www.dfhcc.harvard.edu Spring 2007


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Genome-wide association study reveals new genetic risk factor for prostate cancer

  The post-genomic era has sparked a new trend in biomedical research that was scarcely imaginable a few years ago. Case in point: the NCI Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility (CGEMS) project, a genome-wide association study that leverages knowledge from the Human Genome and HapMap projects, while capitalizing on the latest generation of DNA chip technologies. more>




Harvard School of Public Health: The wide-angle lens of population research


Like a photographer who uses a wide-angle lens to capture a sweeping landscape, the Harvard School of Public Health applies biological, quantitative, and social sciences to analyze health problems across entire populations. This broad perspective provides a depth of insight into disease prevention -- the school's hallmark endeavor -- while complementing basic and clinical research. more>





Speaking of numbers

  How many patients do you need for your clinical protocol? Which are the right questions to ask in your lab experiments? The Biostatistics Core offers expert advice to DF/HCC members on the planning, design, and analysis of laboratory, clinical, and epidemiology studies, as well as consultation on grant submissions and interpretation of study results. See Biostatistics Core Assignments for a list of statisticians by subject area, and contact the relevant statistician at least:
  • one month before a meeting abstract is due
  • one month before an R01 grant is to be uploaded
  • six months before a P01 or SPORE is due

  Facilitating new cell-based therapies for patients

The Cell Manipulation Core, which houses a class 10,000 clean room, produces clinical-grade therapeutic cells under good manufacturing practice conditions. In addition to processing cells, the core assists DF/HCC investigators in submitting Investigational New Drug (IND) applications by helping to develop selection, transfection, and expansion procedures that meet FDA manufacturing regulations. We currently support a large variety of clinical trials in stem cell transplantation and cancer immunotherapy. How can we facilitate your clinical research studies? For more information, contact Grace Kao.


  Of mice and models

Lab investigators and animal modelers have a dedicated partner in the DF/HCC Rodent Histopathology Core, whose mission is to advance their research efforts. The core processes animal tissue, prepares and stains slides for histological analysis, and provides expert interpretation. An essential service of the core is evaluating the validity of genetically engineered mouse models of human cancer and identifying unexpected phenotypes, which may arise during experiments. Core Co-Director Roderick Bronson also offers free one-on-one reviews of slides created at the Pathology Cores. For more information, contact Li Zhang at 617-432-2409. To create a new account, visit the Pathology Core's log-in page and follow these instructions (PDF).






Three DF/HCC scientists win AACR awards


DF/HCC Program Leaders Kenneth C. Anderson, MD (DFCI) and Daniel A. Haber, MD, PhD (MGH), and member Kornelia Polyak, MD, PhD (DFCI), were honored recently at the 2007 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) for outstanding accomplishments in the fight against cancer. more>


  BIDMC recruits world-renowned geneticist

Pier Paolo Pandolfi, MD, PhD, an award-winning cancer geneticist, will soon join the faculty of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Pandolfi, who comes from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, will hold joint appointments in the departments of medicine and pathology and serve as associate director of basic research for BIDMC's Cancer Center as well as director of a new cancer genetics program. more>


  Request for promotion granted

The DF/HCC Executive Council recently promoted the Tumor Imaging Metrics Core (TIMC) to full core status, following a presentation by core Co-Director Gordon Harris, PhD (MGH), who reviewed the core's current accomplishments and future goals. TIMC helps DF/HCC clinical investigators evaluate treatment response by providing consistent and reliable measurements of tumors. Services include consultation, transfer of imaging studies from the radiology departments of all DF/HCC hospitals to TIMC, and structural or functional tumor measurements according to trial protocol. For more information, visit TIMC's website.






RFPs for 2007 Nodal Awards due June 1

  Sponsored by DF/HCC, Nodal Awards support pilot projects that foster collaborations between disease- and discipline-based programs or address critical issues in cancer disparities. The award amount is $75,000 per year for two years ($150,000 total direct costs), with full indirect costs. Learn more.

2006 Nodal Awards:
  One-time award funds unplanned needs

Timely Special Opportunity (TSO) Awards enable program leaders and core directors to receive funding quickly for new time-sensitive research, technology development, or purchase of equipment that will contribute to the mission of DF/HCC. The TSO is a one-time award of up to $10,000 and includes full institutional indirect costs. Learn more.

New TSO Awards:



New Members
Eighteen individuals from our seven member institutions have recently joined DF/HCC. Learn more about these scientists and their research interests.

New Leadership
In December, the following members assumed new leadership positions:

John Aster, MD, PhD (BWH), deputy associate director, Membership

Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD (HSPH), deputy associate director, Core Facilities

Charles Lee, PhD (BWH), director, Cytogenetics Core

Cynthia Morton, PhD (BWH), institutional representative for BWH

Anat Stemmer-
, MD (MGH), co-director, Specialized Histopathology Core

Vish Viswanath, PhD (DFCI), director, Health Communications Core




Cancer Prevention Dialogues
Eddie Reed, MD
May 2

Minority Health Policy Annual Meeting
May 3

HCNR Symposium

May 10

Andrew H. Weinberg Symposium
Malcolm Smith, MD, PhD
May 14

Pipelines in Oncology
Roche: May 17
Biogen Idec: May 24
Boehriger Ingelheim: June 21




BIDMC -- Biomarkers discovered for MDS


BWH -- Vitamin D and prostate cancer risk

CHB -- How cancer grows and spreads

DFCI -- Study challenges cancer stem cell hypothesis

HMS -- Prostate cancer risk factors identified

HSPH -- Influence of films that depict tobacco use

MGH -- Inhibitor shrinks glioblastomas



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