September 18, 2020
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Director's Message
Health Care Cleveland — COVID, 2020 and Beyond
Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Cleveland. We are the nation’s leader in health care research and delivery, innovation, biotechnology, medical and interprofessional education, and health care reform. On September 29 we are hosting the first 2020 U.S. Presidential Debate leading up to the election in November. Health care will be a main topic of the debate, and we have an opportunity to deliver our perspective to the nation.

In the week before the debate, Case Western Reserve’s School of Medicine will host a series of live virtual forums featuring leaders in the health care field covering pressing issues affecting global health care today. The forums will be led by experts across our faculty, affiliates and national and community health partners. These one-hour forums will offer lively discussion, expert opinions with real-life examples and audience participation.

I encourage you to register for the virtual forums, which are open to medical and community health care professionals and groups, government officials, faculty, staff, students and the general public. We also welcome you to distribute these events and your thoughts from the forums via social media - the more participation, the better!
Member/Center Highlights
Lathia, Barnholtz-Sloan to lead research consortium investigating sex differences in glioblastoma
Justin Lathia, PhD and Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, PhD are leading a multi-institutional consortium to study molecular-level differences in glioblastoma between males and females. The research is supported by a five-year, $10.4M grant from the National Cancer Institute, and builds upon the team's previous research showing significant differences between the sexes in glioblastoma incidence, survival and some molecular pathways.

Dr. Lathia is staff at Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute and co-leader of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center's Molecular Oncology Program. Dr. Barnholtz-Sloan is the Sally S. Morley Designated Professor in Brain Tumor Research and associate director of data sciences at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.
Three related projects will investigate the basic biology and cellular mechanisms that drive sex differences in glioblastoma cellular interactions, therapeutic response and growth. Researches will compare data from animal models to human samples across multiple institutions. This information will then be analyzed for sex differences at the genetic, epigenetic and cell biology level. The research requires sophisticated and robust data management and analysis, and could offer many answers in the role of sex in tumor formation. The team's findings will inform future clinical research design and lead to more personalized therapies, including the search for new therapeutics and the use of existing therapeutics that may be applied differently depending on a patient's sex.
University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center receives transformational $10M gift to establish Wesley Center for Immunotherapy
From University Hospitals: In honor of a transformational $10 million gift from Kimberly and Joseph Wesley, University Hospitals is establishing the Wesley Center for Immunotherapy at UH Seidman Cancer Center. This generous gift will further enable physician-scientists to engage in groundbreaking research and bring new, life-extending immunotherapy treatments to patients. One such patient is Joseph Wesley himself, who has been a patient at Seidman Cancer Center for many years.

When a cancerous growth larger than a half dollar appeared on my cheek, I immediately went to Dr. [Theodoros] Teknos. Surgery and other traditional treatments weren’t options for me, so we turned to immunotherapy,” shared Joe Wesley. “Today, the growth is smaller than a dime and I will continue until I’m cancer-free. My team of doctors and nurses at UH have been tremendously helpful through the entire process. Kim and I chose to make this gift because we’re firm believers in the power of immunotherapy and want others to benefit from this leading edge innovation.”
Nazha, Viswanath honored in Crain's Cleveland Business' 40 Under Forty
This week, Crain's Cleveland Business, announced their 2020 Class of "Forty under 40" - Northeast Ohio leaders making a difference in their companies and communities. Please join us in celebrating Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) members Aziz Nazha, MD and Satish Viswanath, PhD for being recognized in this year's list!

Dr. Nazha is Director of the Center for Clinical Artificial Intelligence at Cleveland Clinic, assistant professor of medicine and a member of the Case CCC's Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program. While he continues to care for patients, Aziz has now merged his interest in medicine with his interest in computers with clinical artificial intelligence, aiming to provide tools for physicians and patients to make their lives better.
Dr. Viswanath is an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and radiology at the Case School of Engineering and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He is a member of the Case CCC's Cancer Imaging Program, and serves on the planning committee for the Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Symposium. Focused on creating the next generation of artificial intelligence in medicine, Satish's work is about identifying where diseases are in the body, how aggressive they are, and helping find the best treatment.
Recent promotions at Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
As the seasons change this month, so do the roles of four Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Members who were recently appointed to the following positions at Cleveland Clinic. Please join us in congratulating each of them, pictured left to right below, for their accomplishments!

Sudipto Mukherjee, MD, MPH named Director, Rare Diseases Program
Hetty Carraway, MD named Director, Leukemia Program
Nathan Pennell, MD, PhD named Vice Chair for Clinical Research
Aaron Gerds, MD named Deputy Director for Clinical Research
Maciejewski, Fairchild honored with staff awards at Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) extends congratulations to members Jaroslaw (Jarek) Maciejewski, MD, PhD and Robert Fairchild, PhD, as they were recently presented with honors during the virtual annual staff meeting of Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute.
Maciejewski, Jaroslaw
Dr. Maciejewski was presented with the F. Mason Sones, MD, Innovation Award, which honors the spirit of Dr. Sones, a cardiovascular researcher whose seminal discoveries led to better patient care. Jarek was honored for his groundbreaking genomic discoveries related to leukemia and contributions to cancer precision medicine. He is Chair of the Department of Translational Hematology and Oncology Research in Lerner and Taussig Cancer Institute and Co-Leader of the Case CCC's Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program.

Dr. Fairchild was named with the George W. Crile Founders Professional Staff Award, which honors Dr. Crile’s passion for research and recognizes human or lab-based research. Rob’s lab developed pioneering models to mediate heart and kidney transplant rejection that are now used by many laboratories. As a leader of the Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation-19 consortium, he and collaborators have developed a non-invasive method using RNA in the urine to detect kidney graft injury. He is a member of the Case CCC's Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program.
AACR releases inaugural Cancer Disparities Progress Report
On Wednesday, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) released its inaugural Cancer Disparities Progress Report, an exciting new initiative with the overarching goal of increasing public understanding of cancer health disparities and the vital importance of research to saving lives.
The report also emphasizes the vital need for continued transformative research and for increased collaboration among all stakeholders working toward the bold vision of health equity. It also underscores the need for increased federal funding for the government entities that fuel progress against cancer health disparities, in particular, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Participate in ASCO's COVID Registry - Stipend Provided
The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is collecting baseline and longitudinal data on COVID-19's impact on individuals with cancer through the ASCO Registry and plans to deliver periodic reports with key findings that can influence future care.

The more diversity and larger number of patients the registry includes, the more we can learn from this unique experience in cancer care. Initial reporting will be available within the coming weeks. Participating practices receive a per-case stipend to help cover the expenses of participation. The Registry is open to all U.S. oncology practices, including physician-owned, academic, and hospital/health system-owned practices, and hospitals.
VeloSano 7 Fundraising continues through October 1
To-date, the 44 members that comprise Team Case Comprehensive Cancer Center have raised $22,967 and counting for lifesaving cancer research at Cleveland's top-tier hospitals and research institutions.

Despite the shift to Virtual VeloSano, our team pressed on and remained committed to participating in their chosen activities - biking, hiking, walking and yes, even gardening. Fundraising for this year's event will continue through October 1, 2020. Thank you to our committed team members, those who have donated to the cause and all who have cheered them on!
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
What's Coming Up
Mark Your Calendar
Cancer Center Seminar Series
Today at Noon via Zoom
Each Fall and Spring, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) hosts a weekly interdisciplinary seminar series addressing cutting-edge clinical, translational and basic research topics in cancer each Friday at 12 pm EST.

Today we will host our first external speaker, Lorelei Mucci, MPH, ScD at noon. Dr. Mucci is professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and leader of the Cancer Epidemiology Program at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

She will present, "IRONMAN: Findings and Future Directions in a Global Registry of Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer" on behalf of the Cancer Prevention, Control, & Population Research Program.

Dr. Mucci's major research focuses on the epidemiology of prostate cancer risk and progression within cohorts of men from the United States and Scandinavia, with an emphasis on biomarker studies, including circulating markers, inherited genetic susceptibility markers, as well as tumor biomarkers. Two of her specific areas of research are patho-epidemiology and twin studies of cancer.

Due to institutional health restrictions, the seminar will continue to be held available virtually via Zoom this semester. Attendees will be muted upon entry and are encouraged to submit questions via chat or audio when appropriate.

CME credit will still be available for those who attend seminars live via Zoom. Contact Kelsey Kirsch for more information.
Cancer Center Seminar Series
Friday, September 25, 2020, 12p via Zoom
Our weekly seminar series on Friday, September 25 features William G. Nelson, MD, PhD, presenting, "'NextGen' Cancer Treatments will Feature 'NextEpigen' Approaches" at 12 pm via Zoom.

Dr. Nelson is Director of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and is a professor of urology, medicine, pathology, and radiation oncology and molecular radiation sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. Nelson and his colleagues and collaborators have shown that epigenetic changes arise at the earliest recognizable steps of transformation in the prostate and persist through invasion, metastasis, and lethal progression.
Abstract Deadline Extended: Artificial Intelligence in Oncology Virtual 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.

Join us for four focused sessions, with international 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 will be able to network and enjoy a special session highlighting some of the brightest rising stars in the field of AI in oncology, selected from abstract submissions. Submit your abstract by Friday, September 25!

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, Aashima Gupta, MS of Google, 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.
Case Western Reserve University Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Logo in dark CWRU blue
Case CCC Fall Clinical Research Retreat
October 28, 2020, 5-7p via Zoom
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center's Fall Clinical Research Retreat will be held virtually on October 28, 2020 from 5-7 pm.

The retreat theme is, "Immunotherapy in Cancer Research." The retreat will include a presentation by Leland Metheny, MD, Chair of the Case CCC Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee (PRMC) and a keynote presentation from Timothy Chan, MD, PhD, Director of Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology at Cleveland Clinic.

Registration is required.
Biomedical Graduate Student Symposium (Virtual)
November 9-10, 2020
The Biomedical Graduate Student Symposium (BGSS) is a student-run event that celebrates student research in the School of Medicine at CWRU. This event will consist of student poster presentations, student oral presentations, and a keynote address from Dr. Yasmine Belkaid, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). BGSS will also partner with the Career Opportunities for Trainees Series (COTS) for a career panel (details and panelists to be announced).

Contact with any questions or concerns.
2020 Graft versus Host Disease Virtual Symposium
October 2, 2020

The Meredith A. Cowden Foundation has hosted the GvHD National Symposium since 2010, focusing on cutting edge research and new treatments.

Due to COVID-19 and the restrictions related to this pandemic, and the potential risks for symposium participants who may already be immunocompromised, the Foundation has decided to postpone the annual in-person meeting.

To address the continuing need to serve the community, the Foundation has decided to host a short ‘virtual’ symposium on Friday, October 2, 2020. This free, 2-hour event will consist of a clinical presentation by Dr. Dan Couriel from the University of Utah, followed by a patient-centered Q&A panel hosted by the GvHD planning committee.
Additional Upcoming Events
NCCN 2020 Virtual Congress: Hematologic Malignancies
October 9-10, 2020
Attend this NCCN virtual congress to hear from world-renowned experts in the management of Hematologic Malignancies present the latest treatment advances, updates to the standard of care as recommended in the NCCN Guidelines®, and unique and challenging patient cases.

Co-chaired by Ranjana H. Advani, MD, Stanford Cancer Institute, and Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, this virtual program features presentations and interactive discussions highlighting the treatment options and supportive care for a variety of hematological malignancies.

This program is approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for physicians and will award contact hours for nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals.
NCCN 2021 Annual Conference: Call for Abstracts
Abstract Deadline: November 11, 2020
NCCN is now accepting abstracts for consideration to be presented during the NCCN 2021 Annual Conference General Poster Session at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida on Thursday, March 18 and Friday, March 19, 2021. NCCN welcomes original abstracts from investigators in the general oncology community. Submissions will be accepted from academic institutions, teaching and community hospitals, or industry. Both NCCN and non-NCCN institutions may participate.

Research may fall into the general areas below:

  • Clinical Oncology (all phases)
  • Pre-Clinical Oncology
  • Epidemiology/Risks/Prevention
  • Correlative/Genomic
  • Best Practices in Implementation and Use of Clinical Practice Guidelines
  • Quality Improvement
  • Outcomes and Health Services Research
  • Bioinformatics/Information Technology Sciences
Sixth Computational Approaches for Cancer Workshop (CAFCW20)
Workshop: November 13, 2020
The National Cancer Institute Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology and SC20 are seeking abstracts for presentations for the Sixth Computational Approaches for Cancer Workshop (CAFCW20). CAFCW20 is a workshop designed to bring together clinicians, cancer biologists, mathematicians, data scientists, computational scientists, engineers, developers, thought leaders, and anyone else interested in advancing computation to use in cancer care and research. This year’s topic is “AI and HPC: Overcoming Data Challenges in Cancer Research and Clinical Applications.”

A special emphasis for the CAFCW20 is the role of HPC and AI to address research challenges when data are limited by availability, variability and size. The workshop will be held in conjunction with SC20: The International Conference on High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis in Atlanta, GA., on November 15.
SGO 2021 Annual Meeting
Abstract Deadline: October 23, 2020
Annual Meeting: March 20-23, 2021
The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer is a comprehensive forum for the subspecialty of gynecologic oncology. Whether you’re a physician, surgeon, researcher, allied health professional or a student in the field, you can join us to make the connections that will boost your career, see what’s new in gynecologic oncology science and research, and learn the best practices and techniques that can take your care to the next level.

The Call for Abstracts and Surgical Films for the SGO 2021 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer is open through October 23, 2020. Call for Late-breaking abstracts will be open December 1, 2020 through January 4, 2021.
Funding Opportunities
CWRU SOM logo - png

Deadline: October 2, 2020
The newly established CWRU Translational Fellow Program (TFP) seeks to train individuals in entrepreneurship and the translation of innovation to benefit humanity by connecting them to programs and workshops around campus while protecting time for entrepreneurial activities.

The pilot year began July 2020, with a second cohort starting November 1st. TFP is therefore seeking applications from individuals interested in a career in technology commercialization, especially (but not limited to) doctoral students or post-docs, to work through the process of developing a technology for commercialization beginning 11/1/2020.

  • 20% salary coverage for 12 months, for those currently paid through CWRU
  • Training and support for commercialization efforts
  • Entrepreneurship/commercialization mentoring team

  • Commitment to one day/week (20%) set aside for moving the technology to market
  • Attendance at meetings/workshops (monthly group meetings, workshops 4-6 times/year)

  • Ideally a senior doctoral student (ideally in their final year) or post-doc at CWRU, but
  • consideration will be given to others
  • Either currently working with a PI on a CWRU-based technology that has the potential for
  • commercialization or willingness to be paired with a PI
  • Must be willing to commit to 20% effort for one full year, starting November 1, 2020

Questions may be directed to Cheryl Thompson, PhD, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Educational Initiatives, School of Medicine, at The program anticipates funding 2 to 4 fellows in this round.
The Harry J. Lloyd Charitable trust is accepting applications for research projects related to melanoma. Only one application per institution in each of the three grant categories may be funded. Average grants are $125,000/year (no IDC) for 1-2 years.

Investigators should submit Specific Aims (one page) and an NIH-style biosketch via the InfoReady application form by October 1, 2020.

Case Comprehensive Cancer Center leadership will review all applicants. Selected nominees will work with their department research administrators and the Case CCC to submit full applications to the sponsor before November 1, 2020.

Applicants must specify their grant category:
  • Career Development: May include salary support for promising young investigators
  • Basic Science: To gain new biological insights into melanoma development or progression
  • Translational Research: To fund clinically important melanoma research

Special consideration given to:
  • Emerging novel concepts that constitute significant innovation
  • New investigators in the field of melanoma
  • Prevention and early detection
The NCI has announced a Request for Applications for the Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition (F99/K00) Award for 2020, to support outstanding PhD candidates as they complete their dissertation research training (F99 phase; 1-2 years) and transition to a mentored, cancer-focused postdoctoral career development research positions (K00 phase – up to 4 years).

The F99/K00 award is open to 3rd or 4th year PhD students, including F31 Fellowship applicants and current awardees (note that 3 rd or 4 th year students would have matriculated in 2017 or 2018). International students may also apply. Students Matriculated in a dual-degree program (e.g.) MD/PhD, DO/PhD, DDS/PhD, or DVM/PhD) are not eligible for the F99/K00 program. Projects must be clearly focused on cancer.

To apply for this award, an applicant must be nominated by their institution. As each institution is allocated only one nomination, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) requires potential applicants to assemble a pre-application.

Click here to download nomination application instructions. Contact Damian Junk at for additional information.
VeloSano logo
With the generous support from VeloSano Bike to Cure, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) is providing funding for Case CCC Trainee Associate Members to perform their “dream experiment.”

The experiment should catalyze highly innovative and impactful projects and help strengthen fellowship and career development grant applications. The intent of the award is to support a single or limited set of innovative experiments, not for general laboratory supplies/projects or maintenance of the trainee’s project.

Up to five (4) projects will be funded at $10,000/award. Research projects must be completed within one (1) year, with funds expended by June 30, 2021.
robert wood johnson foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has issued a call for proposals for its Community Solutions for Health Equity program.

Launched in the summer of 2019, the program seeks to elevate the voices of communities of color and other communities left out of discussions when local healthcare systems in the United States are creating policy. Racism and bias are often at the root of communities of color and other communities being excluded from policy considerations, often by design. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted ways in which communities of color are disproportionately burdened by racist and oppressive systems — from health care to education to housing — with significant consequences to physical and mental health.

Through the program, a total of nine grants of up to $300,000 over three years will be awarded in support of efforts by diverse consumer groups and community-based organizations to identify a problem that negatively affects consumers; envision solutions to the problem; and partner with healthcare systems to implement those solutions.
In The News
CWRU's The Daily - August 14, 2020
In a piece published by The Washington Post, Mukesh Jain, MD, professor of medicine, wrote about how the coronavirus pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the health care system, including a lack of a particular kind of biomedical worker: the physician-scientist. Dr. Jain is a member of the Case CCC's Hematopoietic and Immune Cancer Biology Program.
Cure Today - September 9, 2020
Nathan Pennell, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the department of medicine and director of the lung cancer medical oncology program at Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, spoke about current and emerging treatment options in NSCLC, including immunotherapy combinations and personalized treatments involving T cells. Dr. Pennell is a member of the Case CCC's Developmental Therapeutics Program.
From The NIH
Cancer Moonshot Seminar Series
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is launching the Cancer MoonshotSM Seminar Series. The goal of the seminar series is to inform the research community and public about the research progress of Cancer Moonshot initiatives that address the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel Report.

The Cancer Moonshot Seminar Series aims to provide a platform for outreach related to accomplishments of Cancer Moonshot initiatives, enhance interactions and collaborative activities among cancer researchers, and promote the sharing of knowledge and data from Cancer Moonshot projects.

Seminar presentations will generally be held on the fourth Thursday of each month from 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET. The inaugural seminar will take place on September 24th. I plan to introduce the Cancer Moonshot Seminar Series, which will be followed by Dr. Cigall Kadoch’s seminar about her research supported by the Fusion Oncoproteins in Childhood Cancer Consortium.
Weekly NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices
COVID-19 Funding Opportunities and Notices
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