November 20, 2020
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Member/Center Highlights
Case Western Reserve University researchers study how the immune system responds to COVID-19
New research funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) aims to boost understanding of how the immune system responds to COVID-19, from the start of infection to recovery. Two projects totaling over $2.6 million are led by Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic researchers as part of the NCI’s Serological Sciences Network (SeroNet), which awarded just 13 grants nationally. The network aims to combat the pandemic by improving the ability to test for infection, especially among diverse populations, and speed the development of treatments and vaccines.

“Case Western Reserve is a leader in emerging infections, immune response and clinical cancer investigation,” said Stan Gerson, MD, interim dean of the School of Medicine and director of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and director of the National Center for Regenerative Medicine. “This funding from the National Cancer Institute allows us to pivot existing knowledge and resources to accelerate our understanding of COVID-19 infections to optimize our protections and response to this clinically devastating infection.”
Above: Case CCC members contributing to the SeroNet projects, left to right, alpha by last name.
Mark Cameron, PhD, Timothy A. Chan, MD, PhD, Jon Karn, PhD and Curtis Tatsuoka, PhD.
State-of-the-Art Immunomonitoring Program and Facility to Support Innovation in Research and Treatment of Cancer and Other Diseases
Cleveland Clinic's newly established Center for Immunotherapy & Precision Immuno-Oncology (CITI) has launched its Immunomonitoring Laboratory (IML), which will help researchers and clinicians to analyze the nature and state of immune responses of cancer patients. The IML is an institutional core and collaborative platform to help drive the future of cancer treatment.

CITI brings together multidisciplinary experts from across Cleveland Clinic to advance research and treatment related to the rapidly growing field of immuno-oncology. While traditional methods for treating cancer, including chemotherapy and radiation, are often effective at killing cancer cells, they can also kill healthy cells, as well. Cancer researchers around the world are searching for more effective therapies that do not compromise patients’ long-term health and wellness. One of the most promising research areas is immunotherapy, which has shown great promise in treating many types of cancer.

The IML will provide state-of-the-art immunomonitoring services for immunophenotyping human blood and tissues. This will allow investigators to characterize the impact of immunotherapeutic interventions, interrogate mechanisms and pathways related to treatment protocols and advance the conceptual basis for cancer treatment strategies. It will also offer clinical trialists the ability to bank and analyze blood and tissues.

The IML will partner with investigators to develop correlative studies to answer scientific questions. The services provided by the IML are available to scientists, clinicians and investigators across Cleveland Clinic, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, CWRU School of Medicine, UH/Seidman Cancer Center and industry collaborators. This resource will support translational analyses and clinical trials for many diseases with immunological foundations, including but not limited to autoimmunity and infectious diseases.

The IML will be led by C. Marcela Diaz, PhD, Scientific Director, and Jennifer Ko, MD, PhD, Medical Director. To request services and view prices, visit the IML iLab site. For additional information, contact
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers recognized as highly-cited
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center extends congratulations to Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, PhD, Mahmoud A. Ghannoum, PhD and Stanley Huang, PhD as they were each identified by Clarivate as some of the world's most influential researchers, most frequently cited by their peers over the last decade.
In 2020, fewer than 6,200, or about 0.1%, of the world's researchers, in 21 research fields and across multiple fields, earned this exclusive distinction. Individuals with this distinction are recognized for producing multiple highly-cited papers that rank in the top 1% citations for field and year in the Web of Science.
Case CCC creates groundbreaking partnership with Israeli institutions
When Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) Director Stan Gerson, MD agreed to take part in an exploratory trip to Israel this past March, he could not imagine the worldwide pandemic that would descend and shake up every aspect of the trip. While conferences were cancelled, meetings were rescheduled and flights were changed, life-altering relationships were being formed.  

Dr. Gerson chose an impressive team of cancer investigators to join the mission, each one unique in their ability to form collaborative relationships and realize the purpose of the trip, which was to come back with at least one project to be worked on jointly by a member of the Case CCC and a member of an Israeli research institute. The researchers from across our partnered institutions who embarked on the trip were Justin Lathia, PhD, Peter Scacheri, PhD, Anant Madabhushi, PhD, Stefanie Avril, MD, Mikkael Sekeres, MD, MS and Dr. Gerson himself. Each one brought expertise in a specific area of cancer research: glioblastoma, epigenomics, artificial intelligence, gynecological cancer, blood cancers and regenerative medicine.

A whirlwind week of travel took the researchers to the Weizmann Institute, Bar Ilan University, Hebrew University, Ben Gurion University, Tel Aviv Medical Center and Sheba Medical Center. While a trip was planned to the Technion, their early and sudden departure (due to COVID-19) forced them to miss that significant visit on this particular trip. At each institution, Case CCC investigators participated in roundtable discussions with their Israeli counterparts explaining their work. Several times throughout the week, excitement would spread throughout the room when a specific partnership idea would arise. Those sparks of inspiration have now formed into plans for cancer research. Some of the projects being worked on include a glioblastoma/microbiome project, analysis of a huge quantity of sarcoma tumors, artificial intelligence utilizing unique population data sets, cancer families sequencing and the creation of a gynecological oncology fellowship.

Meetings with philanthropists and community leaders are underway to ensure funding is secured and to develop a network of supporters for the collaboration. Contact Samantha Steinberg at 347.262.8833 or for more information.
New cancer biology graduate course available for Spring 2021
Registration is now open for a new course providing a comprehensive overview of cancer biology. PHRM/PATH 520 The Cellular and Molecular Hallmarks of Cancer is led by expert faculty Amar Desai, PhD and Khalid Sossey-Alaoui, PhD. The course will allow students to:

  • Gain a thorough understanding of the hallmarks of cancer and how they conspire to drive progression and metastasis
  • Learn tools and approaches to critically read and review cancer biology literature
  • Understand the NIH scoring system and use this to develop preliminary grant proposal ideas
  • Gain experience in presenting scientific ideas, and leading group discussions on topics related to cancer biology and
  • Discuss ethical and societal issues related to emerging technologies in cancer research.

A course in cell biology and a course in molecular biology are recommended for preparation. Additional course details are available in the university's General Bulletin.
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
TODAY, Friday, November 20, 2020, 12p via Zoom
Today's Cancer Center Seminar features Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD, MPH presenting the Helen Moss Lecture, "The Future of Integrative Oncology" at noon via Zoom.

Dr. Greenlee is Associate Professor, Cancer Prevention Program, Public Health Sciences & Clinical Research Divisions at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Dr. Greenlee is a public health researcher and naturopathic physician who focuses on cancer prevention and control, cancer survivorship, obesity and cancer, and integrative medicine. She studies the effects of dietary change, physical activity and weight loss on cancer outcomes and designs lifestyle interventions to reduce cancer risk and better the life of cancer survivors, particularly in underserved populations. Dr. Greenlee also studies the use of integrative therapies such as acupuncture, massage, botanicals, vitamins/minerals and mind-body approaches to improve cancer symptoms, alleviate treatment side effects and improve survivors’ quality of life. She has helped create national guidelines on the use of integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment and was a co-investigator on the first large, randomized trial that showed acupuncture relieves joint pain caused by hormone-suppressing drugs in early-stage breast cancer patients. Dr. Greenlee also studies dietary and physical activity interventions among Latina breast cancer survivors; predictors of cardiovascular disease in breast cancer survivors; and the association between physical activity, the gut microbiome and risk of colorectal cancer.
Cancer Center Seminar Series
Friday, December 4, 2020, 12p via Zoom

There will be no seminar next Friday, November 27 due to the holiday.

Our next Cancer Center Seminar welcomes Adam Bass, MD presenting, "Translating the Genome in Gastroesophageal Cancer" on behalf of the GI Cancer Genetics Program 12 pm ET on December 4.

Dr. Bass is Associate Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Assistant Professor of medicine in the division of cellular and molecular oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The overarching goal of his lab is to leverage the study the cancer genome to elucidate key biological processes and therapeutic vulnerabilities in carcinomas arising in the GI tract, especially stomach and esophageal carcinomas.
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
Association of Indian Physicians of Northern Ohio (AIPNO) 37th Annual Gala Event/8th Research Showcase Poster Competition
Abstract Deadline: November 22, 2020
Event: Saturday, December 5, 2020
AIPNO is a vibrant large non-profit organization in the state of Ohio founded in 1983 geared toward enhancing the quality of healthcare by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine and supporting efforts to improve the availability of healthcare to underserved populations in Ohio and in India. The mission of AIPNO is to continue to enhance community involvement and coordinate with other local, national and international organizations through philanthropy, health care access and education.

AIPNO is for non-Indians as well. The AIPNO Annual Event and Conference is one of their most prestigious events and includes a Research Showcase (complimentary registration for poster presenters and winners awarded cash prizes). AIPNO fosters and encourages participation from high school students, medical students, residents, fellows, faculty, nurses, seasoned researchers, allied healthcare providers (nurses, therapists, etc.), community leaders, legislative leaders, philanthropic practitioners, dedicated donors and valued beneficiaries alike.

Call for Posters
Are you a high school student, medical student, resident, fellow, faculty, nurse, seasoned researcher or allied healthcare provider (therapist, etc.), interested in presenting your case study or research? AIPNO will accept abstracts for poster presentations held virtually as part of the 8th Annual Research Showcase Poster Competition from 4-5 pm on Saturday, December 5, 2020. View abstract guidelines.

Questions? Contact Pam Pawelecki at

22nd Annual Best of Radiation Oncology (Live Stream)
Saturday, December 5, 2020
This course, co-directed by Janice Lyons, MD and John Suh, MD will provide radiation oncologists, radiation physicists, nurses, and others with the most current data and information that have been presented at the national meetings.

8:00am | Welcome / Introduction
John Suh, MD, FASTRO and Janice Lyons, MD

8:05am | Management of Breast Cancer
Chirag Shah, MD

8:30am | Management of CNS Tumors
Samuel Chao, MD

8:55am | Management of GI Tumors
Suzanne Russo, MD

9:20am | Management of Thoracic Malignancies
Gregory Videtic, MD, FASTRO

9:45am | Management of GU Tumors
Gordon Guo, MD

Break (10 minutes)
10:20am | Management of Head and Neck Tumors
Neil Woody, MD

10:45am | Management of GYN Tumors
Sudha Amarnath, MD

11:10am | Overview of Radiation Oncology at VA
Aryavarta Kumar, MD, PhD

11:35am | Adjourn

Please email Sheryl Krall at to register.
62nd ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition (Virtual)
December 5-8, 2020
Registration is open for the American Society of Hematology's all-virtual Annual Meeting and Exposition, taking place Saturday, December 5 through Tuesday, December 8. Attend the world’s most comprehensive hematology event of the year for an invaluable educational experience and the opportunity to review thousands of scientific abstracts highlighting updates on the most critical topics in hematology.

The schedule-at-a-glance and the preliminary schedule and program for the 62nd ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition are now available, and abstracts have been recently posted.
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.

NCCN Virtual Patient Advocacy Summit
December 10, 2020
Patients with cancer often have widely divergent care experiences from screening through survivorship. Differences in care delivery and outcomes may be due, in part, to varying patient needs and preferences according to age and stage of life; inconsistent implementation of guidelines, recommendations, and policies; and unintended age bias in health care.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s® (NCCN®) Virtual Patient Advocacy Summit will provide an opportunity for a varied group of stakeholders including patients, caregivers, providers, patient advocacy organizations, policymakers, and industry to thoughtfully discuss the importance of providing quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care across the patient lifespan.
Funding Opportunities
Full Application Deadline: November 23, 2020
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, with funds from its American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant, will provide seed money to foster cancer research by junior faculty who have no current national grant support of their own. Investigators in the CWRU School of Medicine, University Hospitals of Cleveland, and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine as well as in other schools and colleges affiliated with Case Western Reserve University are eligible. Grants, not to exceed $40,000, will be awarded to investigators who intend to gather preliminary data to be used in seeking future and independently funded programs.

Award Description
  • Pilot funding for cancer-related research with a basic, clinical, prevention & control, behavioral, health services, or epidemiological focus.
  • Up to $40,000 award
  • Grants will be awarded to junior investigators who intend to gather preliminary data to be used in seeking future and independently funded programs

Postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, research associates, and instructors within another PI’s laboratory are not eligible to apply for these research grants. The subject of the proposed research must be directly related to cancer. The principal investigator must be a full-time member of the faculty within 6 years of their first full-time independent faculty appointment (or equivalent).

Deadline: December 1, 2020
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center requests applications for Cancer Data Sciences pilot projects. Cancer Data Sciences will serve as a discipline in the Case CCC to standardize and organize data for optimal use and leverage advanced analytic approaches to enable independent and synergistic research for basic, clinical, population and translation sciences. Pilot applications should focus on driving new analytical capabilities, developing novel algorithms in order to mine, organize, and standardize cancer data as well as utilizing data sciences approaches to extract knowledge from complex, multi-level cancer data for maximal impact.

Award Description
  • Four (4) awards each at a maximum of $45,000, for one year will be awarded, with the potential for a second year dependent on progress. 
  • Metrics and Milestones will be: novel algorithms to be disseminated to Cancer center members, standardized datasets to be available to Cancer center members, peer-reviewed publications, peer-reviewed meeting presentations and/or generation of pilot data for peer-reviewed funding. 
  • Open to Case Comprehensive Cancer Center members. 
The Mary Kay Foundation is accepting applications for grants for translational research in ovarian, uterine, breast, or cervical cancer. Only one individual at Case Western Reserve University (including University Hospitals researchers with CWRU appointments) will be nominated to submit a full application. Case Comprehensive Cancer Center members who are appointed through UH or CWRU should apply to THIS internal competition. CCF applicants should apply internally here by Dec 1.

Grants up to $100,000 total costs ($86,956 direct costs with a 15% IDC rate), to be used over one or two years. PIs must have a full-time, independent, faculty appointment.

Case Comprehensive Cancer Center leadership will review all applicants. Selected nominees will work with their department research administrators and Case CCC administration to submit full applications to the sponsor before February 5, 2021.
In The News
Victoria Advocate - November 5, 2020
If it’s difficult to breathe through a mask when running or doing other strenuous physical activity, find uncrowded trails or times to exercise when you won’t encounter others, Mark Cameron, PhD, an infectious disease expert at Case Western Reserve University, told the Associated Press.
Dr. Cameron is a member of the Case CCC's Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program.
University Hospitals - November 2020
Neurosurgeon Andrew Sloan, MD, Director of UH’s Brain Tumor & Neuro-Oncology Center and the UH Seidman Center for Translational Neuro-Oncology, diagnosed the large mass in patient Andy’s brain as a GBM and performed Andy's craniotomy using 5-ALA, an experimental agent now approved for use throughout the US that improves the surgeon's ability to identify the tumor. Dr. Sloan is a member of the Case CCC's Developmental Therapeutics and Cancer Imaging Programs.
From The NIH
Weekly NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Funding Opportunities
Due dates vary by awarding IC 

Deadline(s): July 19, 2021; November 15, 2021; July 19, 2022; November 15, 2022; July 19, 2023; November 15, 2023.

Standard dates apply

Standard dates apply

Standard dates apply

Deadline: January 07, 2024

Standard dates apply

Standard AIDS dates apply
COVID-19 Funding Opportunities and Notices
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