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2019 NCI Intramural Scientific Investigators' Retreat, Highlights

Posted on March 25, 2019

On March 13, 2019, DCEG investigators participated in the annual NCI Intramural Scientific Investigators Retreat. Norman Sharpless, M.D., Director of the NCI, offered opening remarks, followed by overviews of the year’s achievements from DCEG and CCR, presented by their respective directors.

Dr. Laufey Amundadottir (left) receives the 2019 WSA Mentoring Award.

Dr. Laufey Amundadottir (left) receives the 2019 WSA Mentoring Award. 

Senior Investigator Laufey Amundadottir, Ph.D., gave an invited lecture entitled “From germline genetics to function: Making sense of genome-wide association studies for pancreatic cancer risk.” Dr. Amundadottir was also recognized with the NCI Women Scientist Advisors (WSA) Mentoring and Leadership Award.

Dr. Matthew L. Meyerson, Professor of Pathology, Medical Oncology and Director, Center of Cancer Genome Discovery, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, delivered the 23rd Annual Alfred G. Knudson Award Lecture in Cancer Genetics in Cancer Research with an engaging lecture on “Cancer Genomes: Beyond the Coding Regions.”

Dr. Flora van Leeuwen, winner of the 2019 Rosalind Franklin Award Lecture

Dr. Flora van Leeuwen gives the 2019 Rosalind Franklin Award Lecture. 

Dr. Flora E. van Leeuwen, Head, Division of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, gave an inspiring talk as the recipient of the 17th Annual NCI Rosalind E. Franklin Award Lecture for Women in Science, given by the NCI Women Scientist Advisors. In addition to summarizing her field of research over the past several decades, she chronicled wisdom acquired over her career, most notably “pick your collaborators as they determine your quality of life for a long time,” and “cherish optimism—even if you prove to be wrong, you had a better time.” Her talk was titled “Second malignancy risk after cancer treatment: From old medical records to survivorship care programs.” Read about Dr. van Leeuwen’s visit to DCEG following the retreat.

Stephen J. Chanock, M.D., Director of DCEG, and Tom Misteli, Ph.D., Director of the NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR), recognized the 2019 NCI Director’s Innovation Award recipients. These awards are designed to support the development of novel approaches and technologies for accelerating cancer research. Principal Investigator (PI) Awards are given to tenure-track or recently tenured PIs (within the last five years), and Career Development Awards are given to postdoctoral fellows, staff scientists, staff clinicians, and senior scientists.

There were morning and afternoon breakout sessions on cross-cutting topics and poster sessions. The formal program ended with an award ceremony, followed by a reception hosted by the Directors of CCR and DCEG.

Nine DCEG scientists received awards, as listed below:

Winners of the 2019 Innovation Awards

Winners of the 2019 Innovation Awards

Principal Investigator Awards

Elizabeth K. Cahoon, Ph.D., "Express Doses for New Clinical Cancer Cohort of Chernobyl Clean-up Workers"

Jonathan Hofmann, Ph.D., M.P.H., "Metabolomic Profiling of Electric Waste Workers in Agbogbloshie, Accra, Ghana" 

Career Development Awards

Rotana Alsaggaf, Ph.D., M.S., "Cancer Predisposition in Myotonic Dystrophy Type I: Pilot Investigation of Genetic and Epigenetic Alterations"

Megan Clarke, Ph.D., M.H.S., "HPV DNA Methylation for Detection of Anal Cancer Precursors in HIV-infected Men Who Have Sex with Men"

Jared A. Fisher, Ph.D., M.P.H., "Validation of Proximity-based Residential Exposure to Industrial Dioxin and Furan Emissions in the U.S."

Catherine Lerro, Ph.D., M.P.H., "Examining the Relationship Between Agricultural Exposures and the Oral Microbiota"

Olusegun Onabajo, Ph.D., "Development of Fully Human Monoclonal Blocking Antibody for Interferon Lambda 4"

Deven M. Patel, Ph.D., M.P.H., "Development and Validation of Geographic Information System-based Method for Estimating Residential Exposure to Agricultural Pesticides in the Danish National Birth Cohort"

Youjin Wang, Ph.D., "Joint Effect of Donor KIR and IFNL4 Genotypes on Hematopoetic Stem Cell Transplant Outcomes in Patients with Acute Leukemia"