DCI Scientific Retreat Slated for Dec. 3 (Virtual)
The executive director of Duke Cancer Institute, Michael B. Kastan, MD, PhD, invites Duke faculty, trainees (students, residents, fellows, postdocs, etc.) and staff to the 8th Annual DCI Scientific Retreat, to be held via Zoom on Friday, December 3, 2021, from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The *O. Michael Colvin Memorial Lecture will be delivered this year by Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS, who currently serves as president of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and senior vice president for Cancer Services at UCSF Health. The title of his lecture is “Synthetic Lethal and Genetic Approaches to Cancer Therapy.”
Ashworth was a key member of the team that discovered the BRCA2 gene in 1995, which is linked to an increased risk of breast, ovarian and other cancers. In 2005, his lab identified a way to exploit genetic weaknesses (using synthetic lethality) in cancer cells with mutated BRCA1 or 2 genes, leading to a new approach to cancer treatment, PARP inhibition. (Read bio below)
This year's DCI Scientific Retreat faculty presentation will be delivered by two DCI investigators:
- Chuan-Yuan Li, DSc, vice chair for Research in the Dept. of Dermatology (Read bio below)
- Tomi Akinyemiju, PhD, associate director for Community Outreach, Engagement and Equity at DCI (Read bio below)
DCI Trainee Members are invited to submit an abstract on their research project for consideration for presentation at the Scientific Retreat. (deadline is Oct. 22, 2021, at 5 p.m. Scroll down the page for details on submitting an abstract)
One abstract from each of DCI's seven National Cancer Institute-designated DCI Research Programs — will be selected for presentation and its author will receive a $1,000 award from the DCI. The trainee with the most innovative basic science research will receive the 2021 Robert and Barbara Bell Basic Science Cancer Research Award in the amount of $5,000. After presenting, the trainees will have the opportunity to take questions from their mentors and peers.
- The retreat will be held virtually via Zoom. An Outlook invitation will be sent upon registration
Presentations by trainees from each of the DCI Research Programs
- Cancer Biology
- Cancer Prevention and Control
- Cancer Risk, Detection and Interception (CRDI)
- Precision Cancer Medicine and Investigational Therapeutics (PCMIT)
- Radiation Oncology and Imaging
Duke Cancer Institute Faculty Presentation(s)
Chuan-Yuan Li, DSc is a member of DCI, vice chair for Research in the Dept. of Dermatology, professor in the departments of Dermatology and Pharmacology and Cancer Biology.
Some of the areas that Li's laboratory conducts research on include:
- tumor response to therapy, with special emphasis on skin cancer such as melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma where current treatment outcomes are dismal
- stem cell and regenerative medicine, we will conduct research to investigate novel mechanisms of stem cell biology so that knowledge gained can be translated into regenerative medicine
- mechanisms of carcinogenesis, with emphasis on skin cancers, so that better strategies could be devised to prevent and treat these cancers
Tomi Akinyemiju, PhD, is a member of DCI, associate director for Community Outreach, Engagement and Equity at DCI, director for Inclusion and Diversity in the Department of Population Health Sciences, associate professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences, associate research professor, Duke Global Health Institute, and an instructor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Akinyemiju is a social and molecular cancer epidemiologist with expertise in epidemiologic methods, translational research, health disparities and global health. Her research interests focus on identifying the impact of social (such as access to healthcare) and biological factors (such as metabolic dysregulation), on cancer related risk, tumor aggressiveness and survival. She has a specific interest in understanding the causes of cancer disparities among women of African descent in the US and sub-Saharan Africa, given their significantly higher risk of aggressive cancer subtypes relative to other racial groups. A leader of several primary epidemiologic research studies, she utilizes data from population-based cancer registries, administrative claims, and existing cohort studies.
*O. Michael Colvin Memorial Lecture: “Synthetic Lethal and Genetic Approaches to Cancer Therapy”
Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS, is president of the University of California San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and senior vice president for clinical services at UCSF Health.
Ashworth was a key member of the team that discovered the BRCA2 gene in 1995, which is linked to an increased risk of breast, ovarian and other cancers. In 2005, his lab identified a way to exploit genetic weaknesses (using synthetic lethality) in cancer cells with mutated BRCA1 or 2 genes, leading to a new approach to cancer treatment, PARP inhibition. Four different PARP inhibitors have now been approved by the FDA for the treatment of ovarian, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancer based on his work. This work was named by Nature one of the top 20 discoveries in cancer in the 21st century. He continues to develop new treatments for cancer using genetic principles.
Ashworth has received a number of awards and prizes many of which recognize the innovative and translational nature of his work as well as its clinical impact. He is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the American Association of Arts and Sciences, the American Association of Cancer Research and the Royal Society (equivalent to membership of the National Academy of Sciences). Prizes include the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Lifetime Achievement Award, the David T. Workman Memorial Award of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, the Meyenburg Foundation’s Cancer Research Award, the Genetics Society Medal, the inaugural winner of the Basser Global Prize, and the Susan G. Komen Brinker award.
*Before his loss in 2013, O. Michael Colvin, MD, served as Director Emeritus of the Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center and Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. Colvin was a founding senior editor of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. His many achievements included pioneering work on drugs that damage the genetic material causing cancer cells to replicate. He was one of the first researchers to use high-dose cyclophosphamide to treat solid tumors. Colvin was co-leader of the Duke Cancer Center’s Experimental Research Program. Over the course of his career, he published more than 150 scientific articles. Begun in 2015, the O. Michael Colvin Memorial Lecture has been a featured highlight at every DCI Scientific Retreat since.
Call for Abstracts
DCI Trainee Members are invited to submit an abstract for selected research project presentations alongside registering for the retreat (please use registration link above to submit an abstract and register).
One abstract from each DCI Research Program will be selected for presentation and will receive a $1,000 award from the DCI, with the most innovative basic science research receiving a $5,000 award as the 2021 Robert and Barbara Bell Basic Science Cancer Research Award recipient.
PLEASE NOTE: Only DCI Trainee Members that have been approved prior to the abstract submission date are eligible to be selected for the research project presentations. To ensure eligibility, please apply for DCI Trainee Membership by Oct. 15, 2021. Email DCITraining@dm.duke.edu with any questions regarding DCI Trainee Membership or to see if you are already a member.
Citation of Related Publication(s)
PLEASE NOTE: Any publications generated with support from our NCI Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) should cite our CCSG award number in order to comply with NIH requirements. NIH requires that publications, press releases or other documents that cite results from NIH grant supported research must also include an acknowledgement of NIH grant support and disclaimer. Since the CCSG constitutes NIH funding, you must acknowledge our NCI CCSG award number. Email Davenport Ria for this number.
Abstract Submission Deadline
Friday, October 22, 2021 at 5 p.m.
DCI Scientific Retreat
Friday, December 3, 2021, from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Please note, you must register in order to attend the event. An Outlook invitation will be sent upon registration.
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