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.

NOTE: Update will be published bi-weekly over the summer and will resume regular weekly publication on Monday, 9/14/15.

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July 20, 2015

In This Issue


Clinical Trials

Professional Education


Funding Announcements and Opportunities

Postdoctoral Position Available


Masonic Cancer Center launches new NK-cell based immunotherapeutics collaboration with Fate Therapeutics
Fate Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company has entered a collaboration with the University of Minnesota for the development of natural killer (NK) cell-based cancer immunotherapeutics. This collaboration is based on the pioneering research on NK cells conducted in the laboratory of Jeffrey Miller, M.D., and Dan Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D., Transplant Biology and Therapy Program members.  Read more.

Members in the news

DeAnn Lazovich, Ph.D., M.P.H., Prevention and Etiology Program, was interviewed on Minnesota Public Radio about skin cancer prevention.

Jeffrey Miller, M.D., and Dan Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D., Transplant Biology and Therapy were quoted in and stories about a new research collaboration on NK cell-based therapeutics between Fate Therapeutics and the University of Minnesota.

Masonic Cancer Center at the State Fair
The Masonic Cancer Center is joining forces with University of Minnesota Cancer Care for Cancer Innovation and Prevention Day at the State Fair on Thursday, September 3, 2015. Volunteers will be needed to staff the information table in the University of Minnesota Building. Several research and clinical areas will be there throughout the day.  Watch for more announcements in Update for details.

In addition, the Driven to Discover building, which houses more than 30 University research groups who engage fairgoers in research focusing on a wide array of topics, will include three cancer projects. 

Megan Wood, a medical student, is working with Ingrid Polcari, M.D., pediatric dermatologist, on a study called, "Impact of Free Sunscreen Dispensers at the MN State Fair". Megan has worked out an arrangement with the State Fair to set up free sunscreen dispensers across the fairgrounds and have staff taking observational data on usage statistics. Megan hopes to make free sunscreen dispensers a permanent fixture at the State Fair and will use her research data to support this endeavor.

Chris Weight, M.D., Department of Urology, is conducting a study called, "Evaluation of Challenges in Communicating Prognostic Cancer Information in an Information Rich World".

Medical student Amber Retzlaff, is working with Kathryn Dusenbury, M.D., Department of Therapeutic Radiology on a study assessing sarcoma awareness among Minnesotans.

Fairgoers will also be able to use the CTSI’s Study Finder kiosk to learn about clinical trials available at University of Minnesota Health and Masonic Cancer Center information will be available there as well.

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Clinical Trials

The following clinical trials conducted by Masonic Cancer Center members were recently opened:

COG AHOD1331 - A Randomized Phase III Study of Brentuximab Vedotin (SGN-35, IND #117117) for Newly Diagnosed High-Risk Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma (cHL) in Children and Adolescents
PI: Gordon, Peter M

COG ADVL1412 - A Phase 1/2 Study of Nivolumab (IND# 124729) in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults with Recurrent or Refractory Solid Tumors as a Single Agent and in Combination with Ipilimumab
PI: Greengard, Emily

The following clinical trial conducted by Masonic Cancer Center members was recently opened at an affiliate site:

MT2011-05: Multi-Center Phase II Trial of NK Cell Based Non-Myeloablative Haploidentical Transplantation for Patients with High-Risk Acute Myeloid Diseases
University of Minnesota PI: Cooley, Sarah
Ohio State University PI: Devine, Steven
Washington University PI: Fehniger, Todd
IND Sponsor: Miller, Jeffrey

For more information on clinical trials contact Marva Bohen, R.N., B.S.N., or Rita Bouley, R.N., B.S., C.R.C.C.,  (, 612-624-2620).

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Professional Education

July 30, 2015: State Regulation of Tobacco and Nicotine Products – A Webinar
1-2 p.m., room 105, 717 Delaware Street SW
Robert J. Fallis, Assistant Attorney General, Washington State, Office of the Attorney
Jeanne Finberg, Deputy Attorney General, California Office of the Attorney General
Amber Logsdon, Director of Tobacco Enforcement, Indiana Attorney General

August 13, 2015: Comparative Oncology Seminar
12 p.m., room 280 VDL
Chimeric Antigen Receptor Therapy for B Cell Malignancies
Christopher Pennell, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology

September 10, 2015: Comparative Oncology Seminar
12 p.m., Room 280 VDL (St. Paul campus)
2015 Summer Scholar Projects
Camille McAloney (Walcheck lab), Amelia Campbell (Dickerson lab) and Anne Mereley (Schwertfeger lab)

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
Application deadline: July 31, 2015. 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.

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

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July 27, 2015: Rein in Sarcoma 25th Annual Party in the Park
4:30-9:30 p.m., Cafesjian’s Carousel & Como Park Visitors Center, St. Paul
Visit the website for more information and to register.

July 28, 2-15: Ladies Night Out
5-8 p.m., Style Encore, 1960 Cliff Lake Road, Suite 125, Eagan, MN 55122
A percentage of the sales will go to the Mezin-Koats Colon Cancer Research Fund to benefit colon cancer research at the University of Minnesota.
For more information visit the website.

August 1, 2015: Shaver Shuffle 5K
9 a.m., Parkers Lake, Plymouth, MN
Proceeds will benefit the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund.
Visit the website to register.

September 9, 2015: Varsity Team Rally: Make Hope Happen
Save the date for a unique, casual, insider's evening to learn from cancer researchers and meet other 'team' members dedicated to cancer research.
Visit the website for more information.

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:

Visit the Community Events and Outreach page for more information.

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Funding Announcements and Opportunities

The Pancreatic Cancer Detection Consortium (U01)
This FOA invites applications from teams or researchers and clinicians to establish the Pancreatic Cancer Detection Consortium (PCDC). The PCDC is intended to support research for the development and testing of new molecular and imaging biomarkers for identifying patients at risk.
Key Dates:
LOI due October 15, 2015
Application due November 25, 2015

DoD Peer Reviewed Cancer Horizon Award
The Horizon Award supports junior level scientists to conduct impactful research with the mentorship of an experienced cancer researcher.
Key Dates:
Application due September 29, 2015

Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) K12 Training Award

This NIH research career development training award is for one junior faculty who is engaged in interdisciplinary women’s health or sex differences research.
Funding amount: 75 percent salary support up to $100,000, $25,000 in research for two years
Key Dates:
LOI due August 5, 2015
Application due September 21, 2015

Powell Center Scholar in Mature Women’s Health
This award is designed to assist a junior faculty in developing a research career focused on mature (menopausal) women’s health.
Funding amount: $35,000 salary support annually for two years
Key Dates:
LOI due August 5, 2015 at 4:00pm
Application due September 21, 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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Postdoctoral Position Available

Position in Molecular Therapeutics Lab at Hormel Institute
We are looking for a young scientist (MD or PhD or MD/PhD, MBBS/PhD) with an interest and experience in cancer research field. The Candidate should exhibit excellent communication (oral and writing) skills. Importantly, candidates with a proven record of publications (as first author) in international journals would be considered for this position. The candidate should have an ability to work independently and in a team. The candidate should have expertise in general laboratory techniques (electrophoresis, human tissue culture, plasmid transformation, transfection, immunohistochemistry, florescence microscopy, animal model experimentation). The candidate should be well-versed in the subjects of basic biochemistry, molecular biology and cancer biology.


The selected candidate will be provided an excellent salary package (+ benefits + medical insurance). The Hormel Institute at Austin, MN, (University of Minnesota) is one of the finest research institutes (with cutting edge technologies available) in the United States and has recently undergone expansion. The Hormel Institute is an equal opportunity place. The city of Austin is 30 minutes distance from the City of Rochester, (home to the big names such as IBM and Mayo Clinic). For more information, please visit The candidates with reference letters are welcome to send applications to me at and copy to The Human Resource Officer, Ms. Jessica Swanson at

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  • Last modified on July 20, 2015