitions in Cancer Survivorship Care
8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Kingsgate Marriott Conference Center, 151 Goodman Dr., Cincinnati, OH

Visit the website for more information.

April 23, 2016: SAVE THE DATE for the 11th Annual Cancer Survivorship Conference
Saturday, April 23, 2016, 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota
A cancer diagnosis can alter the landscape of your life. Although it doesn't redefine you, it can change your lifetime health care needs. Save the date for this free educational conference that focuses on questions and issues survivors and their families often face after cancer treatment or following stem-cell transplantation.

Registration is required and will open in early 2016. To be added to the conference mailing list, please "click here".  

Visit the Community Events and Outreach page for more information.

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Funding Announcements and Opportunities

News & Notices:

Notice of Pre-Application Webinar for Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium
This Notice is to remind awardee institutions that annual reports for the period January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 are due to the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) by January 31, 2016. The Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Policy) requires Assured institutions to submit a written report to OLAW at least once every 12 months

Funding Opportunities:

NCI Small Grants Program for Cancer Research (NCI Omnibus R03) - PAR-14-007
This funding opportunity announcement (FOA), issued by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports small research projects on cancer that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources. The R03 grant mechanism supports different types of projects including pilot and feasibility studies; secondary analysis of existing data; small, self-contained research projects; development of research methodology; and development of new research technology.
Funding: $50,000 per year, with a maximum of $100,000 direct costs over 2 years.
Key Dates:
Full Application due: Feb. 26th, 2016

NCI Research Specialist Award (R50) - PAR-16-025
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites grant applications for the Research Specialist Award (R50) in any area of cancer research. The Research Specialist Award is designed to encourage the development of stable research career opportunities for exceptional scientists who want to pursue research within the context of an existing cancer research program, but not serve as independent investigators. These scientists, such as researchers within a research program, core facility managers, and data scientists, are vital to sustaining the biomedical research enterprise. The Research Specialist Award is intended to provide desirable salaries and sufficient autonomy so that individuals are not solely dependent on grants held by Principal Investigators for career continuity.
Funding:  Application budgets may request the following two expenses in direct costs per year:
1) up to 100% salary support (not to exceed the NIH Legislatively-mandated Salary Cap) for the Research Specialist and commensurate with their level of effort on NCI-funded research grants; and
2) travel costs to attend research meetings/conferences not to exceed $5,000 per year.
The total award project period may not exceed 5 years.
Key Dates:
Letter of Intent due:  Jan. 9, 2016
Full Application due: Feb. 9, 2016

Early-Life Factors and Cancer Development Later in Life (R01) - PA-15-126
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to stimulate research focused on the role of early-life factors in cancer development later in life. Given that current emerging evidence from limited research indicates a potentially important role for early-life events and exposures in cancer development, it is necessary to better understand 1) the early-life (maternal-paternal, in utero, birth and infancy, puberty and adolescence, and teenage and young adult years) factors that are associated with later cancer development; 2) how early-life factors mediate biological processes relevant to carcinogenesis; and 3) whether predictive markers for cancer risk based on what happens biologically at early-life can be measured and developed for use in cancer prevention strategies. Markers that predict malignancy or premalignant conditions would allow assessment of early-life exposures with relevant outcomes without having to wait 50 years for cancer development. Ultimately, a better mechanistic understanding of how early-life events and exposures contribute to the etiology of cancer later in life will allow for the development of effective interventions during pregnancy or early life that may have a profound impact on cancer prevention.
Funding: Not limited, Maximum of 5 year project period.
Key Dates:
Full Application due: Feb. 5, 2016

Improving Outcomes in Cancer Treatment-Related Cardiotoxicity (R01) and (R21)
PA-16-035 and PA 16-036
This Funding Opportunity Announcement encourages collaborative applications that will contribute to the identification and characterization of patients at risk of developing cancer treatment-related cardiotoxicity. The primary intent is to mitigate cardiovascular dysfunction while optimizing cancer outcomes. Methods that evaluate cardiac risk prior to treatment and integrate evidence-based cancer treatment regimens with screening, diagnostic, and/or management strategies are sought. Research applications should focus on mitigation/management of adverse effects associated with anti-cancer treatments including: cytotoxic chemotherapies, targeted agents, immunomodulatory therapies and radiation (that occur during cancer treatment and/or long-term survivorship) as defined by cardiac specific common terminology criteria for adverse events.
Key Dates:
Applications due Jan. 25th, 2016

Brain Cancer SPORE Career Development Award RFA (PDF)
These awards are designed to train investigators beginning their academic careers in translational, multidisciplinary research studies of gliomas and other primary brain tumors. This program focuses on:

  • Junior faculty investigators (instructor or assistant professor level).
  • Laboratory-based investigators who have outstanding research potential to become independent investigators in some aspect of brain cancer translational research but who are not yet independently funded to perform this research.
  • Clinicians with demonstrated interest and ability in translational research who are committed to careers in brain tumor translational research and interested in additional research training in pursuit of this career.

Funding: The $50,000 award is for a minimum of one year with a second year of funding possible.
Key Dates:
Application due December 7, 2015

Brain Cancer SPORE Developmental Research Award RFA
These awards are intended to support meritorious projects focused on any aspect of gliomas or other primary brain tumors with a clear translational research potential.  Ideally, the projects should focus on a single important, unresolved problem in glioma biology with the projects generating new hypotheses that can be tested within the full SPORE-sponsored projects and have the potential for R01 funding.           
Funding: The $50,000 award is for one year, with a second year of funding possible. The award is projected to begin Jan. 1, 2016
Application due December 7, 2015

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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Employment Opportunities

Postdoctoral Associate
Dr. Lisa Peterson, Program Leader of the Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program, is recruiting a Postdoctoral Associate to work on projects employing biochemical and chemical methods to determine the effect of aldehyde exposure on the formation of tumors in carcinogen‐treated rodents. The selected candidate will participate in the design, implementation and evaluation of the research project; prepare and present data; and author, co‐author, and otherwise collaborate on reports, conference papers and publications. Interested individuals should go to the Employment System to search and apply for job opening 35026.

Clinical Research Positions
The Clinical Trials Office is currently recruiting Clinical Research Nurse Coordinators and Regulatory Specialists for multiple oncology and/or hematology clinical trials for solid tumor malignancies.  Clinical trials include Phase I-II trials under locally held INDs, as well as Phase II/III industry sponsored trials. The Clinical Research Nurse coordinates all aspects of multiple oncology and/or hematology clinical trials for solid tumor malignancies.  The Regulatory Specialist is responsible for providing technical expertise and overall management of clinical research protocol documents and activity from initial submission through study closure.  Interested individuals should go to the Employment System to search and apply for the following job openings: 305776 (Research Nurse), 305715 (Senior Clinical Research Nurse), and 300625 (Regulatory Specialist).

Researcher 2
A position is available to support research to determine the effect of aldehyde exposure on the formation of tumors in carcinogen-treated rodents. Responsibilities include preparation of solutions of carcinogens, measurement of concentrations of carcinogens in solution by chromatographic techniques (HPLC, GC), administration of carcinogens by injection or drinking water, and euthanizing rodents by CO2 gas and obtaining specific organs/tissue by surgical methods. In addition, the person will isolate DNA from the animal tissues and quantify damage caused by the chemical exposure. Interested individuals should go to the Employment System to search and apply for job opening 305157.

Functional Genomics of GI Tract Cancers Discover Team Recruitment
The University of Minnesota Medical School, in collaboration with the Masonic Cancer Center, is focusing efforts to hire outstanding physicians, researchers, and bioinformaticists for a Discovery Team to work on functional genomics of gastrointestinal (GI) tract cancers. This new team will build off current research, leverage the teams and shared resources already in place, as well as bring their own research interests to develop new technologies and models for understanding tumor heterogeneity.

We are seeking a dynamic mid-career or senior physician scientist with training in pathology or medical oncology to lead this effort and are conducting a national search to find the right person. The successful candidate will be expected to assume the leadership role for existing faculty and future hires, and expand a comprehensive program in GI cancer spanning basic science, translational genomics, and clinical trials. The successful candidate will be appointed with tenure in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation or the Department of Laboratory Pathology. Visit the job posting (#301346) for more information.

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  • Last modified on November 25, 2015