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Dec. 20, 2011

Forming a global cancer network for research, clinical care, education and prevention.

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Next Round of Sister Institution Network Funding

In 2011 GAP launched the Sister Institution Network Fund (SINF) with two rounds of applications. The first group comprised MD Anderson and The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) who had worked closely with GAP to develop the support mechanism. Three projects received funding in March 2011. Afterwards, GAP sent out a second request for application (RFA) to include all other Sister Institutions. Announced in June, 22 additional projects garnered support at MD Anderson with matching support at one of our Sister Institutions.

GAP is pleased to announce that funds have been approved for a 2012 series of Sister Institution Network research projects. The formal announcement is forthcoming and will appear on our website as well as in next week’s GAP Connect on Dec. 27, 2011. This announcement will provide direction on the application process, deadline and requirements. There are a few changes from the 2011 RFA:

  • MD Anderson faculty in Research Faculty Appointments and Clinical Faculty Appointments are eligible
  • Strong preference will be given to projects involving more than one Sister Institution
  • New partner institutions will be eligible to participate as detailed in the RFA
  • Support will be provided for approximately 10 projects

As occurred last year, Oliver Bogler, Ph.D., vice president of GAP, will be hosting two webinars to present the details of the SINF and the RFA and to answer questions regarding the process. The one-hour sessions will occur on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 at 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., US Central Time. These webinars are through Adobe Connect and participants can interact through text/chat or with speakers and headphones over the computer. Use this link for the morning conference. Use this link if you are attending the evening session.

Calendar of Events

Global Oncology Lecture - Phil Castle, Ph.D.
MD Anderson
Mays Clinic - ACB 1.2325
Jan. 19, 2012

Excellence in Oncology
Istanbul, Turkey
Feb. 23-25, 2012

GAP Annual Conference
Oslo, Norway
May 14-16, 2012


Lecture Series in Global Oncology – Phil Castle, Ph.D.

Phil Castle, Ph.D., is the executive director of the American Society for Clinical Pathology Institute (ASCP).  Previously, Castle was a senior, tenured investigator at the National Cancer Institute and contributed to several seminal epidemiological studies involving HPV and Cervical Cancer Screening. In his current role, Castle leads the ASCP’s Center for Health Services Research and Global Outreach and has been tasked with delivering new laboratory technologies, including those for HPV testing and cervical cancer screening, in underserved populations. Castle’s lecture will be held on Jan. 19, 2012 from 12-1 p.m. in the Mays Clinic, conference room ACB 1.2325 ABC. Keep reading GAP Connect for a profile of Castle and additional details regarding his lecture. You can view the flyer now.

International Outreach Research Fellowship

The Society for NeuroOncology (SNO) promotes advances in neuro-Oncology through research and education. The outreach fellowship provides a year of support for professionals outside the United States and Canada to engage in clinical or laboratory research in pediatric or adult neuro-oncology. Supported by the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA), the application deadline is Feb. 3, 2012 and provides a single fellow $50,000 for the year-long experience. The application requires all potential fellows to live in emerging or developing nations and be post graduate medical professionals. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is listed as one of the host institutions interested in engaging in this program. For more information, visit the website and view the application.

2012 Cervical Cancer Summit

Houston will host its first annual Cervical Cancer Summit on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. The summit coincides with Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and is sponsored by Cervical Cancer-Free Texas, MD Anderson’s cervical comprehensive cancer control workgroup and Latinos Contra El Cancer.  The event will be held at the Houston Community College main campus from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will feature Lois Ramondetta, M.D., professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine and Sally Vernon, Ph.D., professor in the Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at The UT Houston Health Science Center’s School of Public Health.

The Goal of the summit is to reduce the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer in Houston and the surrounding areas. By bringing together health professionals from local universities and clinics with political leaders, the summit hopes to address barriers to assisting the underserved and uninsured gain access to HPV and cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment and raise awareness of the importance of these services to the community. Although HPV has widely been considered a female issue, recent research has highlighted the import of vaccinating men in order to prevent the spread of HPV and lessen the risk of certain throat cancers. Topics during the summit will discuss many of the possibilities and obstacles surrounding HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening and treatment.

Network News

ILBS – MD Anderson Symposium

During their recent travels to India, GAP personnel visited the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) and took part in a mini-symposium. Translational Research in Hepatobiliary Cancer – An Update, provided a forum for researchers from MD Anderson, ILBS, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH), the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi (ICGEB) and the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre (RGCI), to present on the topic. Presentations included the use of gold to target inflammatory pathways to treat cancer, TG2 as it contributes to inflammation and cancer, characterization of telomeres in the context of cancer and the use of regenerative biomaterials in cancer therapy. For more information on the symposium’s participants, reference the event’s flyer.

MD Anderson Physicians Return from Honduras

Dec. 5-8, 2011, physicians in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, Pedro Ramirez, M.D. and Kathleen Schmeler, M.D., participated in the Visiting Professorship in Gynecologic Oncology in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  Their first day was spent at the two participating institutions, El Instituto Hondureño Seguridad Social (IHSS) and Hospital Materno Infantil, lecturing the residents and attendees and accompanying them on rounds. For the subsequent two days, the physicians performed surgery alongside the residents and on the final day of their visit, met with regional leadership on how to further the initiative. Ramirez, Schmeler and GAP hope to continue to support these training efforts and expand them by employing the cooperation of our regional Sister Institutions. The resident training program is also being considered as a way to contribute to the prevention and screening aspects of the Cervical Cancer Outreach program championed by Schmeler through GAP. GAP has created a page to host information regarding the Visiting Professorship program and on it you can find links to the didactic lectures presented by Ramirez and Schmeler. You can also look at pages for their past visit to Guatemala in 2010 and their recent visit to Honduras.