May 14, 2021
Director's Message
Thank you and best wishes to Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, PhD
Jill Barnholtz-Sloan
At the end of this month, Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, PhD will move on to her new position with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as Associate Director for Informatics and Data Science, Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT) and she will become an intramural researcher in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Trans-Divisional Research Program. We all congratulate this step up onto the national stage at NCI and know she will represent us well. 

Jill has been with the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center since 2007. She will be missed for her many extraordinary accomplishments here, including branding an innovative approach to data science, her dedication to brain tumor research (including a recently awarded P01) and serving as an exemplar model of female leadership. Her roles across the cancer center, Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, with University Hospitals and university service have all been high impact.

Jill is an exceptional leader of cancer data science. She is a model team scientist and biostatistical/bioinformatics expert, translating pressing questions into rigorous studies that inform clinical care and population health. At the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Jill links investigators through cross-institutional efforts in critical thinking and data analytics as Associate Director for Data Sciences. She is also Associate Director for Translational Informatics, Cleveland Institute for Computational Biology, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU); Director for Research Health Analytics and Informatics, University Hospitals; Director, Cleveland Center for Health Outcomes Research; and a tenured professor in the CWRU Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences and holds the Sally S. Morley Designated Professorship/Chair in recognition of her excellence in brain tumor research. 

Nationally, Jill is well known to the NCI. She has served as a disease expert on the NCI The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) brain tumor-related working groups and is Co-chair of the NCI Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC) glioblastoma expert committee. Additionally, she serves on advisory boards for multiple brain tumor foundations in the United States and is an associate editor or member of the editorial board for multiple peer-reviewed journals. Jill has served as an expert peer reviewer for National Institute of Health study sections.  

Internationally, Jill was a founding board member of the Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium (BTEC) in 2003 and was elected Co-Vice President and Co-President from 2010-2014. Under her leadership, the consortium published three landmark review papers in brain tumor epidemiology.

Personally, Jill is known for her warm heart and love of chocolate and cake. She is generous with kind words of thanks for those around her, has been an insightful and tireless mentor and an exacting reviewer and assessor of research projects and talent. Jill makes every attempt to know people personally – whether a high-level leader or a student in a lab.

Jill has made a significant impact on our center over the past 14 years and will continue her research collaborations with us, hopefully for many years to come. We look forward to having another friend at the National Institutes of Health. We wish Jill the best of luck in her new endeavor.

Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Member/Center Highlights
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TODAY: Abstract Deadline for Annual Scientific Retreat
All students, postdocs and fellows conducting cancer research are invited to submit abstracts for two opportunities to present their research during the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Annual Scientific Retreat: 1) poster presentation and 2) oral presentation. Cancer Center leadership will review abstracts based on the relationship to cancer, novelty, significance of findings and clarity.

Abstracts must be submitted by TODAY, Friday, May 14 at 5pm. 
University Hospitals first in Ohio to treat patients with two FDA approved CAR T cancer therapies
From University Hospitals: Oncologists at University Hospitals (UH) have two new powerful tools in the fight against cancer following the announcement that Abecma & Breyanzi, from Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), are currently being used to treat patients at UH Seidman Cancer Center. The CAR T treatments, for multiple myeloma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, offer hope for patients who have exhausted several other treatment options.

“Providing these latest CAR T-cell therapies to our patients is just another way UH Seidman Cancer Center is leading the way in immunotherapy,” says Ted Teknos, MD, President and Chief Scientific Director of UH Seidman and Deputy Director for University Hospitals, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Bringing prostate cancer education to Black barbershops
“Prostate cancer is big in our community,” says Urban Kutz Barbershops owner Waverly Willis, a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Community Advisory Board.
The Cleveland African American Prostate Cancer Project, directed by Erika Trapl, PhD, will develop and implement a comprehensive, sustainable, community-based program to increase the number of African Americans screened for prostate cancer by educating them about their prostate cancer risk. The project aims to reduce prostate cancer mortality and fight a known health disparity among African American men.

“Our [community advisory] board pushed us to bring the work to locations central to men’s lives, such as barbershops,” said Trapl, director of the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. “From there, the idea has taken off, thanks to the partnership of people living in this community facing these genuine issues. We hope it will become a national model.”
Acknowledge use of Cancer Center Shared Resources
Shared resources lie at the heart of scientific progress by the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center's own members and affiliated investigators. The Center continually elevates its research capacity by investing in leading-edge resources, including modernistic tools of cancer investigation.

The shared resources are supported by the Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) from the National Cancer Institute. Additional support may be provided from other sources, such as chargeback systems and institutional funding. The support from the CCSG allows the core facilities to provide benefits to Cancer Center members, such as ensured access to services.

Remember to acknowledge the valuable services provided by Cancer Center Shared Resources in your research papers and publications: "This research was supported by the [insert name] Shared Resource of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (P30 CA043703)."

For more information about the facilities and services supported by the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, please visit or contact Marty Viegl, PhD, Associate Director for Shared Resources at
VeloSano: Beyond the Microscope virtual program next week
Join Cleveland Clinic Thursday, May 20 at 5:30 pm ET for a special virtual event highlighting VeloSano's impact on cancer research, including some familiar faces from the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center!

This is a unique opportunity to look through the lens, see where research is taking us and learn how VeloSano funded cancer research is changing lives.

The program includes a discussion from Cleveland Clinic researchers sharing details of their work that was made possible by VeloSano dollars. You'll also learn more about the application and selection process and how the organization is leading the way in cancer care.
ICYMI: American Association for Cancer Research Virtual Annual Meeting Part II
The 2021 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 10-15 and Part II will be held May 17-21. 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.

Sharifi honored with AACR achievement award for discoveries in cancer research, award lecture available on-demand May 17
As announced last month, Cleveland Clinic's Nima Sharifi, MD was selected as the 2021 recipient of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Waun Ki Hong Award for Outstanding Achievement in Translational and Clinical Cancer Research.

In the award announcement, AACR highlighted Dr. Sharifi "has made significant contributions to cancer research through his focus on the role of androgen synthesis in advanced castration-resistant prostate cancers." He was selected for his work into how a genetic variant enables prostate cancer cells to evade first-line treatment and leads to aggressive disease.
Dr. Sharifi is director of the Center for Genitourinary Malignancies Research at Lerner Research Institute and the Kendrick Family Endowed Chair for Prostate Cancer Research at Cleveland Clinic. He also leads the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center's GU Malignancies Program and is a professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine. His featured award lecture will be available on-demand during Part II of the 2021 AACR Virtual Annual Meeting beginning Monday, May 17.
What's Coming Up
Mark Your Calendar
Register Today for the Annual Scientific Retreat
July 22-23, 2021 | Virtual
The 2021 Annual Scientific Retreat for members and trainees is scheduled for July 22-23! As you may know, this is one of the few times a year our entire center is able to enjoy the company of one another and collaborate.

This year's virtual retreat features an expanded agenda that mirrors our prior in-person retreats, highlighting research across each of our scientific programs.

The retreat will begin Thursday with an address from Director Stan Gerson, MD, followed by TED-style Talks from Diana Bilimoria, PhD, Daniel E. Spratt, MD, and Serpil Erzurum, MD. Registration for the retreat is now open and trainees are encouraged to submit abstracts by Friday, May 14, 2021.
Zihai Li
Zihai Li, MD, PhD will present the retreat keynote on Friday, July 23. Dr. Li is the founding director of the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology and the Klotz Chair in Cancer Research at The Ohio State University.
Register today for VeloSano 8!
Bike to Cure Weekend | September 10-12, 2021
We are looking ahead with optimism to VeloSano 8 with a goal of providing opportunities to reunite our VeloSano community in a variety of safe and meaningful ways!

VeloSano is offering options for anyone to participate in any way they are most comfortable - whether riding with us during "Bike to Cure" weekend September 10-12; riding virtually, or by choosing your own activity to participate anytime, anywhere as a Virtual Fundraiser.

The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Team Case CCC, will be joining VeloSano again this year and providing complimentary registration and jerseys for its riders. Please contact team captains Caroline El Sanadi or Mary Wright for the registration waiver or code with any questions!
Save the Date: Great Lakes Breast Cancer Symposium
October 25-26, 2021 | Virtual
Save the date for the Great Lakes Breast Cancer Symposium, to be held virtually October 25-26, 2021!

This annual symposium highlights ongoing basic, translational, clinical and population studies addressing the biological mechanisms, management and prevention of breast cancer. Researchers from participating institutions will share their exciting work with a goal to develop cross-institutional collaborations.

Though this event 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.
Helen Piwnica Worms
Helen Piwnica-Worms, PhD, will deliver a keynote at the symposium. Dr. Piwnica-Worms is Professor, Department of Experimental Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology and Senator AM Aiken Jr. Distinguished Chair at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Registration and call for abstracts for this symposium will open June 2021.
Additional Upcoming Events
Cell-Based Therapies and Tissue Engineering Short Course
May 19-20, 2021
The Skeletal Research Center and the Department of Biology of Case Western Reserve University are pleased to present the twentieth annual short course entitled: “Cell-Based Therapies and Tissue Engineering”, running from May 19 through May 20, 2021.

Registration is now open. The 2021 program is here. To download a flyer, please click here.

Who Should Attend:
This course is intended for graduate students, post-graduate students and health science professionals who are interested in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine approaches with emphasis on translational research principles and protocols used or being modeled for direct clinical use.
2021 ASCO Annual Meeting 
June 4-8, 2021 | Virtual
The 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting, held online, will feature a dynamic program of educational and scientific sessions, showcasing what is possible when the cancer care community comes together to advance cancer research, treatment, and patient care.

Tune in to a scheduled broadcast experience from June 4-8, featuring 48 high-impact sessions with real-time engagement, live Q&A, and unparalleled learning. Also available beginning June 4, access on-demand content and view presentations from 175 sessions that align with your interests and expertise, featuring presentations from poster and poster discussion sessions, clinical science symposia and dynamic education sessions.
2021 Race for the Place
June 6, 2021 | Virtual
Race for the Place in support of The Gathering Place, takes place the first Sunday in June on National Cancer Survivors Day. The Race, a 5K and 1 Mile walk, is a wonderful celebration of cancer survivors and an opportunity to raise money to support the free programs and services provided at The Gathering Place to help children, teens, adults, individuals, families and friends cope while on the cancer journey.

Registration is now open!
NCCN Policy Summit: Defining the "New Normal"
June 15, 2021 | Virtual
Registration is now open for the next National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) policy summit: Defining the "New Normal" - 2021 and the State of Cancer Care in America Following 2020, held virtually Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

This FREE online program will explore how national health and sociopolitical events in 2020 will impact future cancer care delivery in the United States. Convening a group of diverse speakers and panelists, the virtual summit will discuss the influence of watershed events including the COVID-19 pandemic, post-election landscape, and national conversations of racial inequity on cancer care. Learn more about upcoming NCCN summits.
AACI Clinical Research Innovation 13th Annual Meeting
July 13-15, 2021 | Virtual
Registration is now open for the 13th Annual AACI CRI Meeting, Adapting Clinical Trials Offices for 2021 and Beyond which will be held virtually July 13-15. The program will provide panel discussions with content experts and breakout sessions for our members and abstract winners and runners-up will be acknowledged in poster sessions.

More information, including the program and registration, is now available on the CRI meeting website.
Funding Opportunities
With the generous support from VeloSano Bike to Cure 2020, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) is providing seed funding for innovative and impactful proposals that will generate key data for larger, nationally competitive multi-investigator/team grants (MPI R01, P01, U01, SPORE, etc.). The Case CCC has recently undertaken a reorientation of its scientific programs, and this award will provide funds for each of our six scientific programs. Program Leaders will select the award aligned to their program, and therefore will not serve as project PI. Projects must be focused on the establishment or support of a collaborative effort by a team of 2 or more independent investigators from the case Case CCC research program. The goal is to submit a federal team science grant application.
Deadline: June 16, 2021
The goal of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Health Equity Scholars for Action (HES4A) program is to support the career development and academic advancement of researchers from historically underrepresented backgrounds who conduct health equity research. Grants will be awarded to address the challenges that underrepresented researchers experience; help them overcome obstacles to earning tenure; and make progress toward acquiring independent research funding. Grants will support three aspects of career development: research, mentorship, and connection with a community of support.

Up to fifteen grants of $250,000 each over two years will be awarded through the program. Funds will cover up to 70 percent of the scholar’s salary for two years (capped at $75,000 per year), with the remainder of the award to be used for research and other related expenses.
This Award is intended to recognize an individual who has made outstanding recent accomplishments in basic cancer research. The award recipient will receive an honorarium and present an award lecture during the AACR Annual Meeting 2022.

The AACR established this award to recognize an early career investigator on the basis of their meritorious achievements in basic cancer research. The award recipient will receive an honorarium and present an award lecture at the AACR Annual Meeting 2022.

This Award recognizes an outstanding interdisciplinary research team for their innovative and meritorious science that has advanced or may advance our fundamental knowledge of cancer, or a team that has applied existing knowledge to advancing the detection, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of cancer.
In The News
The Daily - April 27, 2021
A multidisciplinary team of scientists, including Cleveland Clinic's Brian P. Rubin, MD, PhD used genomic sequencing to track SARS-CoV-2 as it mutated in Northeast Ohio. Dr. Rubin is a member of the Case CCC's Cancer Imaging Program. - May 5, 2021
Waverly Willis took the initiative to make it easier for the community to gain access to the COVID-19 vaccine by making it available through his barbershops. Mr. Willis is a member of the Case CCC's Community Advisory Board.
From The NIH
Weekly NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices
COVID-19 Funding Opportunities and Notices
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