Apr 27, 2018 11:00 AM


“Driving Innovative Cancer Science to Patient Care” was the theme of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting, which took place April 14-18 in Chicago. Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) faculty and staff joined almost 22,000 other scientists, physicians, and patient advocates from around the world to share the latest findings in translational, clinical, and prevention-focused cancer research.

Neli Ulrich, PhD, senior director of population sciences at HCI, attended the meeting to learn about the latest findings in cancer research. “About one in three Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime,” Ulrich said. "This year’s AACR meeting showcased the most up-to-date cancer research covering basic science, cancer prevention, and new drug approvals for cancer patients. Our entire goal at HCI, and across the cancer research community, is to find ways we can prevent and cure cancer. This meeting fosters and builds scientific relationships with the cancer community so being diagnosed with cancer can eventually become a thing of the past.”  

During the annual meeting, AACR announced its Scholar-in-Training Awards. HCI’s Andreana Holowatyj, andreana-poster.jpgPhD received the 2018 AACR Get Your Rear in Gear (GYRIG) Philadelphia Scholar-in-Training Award. This award recognizes outstanding young investigators for their meritorious work in colon cancer research.

“I am humbled and grateful to be recognized with the AACR GYRIG Philadelphia Scholar-in-Training Award. This award helps support the advancement of my career as a young investigator, including being able to present my research findings during the meeting,” said Holowatyj. “Given that obesity is a key risk and prognostic factor for colorectal cancer, our findings seek to further scientific understanding of how adipose tissue acts as a driver of colorectal carcinogenesis. The receipt of this award not only highlights the importance of our research discoveries, but moreover emphasizes the ability to translate these findings from the lab bench to the park bench.”

Holowatyj also recently began a three-year term on the Associate Member Council of AACR. In this position, Holowatyj will serve in an advisory capacity to AACR leadership and help develop programs and services to address the needs of early-career investigators in cancer research.

Meanwhile, Trudy Oliver, PhD, spoke about harnessing the power of mouse models for lung cancer research. Recently she and her team created the first known mouse model replica of a small-cell tumor subgroup call C-MYC. Researchers estimate that this tumor makes up about one-fifth of patients with small-cell lung cancer. This model was used to test different treatments and identified a targeted drug combination.  

In addition HCI’s Kathleen Cooney, MD, spoke in a major symposium on aggressive cancer phenotypes in racial and ethnic minority populations, and Gabor Marth, PhD, presented on multidisciplinary approaches for single-cell analysis.

In total, more than 20 abstracts from HCI’s labs and research groups were featured, including an additional 19 abstracts that have one or more HCI co-authors.

Next year’s AACR annual meeting will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, from March 30-April 3, 2019, and will further continue the discussion of the latest in cancer research, prevention, and treatment.

 

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