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July 20, 2015

Great Retreat!

This year's cancer center retreat was attended by over 240 individuals. Crystal Mackall provided a riveting keynote speech and discussed the NIH pediatrics branch approach to immunotherapy. She is a great resource to help our group prioritize trials and strengthen collaborations (remember, there is an NCI U24 mechanism for collaborations with the NCI clinical building!).

On Friday the talks emphasized newly formed groups and topics - immunotherapeutics, melanoma, and metabolism - things we could not have presented 3 years ago. This indicates the dynamic emergence of scientific groups in these areas. These topics covered a wide array of areas of research and I hope many of you will find a collaborator among the speakers and/or audience of members.

We also had thoughtful discussions about the strategic plan as it applies to the programs leaders. This process is important because it provides guidance around how and where we invest as well as where we emphasize scientific collaborations.

Finally, the program pilot projects presented, including Betty Hamilton talking on sounding AML to predict transplant survival; Candice Gladson speaking on anti-VEGF sequestration by endocytosis in patients with glioma; Anant Madabhushi brought forward his imaging and genomics integration program to provide better understanding of tumor outlook, and linking histologic digital features to prognosis and genomic changes; and Peter deBlank who is using MRI based brain imaging to assess prognosis and function after resection and radiation.

We had 52 submitted posters. The awardees are: Benjamin Bryson, Rita Tohme, Damian Junk, Jenny Parvani, Francis Enane, Chaitra Badve, Mary Doherty.

We are proud of their accomplishments and dedication to present.