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May 15, 2012

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

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Sister Institution Network Fund Recipients

Congratulations to the recipients of the most recent round of Sister Institution Network Funds (SINF). Twenty projects received funding over two years for a total of $100,000. A new visualization of the data is available on the GAP website where you can explore all the SINF projects. Below is a list of this round's recipients. Mathilde Guerin, assistant director in the Office of International Collaboration and Public Relations at Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center also wrote a profile of their SINF recipients and provides insight into the importance of the projects and the SINF.

GAP and NCC Sign Sister Institution Agreement Renewal

MD Anderson Cancer Center renewed its Sister Institution agreement with the Norwegian Cancer Consortium (NCC) at a signing ceremony on Saturday, May 12, 2012 in Stavanger, Norway. NCC, which is comprised of Oslo University Hospital, Stavanger University Hospital and The Cancer Registry of Norway, originally joined the Sister Institution Network in 2007. The re-signing extends the collaborative agreement for another five years. NCC is also the host of this year’s annual GAP Conference.

United States Ambassador to Norway, Barry White and Mayor of Stavanger, Christine Sagen Helgø were among the distinguished guests present to witness the signing by Ronald DePinho, M.D., president of MD Anderson, Bjorn Erikstein, M.D., chief executive officer of Oslo University Hospital and Bard Lilleeng, M.D., chief executive officer of Stavanger University Hospital.

The Institute for Cancer Research at the Radium Hospital, which is a part of Oslo University Hospital specializes in biochemistry, cell and tumor biology, genetics, radiation biology, immunology and cancer prevention. Stavanger University Hospital's oncology research program includes personalized breast cancer therapy, GI surgery and hematology. The final branch of the consortium, the Cancer Registry of Norway, is unparalleled in its screening and data capture. The registry maintains the national breast and cervical cancer screening programs, as well as data throughout the lifespan of Norway's citizens and the accumulation of comprehensive cancer data.

"Our partners in Norway provide great strategic opportunities to engage in research," said Oliver Bogler, Ph.D., vice president of Global Academic Programs at MD Anderson. "For example, the ability of the Norwegian Cancer Registry to capture the entire medical history of the Norwegian population is research that we can't do in the US. Many other opportunities are being explored, based on the excellence of the faculty and research programs at Radium Hospital and at the Stavanger University Hospital. World-class programs in breast cancer, stem cells, cancer prevention and immunotherapy are just some of the areas we're pursuing together."

Calendar of Events

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

DKFZ Stem Cell Symposium
Heidelberg, Germany
Oct. 14-16, 2012

Yonsei Joint Symposium
Seoul, Korea
Oct. 18-19, 2012


Sister Institution Plaque Display at MD Anderson

On Monday, May 7th, Global Academic Programs’ Sister Institution Plaque display was revealed here at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The exhibit is housed on a main thoroughfare at the institution, which enables many of the employees and visitors at MD Anderson to see the display. Each plaque is mounted on wire cables so there is room to add and change the organization of the wall. Additional signage and lighting will be added in the coming weeks to bring attention to the display. A special thank you from GAP goes out to Sandra Schoen, a facilities project manager here at MD Anderson. She coordinated the framing, design and execution of the display on behalf of GAP. Schoen and Oliver Bogler, Ph.D., vice president of GAP are pictured to the right in front of the newly revealed exhibit.

GAP 2012 Conference Underway

The day has finally arrived. This week from Monday, May 14 to Wednesday May 16, participants in GAP’s Sister Institution Network are gathered in Oslo, Norway for the GAP 2012 conference. On Saturday, representatives from MD Anderson as well as Oslo University Hospital, Stavanger University Hospital and the Cancer Registry of Norway, participated in the re-signing of the Norwegian Cancer Consortium Sister Institution agreement. This was the first agreement signed by Ronald DePinho, president of MD Anderson, who also spoke at the opening of the conference about MD Anderson’s vision of the future. Many of the workshops will be recorded and ultimately available on MD Anderson’s iTunes University. Keep reading GAP Connect for content from the conference, including links and pictures at the event.

Pictured below are the participants at the Directors' Meeting, which immediately preceded the conference and brought together leadership from the Sister Institution Network to discuss current engagements and strategies for continued interactions.

Network News

MD Anderson and iRice Joint Symposium

On May 24, 2012 MD Anderson and iRice will hold a joint symposium in Mays Clinic at MD Anderson. The International Center of Excellence in Cancer Research (iRice) is a cooperative effort between the National Taiwan University, China Medical University and MD Anderson. Opening remarks will be provided by Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., provost and executive vice president of MD Anderson, Pan Chyr Yang, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the National Taiwan University College of Medicine (NTUCM) and Oliver Bögler, Ph.D., SrVP Academic Affairs and VP Global Academic Programs at MD Anderson. Sessions during the symposium include personalized therapy of lung cancer, basic and translational research for liver cancer, phase I clinical trials, esophageal cancer, the role of pharma and drug discovery in cancer management, clinical trial design and cancer biology and signaling pathways.

Thought Leadership for the African Health Agenda

MD Anderson participated in a seminar to explore feasible approaches to communicable, non-communicable and neglected tropical diseases on May 8, 2012 in Washington D.C. Organized by the Embassy of South Africa in concert with MD Anderson, the International Partnership for Microbicides and the Global Network for Tropical Diseases, the keynote speaker was Yogan Pillay, M.D., the deputy director general of the South Africa Department of Health. MD Anderson participants from Cancer Prevention and Population Science included Bernard Levin, M.D., professor emeritus and Ernest Hawk, M.D., Ph.D., professor and vice president, Abenaa Brewster, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention and Lopa Mishra, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

Tel Aviv University Hosted Colloquium

Held at Shlezak Hall in the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University (TAU) and MD Anderson jointly hosted the International Colloquium: Stem Cells, Organs and Cancer on Sunday, May 6, 2012. Six MD Anderson and six TAU faculty participated in the gathering, which was divided into two session covering stem cells and organ formation as well as signaling pathways in the development of cancer.

Brain Tumors 2012 - From Biology to Therapy

The Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology and The Neurobiology Committee of Polish Academy Sciences will host Brain Tumors 2012 in Warsaw, Poland from May 28-30, 2012. The conference will gather experts from a variety of institutions, including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The International Agency for Research on Cancer in France, Uppsala University in Sweden and Cleveland Clinic. MD Anderson will be represented by Amy Heimberger, M.D., an associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery; Waldemar Priebe, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics; and Konrad Gabrusiewicz, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neuro-Oncology..