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2014 Retreat Image‌The Fifth Annual Cancer Biology Retreat was held on June 9, 2014 in the UMB Southern Management Company Campus Center. As in previous years,  the retreat was open to undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral and clinical fellows, and faculty involved in cancer or cancer- related research. The Cancer Research Retreat was a great success with a total of 169 attendees  (31% graduate students, 18.4% postdoctoral fellows, 10% NSIP interns/undergraduate students, 4% dental students, .60% medical students, and 35% faculty).

The 2014 Cancer Retreat provided an informal and relaxed environment where its participants could share research findings, ideas and techniques, and career opportunities and experiences. The program included two oral sessions (predoctoral and postdoctoral), two poster presentation sessions, and a cancer roundtable session, which focused on career development strategies for academia, biotechnology, science writing and editing, science policy, and government research.


Outstanding abstracts  selected for oral presentations were written by the following presenters: 

Pre-doctoral students: Dominique Bollino, Sabina Kaczanoska, Elizabeth Chang, Gabriel Eades. 

Post-doctoral fellows: Dr(s) Sarah Laun, Tao Ma, Vidya Ramamurthy, Amanda Schech

 Outstanding Poster prize winners were written by the following students and postdoctoral fellows:

Pre-doctoral students: Lekhana Bhandary, Haley Simpson, Alexander Tsai Post-doctoral fellows:  Jocelyn Reader, Ekemini Riley, Carine Robert 

Keynote Speaker: 

 J. Silvio Gutkind, Ph.D., is Chief of the Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health. His research team focuses on the molecular basis of cancer, with emphasis on basic mechanisms of signal transduction and cell growth control, and their dysregulation in oral cancer and AIDS malignancies.  Exploring novel mechanism-based anti-cancer therapies, Dr. Gutkind is currently leading a multi-institutional effort aimed at exploring the clinical benefits of treating newly diagnosed head and neck cancer patients with mTOR inhibitors. During the retreat, he presented a talk entitled “The PI3K-mTOR Signaling Circuitry in Cancer: the Hippo in the Room?”

Organizing Committee: 

Katie Leonard, Ph.D., (Chair), Emma Scott, David Clark, Cheryl Armstrong, Erik Martin, Sarwat Ahmad, M.D. Jeff Winkles, Ph.D. (Faculty Advisor), Danielle Fitzpatrick (Program Manager, GPILS Molecular Medicine), Sharron Graves (Director of Strategic Recruitment and Retention, GPILS)