October 2017
Table of Contents

Funding Opportunities

Collaborative Minority Health and Health Disparities Research with Tribal Epidemiology Centers (R21)


Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS): Basic Mechanisms of Health Effects (R01 - Clinical Trial 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.


Associate Director, Basic Research (F51620)


Program Co-Leader, Cancer Molecular Genetics (F36090)

Shared Resource Spotlight
Flow Cytometry

The Flow Cytometry Shared Resource Core provides a wide range of services related to cell sorting and analysis including routine fluorescence analysis, interactive custom design of innovative analysis and sorting protocols that address the specific needs of individual investigators. The core features a comprehensive suite of instrumentation including high-speed cell sorters, flow cytometers and a two channel surface plasmon resonance instrument. In the spring, the facility plans to expand its sorting capabilities with the addition of a five laser fusion sorter from BD Biosciences.


For more information, contact resource director Daniel Conrad, Ph.D., at 

828-2311, or resource manager Julie Farnsworth at 828-9586 or visit the Massey website

Leaders' Update Update 
A message from Dr. Charles Geyer, associate director for clinical research

Dear colleagues,

Massey Cancer Center has a well-established history of translating our basic science research in hematologic malignancies into successful investigator-initiated trials (IITs). Over the past four years, our experienced Hematology IIT team has worked with the talented members of our developing Solid Tumor IIT team to provide a high-quality and productive solid tumor IIT infrastructure to support moving Massey basic research into successful IITs in the more common malignancies. In fact, the Solid Tumor IIT research team has become one of the top patient accruing teams in the Massey Clinical Trials Office (CTO) over the past few years. Additionally, we are conducting and developing some exciting Massey IITs for solid tumors, and I would like to highlight a few examples.

This message continues with examples of solid tumor IITs at Massey.

Research HighlightsHighlights
Study finds newly approved breast cancer drug defeats the Ras genes notorious for causing many types of cancer

Paul Dent, Ph.D.,
Cancer Cell Signaling member
Research led by Paul Dent determined that neratinib could be utilized to kill afatinib-resistant non-small cell lung cancer cells. The study, published in Oncotarget, also discovered that the combination of neratinib and valproic acid in human pancreatic and ovarian cancer cell lines rapidly reduced expressions of mutated K- and N-Ras genes.


Study works to reduce breast cancer risk through a diet and exercise program packaged and delivered through a mammography screening clinic

Maria Thomson, Ph.D.
Cancer Prevention and Control member
Maria Thomson is leading a pilot study to determine whether an exercise and diet program can effectively be implemented in the mammography clinic as a breast cancer prevention strategy. Thirty women will participate in a 
12-week diet and exercise program, which includes a combination of in-person and electronic activities. If the program shows sufficient participant follow-through and resulting weight loss, Thomson hopes to integrate it into the clinic as an available complement to the existing practice of mammography screening.


Center News Center1
Massey welcomes facility dog to Palliative Care Unit

Renny, a two-year-old yellow Labrador and golden retriever mix, joined Massey's Palliative Care Unit to help relieve suffering of cancer patients by providing comfort, support and anxiety relief. Jessica Gray, the unit's nurse manager and Renny's supervisor and caregiver, takes Renny to see patients in the hospital and has seen improvement in the psychological well-being of patients.

Member Showcase MemberShowcase

Acunzo creates artificial molecules to target lung cancer mutations in hopes of developing novel treatments

Developmental Therapeutics member
Mario Acunzo joined Massey as a member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program in 2017. He designs artificial molecules and uses them to target cancer-causing genetic mutations in hopes of developing new treatments for lung cancer and other forms of disease. Acunzo is an assistant professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at the VCU School of Medicine.

EventsUpcoming Events

Cancer Research Seminars
November 1, 2017: David Malkin, M.D., of the University of Toronto, will lead a seminar titled "The Past, Present and Future of Cancer Genetics: Lessons Learned from the Li-Fraumeni Syndrome Story" from 4-5PM in the Thalhimer Conference Room.

Monthly Research Meetings

Street of Hope

For a full listing of events, 

mediaMassey in the Media

NewsTop Cancer News
Food & Drug Administration
Share with us your research, awards and accomplishments!
Submit your news to Blake Belden at beldenba@vcu.edu or (804) 628-4578.
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