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NCI Staff Scientists and Staff Clinicians Gather for Annual Retreat

The 12th annual Staff Scientists and Staff Clinicians (SSSC) Retreat was held in April 2016. This year’s retreat theme was “The Microbiome: From the Front to the Back End.” Over 130 SSSCs from the Center for Cancer Research (CCR), DCEG, and Leidos attended. The planning committee was co-chaired by DCEG's Gabriella Andreotti, Ph.D., M.P.H., and CCR's Christina Stuelten, M.D., Ph.D. Other members included Gwen Murphy, Ph. D., M.P.H., and Hannah Yang, Ph.D., as well as Siddhartha Datta, Ph.D., Chi-Ping Day, Ph.D., Sigrid Dubois, Ph.D., Balamurugan Kuppusamy, Ph.D., Anu Puri, Ph.D., Shree Ram Singh, Ph.D., and Sergey Tarasov, Ph.D., all of CCR.

Participants at the 2016 NCI Staff Scientist and Staff Clinician Retreat.

The morning session, which was opened with remarks by Stephen Chanock, M.D., Director of DCEG, and moderated by Romina Goldszmid, Ph.D. (CCR), included keynote talks from Giorgio Trinchieri, M.D. (CCR), Dr. Christian Jobin (University of Florida), and Dr. Curtis Huttenhower (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health). This was followed by a panel discussion with the invited speakers as well as Rashmi Sinha, Ph.D., and Jonathan Badger, Ph.D. (CCR). The afternoon session was moderated by Dr. Kuppusamy and included talks from Heidi Kong, M.D., M.H.Sc. (CCR) and Dr. Sinha. The lectures and discussions covered a breadth of research on the microbiome and cancer, including laboratory animal studies, population-based human studies, methodologic issues, and clinical considerations.

This year’s retreat also featured brown bag lunch sessions with the participants, invited speakers, and NCI leadership Montserrat Garcia-Closas, M.D., Dr.P.H., Deputy Director of DCEG, and Glenn Merlino, Ph.D., Acting Scientific Director for Basic Research in CCR. The poster presentations provided an opportunity for over 60 SSSCs to present and discuss their research. A committee of staff scientists, staff clinicians, and principal investigators judged the posters and gave travel awards to the following staff: Maki Inoue Choi, Ph.D., of DCEG, and Cristina Bergamaschi, Ph.D., Michael Kruhlak, Ph.D., and Cynthia Pise-Masison, Ph.D., all of CCR.

The planning committee expressed their appreciation to Jonathan Wiest, Ph.D. (Director, Center for Cancer Training [CCT] and Associate Director, Office of Training and Education, CCR) and Jackie Lavigne, Ph.D. (Chief of the DCEG Office of Education), for support of the retreat, as well the assistance of Keyonna Earle (CCR), Angela Jones (CCT), and Doug Nichols (NCI OD) in managing logistics.