AACI Update | November 2022

Headlines

Ueno Announced as New UH Cancer Center Director

Ueno Announced as New UH Cancer Center Director

Naoto T. Ueno, MD, PhD, has been named the next director of the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) Cancer Center, effective December 12. Dr. Ueno is currently the executive director of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he is also a tenured professor of medicine. He has spent 15 years in leadership roles and has nearly 30 years of experience in research and education, particularly in stem cell transplant, gene therapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

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AACI Endorses Initiative to Increase Lung Cancer Screening

AACI Endorses Initiative to Increase Lung Cancer Screening

AACI has partnered with more than 50 cancer organizations to issue a call to action urging individuals, providers, and insurers to increase access to and utilization of low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans for those at high risk for lung cancer.

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PCLI Webinar: A Transdisciplinary 'Tweetorial' With Seasoned Colleagues

PCLI Webinar: A Transdisciplinary 'Tweetorial' With Seasoned Colleagues

The AACI Physician Clinical Leadership Initiative (PCLI) will host "A Transdisciplinary 'Tweetorial' With Seasoned Colleagues" at 5:00 pm eastern time on Tuesday, November 15. The webinar will provide a moderated discussion with colleagues in medical, radiation, and surgical oncology about social media and how it can best be harnessed to promote individuals, teams, and the war on cancer.

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AACI Attends Cancer Moonshot, ARPA-H Events

AACI Attends Cancer Moonshot, ARPA-H Events

On Monday, October 24, AACI Executive Director Jennifer W. Pegher visited the White House for the announcement of the American Cancer Society’s launch of the National Breast Cancer Roundtable and the National Roundtable on Cervical Cancer. The following day, Pegher attended an event at Howard University that included a discussion between U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, JD, and ARPA-H Director Renee Wegrzyn, PhD.

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News from the Centers

DiPersio Recognized for Key Discoveries in Cancer Biology, Treatment

DiPersio Recognized for Key Discoveries in Cancer Biology, Treatment
Siteman Cancer Center

John F. DiPersio, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is being recognized by the American Italian Cancer Foundation with the 2022 Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine.

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Gardiner Receives ASCB Award

Gardiner Receives ASCB Award
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health

Jaye Gardiner, PhD, has received the Merton Bernfield Memorial Award, established to honor outstanding postdocs or graduate students, from the American Society for Cell Biology. Her research focuses on the tumor microenvironment and the growth of tumors in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

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Markey Earns Rectal Cancer Accreditation

UK Markey Cancer Center

UK Markey Cancer Center has earned a three-year accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer. UK Markey is one of around 60 centers in the nation and the first in Kentucky to hold this designation.

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$710.5 Million Gift to Accelerate Cancer and Infectious Disease Research

$710.5 Million Gift to Accelerate Cancer and Infectious Disease Research
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center

The Bezos family has committed $710.5 million over the next decade to support Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center's efforts to dramatically accelerate medical breakthroughs in cancer and infectious disease. This is the second recent transformational Fred Hutch donor commitment; a gift of $78 million from Stuart and Molly Sloan was announced in September. Thomas J. Lynch Jr., MD, is the center's president and director.

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$12 Million Grant Aimed at Study of Rare Sarcoma

University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center

An international team of researchers led by the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center received a collaborative grant from the National Cancer Institute with a goal of bringing new insights into leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that seemingly originates in smooth muscle.

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NCI Renews Lymphoma SPORE Grant for Center for Cell and Gene Therapy

Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine

The National Cancer Institute has awarded more than $10.3 million to continue translational lymphoma research at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, and Texas Children’s Hospital. The grant is awarded through the NCI’s Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) funding, which was established to promote collaborative, interdisciplinary translational cancer research.

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NCI Award to Establish Center to Improve Radiation-Based Combination Therapies

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

The National Cancer Institute recently awarded more than $7.9 million for a new Radiation Oncology-Biology Integration Network (ROBIN) center at Winship Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic. The ROBIN Genomic-TME-Temporal Dynamics Center aims to uncover the genetic and environmental factors, as well as the timing and interactions, that influence the effectiveness of radiation-based combination therapies.

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Etzioni Receives $7.4 Million NCI Grant to Assess New Cancer Diagnostics

Etzioni Receives $7.4 Million NCI Grant to Assess New Cancer Diagnostics
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center

Ruth Etzioni, PhD, has received a seven-year Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute. The award, which comes with around $7.4 million in funding, will allow Dr. Etzioni and her team to build frameworks and tools to evaluate novel cancer diagnostics such as new nuclear imaging modalities and multi-cancer early detection tests.

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$6 Million Grant Supports Development of New NCI Prevention Initiative

Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health

Fox Chase Cancer Center was recently awarded a grant for $6 million over the course of five years to develop a new Cancer Prevention-Interception Targeted Agent Discovery Program. The new National Cancer Institute (NCI) program was created to establish a pipeline for the discovery of new cancer-prevention agents.

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Researcher to Study Barriers to Quitting Menthol Cigarettes Among African Americans

Researcher to Study Barriers to Quitting Menthol Cigarettes Among African Americans
UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute

Dina M. Jones, PhD, MPH, has received a grant to study disparities in smoking cessation among African American menthol cigarette smokers. The project seeks to understand why African American cigarette smokers—more than 85 percent of whom use menthol cigarettes—are less likely to quit smoking than white smokers and those who use non-menthol cigarettes.

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Deputy AD for Diversity and Inclusion in Clinical Research Named

Deputy AD for Diversity and Inclusion in Clinical Research Named
University of Colorado Cancer Center

As lead investigator or sub-investigator on numerous clinical trials at the University of Colorado Cancer Center Jessica McDermott, MD, has been instrumental in improving access to cancer clinical trials for patients from medically underserved communities. She will now bring her expertise in this area to her new role as deputy associate director for diversity and inclusion in clinical research.

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New Director Named for Healthy Breast Tissue Bank

New Director Named for Healthy Breast Tissue Bank
Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center has named Michele Coté, PhD, director of the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank, the world’s only healthy breast tissue bank. She succeeds Anna Maria Storniolo, MD, a pioneering clinical scientist who co-founded the tissue bank in 2007.

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Hyslop Returns as Cancer Risk and Control Program Co-Leader, Center for Health Equity Director

Hyslop Returns as Cancer Risk and Control Program Co-Leader, Center for Health Equity Director
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health

Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) welcomes transdisciplinary population health researcher Terry Hyslop, PhD, as co-leader of the Cancer Risk and Control Program. She will also head the newly formed SKCC Center for Health Equity. Dr. Hyslop is returning to the cancer center from Duke Cancer Institute.

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Physician Scientist to Lead Breast Oncology Program

Physician Scientist to Lead Breast Oncology Program
Cedars-Sinai Cancer

Yuan Yuan, MD, PhD, a breast medical oncologist and physician scientist who specializes in triple-negative breast cancer and breast cancer immunotherapy, has joined Cedars-Sinai Cancer as director of breast oncology. Dr. Yuan will also treat patients at Huntington Cancer Center, an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai Cancer.

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Christopher Joins Cancer Care Teams

Christopher Joins Cancer Care Teams
UMMC Cancer Center and Research Institute

The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) welcomes Wade Christopher, MD, who will be part of the UMMC Cancer Center and Research Institute's interdisciplinary liver and bile duct cancer care team and the gastrointestinal cancer care team. He’ll also work with patients with sarcoma, thyroid, and melanoma cancers.

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Four New Oncologists Welcomed

Four New Oncologists Welcomed
UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute

The addition of four new oncologists—Sonia T. Orcutt, MDCesar Giancarlo Gentille Sanchez, MD; Santanu Samanta, MD; and Anusha Jillella, MD—will expand services and increase access for patients at UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and its growing network of clinics at Baptist Health locations.

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Lowery Named Assistant Director for Dissemination and Implementation

Lowery Named Assistant Director for Dissemination and Implementation
University of Colorado Cancer Center

Jan Lowery, PhD, MPH, who started her career as a researcher at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, has returned as assistant director for dissemination and implementation for the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement. In her new role, Dr. Lowery will lead efforts to develop, conduct, and disseminate implementation-focused projects in cancer prevention, early detection, and survivorship.

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Radiation Oncologist Joins NYU Langone Health

Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone

NYU Langone Health has announced the appointment of physician and researcher Oren Cahlon, MD, as senior vice president and deputy chief clinical officer. Dr. Cahlon will also maintain a clinical practice within the Department of Radiation Oncology at Perlmutter Cancer Center.

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New Endowed Chair and Fellowship Holders, and Renewed Endowed Chairs

New Endowed Chair and Fellowship Holders, and Renewed Endowed Chairs
Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah

Huntsman Cancer Institute announces the appointment of two researchers as holders of endowed chairs at the University of Utah. Another colleague was awarded a fellowship, and two other distinguished endowed chairs have been renewed.

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Oncology Therapy at the End of Life: Have We Missed the Mark?

Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine

Over the last decade, major professional societies have recommended that clinicians decrease the use of systemic anti-cancer therapies at the end-of-life stage. In a new study, researchers at Yale Cancer Center, in collaboration with researchers from Flatiron Health, Inc., revealed that despite these recommendations, aggressive cancer care at the end of life persists and there has been a substantial transition from the use of chemotherapy to immunotherapy.

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Policy, Resources Crucial for Lung Cancer Screening

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

A Veterans Health Administration project that provided resources for lung cancer screening programs increased the number of veterans screened, according to a new study. The findings have already been used to advocate for a Department of Veterans Affairs National Lung Cancer Screening Program Office, which is now in place.

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Researchers Identify Key Player in Cellular Response to Stress

Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center

An enzyme called Fic, whose biochemical role was discovered at UT Southwestern more than a dozen years ago, appears to play a crucial part in guiding the cellular response to stress, a new study suggests. The findings could eventually lead to new treatments for a variety of diseases.

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A Novel Strategy to Suppress Prostate Cancer Growth

Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine

Finding valuable therapeutic interventions for prostate cancer has long guided the research of the lab of Feng Yang, PhD, at Baylor College of Medicine. In a new study, Dr. Yang’s team took a close look into what drives the growth of advanced tumors that have become resistant to standard castration therapy. Working with cells in the lab and animal models, they discovered an approach that suppresses the growth of therapy-resistant tumors.

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Clinical Trial Begins to Help Black, Latina Women Concerned About Chemotherapy-Induced Hair Loss

Montefiore Einstein Cancer Center

A clinical trial now kicking off at Montefiore Einstein Cancer Center will test whether scalp cooling can protect Black and Latina women with textured hair types from hair loss due to chemotherapy, known as chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA). The trial will also determine which women are at high risk for permanently losing their hair due to CIA.

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Researchers Find Link Between Immune Cells' Closest Neighbors and Survival Time in Patients With Pancreatic Cancer

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine have discovered that the organization of different types of immune cells within pancreatic tumors is associated with how well patients with pancreatic cancer respond to treatment and how long they survive. The new findings could eventually lead to new ways of treating pancreatic cancer.

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Scientists Identify Unique Breast Cancer Cells That Control Their Ability to Proliferate and Colonize the Lungs

The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai

Scientists from The Tisch Cancer Institute have uncovered a mechanism by which certain breast cancer cells regulate their own metastases, fuel dissemination from the original tumor site, and determine routes to invade distant organs such as the lungs.

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CAR22 Therapy Granted Breakthrough Designation by FDA

Stanford Cancer Institute

Stanford Cancer Institute members Matthew Frank, MD, PhD, and David Miklos, MD, PhD, have received FDA breakthrough therapy designation on a trial using CAR22 to treat patients with relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma that has progressed after prior CAR19 therapy.

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Study Reveals Pathways for Aggressive Prostate Cancer Subtype

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

Cribriform prostate cancer is an aggressive subtype of the disease characterized by its histology, but little is known about its molecular pathways. Research from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center has revealed new information about these pathways, including potential therapies.

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Experimental Test Promises to Predict Side Effects, Return of Cancer in Patients Treated With Immunotherapy

Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone

A new study, led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, has generated data suggesting that a newly identified panel of autoantibodies, if found in patients’ blood before immunotherapy, has the potential to accurately predict whether cancer would recur for a patient and if they would experience autoimmune side effects because of the treatment itself.

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Study Provides New Insights on Improving Immunotherapy Efficacy

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

The combination of an immunotherapy, PD-1 blockade, and biologic therapy, IL-2 therapy, generate higher quality effector CD8+ T cells which resemble the highly functional effector CD8+ T cells seen after acute viral infection that help the immune system control or clear the virus.

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Survey Finds Most Women Unaware of Signs of Aggressive Form of Breast Cancer

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

A new national survey commissioned by The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – The James found that most women are unaware of the unusual symptoms of a particularly aggressive and deadly form of the disease known as inflammatory breast cancer.

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Researchers Create New Cancer Fighting Compound

UK Markey Cancer Center

A UK Markey Cancer Center researcher’s team developed new chemical compounds that show promise as a potential anticancer therapy to treat aggressive tumors. The new gold-derived compounds were toxic to cancer cells but well-tolerated by mice, giving them potential in the development of new cancer drugs.

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Researchers Develop 'Goldilocks' Drug to Treat Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

The University of Arizona Cancer Center

A team of University of Arizona researchers have developed a drug compound that appears to stop cancer cell growth in triple-negative breast cancer. The drug, which has not yet been tested in humans, has been shown to eliminate tumors in mice, with little to no effect on normal healthy cells, making it potentially nontoxic for patients.

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Researchers Discover New Molecular Driver of Retinoblastoma

Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Researchers at UT Southwestern and the University of Miami have discovered that a molecule—estrogen-related receptor gamma, or ESRRG—becomes hyperactive and promotes tumor cell survival in retinoblastoma. Blocking ESRRG, the team reported, kills retinoblastoma cells.

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Scientists Are One Step Closer to Stopping Drug-Resistant Tumors From Growing

Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah

Scientists have solved a long-standing mystery surrounding a cancer-promoting protein and how it causes tumor growth. The findings are an important step in the quest to make cancer drugs more effective since aggressive tumors often become adept at resisting drugs and other therapeutic agents.

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UCSF Hosts First Lady Jill Biden to Discuss Breast Cancer Research

UCSF Hosts First Lady Jill Biden to Discuss Breast Cancer Research
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

First Lady Jill Biden, PhD, met with top UC San Francisco cancer leaders to hear about UCSF’s breast cancer research and progress on the National Cancer Moonshot. The visit highlighted the complexities of cancer, as well as UCSF advances in breast cancer research and programs that support breast cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.

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Scholars Converge to Accelerate Cancer Science

Scholars Converge to Accelerate Cancer Science
Cedars-Sinai Cancer

The Convergent Science Virtual Cancer Center, a program designed to train the next generation of cancer researchers, held its first in-person workshop for its first class of scholars. The program, led by Cedars-Sinai Cancer and the University of Southern California, is funded by an inaugural grant from the Department of Defense. Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, is director of Cedars-Sinai Cancer.

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Cancer Center Joins Exclusive Clinical Trials Network

The University of Kansas Cancer Center

The University of Kansas Cancer Center is now a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Experimental Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network (ETCTN) as part of a consortium led by Yale Cancer Center. ETCTN membership will increase the number of early-stage clinical trials the cancer center can offer to people with cancer.

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New International Collaboration Established to Reduce Women's Cancers

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and World Health Organization have announced a formal agreement to establish a new international collaboration concentrated on reducing the global burden of women’s cancers.

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Rogel Teams With Tobacco Quitline to Stem Menthol Use

Rogel Teams With Tobacco Quitline to Stem Menthol Use
University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center

In Michigan, 40 percent of callers to the state’s Tobacco Quitline are menthol users. Now, a new partnership between the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center and the Quitline will develop and test strategies to help menthol users kick the habit.

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Allison Institute Establishes Internal Advisory Council of Experts

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

The James P. Allison Institute at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has announced the establishment of its internal advisory council to provide scientific input and to align the work of the institute with the broader MD Anderson research enterprise.

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500th CAR T-cell Infusion

500th CAR T-cell Infusion
Stanford Cancer Institute

Stanford Health Care’s Blood and Marrow Transplantation & Cellular Therapy program performed its 500th Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR T) therapy infusion in September. The multi-disciplinary team—physicians, fellows, advanced practice providers, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, case management, clinic staff, and administrators—celebrated the milestone together.

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Education and Outreach Home Under Construction

Education and Outreach Home Under Construction
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is proud to break ground on a new Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) building. The project, which includes preservation of a home in Buffalo’s historic Fruit Belt neighborhood, will be the new home for the cancer center’s extensive COE team.

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Cancer Center Jobs

Associate Professor - Nanomedicine Department
Houston Methodist Dr. Mary and Ron Neal Cancer Center
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Senior Clinical Trials Regulatory Research Specialist
UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
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Start-Up Manager: GU Clinical Research Team
UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
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PRMC Manager (Protocol Review Specialist)
Dartmouth Cancer Center
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Protocol Development Specialist
Dartmouth Cancer Center
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Director of Research Operations
Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson
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Director, Early Phase Clinical Trials & Precision Therapeutics
UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
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Research Operations Manager
Dartmouth Cancer Center
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Administrative Director of the Clinical Trials Support Unit
Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine
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Associate or Full Researcher/Professor (Cancer Biologist; Co-Leader Cancer Biology Program)
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
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Associate or Full Researcher/Professor (Cancer Biology)
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
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Clinical Research Manager Cancer Immunotherapy Program
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
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Meeting Announcements

AACI Leadership Diversity and Development Initiative Workshop

November 8, 2022
Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel, Rosemont, IL

AACI is inviting cancer center directors to select one emerging leader from their cancer center to attend the inaugural Leadership Diversity and Development Initiative (LDDI) Workshop. We are especially seeking participants from underrepresented groups based on ethnicity, race, and gender/gender identity.

Candidate Eligibility:

  • Currently holds the role of cancer center deputy director, associate director, program leader, associate or full professor or cancer center director (within two years of appointment)

  • Currently holds the position of associate or full professor

  • Demonstrates a track record of leadership and evidence of a desire for career evolution within the cancer center leadership structure

  • Expresses commitment to attending the entire workshop

Learn More

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 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 in Washington, DC. 

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