Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

Masonic Cancer Center Update Newsletter

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Update is an official newsletter of the Masonic Cancer Center for faculty, members, staff, colleagues, and friends. 

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 Thursday for publication the following Monday.

September 15, 2014

Tuesday's Seminar

No seminar on September 16, 2014

A peek at next week’s seminar:
Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 12-1 p.m., 1-125 CCRB
Mechanics of cell migration
David Odde, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota

This meeting will be simulcast in 450 MCRB.

View the calendar for a complete schedule.

In This Issue


Program Meetings

Professional Education


Funding Opportunities



Kalpna Gupta, Ph.D., co-leader of the Tumor Microenvironment Program, was quoted in stories about the rollout of Minnesota’s medical marijuana program and its value to research in the Star Tribune and the Centre Daily Times. Gupta spoke at a meeting of the state panel overseeing the program’s rollout.

Gaqutam Jha, M.D., was quoted in a Minnesota Daily story about the University’s Masonic Cancer Center joining an international study focused on improving treatments for head and neck cancer.


Congratulations to Stephen Jameson, Ph.D., Immunology Program, on his election to the Academic Health Center’s Academy of Excellence in Research.

Kudos to Carol Lange, Ph.D., Cell Signaling Program leader, who is the recipient of the Fall 2014 Ada Comstock Distinguished Women Scholars Lecture Award. This prestigious award/lecture was established to honor the scholarly accomplishments and leadership of distinguished women faculty at the University of Minnesota and to offer a forum for them to share their insights and ideas with a campus and community audience. The lecture will be held Monday, October 27, 2014 at 4 p.m. in the Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Congratulations are in order for Jeffrey Miller, M.D., deputy director of the Masonic Cancer Center, and Harry Orr, Ph.D., who are the recipients of the University of Minnesota Medical School Dean’s Distinguished Research Lectureship. The lectureship will be held October 1, 2014 at the McNamara Alumni Center at 5 p.m., followed by a reception with refreshments and a Research Fair, 6-8 p.m.

Masonic Cancer Center researcher receives award
Ashok Saluja, Ph.D., Cell Signaling Progrqam, and his team have received a fixed-price industry award in the amount of $2.3 million for their continued research on minnelide.

Clinical Trials Office welcomes new staff
Two new clinical research associates (CRA) have joined the staff of the Clinical Trials Office. 

Ka Xiong is the new CRA for the Pediatrics team. Her office is located in Mayo C554. Xiong received her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Minnesota in 2008. Her previous experience includes working with the Atheroschlerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study at the University of Minnesota. She also worked at the National Marrow Donor Program as an interviewer, and at HealthEast Care System as a Clinic Care Guide, where she helped to coordinate the clinical care needs for patients and their families.

Lori Siedelman is joining the Solid Tumor Team as a CRA II. She has an M.S. in public health and a B.S. in environmental health. Prior to joining the CTO she was the research data manager and epidemiologist for a five-year NIH project with UMN CIDRAP for Influenza Research and Surveillance. She also conducted hypertension research trials at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. Her initial responsibilities will be in the areas of women’s health and breast trials.

Registration is now open for Minnesota Cancer Alliance Summit 2014: Cancer Care – It’s a Partnership
Registration is open for the November 6, 2014, Minnesota Cancer Alliance Summit 2014.  The Masonic Cancer Center is a co-sponsor of this conference, which will be held at the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington, 3900 American Blvd. W., in Bloomington, Minn. The keynote speaker is Dr. Julie Silver, Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School.

The meeting will feature a multi-disciplinary panel of health professionals who touch cancer patients.  Full agenda will be available by September 22.  The program has been approved for 5.5 CEUs for Nurses and Social Workers in Minnesota. Certificates of attendance, with meeting objectives, will be available for Community Health Workers, Community Health Representatives.  Confirmed panelists include

  • Alicia Cain, Oncology Social Worker (United Hospital)
  • Kimberly Ness, Nurse Navigator (Minnesota Oncology)
  • Lyn Ceronsky, Palliative Care Director (Fairview)

Cost: Registration is $75 until September 30/$85 after. Space is limited. Early bird registration ends September 30th. Scholarships will be available on a first come first served basis and can be requested at registration. To register for the Cancer Summit 2014 please visit

Nominations for Spirit of Collaboration Awards now open
To honor individuals and groups for their initiatives dedicated to comprehensive cancer control, the Minnesota Cancer Alliance is proud to announce its "Darla Havlicek Spirit of Collaboration" awards. Individuals or organizations may be nominated. Nominations will be accepted through October 3, 2014. An award will be presented to both an individual and a group during the Summit Luncheon Awards Ceremony. Visit the 2014 Cancer Summit website or contact Heather Hirsch at 651-201-3620 or for more information.

Scholarship Opportunity for Oncology Nurses and Physician Assistants
The Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance announces the Anita and Walter Lubov Fund, which provides funding for oncology nurses and physician assistants to attend educational conferences that will help them improve their care of women with ovarian cancer, increase their knowledge of the disease and enable them to educate others about ovarian cancer.

Oncology nurses and physician assistants currently practicing in Minnesota can apply for the funding. These funds can be used to support travel, conference fees, lodging and per diem. It is not meant to supplant funding available from employers or other sources. Multiple scholarships can be awarded each year. Applications are due October 15.

To apply for the award, submit your completed application to the MOCA office by email. The applications can be found at

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Program Meetings

 September 18, 2014: Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention Program Research in Progress meeting
Thursday, September 18, 2014, Room 23, Food Science and Nutrition, 1334 Eckles Ave., St. Paul
Presentations by:
Dan Gallaher, Ph.D., Department of Food Science and Nutrition
Lisa A. Peterson, Ph.D., Environmental Health Sciences, Masonic Cancer Center

Lunch will be provided. RSVP to if you plan to attend and indicate if you would like a vegetarian lunch.

BMT Conference
Monday, September 22, 1:15-2:15 p.m., 450 MCRB
BMT protocol updates

For a schedule of meetings, visit the website.

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Professional Education

September 16, 2014: NIH SBIR Seminar
9-10 a.m., 1-125 CCRB, 2231 6th Street SE, Minneapolis
Dr. Patricia Weber, Program Director, NCI Small Business Innovation Research Development Center (NCI SBIR)
Dr Weber will discuss new non-dilutive contract funding opportunities available for early stage companies, such as those formed by academic investigators through the UMN Venture Center, to develop the next generation of cancer technologies and therapeutics.  She will also discuss the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program which provides opportunities for research institutions to collaborate with small businesses.

Sponsored by Life Science Alley, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Center for Translational Medicine and the Masonic Cancer Center. For more information and to RSVP visit the website.

September 17, 2014: Cancer Detection, Treatment and Survivorship Mini Retreat 
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Conference Rooms, A, B, & C
University of Minnesota Campus Club
4th Floor Coffman Union

Special Guest: Scott Ramsay, MD, PhD, Director of Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research, Public Health Sciences, at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. 

Everyone with research interests related to cancer outcomes, screening and survivorship is invited to attend. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Rick Jacobson,

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.

September 30, 2014: Health Equity Dinner & a Movie
4-5 p.m., 717 Delaware St. SE, Room 105
Enjoy dinner while watching a segment from Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?, a documentary exploring racial and socioeconomic inequalities in health. In addition, there will be a group discussion facilitated by Jasjit S. Ahluwalia, MD, MPH, MS, Director of the Center for Health Equity and Associate Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. This event is open to all students, faculty, and staff, and is part of Greater than 7 Week, a University-wide week of equity and diversity events. Pizza, popcorn, and beverages will be provided. Space is limited; RSVP to reserve your spot.

October 9, 2014: Pediatric Survivors after HCT: Long-term screening and Preventive Practices
4-5 p.m., live webinar
Register at

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. A complete schedule is available on the website.

November 5, 2014: Cancer Health Equity Conference
11 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Hilton Bloomington, Minneapolis
Sponsored by Minnesota Center for Cancer Collaborations.
For more information and to register visit the website.

January 26, 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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September 19, 2014: The 2nd annual Putting for Pancreatic Cancer Research Golf Scramble
11:00 a.m. through dinner, Majestic Oaks Golf Club
Registration is due by September 1st. 
For more information visit the website.

September 25, 2014: The 42nd Annual Pinked Out Party
7-10 p.m., The Robbins Urban Wellness Retreat, 3900 Thomas Avenue North, Minneapolis
Kola Okuyemi, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Douglas Yee, M.D, are the featured speakers at this event which includes a fashion show. A completed schedule is available on the Community
Events and Outreach page
. Contact Anika Robbins, 612-670-6355 got more information.

October 10, 2014:  Children’s Cancer Research Fund Community and Family Celebration
4:30-6:30 p.m., Bloomington Theatre and Art Center
Visit for more info and to RSVP.

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

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 Bioethics, 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

Reminder: MCC Internal Grant Deadline is September 19, 2014!
If you submitted a Statement of Intent in August, you are eligible to submit your full application for this deadline.  If you have any questions or concerns about the guidelines, please contact Aaron Schilz, Research Grant Coordinator at the Masonic Cancer Center:, 612-624-0650.

Funding Opportunities:

American Cancer Society Pilot Grants
UMN ACS Institutional Research Grant
Deadline: October 20, 2014
Funding: $30,000 for 1 year
This grant is for assistant professors who have no independent national funding and are engaged in cancer-related research. Cancer-related research includes cancer etiology, mechanisms of carcinogenesis and chemoprevention, molecular mechanisms of cancer progression and metastasis, development of novel cancer therapeutic or chemoprevention models and translational research, cancer immunology and immunotherapy.

Applications may be obtained by emailing a request to For information, please call Aaron Schilz, 612-624-0650.

Request for proposals: Randy Shaver Cancer Research & Community Foundation
Deadline: Letter of Intent: September 17, 2014
Funding: $25,000/yr 

The LOI should be no more than 1 page (12 point type) and include the following:
Applicant Name
Project title
Specific Aims
Research Strategy (significance, innovation, approach)
Please note that the LOIs will be reviewed by a lay person from the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Foundation.

Send Letter of Intent to Sharon Kunau,, University of Minnesota Foundation

The typical budget is $25,000 per year. Please note that the foundation does not support salary for the PI or staff. It is anticipated that up to 15 applications will be supported. If selected for a full application, the applicant will be required to:

Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation
Application Receipt Date: December 1, 2014
Funding: $460,000 over 4 years

Specialized Centers of Research (SCORs)
Leukemia Lymphoma Society
Letter of Intent Due: November 3, 2014
Application Due: March 16, 2015
Funding: $1.0M/yr total costs for 5 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 September 15, 2014