AACI Update | January 2023

Headlines

Sanchez Named to Head the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center

Sanchez Named to Head the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center

Yolanda Sanchez, PhD, has been named to head the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Sanchez is currently associate director of basic sciences at Dartmouth Cancer Center. She will start in her new role on February 6, 2023, becoming the first Hispanic woman to lead a National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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Mesa to Lead Atrium Health Cancer Service Line

Mesa to Lead Atrium Health Cancer Service Line

Ruben A. Mesa, MD, FACP, has been named president and executive director of Atrium Health's cancer service line—which includes both Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center—and vice dean for cancer programs at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. A member of AACI's Board of Directors, Dr. Mesa currently serves as executive director of Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson and professor of medicine at UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

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Ellis Fischel Cancer Center Becomes AACI's Newest Member

Ellis Fischel Cancer Center Becomes AACI's Newest Member

AACI is pleased to add Ellis Fischel Cancer Center to its membership roster. Directed by Gerhard Hildebrandt, MD, FACS, Ellis Fischel’s strategic imperative is to use research and innovation to create accessible, value-based, cancer care and prevention. With more than 200 cancer-focused researchers across four Missouri campuses, the center has launched an innovative plan to create a consortium partnership with another AACI member, Siteman Cancer Center.

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Call for Abstracts: 15th Annual AACI CRI Meeting

Call for Abstracts: 15th Annual AACI CRI Meeting

The AACI CRI Steering Committee is currently soliciting abstracts for the 15th Annual AACI CRI Meeting. This year’s meeting theme will focus on taking innovations in cancer clinical research from abstract to reality. The purpose of the abstracts is to inform meeting attendees about clinical trials office challenges and solutions implemented at AACI cancer centers.

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AACI Applauds Passage of FY 2023 Omnibus Spending Package

Top congressional appropriators came to an agreement on a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. The budget was passed and signed by President Biden ahead of the December 23 deadline. The agreement framework from the House and Senate Appropriations Committees on the omnibus includes funding numbers that fall short of AACI’s requests. However, the final budget numbers still represent significant increases for both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute (NCI).

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Place an Ad in the AACI Newsletter

AACI invites you to promote your cancer center by purchasing an ad in the AACI Update. Your cancer center’s program ad may highlight a conference or a new initiative. Cancer centers may include links to their website and any upcoming events. Ads are available by the month or in a series.

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News from the Centers

Jensen Appointed to ACS CAN Board

Jensen Appointed to ACS CAN Board
The University of Kansas Cancer Center

Roy Jensen, MD, vice chancellor and director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, has been named to the national board of directors for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).

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Hitchcock Appointed Vice Chair of National DEI Committee

Hitchcock Appointed Vice Chair of National DEI Committee
University of Florida Health Cancer Center

Kate Hitchcock, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology in the University of Florida College of Medicine, has been appointed vice chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee of NRG Oncology, a nonprofit research organization.

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Clinicians Named to List of World's Most Highly Cited Researchers

Clinicians Named to List of World's Most Highly Cited Researchers
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health

Fox Chase Cancer Center physicians Hossein Borghaei, DO, MS, and Elizabeth Plimack, MD, MS, have been named to the 2022 list of Highly Cited Researchers by Clarivate, an information and analytics firm focused on research.

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Bhardwaj Honored With ESMO Award

Bhardwaj Honored With ESMO Award
The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai

Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD, was honored with the 2022 ESMO Award for Immuno-Oncology from the European Society for Medical Oncology in recognition of her outstanding contributions to cancer immunology research. Dr. Bhardwaj delivered her award lecture on December 7 during the ESMO Immuno-Oncology Congress 2022.

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Flowers Receives ASH Mentor Award

Flowers Receives ASH Mentor Award
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Christopher Flowers, MD, division head ad interim of cancer medicine and chair of Lymphoma and Myeloma at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has received a 2022 ASH Mentor Award from the American Society of Hematology in acknowledgment of his career-long commitment to mentoring.

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Gersbach Elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center

Charles Gersbach, PhD, associate professor of surgery, orthopedic surgery, and cell biology, and Duke Cancer Institute member, has been elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors Class of 2022.

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National Accreditation for Multidisciplinary High-Quality Care Renewed

University of Florida Health Cancer Center

The UF Health Cancer Center has received a three-year reaccreditation from the Commission on Cancer, or CoC, a quality program of the American College of Surgeons, in recognition of its commitment to providing high-quality, patient-centered cancer care.

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Wolmark Recognized for Scientific Distinction

Wolmark Recognized for Scientific Distinction
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Norman Wolmark, MD, received the 2022 Susan G. Komen Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction at the recent San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS). Dr. Wolmark, chair of the NSABP Foundation and chair and principal investigator of NRG Oncology, delivered his address, "The Contribution of NSABP Clinical Trials to the Management of Early Breast Cancer: PAST AS PROLOGUE," on December 9 at SABCS.

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Lovly Receives Lung Cancer Award

Lovly Receives Lung Cancer Award
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

The GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer has recognized Christine Lovly, MD, PhD, with the 2022 Asclepios Award. The foundation recognized Dr. Lovly for her work on understanding and developing improved therapeutic strategies for specific clinically relevant molecular subsets of lung cancer, with a focus on mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to agents used in clinical practice.

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$12 Million Grant Launches Research Center to Study Obesity and Obesity-Related Disease

The University of Kansas Cancer Center

Researchers from across the University of Kansas Medical Center have contributed significantly to the field of obesity research over the years. Now, the Kansas Center for Metabolism and Obesity Research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, will be dedicated to that work.

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$10.8 Million Initiative Unites Engineering, Health Researchers to Improve Cancer Treatments

The University of Arizona Cancer Center

A University of Arizona project, with funding from the state's New Economy Initiative, creates humanlike cancer models and growth environments to help improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Joann Sweasy, PhD, is director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center and a member of AACI's Board of Directors.

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Improving Bladder Cancer Trials and Treatments Goal of New $6 Million CPRIT Recruit

Improving Bladder Cancer Trials and Treatments Goal of New $6 Million CPRIT Recruit
Houston Methodist Dr. Mary and Ron Neal Cancer Center

With a focus on expediting the development of early-phase clinical trials and enhancing chemoimmunotherapy responses in bladder cancer, genitourinary cancer translational scientist Keith Syson Chan, PhD, is joining Houston Methodist thanks to a $6 million established investigator recruitment grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).

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Researcher Receives Grant to Study Synthetic Targets for Tumor Drug Delivery

Researcher Receives Grant to Study Synthetic Targets for Tumor Drug Delivery
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health

Swayam Prabha, MBA, PhD, a member of the Cancer Signaling and Microenvironment research program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, was recently awarded a $792,000 American Cancer Society research scholar grant to investigate new methods for treating lung cancer.

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Sobol Appointed Associate Director for Basic Research

Sobol Appointed Associate Director for Basic Research
Legorreta Cancer Center at Brown University

Robert W. Sobol, PhD, has been appointed associate director for basic research and co-leader of the Cancer Biology Program at the Legorreta Cancer Center at Brown University. He leads efforts toward continued growth of the basic science program and will serve as the co-leader of the Cancer Biology Program.

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Fatatis Appointed Associate Director for Basic Research

Fatatis Appointed Associate Director for Basic Research
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health

Alessandro Fatatis, MD, PhD, has been named associate director for basic research at Jefferson Health’s Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC). Dr. Fatatis previously served as co-leader for SKCC’s Translational and Cellular Oncology Research Program.

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Hajiran Named Chief of Urologic Oncology

Hajiran Named Chief of Urologic Oncology
WVU Cancer Institute

West Virginia University Medicine is proud to announce the appointment of Ali Hajiran, MD, as the new chief of Urologic Oncology. He specializes in treating complex cases of kidney, bladder, prostate, and testicular cancers using minimally-invasive robotic and traditional surgical techniques.

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Lee Named Director of Radiation Oncology

Lee Named Director of Radiation Oncology
University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center

David Y. Lee, MD, PhD, has been named director of radiation oncology at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. He joined UNM in September 2012 and assumed his new role on December 1, 2022.

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Associate Director of Translational Oncology Appointed

Associate Director of Translational Oncology Appointed
Legorreta Cancer Center at Brown University

Sendurai A. Mani, PhD, has been appointed associate director for translational oncology at the Legorreta Cancer Center at Brown University and professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, effective December 1, 2022.

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Owusu Assumes Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Role

Owusu Assumes Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Role
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Cynthia Owusu, MD, is the new associate director for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is the principal investigator on a $2.8 million research grant awarded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Disparities.

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Family History, Gene Variants Put Black Men at Risk for Early Prostate Cancer

Family History, Gene Variants Put Black Men at Risk for Early Prostate Cancer
Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University Medical Center

A family history of cancer and genetic variants that might be inherited appear to be important risk factors for Black men diagnosed with early-onset prostate cancer, a study involving Duke Health researchers has found. Kathleen Cooney, MD, chair of the Duke Department of Medicine, is senior author of the study.

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Liquid Biopsies Could Predict Survival Odds for Patients With Metastatic Cancer

University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center

As cancers grow and potentially spread to new parts of the body, they often shed cells and DNA into the blood stream. DNA can be analyzed for both the amount of DNA present and whether any potential mutations exist that may aid providers in deciding on treatments.

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Cooling Glioblastoma to Room Temperature Extends Survival in Preclinical Study

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

A new preclinical study, led by researchers currently at Emory University and UT Southwestern who began the work while they were at Duke University, suggests that cooling brain tumors to room temperature may extend survival of patients with glioblastoma multiforme.

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New Approach to Managing Post-Surgery Pain Reduces Opioid-Based Medication Use by 50 Percent

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have implemented a radically different approach to post-surgery pain management that is focused on maximizing non-opioid techniques first, using opioids only as a back-up option.

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Personalized Immune Therapy Extended Survival in Patients With Aggressive Brain Cancer

Wilmot Cancer Institute, UR Medicine

A Phase III clinical trial of the DCVax®-L cancer vaccine, conducted at the Wilmot Cancer Institute and other centers internationally, has shown that the vaccine extended survival in patients with newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma brain cancer.

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Study Finds Inherited Link to Appendix Cancer

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

One of every 10 patients with appendiceal cancer carries a germline genetic variant associated with cancer predisposition, according to a new study that is the first to show inherited risk factors for this rare cancer. The findings suggest all patients with appendix cancer should consider genetic evaluation as well as cascade testing and genetic counseling of at-risk family members.

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Clues Found Regarding Tumor Suppressor Gene Breast Cancer Activity

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have revealed how the gene HOXA5 may work to suppress formation of breast cancers. A new study indicates that it binds to another protein in an inflammatory cell pathway, boosting that protein’s cancer-suppressing properties.

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Killing Pancreatic Cancer With T Cells That Supercharge Themselves

UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Scientists at UC San Francisco (UCSF) have engineered T cells to produce a potent anti-cancer cytokine, but only when they encounter tumor cells. The immunotherapy eliminated melanoma and pancreatic cancer in mice without major side effects, and it offers a promising new strategy for fighting these and other hard-to-treat cancers.

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Study Shows Menthol Cigarette Alternatives Pose Significant Addiction and Health Risks

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

In a new study, scientists from the Center for Tobacco Research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and Rutgers University studied 98 menthol cigarette smokers to examine the addiction potential of combustible menthol alternatives compared with traditional menthol cigarettes.

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Study: Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivors Show Signs of Dementia in Early Adulthood

Wilmot Cancer Institute, UR Medicine

In a new study, the majority of individuals treated as children for Hodgkin lymphoma who are now in their 30s, showed signs of being an average of 7.7 years older biologically than their peers, placing them at risk for cognitive problems.

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Experimental Cancer Therapy Shows Success in More Than 70 Percent of Patients in Global Clinical Trials

The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai

A new therapy that makes the immune system kill bone marrow cancer cells was successful in as many as 73 percent of patients in two clinical trials, according to researchers from The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

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P53 Could Be Key to Therapies for Salivary Gland Cancer

University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center

Researchers at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center and School of Dentistry found that certain drugs can change the fundamental makeup of cancer stem cells in mouse models of mucoepidermoid carcinoma.

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Women With Elevated Breast Cancer Risk Could See Mortality Benefit From Estrogen-Blocking Drugs

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

While it has long been recognized that drugs that block the cancer-promoting activity of estrogen reduce the risk of developing new breast cancers, a new computer modeling study led by researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and colleagues showed that these treatments could also reduce the risk of dying from the disease in women who are at high risk.

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Researchers Generate Lab-Grown Human Tissue Model for Food Tube Cancer

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine say they have created a laboratory-grown three-dimensional "organoid" model that is derived from human tissue and designed to advance understanding about how early stages of cancer develop at the gastroesophageal junction.

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Accelerating Innovations in Early-Phase Oncology Trials

Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone

Over the past 30 years there has been a considerable effort to improve early-phase oncology trials. One such effort is the Experimental Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network, a partnership program sponsored by the National Cancer Institute–Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program to evaluate early-phase trials in high-priority areas of unmet need through collaboration with a dozen Lead Academic Organizations.

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Novel Drug Combinations and Targeted Therapies Show Promise for Patients With Leukemia

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have presented findings from three clinical trials that highlight results to advance the use of targeted therapies and novel combinations in multiple types of leukemia, including high-risk and newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia in older and younger patients and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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Study Finds Black Women Have Worst HR+/HER2- Breast Cancer Outcomes of All Racial and Ethnic Groups

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

A large global clinical trial has found that non-Hispanic Black women with Hormone Receptor positive/HER2-negative breast cancer, with 1-3 involved lymph nodes and recurrence scores below 25, have worse outcomes than non-Hispanic white women with similar diagnosis.

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Myocarditis in Cancer Patients is Driven by Specific Immune Cells

UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

In a new study, researchers from UC San Francisco and Vanderbilt University Medical Center have identified specific immune cells that drive deadly heart inflammation in a small fraction of patients treated with powerful cancer immunotherapy drugs. They also identified the heart muscle cells that are targeted by the destructive immune cells.

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Construction, Expansion Approved for New Cancer Center Complex

Construction, Expansion Approved for New Cancer Center Complex
UK Markey Cancer Center

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved the initiation of the construction of the new UK HealthCare cancer and advanced ambulatory complex. It also approved an expansion of the original design for the facility. The revised financial scope of this project is $500 million.

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Approval Received to Build Myeloma Research Institute

Approval Received to Build Myeloma Research Institute
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Health System

Two years ago, when C. Ola Landgren, MD, PhD, joined Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to lead the myeloma program, he told Director Stephen D. Nimer, MD, that his goal was to establish a "top three" U.S. myeloma program within five years.

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Center for Amputation Reconstruction Launches Osseointegration Program With FDA-Approved Implant System

Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone

NYU Langone Health has completed its first set of surgeries using the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved implantable prosthetic for people with limb loss available in the greater New York City area.

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Cancer Center Jobs

Cancer Research Education - Assistant Professor
The University of Vermont Cancer Center
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GI Medical Oncology - Assistant Professor
The University of Vermont Cancer Center
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Cancer Redox Biology Tenure Pathway Faculty
The University of Vermont Cancer Center
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Associate Director of Community Outreach and Engagement
UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute
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Associate Professor - Nanomedicine Department
Houston Methodist Dr. Mary and Ron Neal Cancer Center
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Associate Center Director for Education
Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University
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Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson
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Project Management Manager
The University of Arizona Cancer Center
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Project Manager III (Multiple Positions)
The University of Arizona Cancer Center
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Meeting Announcements

AACI/AACR Hill Day

May 18, 2023
Washington, DC

Save the date for the 2023 AACI/AACR Hill Day, Thursday, May 18, in Washington, DC.

15th Annual AACI CRI Meeting

June 26, 2023
Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel, Rosemont, IL

Save the date for the 15th Annual AACI CRI Meeting, June 26-28, 2023, at Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel in Rosemont, IL.

2023 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting

October 1, 2023
Salamander Washington DC, 1330 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20224

Save the date for the 2023 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting, October 1-3, 2023, at the Salamander Washington, DC.

2024 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting

October 20, 2024
Chicago, IL

Save the date for the 2024 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting, October 20-22, 2024, in Chicago.

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