December 11, 2020
Member/Center Highlights
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Colorectal Cancer Alliance awards two innovative research projects to find critical answers in colorectal cancer
Vinay Varadan
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance today announced $500,000 in total funding for two colorectal cancer (CRC) studies through its Chris4Life Research Program.

Case Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Vinay Varadan, PhD, will investigate how multifactorial mechanisms involved in colon tumor progression in African Americans contribute to higher colon cancer burdens in that population. African Americans have the highest colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates in the United States.

Varadan will discover and validate whether these colorectal cancer disparities are influenced, in-part, by biologic factors within patient tumors. The study is designed to decode the role of tumor biology as well as socio-demographic factors that jointly contribute to racial disparities in colorectal cancer outcomes. Overall, the study will inform the development of new biomarkers and therapeutic strategies.

"African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with and to die as a result of colon cancer than any other ethnic group in the United States. These significant racial disparities are likely due to a confluence of socio-demographic and biologic mechanisms that are decipherable only through the use of integrative multi-scale mathematical models,” said Varadan, an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine who leads a Translational Systems Biology Laboratory at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. "This timely grant from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance will enable us to couple our unique systems biology approaches with large-scale primary tumor molecular profiles and preclinical models in order to develop interventional strategies that can improve health equity in this disease.”

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH, also received funding to investigate how the microbiome is different in CRC patients diagnosed with CRC at an age younger than 50 years old, compared to older patients and healthy individuals, and then examine whether those differences lead to worse tumor growth and weakened immunity against cancer, particularly among the youngest patients in their 20s and 30s. 
Gerds to serve as Editor-in-Chief, ASH Clinical News
As Cleveland Clinic's Aaron Gerds, MD, finishes his term as chair of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Committee on Communications, he will assume the role of Editor-in-Chief of ASH Clinical News, the organization's magazine for American Society of Hematology members and non-members alike – offering news and views for the broader hematology/oncology community.

In an interview with ASH News TV, Dr. Gerds expands on his past experiences "growing up" with ASH and says he is, "thrilled to be taking over this role and continuing to work with ASH and help the membership stay in touch with the world of hematology." He also shares his vision for ASH Clinical News, continuing its success and expanding its reach internationally, among trainees and engaging a variety of healthcare professionals beyond physicians.
Hear from Dr. Gerds about his past experience and new role in his most recent interview on ASH News TV
Illustrative collaboration between Gurkan and CIA Student wins BioArt Award
Umut Gurkan, PhD, the Warren E. Rupp Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University, and Alexa Abounader, a student at Cleveland Institute of Art, were recently named winners of the BioArt Scientific Image competition hosted by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Their illustration represents the entanglement of the root cause and the impact on red blood cells in sickle cell disease. Dr. Gurkan is a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Madabhushi named 2020 National Academy of Inventors Fellow
Anant Madabhushi, PhD has been named a National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow.

The NAI fellows program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.
Cancer-focused Summer Undergraduate Research Program Applications due January 15, 2021
The Cancer-focused Summer Undergraduate Research Program (CanSUR) is accepting applications for summer 2021. This program, which launched in 2019, supports 32 undergraduates for a 10-week period (June through August) each summer. Undergraduates will be accepted from colleges and universities from across the country to work with one of 82 Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) researchers.

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center's Office of Cancer Training, Education and Research is hopeful that the 10-week summer program for 2021 will take place and will accept applications through January 15, 2021.

Please contact Education Program Manager Gena Richmann at with any questions.
Now Accepting Applications: Summer Training for Medical Students
Each summer, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center trains and supports medical students interested in cancer research. This program offers a valuable opportunity for medical students to participate in extensive, direct experience in laboratory research while completing their medical training.

Each award will provide $3,000 as a trainee summer stipend, and an additional $500 will be given to the hosting laboratory for research materials and supplies. Mentors are expected to match this award with a commitment of at least $500 for research supplies and materials for the trainee summer project as well.

Applications for the 2021 Summer Training for Medical Students Program are due by midnight EST, Sunday, March 7, 2021.
Case CCC COVID-19 Resource Hub
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) has centralized COVID-19 related news, resources and funding opportunities for our cancer center community. Content is updated regularly.

To have a cancer-focused resource added to the page, please email
What's Coming Up
Mark Your Calendar
Cancer Center Seminar Series
Friday, December 11, 2020, 12p via Zoom
Our final Cancer Center Seminar of 2020 takes place at noon today and features Mario Suvà, MD, PhD presenting, "Dissecting Human Brain Tumors by Single-Cell Genomics" on behalf of the Molecular Oncology Program.

Dr. Suvà is an associate professor of pathology and associate molecular pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also an institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Co-Leader of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Neuro-Oncology Program and Co-Leader of the Cancer Program at Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
Cancer Center Seminar Series
Friday, January 8, 2021, 12p via Zoom
Our Cancer Center Seminar Series will return again virtually for Spring 2021 on Friday, January 8 at 12 pm. Hannelore Heemers, PhD will present on behalf of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center's GU Malignancies Program.

Dr. Heemers is associate staff, Center for GU Malignancies Research at Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

The Hemmers laboratory research program focuses on generating insights into the specific molecular mechanisms by which the androgen receptor drives prostate cancer progression.
Registration Now Open: Cancer Disparities Symposium (Virtual)
March 4-5, 2021

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Office of Community Outreach and Engagement is pleased to present the 5th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium, Navigating Cancer Disparities: Lessons Learned and How to Move Forward.
Registration is now open for this multi-disciplinary event for researchers, clinicians, health professionals, community outreach groups, community-based organizations, patient advocates and trainees. Keynote presentations will be delivered by renowned disparities researchers and community leaders, and a poster session highlighting academic research and community programs will provide a showcase of the depth and depth of work happening in this field.

Though the symposium is happening virtually, attendees will experience the conference using Whova, our official web-based conference app, to view presentations and ask questions in real-time, as well as network with others behind the scenes.

Call for Abstracts
Multidisciplinary researchers, community agencies and organizations are invited to submit abstracts for presentation at the 5th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium. Abstracts will be divided into two tracks: Scientific Research and Community Programs. Meritorious abstracts will be selected for pre-recorded presentations. Abstracts must be submitted electronically by 5 pm ET on Friday, January 22, 2021.
Keynote Speakers Announced
Otis W. Brawley, MD, an internationally-recognized expert in cancer prevention and control, will present the symposium's Scientific Keynote His work is focused on closing racial, economic and social disparities in prevention, detection and treatment of cancer in the United States and worldwide.

Worta McCaskill-Stevens, MD, a medical oncologist nationally known for her expertise in bringing clinical trials to the community will present the Community Keynote. Dr. McCaskill-Stevens is Chief of the Community Oncology and Prevention Trials Research Group, which houses the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), a community-based clinical trials network launched in 2014.
Additional Upcoming Events
San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (Virtual)
December 8-11, 2020
The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium is designed to provide state-of-the-art information on the experimental biology, etiology, prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of breast cancer and premalignant breast disease, to an international audience of academic and private physicians and researchers.

The symposium is comprised of prestigious award lectures, educational sessions, career development forum, special global session, special session presented by Tigerlily Foundation & AACR, plenary lectures, mini-symposia, clinical, translational & basic science forums, work shops, case discussions and more! The schedule at a glance and daily schedule are now posted online.

Registration fees for the virtual symposium has been reduced.
CRI Webinar: Virtual Clinical Trials: Monitoring and Auditing During the Pandemic
Wednesday, December 16, 2p ET
AACI Clinical Research Innovation (CRI) will host "Virtual Clinical Trials: Monitoring and Auditing During the Pandemic - A Real World Case Study" at 2:00 pm eastern time on Wednesday, December 16.

Decentralized or virtual clinical trials have been a widely discussed and evolving area of interest for years. Since the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen them pivot from a "nice-to-have," to a "must-have." Virtual clinical trials allow for the nimble collection and exchange of data between site and sponsor. They also increase efficiencies and use technology to maintain high-rigor data.

Though virtual clinical trials became a necessity in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, they have been in place at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) since 2007, with virtual monitoring and auditing introduced at MSK in 2011.
This webinar will feature presentations from two subject matter experts in virtual monitoring and auditing. The speakers will discuss their experiences related to remote, real-time source document verification visits and share best practices, lessons learned, and key insights.
AACR Virtual Meeting: COVID-19 and Cancer
Abstract Deadline: December 21, 2020
Meeting: February 3-5, 2021
Following the success of the first AACR COVID-19 and Cancer meeting in July, which attracted nearly 900 participants, the American Association for Cancer Research is inviting abstracts for a second meeting, which will explore the latest research into vaccines and treatment advances in the global fight against the pandemic, and its effects on cancer patients.

Abstract submission is now open and your work must be submitted by Monday, December 21 at 11:59 am ET.
Funding Opportunities
The Bosarge Family Foundation-Waun Ki Hong Scholar Award for Regenerative Cancer Medicine represents a joint effort to encourage and support postdoctoral or clinical research fellows to conduct highly novel and provocative research in the field of regenerative cancer medicine and to establish a successful career path in this field. The research proposed for funding may be translational, clinical, or epidemiological in nature and must have direct applicability and relevance to enhancing the physiology or function of cancer survivors using regenerative medicine techniques.

This award provides a two-year grant of $120,000 to support the salary and benefits of the fellow while working on mentored research focused on regenerative cancer medicine. A partial amount of funds may be designated for non-personnel expenses, such as research/laboratory supplies, equipment, publication charges for manuscripts that pertain directly to the funded project, and other research expenses. Indirect costs are not permitted.
AICR’s Grant Program is dedicated to funding research on cancer prevention, treatment and survival related to diet, nutrition, body composition and physical activity. This document provides the key information you need to apply for funding from the AICR Grant Program.

Applications to the Investigator-Initiated Research Grant Program must address either the Cancer Prevention or the Cancer Survivors Research Area and align with at least one of the Research Themes (Biological Mechanisms or Host Factors/Susceptibility); for research in the area of Cancer Survivors, applications are invited to address a third theme of Exposure-Outcome Relationships. Applications must also adhere to AICR's research principles.

Individual grants offer a maximum funding of $150,000 plus 10 percent indirect costs provided over a two-year term.
The Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) is pleased to announce a research funding opportunity to provide one-year grants in the amount of $50,000, to support translational science research on the etiology, molecular biology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of human sarcomas. The grants are awarded on an annual cycle from June 1 to May 31 (the annual period of performance). Grant awards for the 2021 cycle will be made on June 1, 2021.

In support of SFA's overall mission to fund research and increase awareness and advocacy for sarcoma patients and their families, the goal of the SFA grant program is to encourage research that results in improved therapeutic options for sarcoma patients. The SFA encourages applications that focus on the following areas of research for the 2021 cycle:
  • Immunotherapy
  • Omic characterization of sarcomas and definition of novel targets
  • Omic patterns of sensitivity and resistance to existing agents
  • Systemic therapy combinations
  • Gene Therapy

For each awarded grant, funding of up to $50,000 in total cost is available to cover equipment, supplies and other expenses in support of research within the period of performance.
The Leukemia Research Foundation exclusively funds New Investigator grants for blood cancer research projects that focus on leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and/or MDS.

For the 2021-2022 funding cycle, grants up to $100,000 will be awarded.
In The News
UroToday - December 2020
At this year's Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO) annual meeting, Eric Klein, MD was awarded the prestigious Richard D. Williams prostate cancer research excellence award. In this session, he gave a presentation on prostate cancer screening and cancer screening in general. Dr. Klein is Chairman of the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute at Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute and member of the GU Malignancies Program at the Case CCC.
CWRU's The Daily - December 4, 2020
Anant Madabhushi, PhD the Donnell Institute Professor of Biomedical Engineering and director of the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics, recently spoke at the “Startup Inside AI for Health” digital conference. Access a digital recording of the summit to view the panel he was featured on, "AI for Cancer: Reinventing Cancer Care with Artificial Intelligence."
From The NIH
New Centralized Website for COVID-19 Clinical Trials
The Department of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the National Institutes of Health and Operation Warp Speed, have announced an important new resource, Combat COVID.

This website serves as a central resource targeting members of the public and physicians looking to find information about different stages of COVID-19 illness, clinical trials and much more.

The website provides clear and easy-to-understand information for:
Weekly NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices
COVID-19 Funding Opportunities and Notices
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