June 19, 2020
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From the Director
Juneteenth: A day of reflection
Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
These are extraordinary times and perhaps Juneteenth can be a day of reckoning and reflection for all of us associated with the Cancer Center. I applaud President Barbara Snyder and Provost Ben Vinson's decision to allow us all to pause and reflect by closing Case Western Reserve University today. Juneteenth has special meaning in our community and across the country.

We remember and celebrate July 4, Israel's Independence Day and many other special days of country and ethnic recognition. So, too with Juneteenth.

My reflection could be yours. A short book, The Origin of Others , by the wonderful author, Toni Morrison is her scholarly Norton Lectures delivered in 2016. In these lectures, she reviews racism and race in literature and her efforts to recount, expose and interpret hundreds of years of descriptions of Black people as they experienced the horrors of slavery and the hardship of freedom in a white American society that has yet to embrace Black values, contributions and special cultural contributions.
Toni is matter of fact, straight-shooting and almost calm in her description of countless examples of abuse and dismissal by white culture and those in authority. These issues run deep, and she reminds us that the term Race can substitute for Racism, but that the problem is the active term racism continues to permeate our society and culture and we need to face and learn of its harm. Take an hour to read Toni's wonderful short book, it is worth your time today, Juneteenth, or this weekend.

Along with facilitating our Day of Dialogue last Wednesday, CWRU has also created a centralized page for communications, resources and information related to recent events related to race, police and protest, and their larger context. Recordings from the Day of Dialogue are on the university’s website. CWRU's undergraduate student leaders have also compiled a number of resources, websites and books .

I encourage each of you to read, listen and learn, then consider next steps for yourself and our university. If you wish to share your reflections with Cancer Center leadership, via blog or any creative medium of your choice, you may do so anonymously using this form or by emailing cancer@case.edu . CWRU is also welcoming questions and comments for university leadership, if you would like to share your thoughts .
Member/Center Highlights
AACR Virtual Meeting Part II: Highlights from the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
The 2020 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting is taking place virtually in two parts. The AACR Virtual Annual Meeting Part I was held April 27-28 and Part II will be held Monday, June 22 through Wednesday, June 24. The AACR Annual Meeting program covers the latest discoveries across the spectrum of cancer research - from population science and prevention; to cancer biology, translational, and clinical studies; to survivorship and advocacy - and highlights the work of the best minds in research and medicine from institutions all over the world.

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) has compiled a list of session chairs, presentations, posters and more from Cleveland-based institutions and wishes the best of luck to all presenters! We encourage you to sign up for the free meeting and block time to hear some of the exciting research presentations and support your colleagues.
A Promising New Candidate for Overcoming Multiple Myeloma Treatment Resistance
Jianjun Zhao 2
From Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute : New findings from the lab of Jianjun Zhao, MD, PhD, may offer early hope for researchers and clinicians who have long been troubled by the challenge of treating patients with multiple myeloma. Dr. Zhao is assistant staff in the department of cancer biology at Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute and a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center's Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program.

While FDA approval of the monocolonal antibody drug daratumumab as a treatment for multiple myeloma has increased patient survival by a few months, cancer cells quickly develop resistance to the drug.

Findings from Dr. Zhao's latest study, published in Cancer Research, suggest that daratumumab sensitivity may be rescued and restored using the micro-RNA miR-26a, which has. shown to be a tumor suppressor in a variety of other cancers. “While additional research will be important to expand upon our findings, I believe we have identified a promising candidate for combination therapy, and one which may help to overcome treatment resistance,” said Dr. Zhao.
Barnholtz-Sloan receives Women of Professional Excellence Award from YWCA of Greater Cleveland
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center extends congratulations to Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, PhD as she recently received a 2020 YWCA of Greater Cleveland Women of Professional Excellence award. The award has honored more than 1,500 women since its inception in 1977.

Dr. Barnholtz-Sloan is Associate Director for Data Sciences at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Case CCC Shared Resources (SR) Update: Athymic Animal & Preclinical Therapeutics and Tissue Resources SRs now fully operational
At this time, the Athymic Animal & Preclinical Therapeutics and Tissue Resources Shared Resources (SRs) are fully operational. As noted in a March message from Associate Director for Shared Resources, Marty Veigl, PhD, Case CCC shared resources are continuing to provide services to our research community in a manner that prioritizes the safety of facility staff. Each facility is facing a unique situation, and each SR director has developed its own plan for providing services at this time. Details are posted on each respective shared resource’s webpage. If you have any questions, please reach out to the SR directors.
ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program Highlight: Mikkael Sekeres, MD, on MDS, CMML, or AML: Pevonedistat and Azacitidine
Cleveland Clinic's Mikkael Sekeres, MD, discusses data from a phase II study of pevonedistat plus azacitidine vs azacitidine alone in patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, or low-blast acute myeloid leukemia (Abstract 7505). Dr. Sekeres is the associate director for clinical research at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Mikkael Sekeres headshot
Webinar: Learn about biotech commercialization with NCI and NCATS experts
Join the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) for a funding information webinar on July 8, 2020 from 1:00-2:00 PM ET.

Join seasoned biotech commercialization and research translation experts to learn about small business funding opportunities at the NCI and NCATS, commercialization support, and current resources that address COVID-19. This webinar will consist of a 40-minute information session and 20-minute in-depth Q&A session with the presenters.
Attendees will receive insight on:

  • Introduction to the SBIR programs at the NCI and NCATS
  • Funding opportunities and commercialization resources
  • Latest updates relating to COVID-19
  • NCI SBIR/STTR Program Director Nancy Kamei and NCATS Director of Strategic Alliances Lili Portilla (NCATS) will host the webinar and participate in a Q&A with registered attendees.

If you have questions about the webinar, please e-mail NCI SBIR ( ncisbir@mail.nih.gov).
Highlights from Monday's Virtual Joint NCAB and BSA Meeting
National Cancer Institute Logo
A virtual joint meeting of the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) and NCI's Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA) was held on Monday, June 15. Presentations and recorded videocast are now available.
Case CCC COVID-19 Resource Hub
As the COVID-19 outbreak progresses, 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  cancer@case.edu.
What's Coming Up
Mark Your Calendar
IsoPlexis Seminar: Accelerating the Next Generation of Immune Medicine with Functional Phenotyping
Rescheduled for Wednesday, June 24, 12p

This seminar, originally scheduled for today at noon, has been rescheduled out of respect for the university's Day of Observance.

The Case CCC is sponsoring this seminar to discuss a new technology that examines immune function at the single cell level. We hope you will be able to attend and provide feedback regarding your interest in the technology and whether it would benefit your research.

Join us to learn about IsoPlexis’ automated suite of life sciences applications, and how functional phenotyping is addressing urgent challenges central to unlocking the next stage of personalized cancer immunotherapies and vaccines related to immunological mechanisms in infectious disease. With single cell proteomics barcoding and detection of a full range of cytokines (30+) per single cell across thousands of single cells, the IsoLight platform is showing the unique value of resolving the heterogeneity of a variety of immune cell types.

If you would like to hear about individual experience with the technology, please contact  Reshmi Parameswaran.
Virtual VeloSano 2020
July 23-24, 2020

VeloSano is more than a fundraising event. It's more than simply a bike ride, and this year, it has gone virtual! VeloSano is a movement with the goal of bringing an entire community together to help one another. The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) is honored to participate for its sixth year in a row. Together, our team of Case CCC employees and friends are once again joining the movement to raise money for the cause. Team Case CCC is made of passionate individuals who are committed to cancer research, prevention, treatment, and cures! 100% of the money we raise will support lifesaving cancer research in Northeast Ohio's top-tier hospitals and research institutions.

Virtual VeloSano has no fundraising minimums or registration fees and "riders" are able to track their participation in their favorite activity such as biking, hiking, swimming, even gardening any time between now and October 1. VeloSano's signature "Bike to Cure" weekend will still take place virtually, complete with a streaming Kickoff Party and more!

Although we won't be able to unite in person, the need to fund cancer research remains more important than ever. We look forward to seeing our team's virtual participation through photos and videos on social media using hashtag #TeamCaseCCC or tags to @caseccc as we train and rally together remotely. Our continuing goal is to bring sustainable funding to cancer research by enlisting the passion and energy of thousands of people who wish to give back…including YOU! We raised nearly $94,000 last year and our team's participation has collectively brought more than $1,500,000 back to the Case CCC for funding of 31 pilot research projects. We are truly grateful for your commitment to the cause and hope you will join or support our efforts this year!
Registration Open Now: Virtual Annual Scientific Retreat
July 23-24, 2020

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center invites all members and trainees to join us Thursday, July 23 and Friday, July 24, 2020 for our annual scientific retreat! This year's retreat will be held virtually.

Thursday's events are scheduled from 12-2:30pm including TED-style talks from prominent Cleveland researchers and a cancer center update from Director Stan Gerson, MD. All are welcome to attend Thursday's session, though registration is required to receive virtual access.

Friday's member and trainee session will begin at 12:00 pm with a keynote presentation from Timothy Rebbeck, PhD, the Vincent L. Gregory, Jr. Professor of Cancer Prevention at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Dr. Rebbeck is founding director of the Zhu Family Center for Global Cancer Prevention at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and leads the Cancer Outreach and Engagement activities for the Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center.

Following a short break, members will then gather in Zoom breakout sessions for their assigned research programs for discussion of initiatives, collaborations and cancer center support of projects through pilots and shared resources.

Please note there will not be a trainee virtual breakout session on Friday, however a bench-to-bedside retreat is being planned for the Spring 2021. More information is forthcoming.

Retreat registration is now open. Please contact Mary Wright at maw143@case.edu) with any questions.
Save The Date: Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium 2020
October 19-20, 2020

The second annual Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium will bring together experts in AI and machine learning as well as clinical, industry and federal agency experts in pathology, radiology, drug discovery, and ethics and policy to speak on research developments, regulatory policy, reimbursement and ethics surrounding AI in oncology. For the health and safety of all attendees, this year's symposium will take place virtually.

The symposium will feature four focused sessions, with speakers and panel discussions providing unique perspectives on how AI and machine learning are impacting the major areas of radiology, pathology and -omics in the contexts of precision medicine approaches for characterizing tumors and predicting therapeutic response.

Beyond the science, attendees are invited to view a poster session from some of brightest rising stars in the field of AI in oncology.

Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR will present the symposium plenary, "Fostering a Strong Ecosystem for AI in Medical Imaging." Dr. McGinty is an internationally recognized expert in imaging economics, Chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors and Chief Strategy and Contracting Officer at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

Additional keynotes in drug discovery, ethics & policy and pathology will be delivered by Russ Altman, MD, PhD of Stanford University, Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH of the University of California, San Francisco, and Yinyin Yuan, PhD of the Institute of Cancer Research, London. Learn more about AIO 2020 speakers.
Additional Upcoming Events
AACR Virtual Annual Meeting: Part II
June 22-24, 2020
The AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II, June 22-24, will feature the originally planned Opening Plenary Session that explores the range of impactful cancer research and clinical translation; award lectures from individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the cancer field; a special talk from National Cancer Institute Director Ned Sharpless, MD; and thousands of proffered papers in minisymposia and on an e-poster platform.
AACR Virtual Meeting: COVID-19 and Cancer
July 20-22, 2020
This special AACR conference will focus on the presentation of emerging data in basic, clinical, and epidemiologic research related to COVID-19 and cancer. The program will feature a mix of keynote lectures and other invited presentations, short talks from highly rated abstracts, virtual posters, and forums that include panels of experts from various fields. It is anticipated that this must-attend virtual event will attract participants from across the international research community.
12th Annual AACI Clinical Research Innovation (CRI) Meeting
July 7-8, 2020
Registration is now open for the 12th Annual AACI CRI Meeting, Cancer Clinical Research: Focus on the Future.

Registration for the two-day, virtual meeting is free for AACI cancer center members and sustaining members. AACI is working to ensure that the online meeting, scheduled for July 7-8, will still deliver the innovative, quality education that its members have enjoyed at prior CRI annual meetings.

More information, including the program and registration, is now available on the CRI meeting website.
Funding Opportunities
Internal LOI deadline: Sunday, June 21, 2020
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center has been invited to submit applications from junior faculty for the Gabrielle's Angel Foundation 2020 Medical Research Awards. Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation funds cutting-edge research in the fields of leukemia, lymphoma, and related cancers of the blood.

The awards provide $75,000 of support per year over three years, not to exceed $225,000. Applications in conventional and integrative research are being accepted.

Interested candidates are asked to submit an LOI (including PI contact information and an abstract/project summary) and biosketch to casecccpilots@case.edu by Sunday, June 21, 2020. Contact casecccpilots@case.edu with questions.
Internal deadline: Monday, June 22, 2020
Case Western Reserve University is invited to submit applications for the 2021 Searle Scholar Program competition. Each year 15 new individuals are named Searle Scholars. Awards are currently set at $100,000 per year for three years. Since its inception, 587 Scholars have been named and approximately $130 million has been awarded.

The Searle Scholars Program supports research of outstanding individuals who have recently begun their appointment (on or after July 1, 2019) at the assistant professor level, and whose appointment is their first tenure-track position at a participating academic or research institution. Applicants for the 2021 competition (awards which will be activated on July 1, 2021) are expected to be pursuing independent research careers in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and related areas in chemistry, medicine, and the biological sciences.

Internal deadline for submission of a letter of intent, including the PI, department, project title, and an abstract of proposed research not to exceed one page, double-spaced, no later than 5:00 pm on June 22, 2020. Please also provide an NIH-style biosketch for the PI. The foundation is interested in the potential of applicants to make innovative and high-impact contributions to research over an extended period of time. The foundation does not ordinarily support purely clinical research but has supported research programs that include both clinical and basic components.

Materials should be consolidated into a single PDF attachment to an email sent to limitedsubmission@case.edu.
LOI deadline: August 13, 2020
The American Cancer Society and Pfizer Global Medical Grants are collaborating to offer a new competitive grant opportunity focused on addressing prostate cancer disparities impacting Black men.

It is expected that projects are built on the foundation of an evidence-based approach and the proposed research/evaluation plan will follow
generally accepted scientific principles. During review, the intended outcome(s) of the project will be given careful consideration and projects with the maximum likelihood to directly impact patient care and those that may be scaled or replicated will be given high priority.

Example project proposal topics:
  • Screening (e.g., utilizing shared decision making)
  • Diagnosis (e.g., use of MRI to stage disease)
  • Treatment selection (e.g., active surveillance)
  • Treatment outcomes
  • Clinical trials accrual
  • Access to care (e.g., social support, navigation, geographic. barriers)
  • Delays in diagnosis, treatment, and/or healthcare delivery

These grants are not intended to support clinical research projects. Projects evaluating the efficacy of therapeutic or diagnostic agents will not be considered.
NCCN logo
The NCCN Oncology Research Program (ORP) is organized to obtain funding to support scientifically meritorious research studies (clinical trials) at NCCN Member Institutions.

Applications are open for the following opportunities:

In The News
Elemental - June 4, 2020
 “People who have had COVID-19 almost certainly will be encouraged to have the vaccine as well, which would boost their immunity,” says Mark Cameron, PhD. “And it may be that we need a booster shot every five or 10 years while COVID-19 is still in circulation, similar to the way we get a tetanus shot every 10 years.” Dr. Cameron is an associate professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine who studies disease biomarkers using genomic and bioinformatic techniques. He is also a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center's Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program.
From The NIH
Weekly NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Funding Opportunities
Deadlines: August 28, 2020; December 1, 2020

Only accepting applications for the AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Deadline: October 19, 2020

Deadline: December 9, 2020
COVID-19 Funding Opportunities and Notices
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