April 2018
Table of Contents

Funding Opportunities

U.S Tobacco Control Policies to Reduce Health Disparities (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)


Basic Research in Cancer Health Disparities (R01 Clinical Trials Not Allowed)



View a full list of current funding opportunities. 

Highlighted positions related to cancer for which VCU is currently hiring. View the full list.




Program Co-Leader, Cancer Molecular Genetics (F36090)

Shared Resource Spotlight
New Director Appointed to Lipidomics/
Metabolomics Core

Massey is pleased to announced that L. Ashley Cowart, Ph.D., has been appointed as the new director of the VCU Lipidomics/Metabolomics shared resource core. Cowart graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2001 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2005. The objective goal of the VLMC is to provide cost-effective and highly quantitative lipid and small metabolite analyses for Massey members.


For more information, contact Ashley Cowart, Ph.D., or operational manager Jeremy Allegood, Ph.D., or visit the Massey website.

Leaders' Update Update 
A message from Vanessa B. Sheppard, Ph.D., associate director for disparities research

Dear colleagues,

Collaborative, transdisciplinary and community focused 
disparities and minority health research is a critical component 
of Massey's Vision 2021 strategic plan. I'm excited to say we've made significant progress over 
the last year thanks to Massey's increased focus on cancer prevention and control and our amazing group of colleagues.

Continue reading for updates on:
- Massey's Office of Health Equities and Disparities Research and inaugural retreat
- Collaborations to expand disparities research beyond our catchment area
- New and ongoing minority based biospecimen and genetic counseling
- Engaging Massey members in cross-cutting disparities research
- Research efforts and future plans at Massey's education and outreach sites

Research HighlightsHighlights
Fisher develops experimental drug that may improve treatments for brain and other metastatic cancers
Paul Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D.
Cancer Molecular Genetics member
A team of scientists led by Paul Fisher may have developed a drug that can overcome some of the most challenging aspects of treating brain cancer. In a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , they were able to extend survival in mouse models of human brain cancer by targeting the gene MDA-9/Syntenin with a PDZ1 inhibitor. The experimental drug limits protein-protein interaction to reduce the spread of glioblastoma multiforme into healthy tissue and overcome resistance to radiation therapy.


Faber's study could lead to creation of more effective therapies to treat HER2-positive breast cancer
Anthony Faber, Ph.D.
Developmental Therapeutics member
A team of Massey researchers led by Anthony Faber found that the molecule microRNA-4728 prevents therapies targeting the HER2 protein from being effective. The team found that when microRNA-4728 is overexpressed with HER2, it binds to estrogen receptors. This research could lead to more effective and relatively nontoxic combination therapies that inhibit the overexpression of HER2.


Center News Center1
Massey's new clinic simplifies care for women with breast cancer 

Massey received coverage for its new Breast Cancer Collaborative Care Clinic at Stony Point. The comprehensive clinic simplifies care for women diagnosed with breast cancer by bringing all specialists together under one roof on the same day to recommend the best course of treatment.

Member Showcase MemberShowcase

McGuire joins Massey as chief of breast surgery

Kandace McGuire, M.D.   Developmental Therapeutics member
Kandace McGuire joined Massey as a member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program in 2017. Her research focuses are minimizing breast cancer intervention, targeted surgical and medical therapies for breast cancer and decreasing age-related, racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in breast cancer detection, treatment and survivorship. McGuire is the chief of breast surgery and surgical leader of the Breast Health Program at Massey and is an associate professor of surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology at the VCU School of Medicine.

Researcher Recognition Recognition
Sanyal named as one of Virginia's Outstanding Scientists for 2018

Cancer Cell Signaling and Cancer Prevention and Control member
Massey researcher Arun Sanyal was recognized as one of Virginia's Outstanding Scientists for 2018 by Gov. Ralph Northam at the annual Outstanding STEM Awards held at the Science Museum of Virginia. Sanyal earned the designation for his work identifying the mechanisms and clinical outcomes and developing effective management for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome.

For a full listing of events, 

mediaMassey in the Media

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