October 2018
Table of Contents

Funding Opportunities

Integrating Biospecimen Science Approaches Into Clinical Assay Development (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)


New ACS Initiative: Mission Boost Grant (MBG)



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)


Surgical Oncology Division Chair (F59750)

Shared Resource Spotlight
Flow Cytometry Core

The Flow Cytometry Core will be acquiring a 10X Genomics Chromium System. The Chromium is a microfluidics-based platform that collects individual cells and creates an amplified library from the RNA or DNA from each cell. The resulting libraries are then sent out for high-throughput sequencing, and as each cell is barcoded, everything can be run on a single lane. The resulting ability to carry out what effectively amounts to single cell DNA sequencing or RNA-Seq analysis will be transformative for many research programs at Massey, especially those concerned with characterization of the tumor microenvironment. The Chromium facilitates identification of different cellular populations within tumors that drive therapeutic resistance and is therefore essential for Massey's and VCU's precision medicine initiatives.


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 Mary Ann Hager, associate director for clinical services

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to share with you news of continued progress and growth in Massey's clinical services.

This message continues with more on Massey's:
-  Commission on Cancer accreditation & evaluation for NAPBC re-accreditation
- New outpatient oncology pavilion under construction
- Expansion of clinic space downtown and at Stony Point
- CAR T-cell therapy
- New physicians
- New Oncology Rehabilitation Services Clinic
- New Breast Cancer Collaborative Care Clinic
- Integrative Health programming


Research HighlightsHighlights
First-of-its-kind research models immune responses in cellular immunotherapies
Amir Toor, M.D.
Developmental Therapeutics member
Amir Toor and a team of researchers have developed a mathematical basis of the immune responses observed in stem cell transplantation and other forms of cancer therapy reliant upon the immune system. In the past year, Toor and his team have published three studies that are shedding more light onto the seemingly random nature of immune responses and taking them further in their ability to personalize treatments in order to avoid potentially life-threatening complications such as graft-versus-host disease in stem cell transplant patients and cytokine release syndrome in CAR T-cell patients.

Center News Center1
Samantha Harris to keynote Women & Wellness Signature Breakfast and Luncheon

Massey will welcome Samantha Harris as keynote speaker at the 24th Annual Women & Wellness Breakfast and Luncheon on Tuesday, Feb.5, at the Jefferson Hotel. Harris, a popular TV host and author, received a stage II invasive breast cancer diagnosis at age 40. This is a fundraiser to support cancer research at Massey and tickets will be available  online January 3.

Member Showcase MemberShowcase

Mohanraj studies molecular pathways involved in complications that arise from bone marrow transplantation

Cancer Prevention and Control member
Lathika Mohanraj joined Massey as a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program in 2018. She studies genetic biomarkers that could aid in the early detection of patients at risk for complications from bone marrow transplantation, hematologic cancers and other malignancies. Mohanraj is an assistant professor of adult health and nursing systems at the 
VCU School of Nursing.

Researcher Recognition Recognition
Eissenberg and Breland receive nearly $20M grant to predict outcomes of tobacco product regulations

Thomas Eissenberg and Alison Breland, Massey researchers at the VCU Center for the Study of Tobacco Products, received a $19.78 million grant through a partnership between the National Institutes of Health and the FDA Center for Tobacco Products to launch a five-year project focused on predicting the outcomes of government regulations of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. 

Swift-Scanlan awarded $2.1M to study cognitive decline during chemotherapy

Cancer Molecular Genetics member
Theresa Swift-Scanlan received a $2.1 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health to study the function of the COMT gene. Specifically, her research will investigate how the gene could be tied to cognitive decline in patients undergoing chemotherapy for breast and endometrial cancers.

For a full listing of events, 

mediaMassey in the Media

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Submit your news to Blake Belden at beldenba@vcu.edu or (804) 628-4578.

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