May 2016
Table of Contents

Funding Opportunities

Gene Fusions in Pediatric Sarcomas (R01)


Neural Regulation of Cancer (R01)


Cancer-related Behavioral Research through Integrating Existing Data (R01)


Predicting Behavioral Responses to Population-Level Cancer Control Strategies (R21)




View a full list of current funding opportunities. 

Highlighted positions related to cancer for which VCU is currently hiring. View the full list.


Medical Oncologist/Physician Scientist - Solid Tumors (F16770)


General Internal Medicine/ Physician Scientist - Health Services Researcher (F39150)

Shared Resource Spotlight
Molecular Pathology Research Services Laboratory

The Molecular Pathology Research Services (MPRS) Laboratory provides high-quality, cost-effective Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) services for basic research, translational research and clinical trials. The laboratory offers a full range of nucleic acid-based tests, including NGS services such as nucleic acid extraction, nucleic acid quantitation, library preparation, template preparation and sequencing. Located in the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory in the Department of Pathology, this lab is a state-of-the-art facility equipped with automatic nucleic acid extraction robots, liquid handlers, Ion Torrent PGM and Proton, Illumina MySeq and NextSeq instruments.

For more information, visit the lab's website , or email facility director, Andrea Ferreira-Gonzalez, Ph.D. , associate director, Catherine Dumur, Ph.D. , or laboratory manager, Fernanda Sabato, M.S.

Leaders' Update Update 
A message from Deputy Director Steven Grossman

A major strength for Massey is in facilitating the translation of our promising scientific concepts into improved treatments and patient care as well as advances in cancer prevention and control. A key part of the translation is developing and conducting clinical trials that test these ideas, and Massey has a strong record in this regard.

This message continues with a status update on:
-examples of exciting translational work currently underway at Massey, including trials for metastatic triple negative breast cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, refractory/relapsed myeloid malignancies or untreated acute myeloid leukemia, and tobacco cessation
-details about the 2016 Massey Cancer Research Retreat

Research HighlightsHighlights
Clinical trial tests promising immunotherapies for advanced lung cancer

Sherman Baker, M.D.
Developmental Therapeutics member
Massey physician-researcher Sherman Baker is leading a phase 3 clinical trial testing two immunotherapy drugs for advanced lung cancer treatment. The goal of the study is to determine whether MEDI4736 combined with tremelimumab or MEDI4736 by itself is more effective than traditional chemotherapy for the treatment of patients with advanced lung cancer. 


Clinical trials test novel combination therapies for neurological cancers

Paul Dent, Ph.D.
Cancer Cell Signaling member
Massey is conducting a phase 1 and a phase 2 clinical trial testing novel combination therapies for brain and central nervous system cancers. The trials are based on translational research performed at Massey by Paul Dent. The phase 1 trial is testing the combination of dimethyl fumarate (DMF) with the standard treatment for glioblastoma multiforme, which involves temozolomide and radiation therapy. The phase 2 trial investigates how effectively a combination of the drugs sorafenib, valproic acid and sildenafil work in treating patients with recurrent high-grade glioma. 

Center News Center1
Massey partners with Art on Wheels to honor those affected by cancer 

Massey has teamed up with a Richmond nonprofit to create an artistic exhibit spanning more than three city blocks honoring individuals affected by cancer. Titled "Impressions of Courage," the project incorporates clothing to represent people touched by cancer, and will culminate in a day-long festival on September 10 in Scott's Addition. The community is invited to submit clothing representative of someone affected by cancer to be inked and imprinted on the street.

Annual symposium brings together Virginia cancer experts

More than 100 oncologists and cancer clinical researchers from across the state came together at Massey's 4th annual Cancer Symposium and Clinical Research Affiliation Network Retreat in April. The conference provided continued professional education and statewide collaboration between healthcare professionals to improve cancer care and increase access to clinical trials. The keynote presentation was given by Lei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins and Massey's speakers included hematologist-oncologist J. Christian Barrett, M.D., medical oncologist Andrew Poklepovic, M.D., and surgical oncologist Harry Bear, M.D., Ph.D.

Member Showcase MemberShowcase

Bos studies the role of T cells in tumor progression and metastasis

 Cancer Cell Signaling and Cancer Molecular Genetics member
Paula Bos joined Massey as a member of both the Cancer Cell Signaling (CCS) and Cancer Molecular Genetics (CMG) research programs in 2015. Her primary research focuses on how to unravel novel tumor microenvironmental interactions that can be harnessed with therapeutic purposes to control tumor dissemination. Bos is an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology at the VCU School of Medicine.

Researcher Recognition Recognition
Corey awarded $3M to study the effect of blood cell stimulation on the development of adolescent leukemia

Seth Corey, M.D., M.P.H. Cancer Molecular Genetics 
Massey program leader, researcher and physician Seth Corey was awarded more than $3 million in grant funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for a four-and-a-half-year study on the evolution of severe congenital neutropenia (SCN) to pre-leukemia. The research aims to determine whether the use of a recombinant granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, a common treatment for SCN, acts as a contributor to the development of leukemia or other life-threatening bone marrow disorders.

For a full listing of events, 

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