Great Lakes Breast Cancer Symposium

October 25-26, 2021 | Virtual

Reflecting on the 4th Great Lakes Breast Cancer Symposium

Last week, over 300 attendees joined together virtually for the 4th Great Lakes Breast Cancer Symposium, hosted by the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in partnership with The Ohio State University James Comprehensive Cancer Center, the University of Pittsburgh Hillman Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the West Virginia University Cancer Institute. This two-day event fostered conversation among researchers and clinicians from institutions across Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Washington, the UK, and Malaysia.

Throughout the two-day event, we heard advanced research talks delivered by our colleagues and trainees, shared ideas, developed plans for future collaborations, and, most importantly, discussed avenues for the future treatment of breast cancer patients.

Renowned translational breast cancer investigator, Dr. Helen Piwnica-Worms from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center delivered the keynote address focused on tackling resistance in triple-negative breast cancer. The talk was complemented by engaging presentations on therapeutic response and resistance, survivorship and disparities, microenvironment and immunology, cancer cell biology, and metastasis. All of our research discussions were enhanced by a powerful patient advocacy session that provided the patient, friend, and family perspective. We thank the advocates for their open, honest stories that remind us why we fight against this disease each day.

A significant focus of this symposium is on training the next generation of breast cancer researchers. We discussed potential cross-institutional training and will be delighted to keep this conversation going as we build new learning opportunities. We were also impressed by the high-quality science delivered by our trainees during the oral abstract and poster presentations! Congrats to the award winners!

Oral Presentation Awardees
First Place: Lindsey Anstine – Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Second Place: Kimberly Parker – Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Third Place: Kai Ding – University of Pittsburgh Comprehensive Cancer Center

Poster Session Awardees 
Tasneem Arsiwala – West Virginia University Cancer Institute
Dennis Braden – University of Pittsburgh Comprehensive Cancer Center
Daniel Brown – University of Pittsburgh Comprehensive Cancer Center
Ashuvinee Elangovan – University of Pittsburgh Comprehensive Cancer Center
Abha Maskey – West Virginia University Cancer Institute
Nicole Mihalik – West Virginia University Cancer Institute
Katrina Piemonte – Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Dillon Richardson – The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
Darcie Seachrist – Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

With our virtual format, we were able to find new and creative ways to keep our attendees engaged. Participants made great use of our Whova app's features, using the Community board to connect and share ideas. Notably, symposium presentations and materials are accessible on Whova for six months, and attendees are encouraged to view them as often as they like.

It has been our honor to chair the Planning Committee for this symposium and deliver yet another compelling agenda to our colleagues. We are particularly grateful for the support from our sponsors and the input from our Committee Members: G. Thomas Budd, MD; Megan Kruse, MD; Bahar Moftakhar, MD; Alberto Montero, MD, MBA; Carola Neumann, MD; Elena Pugacheva, PhD; Bhuvaneswari Ramaswamy, MD; Partha Roy, PhD; Mike Ruppert, MD, PhD; William Schiemann, PhD; Gina Sizemore, PhD; Steven Sizemore, PhD; Daniel Stover, MD; and Ioannis Zervantonakis, PhD. And finally, we appreciate the unending support from Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Stan Gerson, MD; Deputy Directors Alan Diehl, PhD; Jame Abraham, MD; and Ted Teknos, MD; Associate Director for Administration John Pounardjian, and his incredibly dedicated team – especially Mary Wright, Kelsey Kirsch, and Gillian Irwin - that executed yet another exceptional event.

All attendees are encouraged to complete the post-event survey to provide critical feedback on the symposium. This is your opportunity to help us structure next year’s symposium and we would be very grateful for any and all input.

For anyone wanting to claim CME credits for attending the Great Lakes Breast Cancer Symposium, please check out these instructions and contact Kelsey Kirsch at for assistance.

Please continue to share ideas, form new collaborations and keep the momentum going. We look forward to seeing you all in 2022 for the fifth Great Lakes Breast Cancer Symposium!


Ruth Keri, PhD and Halle Moore, MD
Co-Chairs, Great Lakes Breast Cancer Symposium
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Sponsors and exhibitors

This event is made possible by the support of our sponsors and exhibitors. 



Lilly Oncology

Pfizer Oncology



Daiichi Sankyo



Puma Biotechnology