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 Sandi Sherman,, by noon on Thursday for publication the following Monday.

December 15, 2014

Tuesday's Seminar

Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 9-10 a.m., 450 MCRB
Developing quantitative MRI for the detection and characterization of prostate cancer
Greg Metzger, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Departments of Radiology and Urologic Surgery. Center for Magnetic Resonance Imaging

This is the last seminar in 2014. The next Cancer Center Seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 9 a.m.

View the calendar for a complete schedule.


In This Issue


Clinical Trials

Professional Education


Funding Opportunities

Employment Opportunities


Masonic Cancer Center mass spectrometry facility announces availability of high performance spectrometer
The Masonic Cancer Center’s Analytical Biochemistry Shared Resource is the only core facility on campus providing access to a new very powerful analytical tool for basic scientists – the Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Fusion™ Tribrid liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) system. This instrument combines three mass analyzers in a unique and extremely powerful “Tribrid” architecture that offers unprecedented depth of analysis of complex biological samples. Read more. (PDF)

Members in the news
Stories about the death of Masonic Cancer Center member Lee Wattenberg, M.D. were published in The Cancer Letter,Pierce County Herald, and the American Association for Cancer Research website.

Members speak at conferences
Anindya Bagchi, Ph.D., Genetic Mechanisms of Cancer Program member, has been invited to  speak on his research “Long non-coding RNA PVT1 potentiates MYC in human cancers with 8q24 gain" at the AACR Special Conference on MYC: From Biology to Therapy, January 7-10, 2015, in La Jolla, CA. His talk will take place in Plenary Session 1: MYC in Human Cancers.

Congratulations to Heather Stefanski, M.D., Ph.D., Transplant Biology and Therapy Program member, on her induction into the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR). The SPR is the pre-eminent international society devoted to young investigators in basic science and translational research. Read more.

ACS IRG Committee announces research project awards, next application deadline
The Masonic Cancer Center's American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (ACS IRG) Committee has completed its review of the applications received from the past submission deadline and awarded the following two research projects:

Benjamin D. Capistrant, ScD, “Understanding the Effects of Prostate Cancer on Caregivers for Gay and Bisexual Men”

Julie Ostrander, Ph.D., “PELP1 protein interactions that promote early mammary carcinogenesis”

The ACS IRG award is $30,000 in direct costs to support the initiation of promising cancer-related research projects by assistant professors. The next application deadline is Monday, April 20, 2015. Instructions and application forms are available by contacting Aaron Schilz or phone: 612-624-0650.

Masonic Cancer Center welcomes patient navigators
In order to increase minority participation in solid tumor clinical trials, the Masonic Cancer Center has hired two patient navigators.  Kiara Malone, a Master of Social Work student focusing on program development, has clinical experience working directly with patients on a pre-diabetic prevention study. Laurel Nightingale, a Master of Public Policy/Master of Public Health student, has global anthropology experience in public health initiatives. 

The navigators are based in the Clinical Trials Office and will be integrated within the clinical care teams to provide patient navigation services to patients who qualify for clinical trials. This navigator program is supported by the Enhancing Minority Participation for Clinical Trials II (EMPAaCT) Study that was designed to systemically address limited enrollment of minorities in therapeutic cancer clinical trials. Patient navigators have been shown to improve the outcomes of patients in a clinical setting by offering minority patients supportive services and bridging the gap between minority patients and the healthcare system. 

Toys for Tots donation drop-off
Donna Mosley
, Oncology Medical Informatics project manager, has volunteered to collect toys and gifts for kids and teens, in conjunction with the Black Faculty and Staff Association and the Toys for Tots Foundation. A box will be available in room B412-1 Mayo. For ideas about potential gifts for teenagers, view the official Toys for Tots FAQ. The drive will last from Wednesday, December 3rd to Wednesday December 17th at 4 p.m.

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Clinical Trials

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

MT2014-04R:A Phase 2A study of ALXN1007 in subjects with newly diagnosed acute graft-versus-host disease involving the lower gastrointestinal tract 
PI: Holtan, Shernan

A Phase 1/2 Study of SL-701, A Subcutaneously Injected Multivalent Glioma-Associated Antigen Vaccine, in Adult Patients with Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme
PI: Moertel, Christopher

A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Alisertib (MLN8237) in Combination With Paclitaxel Versus Placebo in Combination With Paclitaxel as Second Line Therapy for Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)
PI: Patel, Manish

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

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Professional Education

December 17, 2014: Cancer Biology Journal Club
12-1 p.m., 20115 CCRB
Ryan Baxley will discuss “Nonenzymatic role for WRN in preserving nascent DNA strands after replication stress,” by Su F, et al., Cell Reports 2014;9:1387-401.

December 19, 2014: Special Cancer Prevention and Control Seminar
12-1 p.m., room 245, 717 Delaware St.
Addressing Physical Impairments Following Breast Cancer Treatment"
Linda Koehler, Ph.D., P.T., C.L.T.-LANA, Assistant Professor, Program in Physical Therapy, University of Minnesota

January 22, 2015: Writing Winning Grant Proposals
8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., 717 Delaware St. SE, Room 105
Want to write successful health research grants? Then don't miss "Write Winning Grant Proposals," a day-long seminar that's back by popular demand.

March 27, 2015: Transforming Cancer Survivorship Through Research and Best Practice
8 a.m.-4 p.m., Kingsgate Marriott Conference Center, 151 Goodman Drive, Cincinnati, OH
Keynote speaker: Julia H. Rowland, Ph.D., Director, NCI Office of Cancer Survivorship
Speakers include: Patricia Ganz, M.D. – UCLA; Michael Stubblefield, M.D. – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Kathryn Schmitz, Ph.D. – University of Pennsylvania; Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D. – University of Alabama; Timothy Ahles, Ph.D. – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Registration information and abstract submission information is available on the website.

April 23, 2015: SAVE THE DATE! Inaugural Kersey Lecture
4-5 p.m., 1-125 CCRB
Jennifer Grandis, M.D., will speak.

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

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January 17, 2015: Cancer and the Human Body
12-4 p.m., Science Museum of Minnesota
Members of the Masonic Cancer Center will be on hand for the annual “Cancer and the Human Body” exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota on January 17, 2015, 12-4 p.m. This is a hands-on exhibit that educates visitors about cancer and showcases some of the research being done at the University of Minnesota.

Visit the Community Events and Outreach page for more information.

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Funding Opportunities

NCI Mentored Research Scientist Development Award to Promote Diversity (K01)
National Cancer Institute
Application Receipt Date(s): Multiple dates, see announcement.
Funding: $100,000/yr towards salary; $30,000/yr for other expenses

NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K08)
National Cancer Institute
Application Receipt Date(s): Multiple dates, see announcement.
Funding: $100,000/yr towards salary; $30,000/yr for other expenses

NCI Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K23)
National Cancer Institute
Application Receipt Date(s): Multiple dates, see announcement.
Funding: $100,000/yr towards salary; $30,000/yr for other expenses

2015 Breast Cancer Research Program
Avon Foundation
Letter of Intent Deadline: January 15, 2015
Full Application Deadline: July 30, 2015
Funding: $300,000 over 2 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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Employment Opportunities

Junior Scientist
Tanya Freedman is seeking a junior scientist to work in her new laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Center for Immunology. Applicants should have a degree in the biological sciences or a combination of related education and work experience to equal four years. Candidates must possess three or more of the following skills: mouse breeding, mouse genotyping by PCR, molecular cloning, flow cytometry, mammalian cell culture with sterile technique, biochemical assays, general laboratory equipment and computer use, and basic laboratory/math skills; demonstrated experience working with mice; and good oral and written communication skills. View the job requisition.

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  • Last modified on December 15, 2014