Masonic Cancer Center

A comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute

Masonic Cancer Center Update Newsletter


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Update is available on the web at

Update is an official newsletter of the Masonic Cancer Center for faculty, members, staff, colleagues, and friends.All submissions for the next issue must be sent to, by noon on Friday for publication the following Monday.

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September 28, 2015

Cancer Center Seminar

Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 9-10 a.m., 1-125 CCRB (simulcast in 450 MCRB)
New approaches to treatment of metastatic melanoma
Harriet Kluger, M.D. , Professor of Medicine, Chair, Funds and Fellowships Committee,
Associate Director of the Medical Oncology Fellowship Program, Yale University School of Medicine

Host: Daniel Weisdorf, M.D.

A peek at next week’s seminar:
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
DNMT1-KIT regulatory circuit controls lung cancer cell fate
Shujun Liu, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Epigenetics & Experimental Therapeutics, Hormel Institute

Host: Lisa Peterson, Ph.D.

View the calendar for a complete schedule.

In This Issue


Professional Education


Funding Announcements and Opportunities


Members in the news

Silvia Balbo, Ph.D., Carcinogeneis and Chemoprevention Program, was featured in a Chemical and Engineering News story about exosome research, the study of the sum of environmental exposures a person experiences from conception to death.   

The research of Scott Dehm, Ph.D., Cell Signaling Program, is featured in an American Cancer Society web posting. With financial support from the ACS, Dehm has focused on why some prostate cancers becomes resistant to hormone therapy. Read more.


Aasma Shaukat, M.D., M.P.H., was quoted in an HCP Live  story on research showing that longer colonoscopies linked to lower cancer rate. 


Rafael Andrade, M.D., Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Ph.D., Transplant Biology and Therapy Program, and Brenda Ogle, Ph.D., Tumor Microenvironment Program, were quoted in a Minnesota Daily  story about how bioprinting could treat cancers. 


Todd Tuttle, M.D., M.S., Prevention and Etiology Program, was quoted in CNN and WMUR stories about the rise in double mastectomies for men with breast cancer. 

Masonic Cancer Center members win grant to train next generation of cancer researchers
A new summer undergraduate research program in cancer biology called CREATE (Cancer Research, Education and Training Experience), led by Yoji Shimizu, Ph.D., Immunology Program Leader, and Jill Siegfried, Ph.D., Associate Director for Translational Research, will provide training in cancer biology for undergraduate students  The program, funded through a five-year R25 grant from the NCI, will support sixteen undergraduates selected from a national pool of applicants for hands-on exposure to cancer biology research for a full-time (40 hours per week) period of 10 weeks each summer. This National Cancer Institute program intends to stimulate the interest and advance the knowledge base of participants to consider further education and training for future careers as cancer researchers.

The Cancer Research Education Grants Program (CREGP) provides support for educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs.  The University of Minnesota Life Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Programs (LSSURP) will manage the applications and administer the program. Summer 2016 applications will be available mid-November; application deadline for Summer 2016 will be due February 15, 2016.

Genomic Engineering Shared Resource to open October 5
The Genome Engineering Shared Resource (GESR) will open its doors for business on Monday October 5th. The GESR is a developing Core dedicated for the use of all MCC members. Its purpose is to provide (at cost) state-of-the-art genome editing services for human cell lines. The GESR will initially have the capacity to make standard knockouts and knockins for your favorite gene in your favorite cell line. Ultimately GESR will provide services for making conditional alleles and epitope tagging endogenous genes as well as carrying out whole genome knockout screens. The GESR is located in 6221 MCB Bldg. The co-directors are Drs. Eric A. Hendrickson and Branden Moriarity. The supervisor is Brian Ruis and the support staff are Rachel Mezey and Thomas Nickel. A web site with useful contact information and services being offered will launch on Monday.

Members receive grants

Gregory Metzger, Ph.D., Tumor Microenvironment Program, and Joseph Koopmeiners, Ph.D., received a 3-year, $1,0935,097 grant from the Department of Defense Prostrate Cancer Research Synergistic Idea Development Program for their project “Development of multiparametric MRI model of clinically significant prostate cancer.” The aim of their study is to develop the ability to assess whether the disease is aggressive or not, which would determine what kind of treatment options would be most effective. The goal is to reduce the prevalence of overtreatment and its associated costs to quality of life.


Carol Lange, Ph.D., Cell Signaling Program leader, received a $1,799,000 five-year NIH grant for her project “Inducible PTK6 expression drives oncogenic signaling in breast cancer.” This study focuses on triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), a sub-type of breast cancer that lacks the protein receptors or “molecular markers” known as estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and the growth factor receptor called “Her2”.


Congratulations to Kola Okuyemi, M.D., M.P.H., Prevention and Etiology Program, on his appointment by the Center for Translational Science Institute as director of the K to R01 Transition to Independence Program.


Kudos to Masato Yamamoto, M.D., Ph.D., Genetic Mechanisms of Cancer Program,  on his election to the Board of Directors of Japanese Society of Gene and Cell Therapy.  He was also appointed as a Steering Committee Member of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD Program) at the University of Minnesota.

Masonic Cancer Center members named Newsweek’s “Top Cancer Doctors”
Congratulations to the following Masonic Cancer Center members who were among Newsweek’s Top Cancer Doctors in 2015.  This list is compiled through peer nominations and extensive research conducted over two decades by Castle Connolly Medical, LTD.

  • James Anderson, M.D.
  • Rafael Andrade, M.D.
  • Peter Argenta M.D.
  • Edward Cheng, M.D.
  • Denis Clohisy, M.D.
  • Kathryn Dusenbery, M.D.
  • Tim Emory, M.D.
  • Eric Jensen, M.D.
  • Chung Lee, M.D.
  • Robert Madoff, M.D.
  • Philip McGlave, M.D.
  • Joseph Neglia, M.D.
  • Bruce Peterson, M.D.
  • Todd Tuttle, M.D.
  • Douglas Yee, M.D.
  • Bevan Yueh, M.D.

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Professional Education

September 28, 2015: BMT Conference
1:15-2:15 p.m., 450 MCRB
Other uses for cord blood
Claudio Brunstein, M.D., Ph.D.

September 29, 2015: Department of Surgery Grand Rounds
7:30-8:30 a.m., 11-157 PWB
Breast cancer in global health: Spanning the capacity gap
Benjamin O. Anderson, M.D., FACS, Chair and Director, Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI), Full Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Director, Breast Health Clinic, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Professor of Surgery and Global Health Medicine, University of Washington

September 29, 2015: Is this how to die in Minnesota? The Compassionate Care Act of 2015
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Bentson Healthy Communities Innovation Center, 4-130 Weaver Densford Hall, 308 Harvard St. S.E.
State Senator Chris Eaton, R.N.
Please join a conversation with a leading legislator on the status of care when we complete our lives, and on her legislation modeled after Oregon's assisted suicide law. Called the Death With Dignity Act, it is the subject of the documentary, "How to Die in Oregon."  Washington, Montana, New Mexico and Vermont have similar laws. California's legislation may become law, pending Gov. Brown's signature. Minnesota will consider Senator Eaton's legislation next year. You can capitalize on this chance to listen to Senator Eaton's reasons for introducing this legislation, and respectfully share your thoughts, whether pro, con or undecided. Sponsored by Densford Po0licy Dialogue Series and the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics.

No charge. Lite lunch provided. Please register at

October 2, November 4 and December 2, 2015: The Creator’s Workshop: Tools for Women Inventors Focused on Technology Translation
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Best Buy Theater, Northrup Auditorium
The Creators Workshop: Tools for Women Innovators Focused on Technology Translation will offer both practical information and advice for women interested in exploring technology translation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship in an innovation economy. Open to researchers at all stages of their careers, regardless of gender. Participants will explore opportunities, tools, and resources available at the University. More information.

Sponsored by MnDrive and funded by University of Minnesota Women’s Center Institutional Change Grant, College of Science and Engineering, and College of Biological Sciences through the Biotechnology Institute.

October 13, 2015: Tobacco Research Studies Meeting
2 p.m., 717 Delaware St. SE, room 202
Engaging homeless populations in smoking cessation clinical trials
Kola Okuyemi, M.D., M.P.H., Director, Program in Health Disparities Research, Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

October 15, 2015: Discovery Across Disciplines
12-2 p.m., Great Hall at Coffman Memorial Union
The Masonic Cancer Center will have a booth at the upcoming Discovery Across Disciplines: A Showcase of Interdisciplinary Research Centers and Institutes presented by the Graduate School and the Office of the Vice-President for Research. 

Visit the website for more information.

October 22-25, 2015: Society for Translational Oncology Fellows Workshop
Embassy Suites Raleigh-Durham Research Triangle, Cary, North Carolina
The Society for Translational Oncology Fellows' Forum (STOFF) (formerly conducted by the Cancer Education Consortium) is a 3-day intensive forum that brings together 20-25 fellows and junior faculty (within 5 years of training completion) from the leading medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, and surgical subspecialty fellowships in the United States to educate rising stars in translational cancer research. Visit the website for more information.

October 29-November 1, 2015: 17th Annual Lynn Sage Breast  Cancer Symposium
Fairmont Chicago, Millenium Park

Registration is now open.  Visit the website for more information.

November 10, 2015: 6th Annual Masonic Cancer Center Research Symposium
10:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building
Keynote speaker: B.J. Kennedy Lecturer in Medical Oncology
"New Strategies for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer – Deciphering the Heterogeneity"
Jennifer A. Pietenpol, Ph.D., Director, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Benjamin F. Byrd, Jr. Professor of Oncology, Professor of Biochemistry, Cancer Biology and Otolaryngology

Abstract submission deadline is October 5, 2015. Read more.

Visit the Education and Training Opportunities web page for more conference and special lecture listings.

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October 2, 2015: The Breast Music in Town Fundraiser
8 p.m., Acadia Café, 329 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis
Live music from Beau Blue & the Confused, LaJa and more!
Suggested donations: $5-$20. All proceeds to benefit breast cancer research at the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

October 10, 2015: 14th Annual Breast Cancer Education Conference
8 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Minneapolis Convention Center
Keynote Speaker:
Otis Brawley, M.D., F.A.C.P., Chief Medical Officer, American Cancer Society
What are the road blocks that challenge cancer patients from getting the best health care available?
Experts Talk on Oncology: What's New and What's Changed?
Speakers: Douglas Yee, M.D., Tufia Haddad, M.D., and Barbara Bowers, M.D.

For more information and to register.

April 23, 2016: SAVE THE DATE for the 11th Annual Cancer Survivorship Conference
Saturday, April 23, 2016, 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota
A cancer diagnosis can alter the landscape of your life. Although it doesn't redefine you, it can change your lifetime health care needs. Save the date for this free educational conference that focuses on questions and issues survivors and their families often face after cancer treatment or following stem-cell transplantation.

Registration is required and will open in early 2016. To be added to our conference mailing list, please "click here".  

Visit the Community Events and Outreach page for more information.

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Funding Announcements and Opportunities

News & Notices:

Webinars for Applicants and Grant Administrators: What You Need to Know About NIH Application Submission and Review
The purpose of this Notice is to inform new NIH applicants, their mentors, and grant administrators at their institution about two upcoming webinars the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) is hosting in November 2015.  These webinars are designed to give participants useful insights into our application submission and peer review processes.  CSR is the portal for NIH grant applications and their review for scientific and technical merit.

Pre-application Webinar for RFA-CA-15-015 Coordinating Center for the Cancer Systems Biology Consortium and the Physical Science in Oncology Network (U24)
NCI will hold a public pre-application webinar on Wednesday, September 30 at 3-4pm (EST).

Pre-application Webinar for RFA-CA-15-014 Research Centers for the Cancer Systems Biology Consortium (U54)
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) will hold a public pre-application webinar on Monday, September 28 at 1:30-2:30 p.m. (EST)

Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Enabling Biomimetic Tissue-Engineered Technologies for Integrative Cancer Research (U01)
The National Cancer Institute intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to support the Cancer Tissue Engineering Collaborative (TEC) Research Program. The FOA will invite cooperative agreement research project (U01) applications aimed at the development and characterization of state-of-the-art biomimetic tissue-engineered technologies for understanding cancer biology, prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

Funding Opportunities:

Physician-Scientist Training Award
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation
The Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award is designed to encourage outstanding physicians to pursue cancer research careers by providing them with the opportunity for a protected research training experience under the mentorship of a highly qualified and gifted mentor.
Funding: See program announcement
Key Dates:
Applications due: December 1st, 2015

Visit the Funding Opportunities Web page to see listings previously published in Update. A list of organizations that provide funding for cancer research is also provided there.

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  • Last modified on September 28, 2015